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DC, Rockville, Gaithersburg area sure bets- Help!

NYC Queens chowhound here, will be staying at the Courtyard Marriot in Gaithursburg late October for a family affair which will take place in Rockville. Will have a car, and we are driving down from NY. Will be there an extra couple days to see the sights, with a 3 year old in tow.

I've read through many of the posts for Gaithursburg, and have compiled the list below. Would like some up to date information on these places and if any are inappropriate to bring a toddler. He is pretty good about sitting in a high chair, or if he's tired, he'll just stay in his stroller.

Would also appreciate a close by place for a great very fresh salad, with maybe grilled shrimp or chicken, and a good breakfast stop for muffins, bagels, croissants, etc.

When we arrive, we will get there about dinner time on the late side, so need a place on the way or in Gaithursburg for a dinner, and then a couple places for lunch.

In DC would be helpful for a great lunch place. Inexpensive to moderate, and child friendly. Clean nice atmosphere preferred. No Thai, Chinese, or Japanese places, or Pizza Places (although a joint to grab a slice for the kid would be helpful in DC).. We've got great ones in NY, and we hate to be disappointed by what we have best. Haven't been to Georgetown in many years, and would like to have a sure bet there to have lunch. Looking for good Italian, Indian, Greek, Middle Eastern, Persian, Mexican (only if it's extra special, we have a fabulous one in Queens!)...or New American......

Also, is Bobby's Crabcakes in Rockville the only place to get a good crabcake? My husband must have one of these at some point while we are there.

Thank you for the help and if you come to NYC and want to know where all the good food is, (IN QUEENS!!), just give a yell, and I'll be happy to help you out!

Here is the list with some comments attached from posters as well as my specific questions:

-Moby Dick-Kebab order at counter, good hummos—local chain, mixed reviews
in the Kentlands shopping center at Quince Orchard Rd. and Great Seneca Hwy.
Gaithersburg--Looked at their menu, sounds great, it's Persian, and how's the atmosphere to sit down, highchairs there??? What is the best location, and maybe less hectic?? Gaithersburg or DC? What are their hours? Open late?? No hours are on the website.

-La Flor de la Canela --Peruvian--unanimous good reviews, what are their prices, is this too upscale for a toddler? And the olter Canela in Rockville? Can't find online menus for either.
117 N Frederick Ave Gaithersburg MD
in a strip mall off Route 355 in Gaithersburg

*Tandoori Nights--website looks like it's a little too grownup for the kid...am I right?

-Rustic Oven in Germantown. I guess the strip mall vibe is par for the course but the food was wonderful. Foccaccia with a light tomato topping was brought out along with herbed olive oil. I had gnocchi Bolognese which was a special and it was perfect. IS THIS PLACE A PIZZA PLACE or what??? Read good reviews to horrible views..........

Italian: Il Pizzico-rockville—homemade pastas—nice interior--this looks to upscale for a toddler, am I right?

VEGGIE INDIAN PLACES---NEED A NON VEGGIE INDIAN PLACE, THAT's GREAT>
Madras Palace-gaithersburg-siouth indianQuince Orchard near I-270.--ANOTHER VEGETARIAN Indian.....won't work for my husband....................

Woodlands --veggie indian----------would be good for me, but my husband likes lamb or chicken, or shrimp. If Tandoori Nights is too upscale, how is

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If desperate, and late, and chinese is our option, what's better, Fu Shing (not so clean??) or Joe's Noodle?
1488-C Rockville Pike
Rockville, Maryland 20852-1414

Fui Shing Chinese Gathersburg shipping center
Fu Shing isn't visible from Route 355 (aka Frederick Road at this point). It's down *behind* the shopping center with the Borders, Chipotle, Hair Cuttery, etc. Turn off 355 onto Perry Parkway, go around the rotary, and make a left into the parking lot.
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Nibler-Perivan--casual--can't find menu??? Atmosphere? How's their green sauce??
18556 Woodfield Rd.Gaithersburg, MD

Mexican I recommend Rio Grande at the Rio 231 Rio Blvd.Gaithersburg, MD--Is this called Uncle Julio's now? Because the website address matches this one. It appears to be a local chain. Is it any good? Fresh??? Looks like they have some healthy options which might be good.

Italian Pines Gaithersburg at 9627 Lost Knife Rd--can't find a website or menu online...atmosphere?? What's good there??

Johnny's Kabob in Germantown for Persian food Johnny's Kabob---a salvadorian who knows how to cook Persian?? Sounds like a little place...we are used to really good Persian in NY, is this worth going to?
12933 Wisteria Drive
Germantown, MD 20874
(240) 686-4518

bagels in the morning, stop by Neal's in the shopping center at 28 and Quince Orchard

Royal Bagels in Germantown

Caspian Cafe on 355 toward Germantown is another possibility although more casual (order at the counter type place). Good kebabs.---this seems out of the way.........

Mirch Maslas 7621 Rickenbecker Drive, Suite# 600 A
Gaithersburg, MD, 20879----menu looks very limited...can't find other info

This place looks like it would fit the bill, how is it? Atmosphere???
Athens Grill in the Plaza on Rothbury & Goshen in MV Montogmery village
Our Address:
9124 Rothbury Drive
Gaithersburg, MD 20879
301.975.0757

Cava is a good greek mezze place in the Giant shopping center on Traville Gateway Dr. The atmosphere is young and trendy.—rockville---Really like the menu, although it's a bit pricey if the portions are tiny...how are the portions???? What do they do best there??
9713 Traville Gateway Drive, Rockville, 20850
301-309-9090

Bombay Bistro------------How is this place? Is their chicken tikka made with breast or thigh, because it doesn't specify on their website...what is the atmosphere like?
98 W Montgomery Ave Rockville MD

Bobby’s Crabcakes?
Bobby's Crabcakes, LLC
101 Gibbs Street
Rockville, MD 20850
Phone: 301-217-0858
th

-ILa Canela in Rockville Town Center... this is a new outpost of La Flor de la Canela which has been serving beautiful peruvian food in Gaithersburg for several years. We had a lovely meal at La Canela last weekend. Great service, beautiful space. Loved it!

Spice Indian - Great, will go again--rcokville--can't find address, if this the right name???

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  1. I highly recommend MOBY DICK HOUSE OF KABOB. I love their chicken & bread (jooj) and chicken & rice-hummos on the side. The atmosphere is nothing special but very clean and perfect for a casual, counter-service, delicious, freshly prepared, healthy meal. Plus good value. The Kentlands one is good, have not been there in a while. I always go to the Bethesda one, which is consistently good. Cava in Gaithersburg (Greek) sounds perfect for your needs and tastes. It is upbeat, causual and delicious. I had wonderful chops, fried cheese (that comes flaming to your table) and a mezze sampler. Friend had the mussels and liked them. I do not remember the portions being small.TEAISM (DC) may be good for a quick lunch in DC. They have everything from scrambled eggs & smoked salmon, ginger scones, soups and noodle dishes. Known for their teas and earthy vibe. Counter-service. MATCHBOX (DC) is my favorite for amazing mini burgers w/ crispy onions, salads and other entrees. Also known for their pizzas, but you said you were not overly interested in pizzas. IL PIZZICO may be "slighty" upscale for a toddler, but certainly not out of the question. I went eyars ago, and remember it was quite good. Addies (Rockville) and Black Market (Kensington) are good for New American. Also, RAKU in Bethesda(Asian fusion-AWESOME Chilean seabass, good noodle soups, sushi, chicken & pork dumplings) is very good, upbeat, causual. BURGER JOINT in Bethesda is fairly new, and has wonderful, burgers-LOVE their Greek burger, bacon cheeseburger and sweet potato fries. Try Gifford's in Bethesda for ice-cream. The 72 percent chocolate is the best if you are a chocolate lover...Enjoy, and be sure to report back...

    1. You might be a little disappointed with the choices here in Rockville/Gaithersburg since you're from NY. But there are some decent places. In response to your questions that I can answer...

      Bobby's does have excellent crabcakes, probably some of the best in the area. They have very little filling and are seasoned well. That said, I find them very small for what you pay. You'll find much better options (IMO) at places in the Baltimore area. Maybe you can stop in that area on the way down to DC or on the way back to NY.

      Moby Dick is fast food Persian, and really, I find it overrated. The kebabs aren't seasoned that well, and the meat can be tough. I wouldn't recommend it. For better kabobs (although the Indian version), I prefer Skewers in Traville shopping center. It's a very informal fast food type place as well.

      La Flor de la Canela is definitely recommended. Fair prices for excellent Peruvian. The original Gaithersburg location is better, but the Rockville one is good too. If I remember correctly, their entrees are in the $14-$25 range. Be warned it can be hard to find as it's in the back end of an ugly strip mall, but the inside is nice. I've seen families there, so I'm sure toddlers are welcome. This is the suburbs afterall.

      The same goes for Tandoori Nights--it's in a family-oriented new urban community, so I would think toddlers are welcome as well.

      Il Pizzico has arguably the best Italian in Rockville, but I'm not sure that is saying much. The food is definitely good, but it's a little pricey for what you get. Again, it's in an ugly strip mall (just down the road from Flor de la Canela), but the interior is quite nice. I agree with the other poster that it's very slightly upscale, but they'd most likely accomodate a toddler.

      Cava serves good food, but as others have said, it's pricey for the small portions...think appetizer-sized mezze. A meal for an adult would probably be 3 mezze, so that definitely adds up.

      Most Mexican in the area is nothing to write home about.

      If you're looking for other ethnic food joints in the area, a local professor has a guide with many suggestions: http://www.tylercowensethnicdininggui...
      Also, you might want to consider Bethesda, Germantown, and maybe Silver spring areas. They aren't too far with a car.

      Have a great trip!

      4 Replies
      1. re: juniormints

        Thank you for the great replies, am adding to my list, ----is the Hello Cupcake place any good in DC? My kid would love that (and my husband, too!)...., so after looking at the map and figuring out our times, I think it would be best to eat in Gaithersburg, Silver Springs, or Rockville and then go and check into the hotel...

        So, the choices at the moment for dinner first night:we will be tired from traveling, and I think we just want something casual, good, and not too expensive, and relaxing..........and fairly quick, so we can get to the hotel...

        -Cava
        -Athens Grill

        What else should we consider??

        Thanks!

        1. re: janie

          I think Hello Cupcake is fantastic, but just note that it is in Dupont Circle, which is a good drive from the area you will be staying in. Also- it's closed on Sundays, just in case you were trying to plan around it.

          Moby Dick is a good option to keep in mind, especially for a quick meal. There is a Moby Dick chain off of Shady Grove Road (in the Fallsgrove shopping center), which I'm not sure is closer to you or not than the other chains you mentioned.

          Like another poster mentioned, the Rio/Washingtonian center is close and has a few good options- Rio Grande/Uncle Julio's, Red Rock Canyon, Potbellys (I like their salads and milkshakes), CPK, etc. Nothing too exciting but it's a good selection if you're in the mood for something specific that is there.

          1. re: gyozagirl

            Thanks, we were going to arrive Thurs evening, so we need a place for dinner Thurs night, and then breakfast near Gaithersburg hotel area and lunch on Friday in DC--the cupcakes would be an after lunch treat on friday, we will be at an affair Fri eve, and sat morn, and sat night in Rockville. Need mid day lunch for saturday, and was planning to go back into DC, so lunch either on the way to DC from Rockville or in DC. On sunday, we have a brunch, will leave shortly thereafter, and will probably grab something to go to take with us in the car, for the ride home.

            Don't know if there is anything of interest to see in Gaithersburg that would keep us around any longer on sunday,..............

            Thank you for the help....

            1. re: janie

              One place that's a big hit with preschoolers is the airpark in Gaithersburg. They have a cafe with decent food and you can sit on the deck and watch airplanes take off and land. The Nibbler peruvian is very close to the airpark, but we always eat right there at the airpark cafe.

              There's stuff to do around here if you have time. I have 2 little boys (3 and 6) and can give you ideas.
              wookyluvr xx 2002 x @ x yahoo.com

      2. NYC Queens chowhound here, will be staying at the Courtyard Marriot in Gaithursburg
        >>>Welcome to town! :)

        Would also appreciate a close by place for a great very fresh salad with maybe grilled shrimp or chicken
        >>>salads are hard to come by for some reason. Red Rock Canyon Grill might be your best bet. It's in the Rio/Washingtonian center near your hotel.
        http://rrcanyongrill.com/pictures/Red...

        , and a good breakfast stop for muffins, bagels, croissants, etc.
        >>>Neal's bagels is good.

        When we arrive, we will get there about dinner time on the late side, so need a place on the way or in Gaithursburg for a dinner, and then a couple places for lunch.
        >>>Do you want to stay in the Rio for the first night dinner? It is mostly chains there, but some aren't too bad (Gaithersburg with an e by the way).

        Also, is Bobby's Crabcakes in Rockville the only place to get a good crabcake? My husband must have one of these at some point while we are there.
        >>>Well, you can get crabcakes other places, and certainly downtown, but in Rockville/Gburg you're not going to do a lot better for a crabcake. They are kid friendly and casual.

        -Moby Dick-Kebab order at counter, good hummos—local chain, mixed reviews
        in the Kentlands shopping center at Quince Orchard Rd. and Great Seneca Hwy.
        Gaithersburg--Looked at their menu, sounds great, it's Persian, and how's the atmosphere to sit down, highchairs there???
        >>>Order at the counter, find a table, wait for your number to be called. Seating inside can be tight at busy hour. Seating outside on picnic tables pretty much always available and pleasant with kids. Yes there are high chairs. It's very kid-friendly and casual. I happen to like it there. Also people like Caspian Cafe in the Kentlands. It is more sit-down. I haven't been there in a while, but don't see it as a huge improvement over Moby Dick. Also, Moby Dick is in the Kentlands on Market St at Kentlands Blvd (the Great Seneca/QO thing is not accurate).

        What is the best location, and maybe less hectic?? Gaithersburg or DC? What are their hours? Open late?? No hours are on the website.
        I'm not sure about how late. Call them: 301-987-7770

        -La Flor de la Canela --Peruvian--unanimous good reviews, what are their prices, is this too upscale for a toddler? And the olter Canela in Rockville? Can't find online menus for either.
        117 N Frederick Ave Gaithersburg MD
        in a strip mall off Route 355 in Gaithersburg
        >>>I've taken a baby/toddler to both locations. They are not overly kid-friendly, as in I believe there are no high chairs. I could be wrong, but I think that's true. They are both kind of fancy places for kids. Also, La Canela does not have a kid menu AT ALL, they wouldn't even make something simple. I had to order off the regular menu for my kids when I was there a couple weeks ago. I got them an order of milanesa (breaded chicken) and they were fine, but just a warning: it is not really kid friendly. On the other hand, it is so worthwhile to go there. It is delicious (DELICOUS!) food. I have not had anything there that wasn't delish (both locations).

        *Tandoori Nights--website looks like it's a little too grownup for the kid...am I right?
        >>>>I take my kids there. You wouldn't be the only one with kids. You can also sit outside there when it's nice out, and it's totally fine.

        -Rustic Oven in Germantown IS THIS PLACE A PIZZA PLACE or what??? Read good reviews to horrible views..........
        >>>>I avoid this place. It's a mom and pop italian but I've had a couple bad (really bad) meals there over the years, and I just avoid.

        Italian: Il Pizzico-rockville—homemade pastas—nice interior--this looks to upscale for a toddler, am I right?
        >>>>No, it's fine for the toddler, esp if you go on the early side.

        If desperate, and late, and chinese is our option, what's better, Fu Shing (not so clean??) or Joe's Noodle?
        >>>>I go to Fu Shing (never been to Joe's Noodle) but we just get regular American-Chinese stuff there. There are always a lot of Chinese families there, so I assume their authentic menu is good, but I have no clue. I like it fine. It's not as good as it used to be, but it's fine, and it's never looked dirty to me. Very kid-friendly. Fish tank with big fist at the back.

        Nibler-Perivan--casual--can't find menu??? Atmosphere? How's their green sauce??
        18556 Woodfield Rd.Gaithersburg, MD
        >>>>>I haven't been there in a while, but I used to like it. It's very casual. Dunno what green sauce is.

        Mexican I recommend Rio Grande at the Rio 231 Rio Blvd.Gaithersburg, MD--Is this called Uncle Julio's now? Because the website address matches this one. It appears to be a local chain. Is it any good? Fresh??? Looks like they have some healthy options which might be good.
        >>>Yes, uncle julio's now. Nothing special to me. Gets exceedingly crowded and very noisy in big room inside. I find it overwhelming to little kids, but maybe just mine. For mexican in the Rio, we go to Guapo's. If you want authentic, there is the Taco Bar on Fields Rd just outside the Rio.

        Johnny's Kabob in Germantown for Persian food Johnny's Kabob---a salvadorian who knows how to cook Persian?? Sounds like a little place...we are used to really good Persian in NY, is this worth going to?
        >>>Probably not worth going. I don't think it's incredibly better than Moby-Dick. The menu includes some things not found at Moby-Dick, though.

        bagels in the morning, stop by Neal's in the shopping center at 28 and Quince Orchard
        >>>>Yes. This is your place.

        Royal Bagels in Germantown
        >>>>Also yummy, but not worth your drive unless you have a reason to go to Germantown in the morning.

        Caspian Cafe on 355 toward Germantown is another possibility although more casual (order at the counter type place). Good kebabs.---this seems out of the way.........
        >>>>It's right on 355, maybe 10 minutes north of Washingtonian Center. It's IMO not much better than Moby-Dick, and there is a sit-down version of Caspian Cafe in the Kentlands.

        Mirch Maslas 7621 Rickenbecker Drive, Suite# 600 A
        >>>>Closed. It's now a Japanese restauant (yummy).

        Cava is a good greek mezze place in the Giant shopping center on Traville Gateway Dr.
        >>>>I like it at lunch with kids. Would not take kids there at night.

        Bombay Bistro------------How is this place? Is their chicken tikka made with breast or thigh, because it doesn't specify on their website...what is the atmosphere like?
        98 W Montgomery Ave Rockville MD
        >>>>I think it's breast? We like it here, and it's casual inside, nice with kids.

        Spice Indian - Great, will go again--rcokville--can't find address, if this the right name???
        >>>Cafe Spice? It was in the Rio, but it's closed now. I forget what's there in its place.

        3 Replies
        1. re: wookyluvr

          Thank you so much, a great help.

          1. re: janie

            "Nibler-Perivan--casual--can't find menu??? Atmosphere? How's their green sauce??
            18556 Woodfield Rd.Gaithersburg, MD
            >>>>>I haven't been there in a while, but I used to like it. It's very casual. Dunno what green sauce is."

            Its been a while since I've been to the Nibbler, but this is a casual Peruvian restaurant with a full menu. The reference to the "green sauce" would lead me to believe you think it is a pollo a la brassa like EPR or Crisp and Juicy. If you like Peruvian Chicken, check our Crisp and Juicy in Rockville (1331G Rockville Pike) - my personal favorite. No green sauce, but I've considered eating their orange sauce as a soup...

          2. re: wookyluvr

            Haandi in Bethesda has some of the best Indian food around. And very kid-friendly. Our 2 year old is a regular. I wouldn't recommend Tandoori Nights for food or kid-friendly atmosphere. But the Kentlands area has tons of restaurants and a good place to walk around with kids.

            2 Amy's in DC has great pizza and is very kid friendly. You didn't necessarily want pizza, but 2 Amy's has very good Neopolitan DOC pizza. Also good donuts on Sundays and small plates for kids - risotto balls, meatballs, etc. Service is spotty.

            5 Guys Burgers is really good. There is one in the Kentlands in Gaithersburg, but I think the ones in DC - in Chinatown and National Press Building are better.

            Joe's Noodle used to be very good, although haven't been there recently. They were very accommodating to our toddler. If you go for dim sum on weekends it is very crowded. A&J's also on Rockville Pike has good Chinese food and weekend dim sum.

            Red Rock Canyon Grill in the Washintonian Center off of Sam Eig/270 is good. They have several other restaraunts there, like Hamburger Hamlet and Corner Bakery (good breakfasts and pastries). And it's a nice area to walk around with toddler.

          3. Houstons down in Rockville serves up excellent crabcakes, among other things.

            2 Replies
            1. re: mdfoodlover

              Finally, someone who agrees with me that Houston's has some of the best crabcakes in the area! They have literally no filler and are placed on that great Dijon mustard sauce.

              1. re: susabella

                Nearest you, the new Rockville Center and Kentlands has various decent rather generic places in a wholesome setting for adults and kids. Downtown Bethesda has even more choices.
                Some opinions on the specific opinions:
                2 Amys - Overrated, not worth a long trip. Probably not the kind of pizza and food most kids will favor.
                Houstons - Decent up-scalish bar, something for everybody, but not worth a trip.
                Il Pizzico - A very good Italian restaurant by any standard, perhaps the best overall restaurant Rockville/Gaithersburg and moderate prices by NYC standards. Don't take reservations. Kids may like the excellent pasta, but more an adult restaurant
                5 Buys Burgers - Good and cheap burgers, so what? Awful ambiance, some are downright dirty. Kids will like it.
                La Canela - Good, but most kids probably won't like it, more an adult restaurant,
                Joe's Noodles - A fav of foodies and people who like somewhat authentic Chinese food, but good, cheap and lots of choices as well.

            2. In DC:
              this is recommended frequently on here, but in case you missed it, do consider Mitsitam, the cafeteria at Museum of the American Indian, on the Mall, for lunch.

              There are a couple good places for cupcakes in Georgetown, too (Baked and Wired if you want to sit down, rather than Georgetown Cupcake, which would be take out) -- since you mentioned going to Georgetown.