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Feb 1, 2012 05:24 AM

CHOWDOWNS in metro area

Hi everyone,

Although I've been here about 2 years, I don't feel that I'm fully experiencing the good food in the area. I would be interested in having group meals with fellow chowhounders in the metro region.

I'm thinking of outings to dim sum (I'd like to try the place in Gaithersburg), Joe's Noodle, Eden Center, Indian, Ruan Thai, Honey Pig, Kabob n Karahai, etc? (I like spicy, ethnic as you can tell). Places that a conducive to trying a few nibbles of a lot of things. Perhaps once every 6-8 weeks. I'm in the Bethesda area, but have a car, and can travel, and possibly drive up to 2 people.

Is anyone else interested? If so, according to CH faq, we should do the discussion off this site. So I've created an email and calendar at gmail. If you are interested, email me, and I'll add you to the calendar and we can start discussing places and times

The first outing I'd like to propose is Joe's Noodle (Rockville) in March, as it's fairly metro friendly and not too $.

email me at:
dcchowhounders at

I"ve never done this so I don't know the best way to split the bill etc. Any ideas?

I have no interest in spamming you, selling or renting your email.



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  1. maybe there's already a group formed...

    13 Replies
    1. re: MoCoMe

      Seema, there are a couple of people who have coordinated events over time, and have compiled personal lists of emails for invites, but there's no reason you can't have one as well. I will be sending you a message shortly.

      Regarding logistics, I suggest two things: 1) cash only, bill split evenly (alcohol excepted), and 2) once you have your list, just pick a date and place and propose. If you try to get a quorum, you'll be sending emails forever.

      1. re: DanielK

        I've gotten a few people who have emailed. I certainly don't want to step on any toes-- don't mind merging with another active list. I'll give it a few days and then let's get something booked one way or another! :-)

        1. re: MoCoMe

          No toes to step on. The other two lists I'm on from CH are:

          1. Weekday lunches, focused mainly on new ethnic finds
          2. Blowout (expensive, special occasion) weekend dinners

          Go, Seema, go! :-)

          1. re: DanielK


            OK, so this is a group that's open to anyone suggesting times and restaurants!!
            Rick has suggested the following. If you've emailed me, you should have gotten an email or calendar invitation. If you didn't, send me a note. If you haven't emailed, and want to join us, send me a note. :-) It's helpful to know how big a table to get!

            email me at:
            dcchowhounders at

            We are going to
            DIM SUM
            New Fortune, 16515 South Frederick Avenue, Gaithersburg, MD
            Sun Feb 12 11:30am – 1pm

            1. re: MoCoMe

              March 24 11:30 am

              Joe's Noodle in Rockville

              We'll start getting more adventurous as we get organized

              1. re: MoCoMe

                dangit - can't attend in March, either! ggrrr. APRIL! For sure. Man, can't believe it's almost March.

                I still think a trip to Saravana Palace would be excellent.

                1. re: MoCoMe

                  What's all this morning stuff?!?

                  How about a trip to Grace Garden to try their four new special dishes?

                  1. re: KWagle

                    I'm organizing a lunch trip to Grace Garden on Thursday Feb 23rd: There will be tea smoked duck, definitely pork dishes, and a fair amount of spice. What are the 4 new dishes?
                    Anyone who can commit to the date (I'll order stuff in advance)
                    email me at Looking for six more people to chow with.

                    1. re: crowsonguy

                      I can't go next week, but I want to try this place. I think it should be on our list! I also want to know the 4 new dishes.

                      1. re: MoCoMe

                        I guess they're posted in some other thread. Fish stuffed with pork, tofu and fish pie, duck with taro and some unspecified rack of lamb dish. I don't think any of those are the kind of things you would get at lunchtime. (What's with all this love of lunchtime? Don't you people have things to do other than drive to Catonsville during the day?) Apparently the fish takes a few days' notice and the duck a week or so.

                        1. re: KWagle

                          The four dishes are mentioned here:
                          However, these are NOT new dishes on the menu. These were four dishes created by Chef Li specially for our Lunar New Year celebration dinner.
                          I see absolutely no reason why they couldn't be requested as part of a lunch menu - but the requestor would need to talk with Chef Li to see if he would be willing to recreate the dish again.

                          And KWagle - the restaurant is not in Catonsville, it is in Odenton. This is both a Washington DC and a Baltimore board, and there are lots of chowhounds who are able to go there for lunch. If you'd prefer to organize a dinner there, just post the date and I'm sure you'll get takers!

                  2. re: MoCoMe

                    > March 24 11:30 am

                    Just checked the calendar to drop out and it says this was cancelled.
                    Is everyone going to the Vihara instead?

                    1. re: GraydonCarter

                      Yeah, I don't see it on my calendar either...

        2. Seema, I would love to join your group and will send an email directly to you. I can't make it to the meal on the 12th, because I am already attending a CHOW meeting--this is a group you might be interested in for future reference. CHOW is an acronym for the Culinary Historians of Washington. They meet once a month and always feature a speaker who makes a presentation on some aspect of food history. And the meetings are in your neighborhood--at the Montgomery County Center in Bethesda. Have a look at their website at:

          1. The original comment has been removed
            1. I'd like to organize an April trip to Saravana Palace - we went to the lunch buffet yesterday and it was fantastic, but packed.

              I'd like to get an idea of what date (Sat or Sun?) works best for folks. They recommended that we do a la carte simply because it's too busy during the buffet if we have a large group.

              Any input recommended - I was thinking the weekend of the 21st of April...

              14 Replies
              1. re: Jeserf

                I am very interested in trying this place, and Sat or Sun would work (although the last weekend in April won't for me). Don't know their buffet hours but if possible, we should try and aim to avoid those.

                1. re: mdpilam

                  Their buffet is 11:30-3:00 Sat and Sun. Perhaps we could do a 4PM one? This is what the employee told me when I spoke with him yesterday.

                  We can fit two other people in our car as well (can drive from DC or pick up at a local metro stop near fairfax if one exists).

                  1. re: Jeserf

                    Dave, Rick& everyone, Joe's Noodle House for March 24 is STILL ON. When a user RSVP'd no, he accidentally cancelled the entire event. Oops. I am going to fix that tonight.
                    I hope some people can make it, otherwise, I don't feel the need to go on my own that day.
                    Jessica- I'd like to try Saravana- you speak so highly of it. As of right now, Apr 21/22 are fine.

                    March 24 11:30 am

                    Joe's Noodle in Rockville

                    1. re: MoCoMe

                      Same here - April 21/22 looks good for SP. Unfortunately, we can't make Joe's on Saturday, though.

                      1. re: VaPaula

                        I want to put Bangkok Golden on the list- any takers?
                        Am itching to go soon! (needs to be on a weekend)

                        1. re: MoCoMe

                          Another place I want to try! Count me in (weekend). I've also wanted to try Sabai Sabai.

                        2. re: VaPaula

                          I, too, would love to join the Saravana Palace chowdown for the weekend of April 21, since I'll be in the area that weekend. Is an out-of-town hound welcome?

                          1. re: mookleknuck

                            definitely! I'll post it to the Google Cal - do we have an idea that Saturday is best? Then it can last as long or short as needed without impacting a "wake up early for work" day?

                            Also, remember that it's across the street from Wegmans - TWO BIRDS killed with one stone! :) I'll post details. Also, please post if you'll need a ride so we can arrange that. But we have a few weeks still.

                            1. re: Jeserf

                              I'm interested in Saravana place, but just put me as a maybe right now - not sure if I have something going on then, but I wanted to express interest.

                              I would be at Joe's 100% this Saturday except we're hosting our oldest daughter's 7th b-day party.

                              1. re: Dennis S

                                Might I suggest that if you're aren't in the email group that Seema has organized (see original post) that you email to be added so that we have a good way of organizing RSVPs, no matter which Chowdown...?

                                (not specific to dennis:) enjoy your daughter's birthday party!)

                                1. re: Jeserf

                                  I emailed to be added, but received no response, so I'm replying here!

                                  I'm still interested in chowing down this weekend if it's still on. Otherwise, I'll try to hit Grace Garden on my way home!

                                  1. re: mookleknuck

                                    I am still organizing Saturday's trip to Saravana Palace in Fairfax....4PM...

                                    1. re: Jeserf

                                      Thanks for the quick answer! May I ask to be added to the distribution list? I will temporarily add my email address to my profile and hope that I will be able to see this Google Calendar!

                                      1. re: mookleknuck

                                        If you'd like to be added to the distro list, please see the original post - Seema is handling the Chowdowns email account, I've simply volunteered to organize this one! :)

                2. Just a reminder if you are not on the distro list that I am organizing a Chowdown to Saravana Palace in Fairfax (right across from Wegmans) on Saturday from 4-6. We decided against the buffet based on the number of people....however, if only 3 or 4 people RSVP, maybe we could change it to the buffet based on interest?

                  If anyone needs a ride from the District or a nearby metro station, please let me know - we can fit 2 other adults in our car.

                  8 Replies
                  1. re: Jeserf

                    Seems like a buffet is ideal for sharing and comparing dishes, but I'm assuming the food won't be as fresh, especially at 4pm?

                    When you get a final count you should call them. I stopped by another vegetarian Indian restaurant on a Saturday afternoon at 4pm, and contrary to the hours posted on their website they were closed.

                    1. re: GraydonCarter

                      I've already spoken with them about this - they recommended that we do not do the buffet simply because the place is so busy during the buffet hours. And last time we went, food was coming out constantly (and we went around 1pm - buffet is 11-3 I think)

                      If people want to do the buffet, which ends at 3PM, we could meet earlier but I would need to know to call ahead to reserve a table.

                      1. re: Jeserf

                        I've already responded on the Google invite for +2. The original invite, that is. At the time, it looked like there were a lot of people coming. Now there's a 2nd SP event on the calendar that I can't do anything with - maybe it's just a reminder...?

                        Anyway, I vote non-buffet during a non-crowded time!

                        1. re: VaPaula

                          Ok, Awesome! Seema is kind enough to send a reminder and I'll tally it up and we'll confirm with Saravana Palace.

                              1. re: Jeserf

                                Sorry- been really busy... mookleknuck, I emailed you, albeit late. Anyway even if you can't see the calendar (any google experts here?), the only thing on it is Saravana Palace at 4 pm Apr 21. If you still want to join, email me by the end of the day today, please. Jessica is going to give them the final headcount. And again, if anyone needs a ride from the metro let us know and we'll do our best.

                                As an aside - for gardeners, a Groupon for today is 1/2 off at the Garden and plant center just up the street from the restaurant (time to buy the tomato plants and herbs).... and apparently a Wegman's grocery is also nearby.

                                1. re: MoCoMe

                                  indeed Wegmans is across the street! :)