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Easy but delicious - weekday lunch off of I-95/ I-495/I-270

I'll be driving from NC to Hagerstown, Md. and back on Wednesday. I should be passing through this area around lunch time.

I'd prefer not to venture too far from the Interstate since it will be a long day/drive. Reasonable price and fairly quick fit the bill.

Bonus points for deli - Jewish style or Italian. I'm always game for a great banh mi too. I'm a sucker for an old school diner if they still exist in these parts! Fantastic charcuterie will get my attention enough to detour a little further...

I'm not really interested in BBQ or Chinese.

I tried searching, but so many places that seemed like possibilities seem to be closed.

Appreciate any help that will brighten up a long drive!


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  1. Any opinions about:

    Ba Le Vietnamese Restaurant & Deli, on Rockville Pike
    in Rockville?

    2 Replies
      1. re: Terrie H.

        The story of my preliminary research for this trip...
        Thank you for letting me know.

    1. In Lorton, off 95, just south of the beltway, there's Pane e Vino. They have good lunch specials. And, part of the restaurant is a good Italian deli w/ gelato.


      Right off where the Beltway/95 meet, in the south, there are a few places on Backlick Rd. They're not far off the beltway but the traffic in that area can be pretty crazy.

      For pho, we like Pho Cong Ly.
      For banh mi, we like Le Bledo bakery. Make sure they make the sandwiches fresh--there was one time they gave us premade sandwiches and I think it suffers from being refrigerated. They have packaged food on one side, that are fun to check out. On the other a hot buffet which has always looked and smelled good but we haven't tried it.

      In a plaza is Village Chicken which was bought out by El Sabor Boliviano. There is a sign for it now but in the past, you had to know by word of mouth.


      There are quite a lot of good Korean restaurants off of the beltway in Annandale.

      And, if you want Vietnamese off the Beltway, Four Sisters in Merrifield is good.

      Four Sisters Restaurant
      Strawberry Ln Falls Church VA, Strawberry Ln Falls Church, VA

      Pho Cong Ly Restaurant
      6671B Backlick Rd, Springfield, VA 22150

      2 Replies
      1. re: chowser

        Was just at Le Bledo it was quite good.

        1. re: chowser

          The Four Sisters rec made me think of Uncle Liu's Hot Pot - sister Sichuan place to the best (IMO) in the area, Hong Kong Palace. They have a buffet at lunch which is above standard, but you can also order from the menu.

          Hong Kong Palace
          6387 Leesburg Pike, Falls Church, VA 22044

          Four Sisters Restaurant
          Strawberry Ln Falls Church VA, Strawberry Ln Falls Church, VA

        2. Try Tortacos in Gaithersburg. Close to 270, right off 355. Great authentic LA/Mexican tacos at fair prices. Super fresh ingredients and everything is homemade. You'll eat well and support a family operated business.

          9629 Lost Knife Rd, Gaithersburg, MD 20877

          1. In Rockville/Potomac, a stone's throw's distance from I-270, is Brooklyn's Deli - an excellent Jewish-style (not kosher) deli. Best rye bread around, and very good pastrami/corned beef.

            Easy jump off west on Montrose, right at the light on 7 Locks, then a few blocks up on the right.

            8 Replies
              1. re: dining with doc

                Oh, and if you do go to Brooklyn's, get the (honestly, best I've *ever* had) Corned Beef Hash with eggs over easy, break those eggs over the pile, and wash it down with rye toast.

                You and your cardiologist can thank me later.

              2. re: DanielK

                Also a terrific NYC-style deli / bakery is Royal Bagel - exit 15B off I-270 in Germantown on Germantown Road. It is right next to Mi Rancho restaurant on the south side of the road.

                Mi Rancho Restaurant
                19725 Germantown Rd Ste A, Germantown, MD 20874

                Royal Bagel
                19725 Germantown Rd, Germantown, MD 20874

                1. re: DanielK

                  Google Maps indicates Brooklyn Deli has closed.

                  Does anyone know if this is correct?

                  1. re: meatn3

                    It's DEFINITELY open. Be careful on using Google and Yelp for this place. They used to have 2 locations, and now only have one. I've personally submitted corrections several times, and they don't take.

                    1087 Seven Locks Rd. is the correct address. From I-270, take Montrose Rd (Exit 4) West. Right at the first light on Seven Locks Rd. Right at the second light on Fortune Terrace - it's in the shopping center on the right. Literally a 1 minute drive from I-270.

                    1. re: DanielK

                      Thanks so much! Leaving now....

                      1. re: meatn3

                        meatn, when you get back, come back here and tell us about your trip

                        1. re: GraydonCarter

                          I would also love to hear, meatn3. I live along that area (in Rockville) and couldn't really think of something I could rave about along the immediate route matching your wish list, and would love to hear how you did. Yours was a great question with a twist from the usual questions asked so often!

                2. My trip has been moved to Thursday.

                  The are so many delicious sounding options that I hope I can have lunch and on the way back an early dinner!

                  At this point I'm leaning towards Brooklyn Deli for lunch. Raleigh is currently without a Jewish style deli option, for some reason they open and only last a year or so. Consequently this is a category I seek out when traveling so I can get a fix once or twice a year!

                  Le Bledo Bakery addresses another fix that I can't get at home. My favorite place closed and the next great option is 1.5 hrs away...I need to check Le Bledo's hours to see if this will work for the return trip.

                  Keep them coming! This is making the idea of this fast trip so much more fun!

                  Le Bledo Bakery
                  6691 Backlick Rd, A Springfield, VA

                  2 Replies
                  1. re: meatn3

                    In the 60's I lived in Raleigh and at that time the only place to get a bagel was at the news depot in North Hills where the Sunday New York Times arrived with a brown bag full of bagels.

                    1. re: GraydonCarter

                      You probably had better ones than we have now!

                  2. This isn't what you asked for, but there is an excellent German restaurant in Hagesrtown -- the Schmankerl Stube.

                    2 Replies
                    1. re: lawhound

                      Thanks !

                      I had seen reference to them while researching and was intrigued. I'm a little afraid I would have great lack of restraint and end up requiring a nap. I'm leaning towards sandwiches - I can eat half and then finish it up an hour later and not get too groggy!

                      1. re: lawhound

                        Yes, indeed! October is drawing nigh. Time for my annual schweinhaxen und Augustinebrau Maximator fix at Der 'Stube.

                      2. I had read a while ago that Wagshl's has amazing brisket and is a market worth seeking out.

                        Any opinions?

                        2 Replies
                        1. re: meatn3

                          It is smoked brisket, so more like really great bbq than the type of brisket you'd normally.find in a Jewish deli. It is fantastic. Be aware that, although it is serious, it is not made at the shop. They smoke it elsewhere and carve it up and vacuum-seal it in individual portions for take away or to reheat on the spot for sandwiches. The results are first-class.

                          They also have high-quality corned beef, pastrami, chopped liver, etc. It's a good place to know about, for sure - though they do not keep the meats freshly steamed awaiting your order.

                          1. re: Steve

                            I had hoped to stop in on the way home, but rain and traffic and the added stop in Harrisburg changed my plans. This does seem like a terrific place to fill a cooler and bring home some treasures.

                            Next time!

                        2. This trip became longer with a stop needed in Harrisburg, Pa. being added.

                          Well, what began as an early start changed quickly due to a dead battery on my SO's van. AAA arrived and installed a new one, so off I went. This vehicle has issues with the D.C. area, last two trips there involved blowing out a tire and then having a belt bust. This is a well maintained newish auto!

                          I had thought I'd go to Le Bledo, but didn't realize I had past it until I was sitting on 495 watching dump trucks and construction crews.

                          Lost more time due to construction on I-495. I was finally starving and in lighter traffic just outside of Germantown and decided I had time for Royal Bagel if I ate in the car. There were so many delicious sounding sandwiches, most of which would be a nightmare to eat while driving!

                          I settled on liverwurst, which was delicious. The onions were mild, and a little sweet. Their bread was good and the sandwich was generous. I picked up a variety of bagels to go. So nice to have access to an egg bagel! Not something easy to find in NC.

                          The baked goods looked amazing! Kind of handy having Italian and Jewish in the same spot. I was hoping for rugaleh, but none was in the case. It was hard to resist the rest. Folks were very nice, no problem being helped quickly and efficiently.

                          This is a really easy and delicious stop for Interstate driving. I was glad GraydonCarter had mentioned Mi Rancho - made it very easy to spot. They were hopping but filled the order quickly.
                          Their hours allow for breakfast, lunch and dinner. Eat in is an option, to-go orders easily filled, parking easy and bathrooms clean - plus good food freshly prepared!

                          On the way back south I got caught up in rain and then the evening traffic. I'm in the midst of buying a place and moving, so had planned a trip to Ikea in Woodbridge. I switched to Ikea at College Park as a way to get out of the traffic quicker. Did some shopping and ended up with the Swedish meatballs for dinner...Perhaps not the height of chow experiences, but tasty and quick enough to not cut into valuable shopping time!

                          I appreciate all the suggestions! I find this sort of trip a challenge - you have limited time to explore an unfamiliar area yet you really want a chance to make your brief stop chow-worthy.
                          Coupled with uncertain time frames the goal becomes trickier.

                          I hope to be able to visit more of these in the future. Thanks again - it was terrific having so many options and being able to avoid the usual chain options at Interstate exits.

                          Mi Rancho Restaurant
                          19725 Germantown Rd Ste A, Germantown, MD 20874

                          Royal Bagel
                          19725 Germantown Rd, Germantown, MD 20874

                          4 Replies
                          1. re: meatn3

                            I used to live less than a mile from Royal and miss their bagels.

                            1. re: Terrie H.

                              I had one an hour ago. Quite good, especially considering it's a day old!

                              I'm kicking myself for not buying an assortment of cookies and pastries. I've been watching my weight and was being a little too good!

                              1. re: meatn3

                                Think I'll ever find a bagel like that when I move to Charlotte later this year?

                                1. re: Terrie H.

                                  I'm not that familiar with Charlotte, but good bagels are elusive in NC. It's hard to find a good old fashioned bakery too. There are cupcake shops and fancier bakeries, but basic eclairs or danishes are difficult to come by.

                                  You may want to start following Kathleen Purvis (an occasional poster on CH). This column and her blog will help you get to know some of the better options:


                                  Our State magazine is good for an overall picture, many food articles:

                                  And my favorite on NC food tradtions::