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Mar 7, 2013 05:43 PM

Dining at Volt in Frederick - when to leave DC?

I'll be in DC for a conference and renting a car to drive to Frederick so that I can dine at Volt's Table 21. Very excited!

My question is more of a logistical one. If I'm leaving from the convention center and the Table 21 seating at Volt is at 7pm, what time should I leave DC? If it were up to me, I'd drive up in time for lunch and then hang out in Frederick until dinner, but since I'm in town for a conference, I can't really leave until 3-4pm. I'm currently planning to leave at 4:30.

My reservation is on a Saturday. Would there be any problems with traffic?

If I want to hop off the subway and be within walking distance of many great eateries, which stop should I get off at? I'm up for any kind of food.


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  1. There is always traffic in DC just like LA - you should be good leaving at 4:30pm

    1. You can make it if you leave by 530, but I'd leave as early as you can and walk around. Volt is on Market St which is full of fun shops. Enjoy!

      1. You'll make it in plenty of time if you leave by 4:30.

        You could leave by 5:30 and still be there in time.

        1. Thanks everyone!

          I'm from LA, so the traffic is expected. But I didn't know just how bad it might be. Many times I've been stuck on the freeway and then realizing it took me two hours to drive four miles to get cookies.

          Thanks for the reassurance that I have time. I'm going to try to leave at 4:30pm just to be sure (and to browse those shops!). I've been looking forward to this meal for a long time and I don't want to delay service for the kitchen or the four others sharing Table 21 that evening.

          8 Replies
          1. re: ah6tyfour

            Once you get out of DC traffic really opens up. It's a breeze compared to the 405 between LAX and the 101.

            1. re: ipsedixit

              If you have to take 29 to 70 expect extremely heavy traffic on 70 towards Frederick. However, I believe you can do 270, but I don't know as much about that traffic.

              1. re: ipsedixit

                Unfortunately, that is not true. Even when there are no accidents, there is always a pretty big slow-down/back-up starting from where 270 squeezes from three lanes to two. The later in the day, the longer the back-up.

                There is also pretty substantial speed limit enforcement on 270 in Montgomery County these days so keep an eye on your speed.

                I would leave at 4:30. Yes, you could leave at 5:30 and pray that there are no accidents, or you can leave earlier and not have to worry about it. And if you leave at 4:30, you are ahead of the heaviest traffic. I call it the "magic window." There is this brief maybe 10 minute window when you can sail up the road largely at speed and then 10 minutes later, that same road is getting choked.

                1. re: Just Visiting

                  His reservation is on a Saturday. If it was a weekday, this doom and gloom would be warranted but DC to Frederick on a weekend will be fine. 4:30 will probably get you there no later than 6, depending on where in DC you're coming from. I am in Gaithersburg and it never takes more than 40 minutes to get from my house to downtown Frederick.

                  1. re: Just Visiting

                    I've done that drive several times, and have had no problems making it in no more than 1.5 hours.

                    1. re: ipsedixit

                      Thanks everyone. I do hope it all works out. I'm going to be very nervous until we arrive at Volt. It probably won't be until I'm seated that I can finally relax knowing I got my entire party out of the convention and seated at Volt on time.

                      I'm essentially devoting an entire day to eating at Volt. I'll be waking up early to return to the airport to pick up my rental car, parking it at my hotel during the day, and then taking it to Frederick. Hope it's a great meal!

                        1. re: agarnett100

                          Thanks, I looked into that first, but it was cost-prohibitive because I am not a member. $60 annual fee, $25 application fee, and $10-$11 per hour (for six or seven hours).

                          Rental was $32 total and I can drive myself back to the airport the next morning, return it, and hop on my flight home.

              2. There are lots of good restaurants near the convention center, so you aren't too limited if you have to stay in that area.

                Cleveland Park has Dino's, Ripple, and Ardeo/Bardeo, plus lots of other choices.

                Voltaggio recently opened Range at Friendship Heights.

                Bethesda is crammed with restauants--your choices are wide open.

                Union Market just opened in the NoMa neighborhood and seems to be generating positive comments.

                And this was just published in today's Washington Post:

                1 Reply
                1. re: Maedl

                  Thanks very much!
                  I'm only in town for two nights (poor planning...), so I have one night to walk around and eat.

                  I want to eat everything on that list! I might try to make a google map centered around the convention center and map all those places to see which ones are close enough.