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HELP!?! New to Silver Spring/Aspen Hill/Rockville/Wheaton with nothing to eat!

I recently moved from college park to the northern silver spring region (near the intersection of Connecticut and Georgia Ave); unfortunately I have no idea of ANYTHING tasty in the area. As such, I'm reaching out to my fellow chowhounds. Please, tell me what you like, what you love, what everyone else loves but you hate and what everyone else hates that you love, what's cheap, what needs to be avoided, and what needs to be found. I am willing to try anything/everything however my girlfriend does have slightly simpler tastes than I so nothing too exotic. Otherwise everything within 15-20miles is fair game however please realize that I just graduated so in this market that means I have money but for the most part am looking for cheap to moderate with the occasional expensive. Thank you all and please don't hold back I don't even know where to order a good pizza from!

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  1. I think that the Cafe Bello in the Leisure shopping strip is serving good Italian food. If you venture over to Layhill and Bel Pre, Azucar and El Nopalito have good Latin food and Lees has pretty good Chinese. Some people like the Silver Garden Chinese restaurant in the Giant shopping center, but I haven't been in years. There is an Outback on Georgia and in that same strip there is a Latin restaurant (3 Amigos?) which is pretty good. You also could venture down to Wheaton and the options there are endless. Up Georgia Avenue to Olney also presents several options -- Riccuiti's and Mama Lucia's for example.

    1. you are in the middle of a chow wet dream. The Washington area is a very culturely diverse area with outstanding dining possiblilities. Here are choices within 15-20 minutes of Apen Hill that I like. I am sure I am forgetting some places and I am sure other hounds will add their fav's to this list
      Aspen Hill: 5 guys (burgers), Pho Hong Anh (pho)
      Wheaton: Max's (falafel and schwarma, closed for Jewish Sabath on Friday nites thru sat nite, Paul Kee Duck house (authentic hong kong chinese duck house), Wong Gee (Chinese), Woomie Garden (Korean BBQ), Nava Thai, Ruan Thai, Irene's Papusa's, New Fortune (dim sum), Marchiones (italian grocery, good subs), El Pollo Rico (latin styled grilled chicken, El Pollo Comparo (latin styled fast food chicken)
      Bethesda : Blacks (upscale seafood and gulf cooking), Addies (seasonal upscale), Assaggi Mozzarella bar, Mon Ami Gabi (french and french steak house, South Street Steaks (Philly cheese steaks), BGR (gourmet burgers), Panang (malaysian), Bethesda Crab House (steamed Maryland Crabs), Ruth Chris and Mortons restaurants (upscale steak house), Tako Grill (sushi/ japanese), Rio Grande Cafe (Tex/Mex), Persimmon (neuvo-american), Jaleo (excellent Tapas), grapeseed (small/plates. wine bar), Balducci's(high end gourmet market), Cournacopia (high end but great small Italian grocery store), oakwood grill (wine bar/regional cooking)
      Rockville: La Canella (Peruvian), Damo Sushi (upscale sushi), Gordon Biersche (brewery/pub food), Houstons, Mykanos Grill (greek, great grilled fish), Bobby's Crab Cake (crab cakes), Il Pizzico (italian), Urban Barbeque (bbq), urban Burger (burgers and bbq), Mama Lucia (pizza/pasta), PhO Nam (pho), Brooklyn Deli (jewish deli)
      Potomac: Renautos (neighborhood but upscaled Italian), Cava (small plates)
      Olney: Mannequan Pis (belgian, expensive beers, moules and pomme frites), Ricutti (brick oven adult pizza), Olney Grill (pub food), Olney Ale House (large beer selection/home made cooking), Il Sospiro (Italian), Wasabi Zen (sushi), Aroma (pan latin), Mama Lucia (pizza- tuesday night 2nd carry out pizza for a dollar)
      Derwood: Pana Thai, Biscotti (italian)
      Dayton: Crossroads Tavern (crabs, seafood)
      Layhill/Silver Spring : Azucar (excellent latin-get the whole fish)
      Sunshine: Sunshine Market (huge burgers, breakfast and other sandwiches in a crummy but good bait shop)

      10 Replies
      1. re: dining with doc

        Dining With Doc has to have given you a year's eating right there!

        Also consider adding dim sum at Oriental East or Burmese at Mandalay in Silver Spring. And if you can bear to drive away from DC, consider the row of casual, affordable restaurants on Rte 198 in Burtonsville: Cuba de Ayer (Cuban), Maiwand Kabob (Afghan -- split multiple appetizers and a kabob), or Cafe Oromia (Ethiopian) (formerly called Coffee Oromia). Those should be as convenient as the Bethsda options.

        -----
        Coffee Oromia
        15510 Old Columbia Pike, Burtonsville, MD

        1. re: HowChowBlog

          We plan on staying here for a long time and we love eating and trying new places, PLEASE don't stop giving suggestions!

          1. re: hungry_fox

            if u are willing to drive there are 10 times the choices in DC, Baltimore,
            Annapolis, Kent Island, Frederick and Northern Virginia.

            if you will drive to columbia there are 3 restaurants I love:
            Victoria Gastropub (upscaled and gourmet pub food, get the Kobe burger with white truffle chees sauce for the best burger I have ever had), Iron Bridge (wine bar with small plates), Jesse Wong's Asean Bistro (high end pan asian)
            and in Odenton there is Grace Garden which had 177 replies to a post about it. Best described as a crummy but excellent chinese restaurant

            1. re: dining with doc

              We are willing to drive, but we already know a bunch of places in the locations you listed, also Frederick is just too far regardless. As much as I do love traveling and exploring good food, for this post I'm much more interested in the local, I mean I don't even know of a good pizza place or chinese delivery in the area.

              1. re: hungry_fox

                Don't write Frederick off just yet as too far...I commute from Frederick to Siver Spring 5 days a week!

                In the SS area, I like Big Greek Cafe on GA Ave, BGR in Bethesda, Red Ginger in Kensington has good Chinese, Saboroso on Colesville across from the mall has awesome Peruvian-style chicken, David's cafe on Spring is a good quick lunch spot, MiRancho is a pretty good fresh mex type place, and Tastee Diner is awesome for late-night munchie fests!

                -----
                Tastee Diner
                118 Washington Blvd S, Laurel, MD 20707

                Red Ginger
                10525 Summit Ave, Kensington, MD 20895

                Big Greek Cafe
                8223 Georgia Ave, Silver Spring, MD 20910

        2. re: dining with doc

          And it's only getting better.

          In addition to the regulars (Quarry House, El Pollo Rico, Pho Hiep Hua, Mandalay and some of the others listed above) we've got a couple new adds to Chow Heaven:
          - Pacci in Silver Spring for Neapolitan Pizza
          - Bombay Indian. It's up in White Oak but another great add to the stable of Indian food
          - Flippin' Pizza. Chain takeout pizza but the only one worth it's salt in the area
          - General Store: Fried Chicken from Heaven

          -----
          Bombay Indian Restaurant
          11229 New Hampshire Ave, Silver Spring, MD 20904

          Pollo Rico
          7643 New Hampshire Ave, Takoma Park, MD 20912

          1. re: kriscolby

            Second the General Store! The turkey and brie turnovers are lovely little snax!

          2. re: dining with doc

            If you're around Layhill, you're not far from Cloverly and the fabulous Kabob N Karahi. Best kabobs in the region and the other offerings are solid as well.

            Love the Sunshine burgers ... a trip back to the grills of the late '60s,

            1. re: repete

              Kabob n Karahi is indeed awesome! I stopped by on my way to BWI a few weeks back and it totally lives up to the hype. Very friendly staff, too.

          3. As a longtime Wheaton resident, I presonally think Wheaton has some of the best places to eat in the area. (except for pizza. THERE IS NO GOOD PIZZA IN WHEATON. DO NOT EVEN TRY!) Here is my simple list:

            - Thai food: Navi Thai, Ruan Thai, and Dusit (yes, Dusit! I said it. I love their twice cooked duck and could eat it every day). Navi and Ruan are often cited as the best Thai places in the DC area.

            - Salvadorian (or tell the girlfriend Mexican): Los Chorros at Blueridge ave and Georgia ave. (I like the Combinación Salvadoreña and the Pork rib fajitas) and El Napolito Bar and Grill up at Plaza Del Mercado.

            - Pub Grub: Royal Mile Pub at Price Ave and Georgia Ave. I like the Beef and Guinness Pie and someof the sandwiches. Warning, this is not a sport bar. There is like one very small tv at the bar. Don't go here expecting to watch "the game."

            _ Other Asian: I love the Pho place at the Shopping center around 2300 University Blvd. I also like Full Key, the Chinese place in the same shopping ceter. When I want cheap Chinese takeout I tend to go to Wok Gourmet at Shorefeild and Georgia. I like their shrimp and scallops in garlic sauce, but this place is otherwise your typical Chinese takeout dive.

            - AVOID: The Stained Glass Pub. unless you want a place to watch sports with some shady characters and medicore food. If you do go there- DO NOT EAT THE PIZZA!!!! It sooooooo bad.

            - AVOID: Sol's at plaza Del Mercado. very bad pizza and it is where everyone from the local high schools hang out.

            5 Replies
            1. re: HilkaryIC

              I agree with Dining With Doc's first sentence.

              I'd love to hear from anyone about El Pulgarcito on Elkin. I went a number of times about 6-8 years ago and always liked it and thought it a hidden gem. I've been tempted to drive back to it, but it's a small trek so I wonder if I should ever take the time (or otherwise go to another favorite in the "northern" country.

              1. re: Dennis S

                Really? No one's been to El Pulgarcito? There have been threads about how as a community we focus on just a certain bunch of restaurants, even at the dive level.

                I'll make a special trip sometime soon to check it out again. If there is anyone who's been, please post - I'd love to know before I make the trip.

              2. re: HilkaryIC

                I drive by the Stained Glass Pub every week and have wondered - it looks so appropriately dive-y!

                1. re: HilkaryIC

                  The pizza place at Plaza del Mercado is the Pizza Stop which has the best pizza in the area and does not have any hs students hanging around it. Don't know what you are referencing unless its the place on Layhill Road which does have bad pizza, but has no hs students hanging around. Usually it is filled with soccer players drinking beer.

                  1. re: HilkaryIC

                    I love the pizza at the Stained Glass Pub.
                    I was skeptical - the place is definitely divey... but, IMO, the pizza is soooo good! It's a thin crust... but, almost pie-crust-like... hard to explain.
                    It's 1/2 off on Monday's and Tuesdays - you should give it a try.

                  2. In addition to the above suggestions, here are a few good places that don't get much buzz: Tabasco Tex-Mex Restaurant (on Norbeck Road, less than 1 mile from you), Minerva Indian Restaurant (lunch buffet) at 355 & Frederick Rd., and Burma Road Restaurant on 355 in Gaithersburg (stick to the Burmese dishes).

                    1. I think the best palce near you right now is Kabob n Kahari on New Hampshire in Cloverly. You can cut across on Bonifant and turn north on NH. I like Ruan Thai, Nava and Song Phat all in wheaton. Also very good is the steam table at Asian Foods n the same shopping center as Max's. In Downtown Silver Spring, my favorite place is Ghar e Kebab. They do a buffet lunch that is great.

                      You can cut west on Aspen Hill and take a right on Vier's Mill and be in the middle of Rockville's chinese restaurant row in a few minutes. Try Joe's Noodle House, Sichuan Pavillion, and the place now owned by Hong Kong Palace. Sichuan Pavillion is breand new and seems to be really good but the menu is huge and there are a ew hits amongst the mostly hits.

                      For Korean in the area, I refer to go to route 1 in Beltsville for Korean Chinese at Da Rae Won which is simply spectacular. Hand Pulled noodles for $8.00 a bowl or so, sizzling rice cake with seafood anything with wings and the shredded salad thingie are all great. Myong Dong is the same area is a good noodle joint. My other Korean suggestion in the area is the hot bar at either Han Mee supermarket or at Korean Corners at Vier's Mill and Rabndolph, I am not a fan of WooMi or Yet Gol's food these days.

                      Mexican is pretty good at tabasco but much better in Hyattsville/Bladensberg. Take the beltway to Kenilworth and turn left of Edmonston for tacos (and only tacos, nothing else at all except canned and bottles soft drinks) at Tacos La Placita or Mexican seafood at La Sirenita, right on Decatur to La Fondita for tacos, and amazing lamb soup.

                      In Wheaton you have good chicken at Pollo el Kiki Riki which to my mind is far better than El Pollo Rico which I don't get at all. The sides are good at EPKR. Also nice for Salvadoren mexican is Irenes bt the bar IS LOUD!!!

                      3 Replies
                      1. re: deangold

                        >I am not a fan of WooMi or Yet Gol's food these days.

                        When you say Yet Gol, are you referring to LightHouse Tofu? I think it's been about 8 months since I've been, but the last time I went I thought it was pretty good. Has it gone downhill?

                        1. re: Smokey

                          Yet Gol is in the Glenmont shopping center; Vit Goel is Lighthouse Tofu.

                        2. re: deangold

                          Here's another nod for Kabob n Kahari. I'd been meaning to try it for a while and finally made it last week. Not only was the meat fabulous and nicely cooked, the smothered samosas were wonderful and the rice was perfect. Nice people, too. Light years above the stuff at Moby Dicks, a place I've given multiple chances at various locales but never had anything beyond average.

                        3. Is it in bad form to suggest Yelp.com here?

                          3 Replies
                          1. re: Salt

                            i also use yelp especially when travelling
                            I forgot on my original post to include H-Mart, an asian supermarket in Wheaton where the fruits and veggies as well as the fresh fish and seafood are dirt cheap and great. Plus you can get sushi quality salmon and tuna there. It is a foodie field trip destination.

                            1. re: dining with doc

                              There is also the Lotte Korean supermarket on Ga. Ave. It is not as large as the H-Mart, but I think the prices for their produce are generally lower. They also have 3 food stalls (one of which has sushi) in the store where you can have a meal (or takeout) after shopping. And it is only 1 block from you.

                              1. re: comestibles

                                Another recommendation for the food stalls in the Lotte. They are Korean, Japanese, and Korean Chinese. I really like the Korean and Japanese ones.

                                Asian Foods, in Wheaton, has carry out Thai food which is also quite good.

                          2. I grew up a bit south of you, and lived in Olney some 30 odd years. I've not been into Wheaton in more years than I can count, but many of the recommended spots there would be well worth a visit.

                            If I had to pick one old favorite to you, It would be El Mariachi in the Ritchie center in Rockville. Go north/west on Viers Mill to Norbeck Rd/First Street and turn left. Go across Rockville Pike & take the first right in front of CVS, thru the parking lot into the strip shopping center and to the rear corner. A most recommended appetizer is Queso Fundido with Chirazio.
                            Don't miss either the Brazilian or House Salad with an incredible home made dressing on the side.
                            My wife's favorite is Pescado Criollo, a Rainbow Trout with a nice tomato/pepper/onion medley.
                            My favorite is Salmon with Pacifico sauce.
                            A lunchtime favorite is the Seafood Enchilada, with scallops, shrimp, cheese and a wonderful white sauce.

                            If a nice sliced beef sandwich is your desire (AKA Pit beef in another hot thread), try Hot Stone on Gude Drive, just east of Southlawn Lane. They are located in what was formally Obriens, then Canopy. The have a nice wood grill going with big hunks of Beef, Ham, Turkey which they slice to order. It's nothing fancy, but a really delicious spot fpr a slice meat sandwich. The home made potato salad is tops.

                            3 Replies
                            1. re: mdfoodlover

                              I second BGR Joint in Bethesda.
                              Adding Rice Paddies Grill in Bethesda - fast/casual, Vietnamese
                              Moby Dick House Of Kabob - fast/casual, Persian kebobs, etc
                              (Bethesda and Rockville)
                              Cava -Rockville- for Greek tapas and main meals- trendy/fun/delicious.
                              Mia's Pizza -Bethesda- for gourmet pizzas.
                              Faryab - Bethesda- for Afghan food
                              Corner Slice -Bethesda- for traditional pizza/slices-counter service
                              Rita's Crepe Stand -literally a "stand" but SO good -Bethesda- across from the B&N
                              Raku -Bethesda- for Asian fusion, sushi -trendy
                              Ollazo -Bethesda- red sauce Italian
                              Sweet Green -Bethesda- for make-your-own-salads and tangy sweet yogurt
                              Organic To Go -Bethesda- for excellent salads and handmade calzones/pizzas

                              1. re: mdfoodlover

                                >If I had to pick one old favorite to you, It would be El Mariachi in the Ritchie center in Rockville.

                                I'll admit, it's been a while since Iate there (few years?) but I was sort of underwhelmed by the place. To each their own.

                                1. re: mdfoodlover

                                  Years ago, the Olney Ale House made the most fantastic soups. I was transferred out of the area and I still miss their soups.

                                2. Welcome to the neighborhood! Some of my favorites close by are Crisp & Juicy (Leisure World shopping center) and Don Pollo (Twinbrook shopping center) for chicken; Ba Le on the Pike just north of Edmonston for banh mi; The Chicken Place in Wheaton for Peruvian fare; Los Cobanos in Wheaton for Salvadorean/Mexican; Taste of Saigon in the Rockville Town Center.

                                  I second the recs for Urban Burger, Nava Thai, Azucar, and El Nopalito. Fish at Azucar has always been good.

                                  I've eaten at Dad's Pub in the Rock Creek shopping center twice, thought it was very "meh," wouldn't go back. Likewise, have been unimpressed with Tara Asia and Thai Pavilion in the Rockville Town Center. Have been here 16 years, still looking for good pizza.

                                  2 Replies
                                  1. re: marianna trench

                                    My favorites:

                                    Silver Spring - Mandalay (burmese food, excellent salads and noodle dishes), Addis Adaba (Ethopian), Rays the Classic (steakhouse, has killer deals if you eat in the bar/bistro area including the famous Ray Hell Burger), Olazzo (decent italian food), Mi Rancho (basic tex-mex comfort food)

                                    Rockville - Joe's Noodle House (Chinese, authentic dishes, very spicy)

                                    Wheaton- Ruan Thai (great thai food), E Pollo Rico (peruvian Chicken that is crisp, juicy and delicious)

                                    1. re: marianna trench

                                      IMHO Guiseppi's in Rockville is THE BEST pizza in Rockville!

                                    2. One place that i haven't heard mentioned is A&J on 355. In the Sunshine Square mall, north of Joe's Noodle House and south of Edmonston, west side of the street. Dim sum, but not the kind with carts rolling around, more like small plates. Yummy Dan Dan noodles, lots of other great dishes.

                                      I actually prefer it to Joe's. The last time I ordered out from Joe's (<12 months ago, don't remember quite when), I was really turned off. I found a LOT of hair in the dish I ordered (5-6 strands?) and I wasn't convinced it was human hair. I haven't been able to go back since.

                                      1 Reply
                                      1. re: Smokey

                                        A& J is realy very good indeed!

                                      2. You have gotten some excellent suggestions already, so I'll add my 2 cents worth. Urban BBQ in Rockville, and Urban Burger off Norbeck Rd are very good.
                                        You can't beat the schwarma or falafil at Max's in Wheaton.
                                        I prefer Ruan Thai in Wheaton or Amina Thai in Rockville to Nava Thai, but Nava Thai is good.
                                        El Napalito in Plaza del Mercado is very good if you stick to the seafood or the specials (great lamb chops) not as good for the typical Tex-Mex fare. I like their crab cakes better than Bobby's Crabcakes (which is good) in Rockville.
                                        I can also recommend Spice Xing in Rockville (across from Bobby's) for interesting Indian food with a Pan European influence.
                                        New Fortune in Gaithersburg is my favorite place for dim sum now that Hollywood East on the Blvd. is closed (although I hear HEOTB will be reopening in Sept.)
                                        In Olney, Mannequan Pis is good, much more upscale that most there, and excellent mussels and frites as well as Belgian beer. Aroma is fun, especially the starters. Ricutti's has good wood oven baked pizza and a decent wine list. I don't like Mamma Lucia's at all. BJ Pumpernickles is a deli/dinner, best to stick to the sandwichs there, but the menu is extensive. Olney Ale House has never impressed me for anything, including beer.
                                        For Chinese food, I like Seven Seas in Rockville although there are lots of places in the area to try.
                                        In Burtonsville go to Hickory Grill and have the steak salad.
                                        For Italian food Il Pizzico is the best, but high end, not red sauce Italian. Cafe Bello is OK, but nothing special. Actually, there isn't a lot of good family style Italian around here.
                                        Also in Wheaton is Abbas Ababa, really good Ethiopian food. To get better, you would have to go downtown.

                                        1. In addition to what everyone else has offered, there is a little shopping center at Norbeck and Georgia that's full of restaurants. Some of them last a long time, and others are a different restaurant about every year. The ones I'm recommending have been around for years.

                                          My wife and I eat all the time at Thai Tavern. Food is very good, prices very reasonable, very friendly service. Pretty extensive menu, including vegetarian section. If you don't see exactly what you want on the menu, describe it to the waitress and they'll probably make it for you.

                                          Across the street (little unnamed street that divides the 2 sides of the shopping area) from it is Umberto's Italian Restaurant. Small restaurant, but huge menu. Very unusual is that they will make pasta dishes out of whole grain pasta if you request it. Food is very good. We would probably go more often but it will run about twice as much as Thai Tavern for a meal, and we're cheap. Its prices are very typical for Italian restaurants. It's not expensive, but Italian runs a heck of a lot more than casual Asian restaurants. (Besides my wife is Asian, and prefers Asian.)

                                          3 Replies
                                          1. re: BillSamuel

                                            I agree with Umberto's; it churns out pretty good Italian for such a tiny place. We've eaten at Thai Tavern a few times and have always been disappointed. The restaurant itself is not very attractive; the portions are small; and we've had much better meals from the Thai take-out place on Georgia Ave in Olney and at Pana Thai in Redland/Derwood.

                                            1. re: ciaoda

                                              I live near that Norbeck shopping center and have eaten at all of the restaurants in it. I'm not a fan of Umberto's, we have been twice and have not enjoyed our meals, but Bill is right, they will do a whole grain pasta for you. I like Thai Tavern, but I much prefer Ruan Thai. But Thai Tavern has always been very good to us, and they make a pretty good meal, and I do like that they know me and I don't have to ask them to make it spicier in order to get properly fiery food.

                                              The Jamacian carryout is pretty good too, nothing fancy of course, but authentic and filling.

                                              The House of Gyro makes good kababs, and they are very convenient and relatively inexpensive. I only use them as a carry out since the dining room is not much and I can't stand plastic forks and knives.

                                              The Tex/Mex place is just that, a Tex/Mex place, nothing special, but nothing awful either. Angelo's Deli make decent pizza and sandwichs, but again, better as a carry out than eat in.

                                              I'd drive over to the shopping center on Bauer Drive and get a burger at Urban Burger (or ribs or wings, etc.) for a good meal in that price range. Urban BBQ is now open on Rt. 108 (olney/Sandy Spring Rd) near the firehouse in Sandy Spring and it is my go to place lately.

                                              1. re: dinwiddie

                                                Unfortunately, the turnover of restaurants in that shopping center at Georgia Ave and Norbeck Rd (Rt. 28) has been great. I dont think that Umberto's, the Jamaican restaurant or the House of Gyro are going to last much longer (just dont see the traffic going in and out). Ive always liked House of Gyro but with the opening of Moby Dick in Olney, their days are probably numbered. I like Tabasco and Angelo's for a sandwich (they use a heedy or smoked mozzarella on their pizza's which I dont care for). Again, if you like Thai Tavern, give the Thai place in Olney a try....

                                          2. I recommend Pollo 3 Amigos. It is in the same line of stores as Outback Steakhouse (Ga. Ave. between Hewitt and Aspen Hill Rd). Salvadorean-Mexican food. We particularly like the pupusas and I enjoy the lomo saltado. Since I think the owner is Salvadorean, I haven't tried the Mexican food (tacos, enchiladas, etc.) other than the fajitas, which are fine.

                                            It's a small, quiet place, with a very nice waitress working the room, and with solid, reasonably priced food (maybe $30 for two which includes a couple of pupusas and entrees).

                                            1. Thanks for starting this post. I'm a new transplant to Aspen Hil and so far have only had mediocre (at best) Chinese food delivered. Are there any decent delivery places for Chinese/Pizza/Anything?

                                              2 Replies
                                              1. re: alpinmd

                                                Silver Fountain Chinese in Aspen Hill is ok. Not many good pizza places around. Mamma Lucia in Olney is about the closest for you.

                                                1. re: alpinmd

                                                  For pizza, there's Papa John's in Northgate Plaza. By far the best of the big chains. Costs more, but it's worth it.

                                                2. Bump.

                                                  Thanks for this thread, CHers. We are moving to Aspen Hill and this is a fantastic start to my CH expeditions. Tried out Kabob n Kahari yesterday, and am thrilled at what I discovered. Can't wait to explore the area more and add gems to this list. In the meantime, please continue to post on your finds!

                                                  1. Zpizza (several area locations including Rockville and Silver Spring) does delivery. I haven't tried it yet, but I bought a Groupon for it today so it's in my future. According to a friend who lives in Silver Spring, Dominoes is the only other pizza place which will deliver. (Groupon cannot be used for delivery, though.)

                                                    2 Replies
                                                    1. re: woodleyparkhound

                                                      Zpizza is pretty awful stuff. I wouldn't recommend it.

                                                      I believe Flippin' Pizza, which just moved in not too long ago on Colesville Road near Qdoba, also does delivery. If they do, that's easily the best delivery pizza in downtown, I'd think.

                                                      1. re: fuzzy510

                                                        Went to Zpizza today with my Groupon. I would say it's a notch above Dominoes, but not a place I'll go back to or recommend to others. They have some very weird combinations on their menu that I think are just bizarre and sound extremely unappetizing to me.

                                                    2. Two cheap places to add:
                                                      China Bistro in Rockville- amazing handmade Chinese dumplings
                                                      Quarry House in Silver Spring- best burgers and beer!

                                                      -----
                                                      China Bistro
                                                      755 Hungerford Dr, Rockville, MD

                                                      1. New pizza place in Silver Spring! http://paccispizzeria.com/ I haven't been, but it looks well worth a try!

                                                        1 Reply
                                                        1. re: woodleyparkhound

                                                          I've been to Pacci's 4-5 times now, and am consistently pleased with it. The Neapolitan style pizza is great, and the Italian pizzaiolo was devastated when Italy lost in the World Cup - he was moping around drinking beer the day after.

                                                        2. For those of you who are in the same situation I was/still sort of am last august, may I also recommend the new restaurant QQ China on Georgia. So far this is the first Chinese delivery place in the area that we've really liked. The food was good and not soggy, the people on the phone spoke enough English to take the order properly, the delivery man was polite enough, and the prices were good and included free food deals when spending a certain amount on a delivery. Definitely good for a last minute cheap meal, but I urge people to still keep posting new suggestions, there is no such thing as too many options of where to eat.

                                                          1. Mannequin Pis is just 10-15 minutes up the road up in Olney. Haven't been yet, but read good things about it. Think I'll try it out for my bday....

                                                            -----
                                                            Mannequin Pis Restaurant
                                                            18064 Georgia Ave, Olney, MD 20832

                                                            14 Replies
                                                            1. re: venera

                                                              Good thread. I am in Silver Spring (Hilton on Colesville) for the first time and I don't have a car. What is good and walkable? The Lebanese Taverna looks intriguing and see the Burmese place mentioned here is an easy walk. There is a sushi place (Sushi Jun?) right around the corner from me - is it any good?

                                                              All recommendations appreciated!

                                                              1. re: daklute

                                                                All of the Wheaton options are a short ride up metro and not too far of a walk from there.

                                                                1. re: daklute

                                                                  Any of the places described as "downtown Silver Spring" in this thread are within a few blocks of your hotel.

                                                                  I've never been to Sushi Jin. Da Marco is decent red-sauce Italian, Lebanese Taverna is fine too.

                                                                  Abol is very good Ethiopian, and Ray's the Classics is one of the very best restaurants around. Great inexpensive meals in the bar area, or a more expansive (and expensive) menu in the dining room.

                                                                  -----
                                                                  Ray's the Classics
                                                                  8606 Colesville Rd, Silver Spring, MD 20910

                                                                  1. re: daklute

                                                                    here is a good thread on silver spring restaurants: http://www.afiphousing.com/SilverSpri...

                                                                    in the Hilton is Sergios which is a very good family owned old school italian. nearby is Rays the Classics which is a local excellent steak restaurant and in the bar you can get 3 courses for I think $25 plus you can get the best burger around, the Ray's Hellsburger, in the bar. down the street is the Quarry House which may have the close 2nd best burger. It is a bar with good food, beer selection and at times entertainment. It is owned now by the owner of Jackies which is a funky neuveux american restaurant nearby. Also nearby is the iconic Crisfields, a local legendary maryland seafood house for oysters, clams etc. Cubano's is good for cuban, Mia Rancho is good for tex mex. The Tastee Diner is a diner with pretty good food. There is a pretty good casual Jamacan restaurant called Negril. There are also a lot of ethnic restaurants nearby, ask your concierge. by the way you are near the silver spring metro stop. The washington metro is safe and easy. You are on the red line and could go up to Wheaton which has over 100 ethnic restaurants including latin of all cuisines, Korean BBQ, excellent Thai, Falafel, authentic cantonese duck houses etc. that is a 5 min metro ride. Also you can go into DC to Chinatown/Gallery Place/Verizon Center (20 min metro ride) where there are probably 100 great restaurants, Dupont Circle (30 min metro) another 100. so you have a lot of choices

                                                                    -----
                                                                    Tastee Diner
                                                                    118 Washington Blvd S, Laurel, MD 20707

                                                                    1. re: dining with doc

                                                                      The bandeja (sampling platter) at Cubano's is one of the best plates of food in the DC area. Feeds two hungry people for $20. Make sure to ask for the cilantro aioli as well as the mojo sauce. Do not go here if you are allergic to garlic.

                                                                      1. re: Steve

                                                                        Thanks, dining with doc, for your extensive list. Tried New Fortune for dim sum Saturday and it was soooooooo good.

                                                                        Despite our ability to communicate in six languages other than English and extensive work with people for whom English is a second language, we still had a really hard time understanding the descriptions of the food from the (very patient, very prompt, and very kind) waitresses. We asked for a menu of their dim sum, then ordered certain things off of the menu. That worked out best for the person I was with that day. (I think if I went with hubby, we'd be happy to pick stuff out based on how it looked.)

                                                                        We had sticky rice wrapped in a leaf of some sort (lotus?) that was filled with various meats in the middle and some spices like star anise. Fantastic.

                                                                        BBQ pork bun was good, but I have a feeling it was something I could buy at H-Mart rather than some homemade dough.

                                                                        Shrimp noodle crepe sounded better than it tasted, it was rather bland (think shrimp wrapped in a wide rice noodle without any flavour).

                                                                        The big winner for us was a taro dumpling rolled in shards of crispy, fried taro. Great mix of textures there. There was another taro thing we got, like a cake, and it was great, too.

                                                                        I can't wait to go back and try more. :)

                                                                        Thanks for the great list. I'm new to the Layhill area and trying to eat my way through all of the awesome recommendations on this thread.

                                                                        cheers!

                                                                        1. re: venera

                                                                          just saw your post. if you live in layhill area there are great choices for you
                                                                          1. Azucar: layhill @ bell pre: very good latin american food. The whole fried fish with lemon and garlic is one of the great dishes anywhere, must get if you like fish
                                                                          2. Le Mannequin Pis: Belgian bistro in Olney that makes top 50 restaurants for DC region. 20 different versions of mussels by the Kilo that are fantastic. lots of belgian beers, good wines, other french/belgian dishes.
                                                                          3. The Olney Grille: excellent cream of crab soup, oysters on half shell, authentic Nawlins BBQ shrimp, good meatloaf, steaksalads.
                                                                          4. Urban BBQ: sandy spring (near olney): very good texas bbq- pulled pork, ribs, collard greens, bbq brisket and sausage
                                                                          5. Ricuitti's: olney wood burning stove pizza and more. crab cakes , a great dessert pizza

                                                                          -----
                                                                          Mannequin Pis Restaurant
                                                                          18064 Georgia Ave, Olney, MD 20832

                                                                          Urban BBQ
                                                                          10163 New Hampshire Ave, Silver Spring, MD 20903

                                                                          1. re: dining with doc

                                                                            I read through this thread again and thanks to all. I have found a few places that are great, some are old favs and some are new ones.

                                                                            1. Dim Sum: Oriental East (Silver Spring): An old favorite of mine is still around and going strong. FOOD is fantastic; waiting for table on weekends is NOT (waited an hour a couple weekends ago).
                                                                            2. Taiwan/Noodles: Bob's Noodle House 66 (Rockville).
                                                                            3. Tex Mex: Mi Rancho (Silver Spring and Rockville): I always like this place.
                                                                            4. Pizza (Layhill Road): Sole d Italia: Good. A bit pricey but MUCh better than Dominos or Papa Johns.
                                                                            5. Chinese Delivery: China King (Aspen Hill): Not GREAT but BETTER thank most delivery places I've tried. They have an extensive menu for delivery. The Ho Fun noodles are good.
                                                                            6. Thai: Thai Derm (Silver Spring): I rediscovered this place recently. GOOD and affordable. HIGHLY recommend.

                                                                            I'm sure there are other places but can't think of them right now. What I've discovered is that driving is mandatory and that traffic must be factored in when calculating time of meal.

                                                                            Urban BBQ: I've found to be BORING, nothing spectacular. That being said, I prefer NC-style BBQ with tang and flavor. So..UBQ doesn't hti my tastebuds just right.

                                                                            -----
                                                                            Oriental East
                                                                            1312 E West Hwy, Silver Spring, MD 20910

                                                                            Urban BBQ
                                                                            10163 New Hampshire Ave, Silver Spring, MD 20903

                                                                            Thai Derm Restaurant
                                                                            939 Bonifant St Ste 1, Silver Spring, MD 20910

                                                                            Mi Rancho Restaurant
                                                                            1488 Rockville Pike Ste A, Rockville, MD 20852

                                                                            1. re: alpinmd

                                                                              Sole d'Talia is awful especially when right around the corner you can get very good Pizza at the Pizza Stop in Bel Pre Plaza.

                                                                              China King is pretty good and if you aren't interested in atmosphere (which it doesn't have) it does have tables.

                                                                              Urban BBQ in Sandy Spring could be better if they'd smoke their meats right there. But I understand that the meat is smoked in Rockville and transported. In Rockville, its pretty good bbq, but I'm not crazy about NC bbq.

                                                                              -----
                                                                              Urban BBQ
                                                                              10163 New Hampshire Ave, Silver Spring, MD 20903

                                                                              Pizza Stop
                                                                              2231 Bel Pre Rd, Silver Spring, MD 20906

                                                                              1. re: skipper

                                                                                urban has a giant smoker made by southern pride and a wood pile in back to prove it. I checked..

                                                                                1. re: skipper

                                                                                  I'm not sure if I have an objection to not being smoked on site..... maybe ribs can get inadvertently steamed in the transport?

                                                                                  1. re: skipper

                                                                                    I'll check out PIzza Stop. Thanks for the info.

                                                                                    China King: It's my default Chinese delivery place.

                                                                                    1. re: skipper

                                                                                      Finally tried Pizza Stop (pick up not delivery). Pizza was okay; not terrible, not great. Better day 2 also. The sauce is HEAVY on oregano. The crust is nothing to speak of, either good or bad, but it worked to hold on the sauce and topping. Overall, MUCH better than any of the chain pizza joints; compared to Sole D'Italia, I'll stick with Sole D'Italia.

                                                                                      -----
                                                                                      Pizza Stop
                                                                                      2231 Bel Pre Rd, Silver Spring, MD 20906

                                                                                      1. re: alpinmd

                                                                                        I guess it is a matter of taste. Pizza Stop, in my opinion, is far superior to Sole D'Italia. Tried the latter when we first moved in to the area 17 years ago and was so totally turned off that I haven't been back.

                                                                      2. I agree that Fu Lin is better than Lee's Kitchen. We just ate at Lee's once. Enough to know never to go back. Fu Lin is pretty good.

                                                                        -----
                                                                        Lee's Kitchen Restaurant
                                                                        14448 Layhill Rd, Silver Spring, MD 20906

                                                                        3 Replies
                                                                        1. re: BillSamuel

                                                                          That is what makes the world go round, I suppose. We moved into the area in 1995 and we like Lee's better than Fu Lin. However, there is the Noodle King on New Hampsire Avenue which is better than either of them. http://noodlekingrestaurant.com/

                                                                          1. re: skipper

                                                                            The new Matchbox on Rockville Pike.

                                                                            1. re: skipper

                                                                              What's good at Noodle King? I've driven past it and wondered about it. How does it measure up to the Chinese places in Wheaton (New Kam Fong, etc.). I just looked at NK's on-line menu and the Stuffed Shrimp in Tofu, Eggplant & Mushroom w. Black Bean Sauce sounded intriguing.

                                                                          2. I've been eating my way through some of the recs here.

                                                                            Chinese: I tried Lee's Kitchen in the Layhill Plaza and Fu Lin at Plaza del Mercado right next door. I had a lunch special at each place plus a cup of hot and sour soup for the ridiculous price of $7 or so. They both serve you a plate of fried sliced won tons as soon as you sit down (death!). I liked Fu Lin better overall: their wontons were fresher and I thought their food was better overall. Both are standard Americanized Chinese, both provide solid versions of whatever comfort food you are craving.

                                                                            Also in the Layhill Plaza is Pollo Brasero, another charcoal Peruvian chicken joint. Their chicken is moist and nicely flavored, their sides are not worth writing about. Their empanadas, however, are a REVELATION. Sometimes they have baked ones, sometimes they have fried ones. Both have the same filling: a mixture of either beef or chicken with peas, carrots, hard boiled chopped egg, olives, and a smoky dark red "gravy". Hubba hubba. The empanadas are a meal in themselves and definitely worth getting. I prefer the baked ones, you can really taste the sweetness of the dough which complements the savory of the filling.

                                                                            Max's on Broadway. Don't travel here for the falafel, it was leaden and tasteless. The schwarma, however, was a delight. Their toppings bar is huge and varied, lots of interesting offerings. For the squeamish, I would recommend avoiding since the place is grubby. I don't mind places like that (have worked in many a restaurant and have eaten at much, much worse living in Central Asia) but this was the only place where I sanitized my toddler's hands *after* eating the meal.

                                                                            Go out of your way to try Kabob and Karahi!!! And definitely get the chaat samosa. I dream and drool about that dish. In fact, one can make a cheap and delicious lunch from one samosa (and a very filling and greedy lunch with two of 'em).

                                                                            Here's a new one for ya: Dessie Ethiopian in Wheaton (2655 University Blvd). It was standard Ethiopian fare, very solid. I can only compare it to the Ethiopian I used to eat in Baltimore at Dukem, and Dessie is just as good as that place. The waitress who took care of me was Nunu, and she was a delight. I nearly polished my plate, ordered the meat combo.

                                                                            And right next door is a little Ethopian market where you can buy a sleeve of injera to take home. What I noticed, however, is that while the market has dark injera made with Teff flour, they also have a lighter injera, presumably made with another grain. Then I thought back to my lunch and realized that they served the lighter injera. If I were to go again, I would request injera made with Teff.

                                                                            Happy eating!

                                                                            PS: Has anyone tried Dilsae, the Indian joint in the strip mall on the corner of Briggs Chaney/Rte 29?

                                                                            Also, has anyone tried the food truck in the gas station in front of the Shopper's Food Warehouse on the corner of Randolph and Georgia? It's been closed every time I've driven past there, but I am intrigued and want to give it a try.

                                                                            1 Reply
                                                                            1. re: venera

                                                                              The food truck is ok, but not more than that.

                                                                            2. Bump and updates about Plaza del Mercado/and adjoining strip mall places we've been frequenting.

                                                                              Pollo Brasero is a Peruvian chicken joint in the Layhill strip mall on the corner of Layhill and Bonifant. Their chicken is lovely, but I go gaga for their Saltenas. Note: They generally only have the saltenas on weekends. The dough is crisp, flaky, and has s hint of sweetness to it. Inside, it's a delight: beef dice, chicken shreds, peas, potatoes, carrots, olives, and hard-boiled egg all in a nice, spicy gooey sauce. While I love their chicken, I will always choose a saltena over the bird.

                                                                              Their sides are just OK, but when you have a taste for fried yucca or plantains, it hits the spot.

                                                                              Sole d'Italia is our new go-to pizza joint. Order the thin crust. It's crispy and thin, and surprisingly not greasy. It's very casual, you seat yourself, and there's a take-out area right next door. Their tomato/mozz/basil app is also nice. The calamari is all rings that are deep-fried, if you're expecting tentacles, you won't get it. We prefer this pie to Ricuitti's wood-fire (maybe we've just not ordered the right ones at Ricuitti's). It's a perfect place to get a pie and some beer and just relax without pretense. They deliver, too. It's many steps above any standard delivery place.

                                                                              Rooster Thai Chicken is in the Plaza del Mercado proper. They have a limited Thai menu and also Peruvian charcoal chicken, hence the name. I've only had their Thai fare. The Pad Thai was nicely done, but it's such an average Thai dish. I had a dish of fried fish chunks in a delicious spice saucy on a bed of crisp wok-fried green beans. The sauce was soooooo tasty that I ate a way too large portion of rice sopping it all up. This place is super super casual, essentially a take-out joint with a few tables and specials written in Thai posted on the walls. I will definitely be back to try out some of their other offerings.

                                                                              I'm going about 20 min away to Rockville pike and Pizza CS, but it's totally worth the drive and the traffic!! Hubba hubba. Really chill vibe (order and pay at the counter, then sit at a table) but amazing food. Wood fire oven pizzas that are just like being in Italy. You can get toppings like Buffala Mozzarella, Arugula, Prosciutto, and Grana. They have bottles of wine and beer for those that want to imbibe. Their white pies are out of this world amazing!! And the proprietors and staff are very welcoming and friendly. Run, don't walk there!

                                                                              Keep this thread alive, folks, my kid is old enough to to places now and behaves nicely, so we're catching up on missed restaurant meals over the last two years. :) We'd love to add new places to the existing rotations. And if you have any "date night" places to recommend in the area, please do!

                                                                              2 Replies
                                                                              1. re: venera

                                                                                go to Azucar in plaza del mercado. The best whole fish infused with lemon and garlic. the ceviche is also very good.

                                                                                1. re: dining with doc

                                                                                  El Napolito has a fantastic mango and jicama salad. You can have it topped with grilled shrimp or salmon (or something else) and when I got shrimp they were perfectly cooked and spiced. The salad is a lovely combo of sweet, salty, and crunchy. It's a perfect lunch treat!