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New and exciting in Silver Spring?

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Headed to Silver Spring in a few weeks for Silverdocs (or, as it has sadly been renamed AFIdocs) and planning some good eats. I used to live in the area, so we have some perennial favorites, especially ethnic foods that are less available in our current digs in Ohio. Definites are Abol, Mandalay, Penang, York Castle, and Oriental East for dim sum. Woodlands is also high on the list, though I can get South Indian here.

Anything new that I should know about? I'm seeing positive comments on Nainai's noodles and dumplings and also Charm Thai.

Our film schedule is on the busy side, but we can definitely strike out to Bethesda, Wheaton, or elsewhere once or twice if planned in advance.

Also, we may do a dinner somewhere near the downtown sites, mostly near Gallery Place Metro. We might hit Zaytinya, which I love and haven't visited in years, but I'm happy for other suggestions.

Thanks in advance. So excited to be back in such a great food town.

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  1. Welcome back! I live in the area and we seem to like a lot of the same places. Definitely try Nainai's Noodle and Dumpling Bar. It's a fast casual place with a limited menu, but what they have is excellent. So far they are only open for dinner. Next door is the more upscale Scion which opened about a year ago and is owned by the same sisters. It is modern American and also worth a try.

    I have been less impressed with Charm Thai than others on this board. Have tried it twice and both times the service was terrible. Prefer Kao Thai which is on the same strip as Abol. Also on that strip is a new tapas place, La Malinche. It doesn't have the variety that Jaleo does, but is still very nice.

    Enjoy your stay. And yes, it's too bad about the change from Silverdocs.

    1. Urban Butcher, about 4 blocks south of the AFI on Georgia, is new. I've only been there once for snacks and drinks, but the in-house charcuterie was pretty good, and the lamb tartare was freaking awesome.

      Ray's the Classics across the street is now just The Classics. The owner sold it to the long-time managers. Same menu and focus on high quality reasonable priced steaks. The hanger steak in the bar area with soup or salad, and creamed spinach and mashed potatoes for $23 is still one of the best bargains around.

      The chef at 8407 is new, and while I haven't been since the changeover, I've heard very good things.

      Abol is fine - personally I prefer Addis Ababa, a few blocks down Fenton.

      There's now a branch of Pete's Apizza in Silver Spring - decent New Haven-style pies.

      By Gallery Place, my go-to is always Proof.

      2 Replies
      1. re: DanielK

        The Classics is a good choice in SS proper. As is 8407 with Justin Bittner.

        For Thai, though, I strongly recommend going up to Thai Taste by Kob in Wheaton, which just now is much better than its neighbor Nava Thai and than anyplace in SS. Samantha's is also a good bet for *slightly* upscale, reliable Salvadoran.