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Tips for eating in Bethesda?

  • m

Hi, we're staying at Wisc. and Elm, near the Barnes and Noble and shops. Looking to avoid chains, however, we're open to all kinds of ethnic food. Will be here for a little while, so looking for some cheap eats too. Lookng first for places within a fifteen minute walk, can also get in the car for something not to be missed. Suggestions?

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  1. My favorites Bethesda eats are Faryab for Afghan - you should go for the bulanee appetizer - and Passage to India. Do not miss the pickles and spices on the last page!

    If you are interested in Sichuan, then SIchuan Pavillion and Joe's Noodle House in Rockville offer great food that perhaps you can't get at home. Many recs on the is board, so do a search.

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    Passage to India
    4931 Cordell Ave, Bethesda, MD 20814

    Faryab
    4917 Cordell Ave, Bethesda, MD 20814

    Joe's Noodle House
    1488 Rockville Pike Ste C, Rockville, MD 20852

    6 Replies
    1. re: Steve

      Passage to India has some really amazing Indian food, so I'll second the rec. Joe's is great, too, but you need to hop in the car for that.

      Some other thoughts would be - Tia Queta's rooftop dining (decent non-chain mexican), Burger Joint for a good burger and shake, Assaggi (Italian restaurant with a focus on mozzarella), Lebanese Taverna (a micro chain), the Mussel Bar (it's good, but overpriced for what you get), Bistro Provence (I am told it is very good, have not yet been), Vace (a deli/pizza joint for carry-out only, but it is good), Bacchus (mediterranean tastiness).... So many places, to try. Try Georgetown Cupcake if you like, but be prepared for lines. The 'cake' part of the cupcake is average to a bit above average, but the icing/frosting is what you get these things for. It's a $2.75 shot of pure sugar-butter deliciousness.

      I would avoid Jaleo, even though I know others would recommend it. It's fallen a couple of notches of late, so it is really not recommended.

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      Georgetown Cupcake
      1209 Potomac St NW, Washington, DC

      Passage to India
      4931 Cordell Ave, Bethesda, MD 20814

      Tia Queta Restaurant
      4839 Del Ray Ave, Bethesda, MD 20814

      The Burger Joint
      106 N Washington St, Alexandria, VA 22314

      Vace
      3315 Connecticut Avenue NW, DC 20008

      1. re: Pool Boy

        Just want to jump in that Joe's isn't that far of a walk from the Twinbrook station. Maybe half a mile tops. Not a pretty walk, but to get some Joe's, I'd do it in a heartbeat. And - the OP suggests they have use of a car, though I'd probably opt to metro and walk than to deal with Rockville Pike in a car.

        1. re: Pool Boy

          You are so right about Jaleo. I used to love the place, but both service and quality of food have slid way down. This is especially true of the one in Bethesda.

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          Jaleo
          7271 Woodmont Avenue, Bethesda, MD 20814

        2. re: Steve

          We tried Passage to India tonight, loved the food and the ambience. We went for the chef's sampler, enjoyed everything, except for the lentil dish, which was just ok in comparison to everything else. I'll be going back for more of the chicken tikka that was part of my app . The presentation was so nice I had to take a photo. Loved exploring this neighborhood as well. Looking forward to trying out more of the recommendations in the thread!

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          Passage to India
          4931 Cordell Ave, Bethesda, MD 20814

           
          1. re: MCFAC

            Based on these recommendations we went to Passage to India tonight and loved it. We started with three apps (for four people) -- samosas (one big one served on the best chickpeas, and I don't usually like chickpeas), apple/yam salad (good but very spicy), and the fritter platter (I didn't try, but the rest loved). For my entree, I had the chicken with spicy cilantro sauce, which was delicious and spicy, but not too much. I can't remember what all everyone else had, but they were very very happy, and full, as well left. Thanks everyone!

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            Passage to India
            4931 Cordell Ave, Bethesda, MD 20814

          2. If you like Sapporo-style ramen, head down to Ren's Ramen before they close on Sept 2 [to reopen at a later undetermined date and location]. Many reviews on this board. It's a bit hard to find as the small shop is not visible from the street, but it is behind the CVS on Arl. Blvd. They are closed on Mondays.

            6931 Arlington Rd
            Bethesda, MD 20814
            (301) 693-0806

            Tue-Fri 11:30 am - 9 pm
            Sat 11:30 am - 8 pm
            Sun 11:30 am - 7 pm

            4 Replies
            1. re: comestibles

              Yes, get there quickly. The stock for the miso ramen is very, very good.

              1. re: Steve

                I third Ren's Ramen - I'm very distressed about the closing. Go with the miso. The unfortunately named "fatty pork" for an extra $2 ( I think) is an excellent addition. "Tender, juicy, flavorful pork" I think would be a more accurate description.

                1. re: woodleyparkhound

                  I completely agree about Ren's. Go there. You will not be sorry.

                  1. re: woodleyparkhound

                    Ren's is open through Sept. 3 (though they will close early on the 3rd). Oh.... and the "fatty pork" costs an extra $3.50, not $2.00 as I posted before. I was there last night - it is as good as ever!

              2. you should check out Penang for great Malaysian food. it is on bethesda ave -- a couple blocks from the barnes and noble.

                much better than the DC one.

                1 Reply
                1. re: 12F37B

                  Penang was great, and even the two 3 year olds in the group loved the food. App #1, pancake with chicken curry, DD licked the bowl! Had burgers at the burger joint today for lunch, everyone loved them. So many great restos here, we're just finding it tricky to figure out which of the italian/ethnic places where children are most comfortable/welcome. Any kid friendly suggestions?

                2. We love Shanghai Village on Bethesda Ave (next door to Penang). Rice Paddies Grill, also on Bethesda Ave (but on the other end, close to Wisconsin Ave) also has a decent Pho and is very reasonable. Don't forget to try BGR or Fresh Grill for good burgers!

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                  Shanghai Village
                  4929 Bethesda Ave, Bethesda, MD 20814

                  1. For Indian, a good bet for cheap eats is Shangri-La, which (if you're staying where I think you're staying) is just two doors up from your hotel on Wisconsin Ave. I think it's a notch above the standard north Indian place, and it also has some Nepali dishes. I had an interesting citrusy Nepali take on black-eyed peas there this past Wednesday, in fact.

                    If you're there during the day and want a cheap lunch, there's a falafel truck outside the Farm Women's Market about two blocks south of there. (The market's open Weds, Fri, and Sat - unfortunately the Turkish stand is gone, or I'd have told you to go there. There is a lovely cheese stand, though.)

                    Another really cheap lunch is to go down Wisconsin and turn right just before the Exxon across from the garish fur store and get pizza by the slice, an Italian sub, or empanadas at Vace's Deli.

                    1 Reply
                    1. re: rarotonga

                      Moby Dick on Wisconsin at Leland for Kabobs, Chicken place on Wisconsin in the same block orange awning for great south american chicken and sides, for gourmet, Persimmon on that corner can't be beat. Also in the same block Stromboli for an outrageous Miss Piggy not for the faint of heart. New openings, Georgetown Cupcake, Michel Weidermeiers Mussel place opening to rave reviews and Taylor Gourmet on the corner of Woodmont and Elm, one block from the B & Noble. There is no shortage in Bethesda, heading up to Woodmont Triangle, great Pizzas, Pastas and Salads at LaTomate

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                      Georgetown Cupcake
                      1209 Potomac St NW, Washington, DC

                      Taylor Gourmet
                      1116 H St NE, Washington, DC 20002

                      Moby Dick's
                      721 S Broadway, Baltimore, MD 21231