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May 21, 2009 10:09 AM

Potomac Area Eats

I am visiting Potomac MD this memorial day weekend with my 13 year old son for a soccer tournament.

Any suggestions for spots (dinner priced $30/pp and lower) in the following categories:

- lunch spots close to Potomac

Dinner spots that can be further away:

- Italian
- Vietnamese or Thai
- Steak
- Generally fun/don't miss/great eats

Many thanks

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  1. Not sure where exactly you'll be, since I don't actually know of any soccer field complexes in Potomac (and I live there!). Can you be more specific?

    Do a board search for places in Rockville or Bethesda, the two neighboring towns, where there are a zillion places to eat. Not so much in Potomac, and what's there is mediocre and/or pricy.

    Steaks, the answer is a 20 minute drive to Silver Spring and Ray's the Classics. Meat better than that at the major prime chains, at barely more than half the cost.

    For Asian, you're actually better off with Chinese, as that's what Rockville is best known for. Check out A&J (northern chinese) , China Bistro (dumplings) , Bob's Noodle 66 (Taiwanese), Joe's Noodle (Sichuan), or Tony Lin's (ask for the authentic menu).

    Decent red-sauce italian can be found at Mamma Lucia's; somewhat more upscale, though pricier, is Amici Miei, which I believe actually has a Potomac address!

    15 Replies
    1. re: DanielK

      Thanks DanielK, The tournament is all over the area but we are playing at a school in Potamac. Thanks much for the recommendations. Will also look into Rockville and Bethesda.

      1. re: Rolly11

        If you feel like naming the school, I will be happy to tell you what's in the immediate vicinity for immediate pre/post game dining, and which direction to head for Rockville/Bethesda chow.

        1. re: DanielK

          thanks much - I think it is called Bullis school

          1. re: Rolly11

            You do have a few choices right at the Potomac intersection of Falls Rd and River Road. I dont particularly care forany of them, but you could certainly get an ok meal with a teen after a long day of soccer.

            On the SE corner next to Exxon is Hunters Inn, an ok barfood/steak joint. On the SW corner with the Safeway is a perfecyly ok southern italian place called Rennato's, that actually has a pretty good clam sauce (because it is owned by the seafood store next door). And on the NW corner is a the more "upscale" Bezu. They try a little too hard to be something they're not, but it's ok. DO NOT GO TO NORMANY FARMS.

            Alpart from that, you are 15 minutes from Bethesda where scads of choices await you.

            1. re: Rolly11

              As Pappy says, Falls and River is downtown Potomac, a little over a half mile from Bullis, but not much there that's worth the price. There's some fast food-like things if you need a quick lunch.

              Downtown Bethesda is a 15 minute or so drive away, and downtown Rockville a shade less than that. Great places to eat in both locations.

              1. re: DanielK

                Thanks DanielK and Pappy - I appreciate the help

                1. re: Rolly11

                  I recommend the Burger Joint, Raku, Moby Dick- all in Bethesda.
                  All casual. Burger Joint and Moby Dick counter are service, but awesome-
                  maybe best for lunch

                2. re: DanielK

                  There is a genuine lack of good restaurants in the Potomac area. There used to be a "Chicken Out" at the Safeway shopping center at River and Falls Rd., which is mighty close to Bullis and might suit you for lunch. There's also a Potomac Pizza across the street in the Giant shopping center.

                  Saying that downtown Bethesda is only 15 minutes away from Bullis is underestimating the actual time it takes to get there by 5-10 minutes, especially if you have to look for parking. If you have limited time for lunch, I wouldn't go there.

                  If you want to hop on the freeway and go north a few exits, you can go to N. Potomac (aka Gaithersburg) for some choices. At Quince Orchard and Darnestown Rd., you'll find a Fuddruckers. Behind the Chevy Chase Bank at the same corner, next to the Safeway shopping center, there's a Philly-steak type place and California Tortilla. Both are kid-friendly and relatively inexpensive. That might meet your lunch requirement.

                  1. re: DanielK

                    They didn't want nice at lunch. You can definitely get to N. Potomac in less than 25 mins. and much faster than to Bethesda -- AND no parking issues -- from Bullis. Have you actually tried it?

                    1. re: Transplanted Texan

                      I live off Falls Rd, 3 miles closer to N. Potomac from Bullis. From my house to Darnestown&Quince Orchard is easily 20 minutes mid-day on a Saturday, with all the lights, so it's 5 more from Bullis.

                      And Google Maps says it's a 20 minute drive from Bullis to, for example, Bethesda Row. While there are garages in Bethesda, I wouldn't say that's no parking issues - it will certainly take at least 5 minutes more to park and walk.

                      But I still stand by my Rockville recommendations. You can get to the Pike in less than 15 minutes from Bullis, and have far better nice and cheap lunch choices than N. Potomac or Bethesda.

                      1. re: DanielK

                        I live by Bullis and go to Quince Orchard every day. I swear it only takes 15 minutes. Never trust computer mapping services . . . not sure what world they inhabit but it isn't this one!

                        1. re: Transplanted Texan

                          I'm not talking about online mapping - I go to the South Street Steaks out in N. Potomac, and it takes about 20 minutes to get there. From Bullis, you have to drive past my house to get there if you go up Falls Rd. Unless you live close to 270, and hop out that way, which isn't really convenient from Bullis itself, I don't see how it can take 15 minutes from there.

                          1. re: DanielK

                            Whatever! This discussion is kind of pointless. I'll continue to get there in 15 mins and you can continue to get there in 20 mins.

                3. re: Rolly11

                  Bullis is WTF out Falls Road. There is nothing very exciting (to me, at least) in Potomac. Hunter's is unremarkable to lame and over-priced. Take DanielK's advice and drive the 15-20 minutes into Rockville for some first-rate Chinese. Joe's and China Bistro are especially good. Oh...Memorial Day has come and gone. Hope you had a good lunch.

                  1. re: flavrmeistr

                    I can only imagine that zoning prohibits more -- or even any -- restaurants in Potomac and North Potomac. It's very frustrating to always have to drive to get to any reasonable restaurant. There are times when I really miss living in Bethesda!

          2. Potomac Recs:
            1. Renauto's: very good italian in potomac village
            2. Bezu: small plates, pricey
            3. Falls Grove Shopping Center: has Tapei Tokyo (sushi/chinese), Panera, crispy creme donuts, mama lucia (pizza/pasta), cheburger/cheburger, moby dicks house of kabob, chipolte
            4. Falls/Tuckerman: California Tortilla
            5. Montgomery Mall: off democracy blvd has a large eatery and also has a california pizza kitchen and a legal seafood,,
            6. Rockville Town Center: all on a square with outdoor and indoor seating.
            Austin Grill 301-838-4281 (tex mex),Bobby's Crabcakes 301-217-0858
            Cosi 301-251-1408 ,First Watch Restaurant 301-762-0621 ,Five Guys Famous Burgers & Fries 301-762-3500 ,Fractured Prune 301-738-2424 (donuts),Gifford's Ice Cream & Candy Co. 301-315-2002,Gordon Biersch 301-340-7159 (bre-pub),Greystone Grill 240-430-4739 (steaks),Jerry's Subs & Pizza 240-314-7153 ,La Canela 301-251-1550 (latin)
            La Tasca 301-279-7011 (tapas),Lebanese Taverna 301-309-8681 (middle eastern),
            Noodles & Co. 301-279-0903 , Oro Pomodoro 301-251-1111 (italian bistro, adult pizza's, pasta),Primo Italiano 301-548-0016 (pizza),Robeks Fruit Smoothies & Healthy Eats 301-610-7605, Spice Xing Indian Cuisine 301-610-0303 ,Starbucks Coffee 301-309-0478. Sushi Damo 301-340-8010 (great sushi),Taste of Saigon 301-424-7222 ,
            Thai Pavilion 301-545-0244
            All of the above places are within a 10-20 min from Bullis and not really far away. What hotel are you staying at? I can give you more choices near your hotel