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Best Greek in DC .... Hands down ...... Ambrosia Cafe in Rockville

bassmangotdbluz Aug 6, 2009 12:33 AM

I found this place a few years ago when I was working in the area. They had a small, old, pizzaria type restaurant in a strip center on Rockville Pike, they have since moved to a newer place further down the Pike. It was what you expected when you got the menu and saw the moderate prices and selections. Then the food arrives and you realize that you've found heaven for cheap. Absolutely the best food and best food value for this style of eating anywhere !!! I can't praise them enough. Try the The Chef's Combo: more meat than this 350lb carnivore can finish or The Island Hopper's Platter: a combination of many Greek favorites. Thier Roasted Chicken and Potatoes are like something Grandma would cook for Sunday dinner and The Lemon Egg Soup is wonderful. All of the appetizer dips are great, too. Oh, and to add insult to injury; if you have any room left, the Baklava or Rice Pudding is authentic and heavenly. Give them a shot, you won't regret it. I live in Texas now and dream about the place.

  1. c
    ciaoda Aug 6, 2009 08:19 AM

    It's been a while since Ive eaten here but I remember it being very pedestrian. I remember being disappointed with their breadbasket which was basically supermarket kaiser rolls cut in half......

    1. h
      HilkaryIC Aug 6, 2009 07:23 PM

      I absolutely agree. Did you have the beans? Because the beans are truly the best thing they make. Sometimes they will only let you order it on Fridays or weekends or something, but you should always try and get a side of the beans.

      1 Reply
      1. re: HilkaryIC
        reiflame Aug 7, 2009 07:50 PM

        Love the beans! They're the Friday veg of the day.

      2. m
        mainahs Aug 7, 2009 06:01 PM

        I'm confused, I think. In February, I went to an Ambrosia that was north of 'downtown' Rockville on the Pike and in a small shopping strip. That Ambrosia had the worst gyros I've ever had, the ambiance was sad and I believe that they had no alcohol. If this was "Bassman's" place then I think that you had better visit some more Greek restaurants.

        5 Replies
        1. re: mainahs
          deangold Aug 7, 2009 06:38 PM

          There are two Ambrosias. When the old pale was shuttered for the renovation of its shopping center the partners split. One went north and opened Ambrosia Grill int he shopping strip mall on Hungerford. The atmosphere is a little sterile and the food has never recaptured the greasy spoon exhuberence of the original.


          The other partner won the rights to the name of "The Original Ambrosia: and is int he shopping center with the Barnes & Noble, Marshalls, Sports Authority on the NE corner of Rockvile Pike and Randolph.


          Far moer quaint, it has mre fo the feel of the original in atmosphere and the food is reminiscent. The service is a little lax. THe food is clearly all commercial quality (ie sysco or soomeone of htat ilk is supplying much of the food, but the portions are big, the prices reasonable and the food basically tasty. If you want greasy spoon Greek coffee shop food, it is not bad. I think itis a cut above places like The Parthenon on Connecticut but a cut below Mykonos (but also a cut or two below in price).

          1. re: deangold
            mainahs Aug 8, 2009 05:42 AM

            Thanks for this clarification. Next time i visit Rockville I'll try the Original. I only ate lunch once at the Parthenon on Ct. but if Ambrosia is better then it sounds as if it is pretty good basic Greek food.

            1. re: mainahs
              deangold Aug 8, 2009 06:33 AM

              Its funny but I went again last night after writing the post because its open late. The food ranges from pretty OK to some nice stuff. The taramosalata is good.

              1. re: deangold
                bassmangotdbluz Nov 13, 2011 02:57 AM

                I looked at the menus from both former "Ambrosia" partners restaurants and I noticed that the "Grille" has "The Chef's Combo" listed at $15.95; the last time I ordered it in 2006, I'm sure I paid $8.95.

            2. re: deangold
              bassmangotdbluz Nov 13, 2011 02:35 AM

              Thanks for the education. When next I'm in the area I'll try "The Original". I haven't lived in DC since 2006 but I grew up there. I guess I was romantically reminiscing about the first one in my mind since I was having such a hard time finding it in Texas (which I have).

              I will however say that I am no authority only a huge fan of greek food AND I ALWAYS gravitate towards the greasey spoon type of place. In spite of my culinary training I prefer "Peasant Food" to "Fine Dining" of any kind which I find most pretentious, haughty, overpriced and frankly for those who are full of $#it.

          2. Dennis S Aug 8, 2009 01:13 PM

            I'll try to hit the "correct" one sometime soon. I'd love to hear insight to Mykonos in Reston. I've only ever really heard my brother's review (he's very familiar with Crete). He thought it was a home run. I definitely like it but I'm not an authority on Greek food.

            2 Replies
            1. re: Dennis S
              deangold Aug 8, 2009 02:54 PM

              The mykonos I mentioned is in Rockville

              1. re: deangold
                Dennis S Aug 8, 2009 06:10 PM

                Yeah, I doubt they're related. This is a real one-off place it seems. Very curious to hear other reviews of Mykonos Reston.


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