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What's to Like on the Pike: Bites in NW Montgomery County


Waitman
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Headed to an oddly-timed (4PM Friday -- at least it gets me out of work early on a gorgeous day) wedding in Boyd's, MD, near Germantown. As I am the guest of the groom's boss, we'll be pealing off early, so the other guests can misbehave without inhibition, and will likely be paralleling Rockville Pike down 270, past G-town, G-Bur,g R-V and other MC metro areas about 7PM, hungry for having had to subsist on wedding food. Any thoughts? Is Joe's Noodle House still swell? Anything else?

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In Germantown, there's the Thai restaurant, Sabai Sabai. Haven't been in a couple of years, but it was always very good previously. http://www.sabaisimplythai.com/

In North Rockville, off Shady Grove Rd, not far from 270 is the original Cava for Greek small plates. Can get very busy. http://cavamezze.com/locations

In Rockville Town Center is Spice Xing, from the owners of Passage to India. http://www.spicexing.com/

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Mama's Bistro, Joe's are both fine. Mama's is actually better then fine, the cold paltes and dumplings both. Last couple of meals at Joe's have been super but a couple of the cold plates last time were merely OK.

Not a fan of Szechuan Jin. Heat with no flavor.

I personally have stopped going to cash only places. For two obvious reasons.

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This is an interesting topic as there's SUCH a wasteland in the N Germantown / Clarksburg area. Thousands of people and very thin eating options besides gas stations and fast food.

So let's say you're in Clarksburg - which is Boyds but on the east side of 270, and has thousands more people. Where to go?

The closest options are immediately south in Germantown:

1. Sabai Sabai, mentioned above, is really pretty good, with interesting offerings (like corn 'fritters.')

2. On the other side of 118 is Royal Bakery. They make decent bagels, crumb buns and such, plus sell Boar's Head deli meat sandwiches on their bread. These can be really, really good and you'll feel like you're back in North Jersey.

3. Back on rte 355, Caspian House of Kabob is pretty good. Both this and Royal are counter-service places, while Sabai Sabai has a waitstaff.

Also in the area: I haven't tried EN Sushi...and Agrodolche has its fans. Otherwise there's not much else.

If you're willing to drive another 10 minutes south, the world is your oyster and many new options open up in south Germantown, Gaithersburg, Rockville, etc. Driving north up 270 won't get you much in the vicinity. As you approach Frederick (20 mins north), I'd suggest Moncacy Crossing or Alexander's (though I haven't yet been to the latter) for a dress-up meal on the south side of Frederick. Of course by the time you've made it that far, another 10 minutes and the entire city is available, including Family Meal, Volt, Tasting Room and other excellent choices.

So what does the future hold?

It seems it will get better but not much. A new Wegman's will open at 27 and I-270, in September. Maybe this will bring some more dining options. In 2014, Clarksburg will get an outlet mall and maybe (just maybe) a good place or two will squeeze in there. (Clarksburg has screwed up everything else so far, so why not an outlet mall, a concept that died with the 90s???)

I have to believe the area has enough people to eventually have some decent dining options. Right now there are very few.

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EN sushi is ok, nothing special. Agrodolce was decent - a decade ago.

Yuraku is very good sushi, at 355 & Middlebrook (Fox Chapel shopping center). Sakura, across the street, is a reliable Japanese steakhouse.

But you are right - my friends who live in Germantown and Clarksburg all drive to Gaithersburg and Rockville for good eats. It's chain city out there.

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In 2014, Clarksburg will get an outlet mall and maybe (just maybe) a good place or two will squeeze in there. (Clarksburg has screwed up everything else so far, so why not an outlet mall, a concept that died with the 90s???)

Really? With the outlet mall in Hagerstown not that far. Huh. Although I guess one is more reasonable for "city folk" to get to than the other.

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What about gas station tacos in Gaithersburg?

(Note: I've never been but heard good things)

I think the gas station tacos are okay. Tortacos is closer to me, though consistently dry and a bit overcooked in the last few visits in the past 6-9 months.

Honestly, I can make better tongue tacos at home. (Note to self, order more tongue from the farmers market...)

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There is a good kabob house a little north of Yuraku on the same side of the pike next to some fast food spots and int he same parking lot as a school. Really good but I can't remember the name. I did post about it.

That's Caspian.

DanielK - yeah, I guess Sakura is reliable. But so are many fast food places. I've been to Sakura probably 10 times as my mother likes to take all the grandkids there...I've never gotten a bad meal. And I can't name a better Japanese Steak House. But...I dunno...maybe I need to look past the fact that I can't seem to catch the piece of shrimp in my mouth.

I have to try Yuraku, I haven't been.

As for the Gas Station Tacos - yes, they are pretty good but by the time someone's driven down to that exit there's Rio, Kentlands and other areas with a few decent choices. While the food at the gas station is better than its price would infer, the downside is eating with plastic forks while leaning against a stack of Corona cases. I'd go 10 other places first, then consider the gas station tacos simply as I don't want to go to any of the other 10 again.

As for the outlet malls...I'm no developer. I'm all for development that succeeds. This just looks like a disaster. Going into why I think this is beyond the scope of this thread.

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