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May 3, 2014 05:10 PM

Might be heading to Bethesda, thinking about crab cakes

I may be visiting someone who lives in Bethesda, who's not a foodie in terms of spending time on it, but would be amenable if I come up with ideas. Here's what I'm wondering:

1. Maryland is the place for crab, right? I've only had crab cakes a few times, but love them. My idea of a good time would be to try crab cakes at twenty different restaurants. Failing that, I'm wondering if there are any places in Bethesda (or, since she drives into DC, along that route) that are notably good? I mean, on a scale of A to F, at least a B+?

2. Also, as long as I'm asking, any really excellent Chinese restaurants in Bethseda? Preferably, in both case, quieter options.

3. Also, as long as I'm asking, anyone know if there are buses running between New York City and Bethesda?

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  1. 3. Yes. I work in Bethesda and I always see one of those Vamoose buses loading in the morning on Waverly St, one block off of Wisconsin Ave. Their web site has more details and booking:

    1. Tripper Bus also goes to Bethesda.

      Crabcakes at Grapeseed (a wine bistro) are excellent, and if you want whole crabs, go to Bethesda Crab House.

      There's not *great* Chinese in Bethesda. However, the next town north, Rockville, is the center of the Chinese community in the DC area, so a 15 minute drive (or a few stops on the Metro) will get you to some great places. Sichuan Jin River, Joe's Noodle, or China Canteen for Sichuan. Bob's Shanghai for soup dumplings and other Shanghai/Taiwanese. China Bistro for Bejing-style dumplings. East Dumpling House for homemade tofu and kabobs. East Pearl for Cantonese. A&J for Taiwanese. And I'm sure I've forgotten some.

      7 Replies
      1. re: DanielK

        Oy, Daniel. Here I just touted you as really knowing your stuff and then you recommend Bethesda Crab House? Only if you can't possibly get wheels to go elsewhere!

        1. re: Just Visiting

          Only for crabs, JV. Nothing else. Sides and anything else cooked is no bueno, but the crabs have always been solid in my experience.

          1. re: DanielK

            You and JoeH are two of the most knowledgeable mouths in town, but you won't sucker me on this one, DanielK! I've lived here for nigh on 30 yrs and have tried Bethesda Crab House in desperation (too late/tired to drive to a place with great crabs) and each time, I've come away wondering how the place stays in business. I guess there are lots of people who don't know the difference or who are too tired to drive to for great crabs! And at 75/doz for large and 95/dozen for jumbos, they had better be great crabs!

            1. re: Just Visiting

              I agree that Bethesda Crab House is not a good place to get crabs if you can go to a "good" crab house. But name someplace better for crabs IN BETHESDA.

              1. re: dinwiddie

                No where. That's sad, but true. But I just would not spend that kind of money on something that would disappoint me.

              2. re: Just Visiting

                Kind of you to say.

                Bethesda aside, where in MoCo would you go to get good hard shell crabs? Or anywhere in the metro area, for that point? I know people on here have said Quarterdeck or Dancing Crab, and I can't agree.

                Annapolis, Eastern Shore, Baltimore isn't a problem, but I haven't found a better place in the DC area than BCH in years.

                1. re: DanielK

                  Dancing Crab is lousy. I haven't tried Quarterdeck. I should. I hear only good things about it.

                  Then again, I eat pastrami in one place and one place only and it, too, involves the Vamoose bus.

        2. Buses = super-easy. Take the Vamoose bus, as recommended below. The NY pick-up is in front of Whatsabagel at 30th St. at 7th Ave. You will see the line.

          I guess if you are taking the bus, you won't have a car, which is a shame as the best crab cakes here - by far - are over in Bowie at Jerry's Seafood.

          As for Chinese, follow DanielK's advice. He really knows what he is talking about.

          1 Reply
          1. re: Just Visiting

            OOPS. Bagel Maven, not Whatsabagel. Sorry about that!
            And now I want crabs. And a bagel. Which is also something that you can't get here (ducking for cover).

          2. Wait. Are you asking for crab cakes or crabs? We sort of drifted into crabs. For crabcakes, since you are apparently visiting someone who has a car, go over to Jerry's Seafood.