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Found 8 results

  1. Based on the sign I saw in the window, it appears that the former Drinx location is going to be the 12th Green Turtle. I can't wait, another restaurant in this location that will have no impact on the culinary landscape and I can completely ignore.
  2. Any suggestions where to watch the CAPS game Tuesday night around Tysons. Went to BJs last week, almost died from a bad burger.
  3. Walked by at lunch and saw the Now Open sign out front. Turns out it was their opening day. Hope springs eternal when it comes to Bethesda delis, so I decided to give it a shot. It's pretty bare bones space, with a handful of tables inside and an outdoor space with a few plastic tables. But delis don't need to be fancy if the food is good. There the news is somewhat hopeful. The matzo ball soup is solid, with a big fluffy ball and broth that could have been a bit more flavorful but overall was very nice. My litmus test for delis is pastrami. Heckman's is solidly in the thick-cut pastrami camp and the good news is that it's undeniably juicy and well-balanced. But it's also uncomfortably fatty -- not the unctuous kind of fat that melts in your mouth but the kind that makes the sandwich hard to eat when it's stacked high. I ended up trimming some of the fat myself and then enjoyed the sandwich. Surprisingly, they didn't have pickles, which at a deli is unfathomable but presumably will be rectified soon. Service was somewhat confused, which is not surprising on day one. To be fair to the wait staff, I think the problems largely originated in the kitchen. Overall, I'm somewhat more hopeful than some of the other delis that have come and gone in Bethesda.
  4. I've been a fan of Southside 815 for many years. It is a neighborhood "joint" with impressively low prices and generous portions. I know that does not necessarily mean quality or enjoyment, but if you're in the mood for a burger or sandwich, or even a Southern-inspired entree( fried green tomatoes, ettouffee, po boys etc.), I think you will enjoy this place. What prompts my post is that for the first time, I got to enjoy their Happy Hour specials. The smoking ban in VA went into effect, and Southside now only has smoking outside (in season). The bar was a really smoky place to walk through to get seated in the restaurant, let alone eat in. I would walk through thinking "man, I'd love to eat cheap, delicious bar food, but...I'm not in the mood to take a shower when I get home." Anyway, Mr. MV and I got to sit at the bar and enjoy Buffalo wings @ $.35 a piece. The wings are quite good-crispy, meaty, juicy and come with lots of blue cheese dressing (not homemade, for sure). We also enjoyed a "mini nacho" plate that had their own pulled pork, cheese, taco sauce and sour cream. With my club soda and Mr. MV's beer, it came to $9.86. We left fat, dumb and happy, having left a 30% tip and feeling good! FYI, from experience, their burger has always been good. Not Central or RHB good, but enjoyable nonetheless. The fried chicken is worthy also, as is their pulled pork which is served in heaps between a bun. I've not ordered it to date, but the stuffed pork chop is about the biggest thing I've even seen and if you're in mood for fried green tomatoes, I think it hits the spot, at $5.50. They also have frickles .
  5. Summers. Arlington (website). The food may be a little lacking. But, then again, the comparison is to ESPNzone. Summers wins on price, and grit.
  6. Haven't tried the new incarnation (First Down) yet, but did notice the new paint job (bright green) in the otherwise drab block. A quick glance at the menu in the window shows typical bar food but a wide variety of wings (bone-in and boneless.) They also advertised delivery (for a fee) with $15+ orders.
  7. One evening about a year ago, I was at a tiny dinner party out in the exurbs of Virginia, having nothing to do with the restaurant world, and in walked a couple I'd never met. I was introduced to the gentleman, who was named Nizam, and we began chatting politely. At one point, the inevitable "so what do you do" came up, and he said that he owned a restaurant. "Really? What's the name of the restaurant?" "It's a place in Washington called Ben's Chili Bowl." I looked at him like he was crazy. "Ben's Chili Bowl?" "Yeah." I said, "You've got to be kidding me." He looked at me like I was crazy. "Why?" "Are you Nizam Ali?" He looked at me, again, like I was crazy. "Yes, how do you know me?" "You've got to be kidding me." And as it turns out, he knew who I was also. His charming wife had joined in the conversation, and said, "Are you by any chance related to a Mrs. Rockwell who worked at Cannon Road Elementary School?" "That's my mom." "She was my second-grade teacher!" --- A friendship was formed, and Nizam and I have kept in touch over the months via email, though we're both so busy that we haven't had a chance to get together. That evening, he told me about his plans to build a restaurant next door to Ben's. And in recent weeks, he's been asking me to come down and say hello. Two nights ago, that's just what I did. The moment I walked into Next Door, I was pretty much blown away. What I thought would be an extension of Ben's was anything but: I felt like I had walked into Bourbon Steak, or maybe Gibson. The bar itself is 53-feet long, and I don't know if I've ever seen a longer one. The atmosphere is polished but understated, and the only hints that this is related to Ben's are some photos on the wall (that Nizam had just put up that afternoon), and a retro-vat of chili and cheese sauce behind the bar. I'm not a fan of Heineken, but the Heineken tap is extraordinary, and Nizam urged me to try a glass. Sure enough, the beer in my glass transcended the brand - despite Next Door having numerous excellent beers, I will absolutely get another Heineken the next time I come. Chef Rock Harper is rolling out his dinner menu tomorrow, Friday, for the first time (up until now, Next Door has only been serving the smallest of bar menus). Anticipate a wildly busy restaurant from tomorrow night, through the Inauguration. Tom Joyner is hosting his morning show from Ben's on Sunday morning, and Black Entertainment Television will broadcast live from Next Door on Inaguration Day, from 11-4 PM. Bill Cosby has apparently been calling at random, hectoring them about giving President-elect Obama a free hot dog. Nizam and I have talked from time-to-time about him doing a chat on this website. As recently as a week ago, he told me that he'd love to. My response? "You have no idea how busy you're about to become," but I think he's now starting to realize it. There's no way I could ask him to do it right now, as much as I'd love to. Next Door is going to be hopping, effective immediately, and so is he. Click here for updates, and if you get caught in the crowd crush, don't say I didn't warn you. As I sat at the bar waiting for Nizam to come out from his office, I had a huge smile on my face, and felt like I was a small part of something important. When he came out, we chatted for awhile, and I said to him, "Do you know what the most important thing about this restaurant is?" He said no, and awaited my response. "You didn't screw up Ben's! You complemented it!" I was genuinely happy when I said that, and I meant it. And he knew exactly what I was saying, too. He nodded his head, and quietly replied, "Thank you, that means a lot to me," and he meant it. Cheers, Rocks.
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