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I was in that area yesterday and had a look. Is it in the space that housed Asian Cafe? That place had paper covering the windows and no signs or anything. Also it looks like the old Cesco space across the street is being turned into a California Tortilla.

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I took takeout from here last night and would call it a mixed bag with some hits and misses.

The brisket was extremely tender and flavorful, would go back for the brisket. The riibs were definitely above average and had the pink tell tale of smoke but my preference is still Urban BBQ. They are head and shoulders against Rocklands.

Sides are where they need some work - mashed potatoes tasted very off and (flakes or instant?) not creamy or enjoyable. Mac and cheese was missing something.

There is a full bar available, but getting take out have not tried.

Price wise they are not cheap, but market price for the area and food type (Dinner for two came out to about $35).

Service wise, this seems like a small family business and were very nice. Nice family service

A restaurant is a marathon not a sprint, I hope they can improve their sides, kick the ribs up a notch and give us a reason to make this a destination stop.

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If this is their first place, good for them, I'd take that review my first week open, Sides can be changed in a day. I'm looking foeward to eating either there.

Where in relation to Grapeseed is Smoke?

Across the street. I tried to go for lunch yesterday, but they were having a problem with their hot water heater and weren't open.

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Went today. The brisket was very tender, but the level of smoke was pretty low, which is too bad. The fries are decent and of the thinner variety which I prefer. The sauce on the table (one of the three) was a classic BBQ sauce with good flavor but just a bit too much sweetness. I prefer my BBQ sauce to only have the barest hint of sweetness, but this was by no means cloying. I use the sauce mainly for the fries. The meat should stand on its own like all BBQ should (there should never be a *need* for sauce, IMO). The cornbread was decent, but nothing special. Good service.

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Went today. The brisket was very tender, but the level of smoke was pretty low, which is too bad. The fries are decent and of the thinner variety which I prefer. The sauce on the table (one of the three) was a classic BBQ sauce with good flavor but just a bit too much sweetness. I prefer my BBQ sauce to only have the barest hint of sweetness, but this was by no means cloying. I use the sauce mainly for the fries. The meat should stand on its own like all BBQ should (there should never be a *need* for sauce, IMO). The cornbread was decent, but nothing special. Good service.

+1 for Pool Boy's experience. Where's the smoke?

The brisket was tender and juicy, but tasted like it came from an oven, not a smoker. I'll reserve my opinion on the ribs until I order them again, sauce-less this time. The sauce that came on them was a little too sweet and a slightly burned, and even after scraping it off I couldn't get a good read on the meat.

Mixed bag on the sides...I really liked the mac and cheese and the collard greens, but the coleslaw didn't go over well...very dry and I'm pretty sure there was coriander or cilantro in it, which I don't like.

All things considered though, it was a pretty good meal, (I really liked the brisket, even though I'd prefer way more smoke) and I think it's certainly worth another try in a few weeks.

This place really meets a need in Bethesda, and I think it has a lot of potential...hopefully they can tweak a bit.

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Lunch!

Pretty much echoing what everyone else has said so far. I had the two-meat platter, pulled pork with original sauce and beef brisket. Not that much smoke flavor going on, and I like crispy bits in my pulled pork. That said, it was a quality piece of protein, cooked very tender.

I did try the other sauces which were tableside; "spicy" has a little zing to it, but isn't hot by any stretch. I think I liked the "original" a little better, and I put a dash of tabasco in it because I like a little heat. (Although I wish people would just use Frank's - it's SO much better than Tabasco. *ducking*)

Most barbecue brisket to me is forgettable (come to that, the only one I seem to remember is that at Schwartz's.) Usually it's dry and leathery, and hidden under sauce. But this is tender. It's probably just me - I may simply not like bbq brisket.

The mac needed a pinch of salt, and a sniff of cayenne, but it's homemade. The cornbread was basic; mine was fairly dry. I like a moister bread. I have come not to expect much from restaurant cornbread.

The lunch in question:

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I sat at the bar.

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Big ol' chalkboard menu. Love the $5 kids' items. Good call - we'll have to check it out.
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Lucky for them, their liquor license is up. (That's not a knock on them; navigating Montgomery County is a giant PITA - but you guys already knew that.)

Service was good, friendly. Seems like lunch is mix of service and drinks-are-over-there-help-yourself. I can live with that.

I'd go back. Hopefully they're on their way!

BTW: that pat of butter thing in the lunch pic is a nondescript pat of herbed butter. Now with extra separating paper! :-)

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"He" does not mind. :-)

Aaargghh! So sorry!! I'm usually good about that using both when I don't know. For some reason, I thought you were the female owner of the RockCreek restaurants that were in Friendship Heights and Bethesda. Apologies again.

Not sure what to do now.

I always forget who closes on Mondays versus Tuesdays or some other day. And, of course, I make it tougher on myself by not just checking on the smartphone more.

So, today, I was up Bethesda way thinking a lobster roll would do the trick nicely for a quick lunch. I put enough money into a meter for 45 min and, five steps toward Freddy's, realized it was closed. And, two seconds after that, ran into Jeff, on rainbow crutches no less. He and his wife had stopped at Grapeseed to pick up something and it was his first time out of his house in a couple of weeks. Rainbow crutches aside, he looked great! After briefly chatting, I headed up toward Da Marco but then remembered this thread.

Smoke was open. Like Rockcreek, I sat at the counter. I ordered a half rack of the baby back ribs with collards, mac & cheese and the included cole slaw and corn bread.

The guy working the counter was very nice and took great care of me. He told me they had a smoker and smoke from early in the morning every day. Cool.

And, I thought the food was pretty good. I think I may be the first to comment on the ribs here. They did have very good smoke flavor and were a fairly huge portion. Pretty good moisture level made better with the BBQ sauce. Like Rockcreek, my cornbread was fairly dry. I'm not as convinced the mac & cheese is homemade; didn't eat most of it. And the collards had a bit of an odd taste; maybe just to much vinegar. But, on balance, the meal was fine. If I didn't have the time to drive up Wisconsin another 10 minutes to Urban when jonesing for BBQ, I might come back as they'll surely improve with more time.

Then, as I was almost finished, the door from the street opened and, behind a fully loaded push cart heading to the back, was the Sysco guy. Three trollies came in loaded with boxes; some had canned or jarred or boxed proteins and produce. They seem to be set up on a twice weekly delivery schedule.

So, I'm not sure what I'll do next time. Of course true that many places buy from Sysco and not everything Sysco sells is bad. Also of course true that many spots use the big food distribution companies because they're cost effective. It's very hard to maintain positive cash flow in this business as we all know. Further, I'd guess that many (most? all?) BBQ joints use some corn syrup and pre-made sides and the like. Maybe it's not realistic to expect a BBQ place to be making its sauces, sides and other menu items from scratch?

This is another transparency thing. I don't know of any BBQ places that promote their sources like Dean at Dino does. I wish they would. I wish all restaurants would. I asked who owned the place and was told it was a "guy who loves BBQ." So not sure about the background or philosophy around food, ingredients, etc.

All I know is I did enjoy the half rack. And I was bummed when those hand trucks came rolling in. Sigh....what to do.

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Stopped in for lunch last Friday and ordered the 2 meat platter (brisket and pulled chicken) with side of mac and cheese. Also comes with cole slaw and piece of cornbread.

I thought the brisket was a bit dry but had a nice smoke flavor to it. The chicken was perfect. I agree with other on the mac and cheese that it seemed to be missing something.

The cornbread was not good - dry and maybe a few days old.

Service was friendly but for a Friday lunch not very busy (I saw 3 other people while I was there).

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