Restaurant Review – Freddy’s Lobster + Clams (A Bit of Maine in Maryland)

On Small Business Saturday, I needed to get out of the house, and it was clear that there would have been mutiny if I tried to serve Turkey leftovers again, so we took a little drive to Freddy’s Lobster + Clams in Bethesda.


This was my third visit, and I enjoyed the establishment more and more each time! Freddy’s opened this summer with a limited menu and a distinct lobster shack charm. From the beginning, their beer selection has been shockingly good, and kept us coming back even though not all my friends wanted a Lobster Roll.  This Fall, Freddy’s has really come into it’s own. They have slowly expanded the menu and are building a loyal clientele by paying attention to quality and value.

Saturday, we had the pleasure of dining in the bar with Bruno. He is upbeat and knowledgeable, but in a relaxed way.  Bruno patiently answered all our questions, and was quick with another drink or story.

At Freddy’s, they make almost everything in-house. Exceptions include the top sliced hot-dog buns (imported from Maine with the lobsters), and the thin cut fries. Real care and attention are shown to the from-scratch items, and it shows!

During my previous visits, I had sampled the lobster rolls. They are served cold (lightly dressed with mayonnaise), or hot (tossed with butter), each on a grilled bun. The meat is sweet, succulent, and piled high!

Cold Lobster Roll @ Freddy’s

While I DID order the cold roll (wrapped to go – for dinner), for lunch I wanted to try one of the new items. Because I couldn’t choose one item, the understanding Mr. Food Nerd offered to split the Fried Chicken and the Hamburger with me.

The Fried Chicken is incredible, but beware, because the chicken is cooked to order, the dish takes a little longer to prepare. Bruno proudly explained that the chicken is marinated in buttermilk, then – when ordered – dredged in seasoned corn flower, fried, and then finished off in the oven.

Freddy’s Fried Chicken with Grilled Asparagus and Butternut Squash Puree

This is the fried chicken I remember coming out of my grandmother’s kitchen in Albany, New York. It is not perfectly uniform in color, the crust is thin, crunchy and intensely flavored, the meat oh-so-juicy and tender. We ordered the butternut squash puree and grilled asparagus side dishes almost as afterthoughts. You get two sides with the meal and we were already getting fries with the Burger…  that, and veggies seemed like the best option to assuage a bit of Thanksgiving guilt. Happily, the sides added to the dish and were welcome accompaniments to the star of the plate!

The thin asparagus were green, tender and crisp, with the slightest hint of smoke from the grill. They TASTE like asparagus should – even at the end of November, which is rare. The silky butternut squash puree had a surprising citrus kick, and was a bright counterpoint to the rich chicken. I was tempted to steal the whole plate and leave my selfless companion to eat the burger by himself, but for you people I shared…

Cheeseburger with Thin Cut Fries at Freddy’s

… and I was I glad I did! Freddy’s grinds their own beef, combining cuts of Sirloin and Short Rib to create the perfect mixture of texture and flavor. Our burger was topped with white cheddar cheese, and served alongside a heaping pile of crispy french fries. I would not go so far as to call them shoestring fries, but they ARE thin and very crispy – just like I like ’em!

Other notable menu items include Grilled Portuguese Sausage, Steamed Lobster, Fried Clams, Fried Shrimp, LOBSTER MASHED POTATOES LOBSTER MAC N’ CHEESE (As part of the menu upgrades this item was switched  – thanks to Chef Litchfield for the correction!), Grilled Fish, Grilled Ribeye Steak and Chowder…

Freddy’s not only has great food, but they have an incredible selection of craft beer, both on draught and in bottles and cans. Don’t believe me? Check out the “Booze Book” and try a beer you’ve never heard of before! In the interest of full disclosure, I must admit that I am prone to exaggeration… I wanted to tell you that there were HUNDREDS of choices, but I just counted the beers listed on Freddy’s website, and there are more than one hundred options (so I was super close!).

Visit Freddy’s, enjoy a craft beer (or two), and order something delicious. It’s a great way to spend a Saturday.

Freddy’s Lobster + Clams
4867 Cordell Ave.
Bethesda, MD  20814
(240) 743-4257

Freddy's Lobster + Clams on Urbanspoon

Restaurant Review – Ren’s Ramen

For too long, I didn’t know what ramen could be. I was sure that the cheap college staple was it. I happily accepted the squared blocks of dried noodles as they were, doctored them up with fresh veggies and leftover chicken, and didn’t ask questions… until a friend told me of the FRESH ramen they enjoyed in Japan! THOSE noodles had never been dried, or pressed into compact shapes – I needed to try them!!

Enter Ren’s Ramen – a traditional Sapporo Style Ramen House in Wheaton, MD (formerly of Bethesda). Ren’s imports fresh noodles from the island of Hokkaido, and on a recent weekday lunch – I got my fix.

The menu at a ramen house is not very complicated. Pick your preferred broth and toppings, then prepare to be amazed.

At Ren’s you can choose from three pork based broths – fortified with either Salt, Soy Sauce or Miso paste (Ren’s specializes in Sapporo-style ramen which is built on the hearty Miso broth), and one vegetarian broth.

All soups are topped with bean sprouts, bamboo shoots, green onions and dried seaweed. The pork based soups also include a thin slice of roasted pork and crumbles of ground pork. You can choose from other toppings including corn, butter and pork belly, but the BEST a-la-carte toppings  are the slow-cooked fatty pork, and the seasoned boiled egg.

Slow Cooked Fatty Pork

Boiled Egg Seasoned with Soy and Mirin

I insist you try them both! Mix the egg into the broth – the soft yolk blends in with the spicy soy or the rich miso broth with dazzling effect. While the gratis pork can be dry, the  fatty pork is transcendent. The meat falls apart in your mouth and melts on your tongue, perfect when included in a bite with the delicately chewy noodles. Do yourself a favor and visit Ren’s – SOON!

Ren’s Ramen
11403 Amherst Ave.
Wheaton, MD 20902
(301) 693-0806
Hours:  Mon-Sat  11:30am~3:00pm(Lunch) 5:00pm~10:00pm(Dinner)  
Sun     11:30am~3:00pm(Lunch)  5:00pm ~ 9:30pm(Dinner)
Closed every second and Third Tuesday of Every Month

Ren's Ramen on Urbanspoon

Food Truck Review – Red Hook Lobster Pound

The food truck movement has been exploding in our area, but for too long these exotic new purveyors of eclectic, convenient and varied lunch options have kept within the confines of the District.

Thankfully, the trucks have started to expand their territories – making visits to suburban Maryland and Virginia.

As luck would have it, Red Hook Lobster Pound dispatched their flagship truck “Lobby 1” to Silver Spring yesterday, and I took full advantage!

Tipped off by a facebook update, and buoyed by tweets – I learned  that Lobby 1 would be landing in Silver Spring at 11:30 AM. A co-worker and I left a little before noon to meet the truck (we were terrified that we would be stuck in long lines if we waited too long).  Thankfully, we did not have to wait very long at all.

The truck runs very efficiently, but not to worry – the staff is friendly and you don’t feel rushed at all. This truck offers Lobster Rolls two ways or a Shrimp Roll which I hear is delicious, but I frankly do not see the point – bring on the LOBSTAH!

My gracious lunch companion was kind enough to indulge my food nerd ways, and agreed to split one Maine Roll and one Connecticut Roll with me. We each ordered a meal, which comes with the roll of your choice plus Cape Cod potato chips and a Maine Root soda (no high-fructose corn syrup here!) and brought them back to the office.

Both the Maine and the Connecticut Roll start off with a top-sliced hotdog bun. This is significant for two reasons. The first being that the top sliced buns are baked in such a way that they attach to the ones next to it, necessitating that they be pulled apart from each-other before use. The buns are grilled/griddled before serving, and the slightly rough, torn sides crisp up to create a thin golden crunchy crust. The second reason that the top-sliced bun is significant is that it can hold all the lobster salad you can stuff into it without bursting a seam like a traditional side-sliced bun would. On the whole – the top sliced bun results in a tastier and sturdier lobster roll.

Maine Style Lobster Roll

The Maine Roll’s filling consists of a cold lobster salad, dressed ever so lightly with mayonnaise, served on a little lettuce and topped with shards of green onion. The chunks of lobster are large and succulent – and the dressing brings out the natural sweetness in the lobster – I feel that the green onion adds a crunch and sharpness that I really like in contrast to the sweet and creamy salad. This is the perfect roll for a hot summer day – grab a home-made lemonade or maine-root soda and a seat in the shade to fully enjoy the experience.

Connecticut Style Lobster Roll

The Connecticut Roll is better suited for the lobster purist than the lobster roll aficionado. The large juicy lobster chunks are warmed quickly with butter and added to the grilled roll.  A squeeze of lemon provided a nice brightness. I wish that there was a little more butter and a little more of the green onion on this roll – but it was delicious none the less! This roll is perfect for a cooler fall day – I have seen that the truck serves hot apple cider in the fall and winter (and if you are really lucky – Chowdah!).

Keep an eye out for these commuting crustaceans in your area – you will NOT be disappointed.


NOTE – One of the best ways I have found to keep an eye on the food trucks and their current locations is on the Food Truck Fiesta website. Check in often for food truck news, location information and much more!


Red Hook Lobster Pound on Urbanspoon

Restaurant Review – American Tap Room

American Tap Room recently opened its doors in Bethesda, and we went on Sunday to check it out after much anticipation… Sadly, I was not impressed – and left feeling oddly nostalgic for what this place COULD be.

Let me start with what worked. The decor is nice and feels modern but cozy at the same time. The large granite bar is inviting, and surrounded by an impressive array of TVs in varying sizes. There are three cozy seating areas for dining – one doubles as a private dining room, and you can also sit at a counter with a nice view of the partially open kitchen.

On Sundays, live music is played for the brunch crowd – but be warned – the music competes with the sound on the early football games!

The restaurant takes advantage of some cool technology. As you may already know – I am a fan of the Dyson hand dryers which are featured in the restrooms – but the coolest innovation can be seen when you open a menu. The menus are backlit and easy to read in even the darkest dining room. Upon opening, diffuse light shines through a clear plastic sheet on which the menu is printed… It kind of reminded me of the material that teachers would use with the overhead projector. I love this menu innovation, and hope that more restaurants adopt the technology!

Because of the decor (and the cool menus!) I was happily anticipating the rest of our meal. Mr. Food Nerd and I settled in at the bar – waiting for the Redskins game to start. Things started to go downhill fast as we opened the beer menu – I was immediately disappointed in the selection. I had imagined a robust list featuring various american microbrews, seasonal special draughts, and a few international heavy hitters, but sadly this was not the case. American Tap Room’s beer list is dominated by “Big Beer” (read Bud & Miller/Coors), major European standards and some of the most prolific “microbrews” (good beers like Sierra and Sam Adams).

Before you start defending the chain by bringing up the Montgomery County monopoly on beer and wine distribution – let me stop you by saying that there are several other restaurants in the immediate area who are able to get rare, interesting and new beers onto their menus – availability from the county is not the issue. I will say that the Tap Room’s prices are good for all the beers, and you can choose from two sizes of draughts (Large please!!).

The bartenders were slow to take orders, slower to bring drinks, unorganized with the tabs, and way more interested in chatting with each other than filling orders or greeting guests. I only saw the manager as he swept past and removed the menu I was not finished using, and when I ventured up to the front to retrieve it, the hostess was borderline rude about returning it!

I would have been able to overlook the pedestrian beer list and the ambivalent service if the food was really great, but it was not.

We started with  appetizers – the Phoenix Wings and the Shrimp with Hummus. The southwest inspired wings were served with very nice crudités and thoughtfully presented (so often wings and celery are just thrown on a plate!). They seemed to be more of a naked wing –  lightly floured instead of heavily battered or breaded, and lightly sauced AND dry rubbed. The flavor was pleasant with notes of what I believe to be smoked paprika adding an interesting component to the standard offering. Unfortunately, the wings were not crispy in any way, which would have made them immensely more enjoyable. The highlight of the day, the Shrimp and Hummus was quite good, but like the wings – lacking. Three large, nicely spiced shrimp came served on top of a large dollop of yummy hummus, tomatoes and cucumbers were added to the plate in an artful manner, and the entire dish was drizzled in some sort of orange oil. I could have done without the oil, and with some sort of bread or cracker to scoop up the rest of the hummus – this is not a finger food app you may expect.

For my entrée, I got the corned beef sandwich with mustard onions (and fries). It was ok – the bread was crisply grilled and the flavors were nice, but the corned beef was tough and a bit chewy, not what I was hoping for. The french fries seemed to have come in frozen and just finished in the fryer. Mr. Food Nerd was not thrilled with his burger either, likening it to one he could have eaten at any large chain. The burger too had a distinctly pre-made feel as well – like the patty and bun were not made on premises. I would have inquired if ANY of the ingredients on either of our entree plates were made from scratch, had I been able to get the attention of an employee long enough to ask.

If they wanted to – the American Tap Room in Bethesda could be great – but it will take some wholesale changes. My wish would be for the Beer Menu to be overhauled, banishing the Bud/Miller types to the bottom of the list and featuring a wide array of American Craft Beers instead. I wish that the food was more thoughtfully prepared – from scratch – using fresh ingredients – doing away with the *presumably* premade items. I wish the staff were more interested in the customers experience than their late night escapades. Until then, I’ll pass.

Restaurant Review – Parkway Deli & Restaurant

Ok… It’s been a LONG week of lunches at my desk, non blogging dinners, a heartbreaking Redskins loss, and dreary rainy days. I have not had much blog time, but I have a bunch of great stuff lined up!!! In the meantime, I wanted to share a review that I did a while ago for one of my favorite lunch places – Parkway Deli!

(The following review was originally posted on Yelp)

It is no secret that I love salted cured meats. Pastrami? Yes please! Corned Beef? Of Course!! But there is something magical that happens when these delicious treats are combined into a hot sandwich.

The Parkway Deli makes GREAT hot sandwiches. The Reuben, the  1/2 Corned Beef and  1/2 Pastrami Reuben, and the “Delight” are my favorites. I mean – large piles of meat with melted cheese, dressing, sauerkraut or cole slaw on grilled bread???  Nothing better!  I have witnessed other people eating amazing looking sandwiches and entrees, but have not been able to tear myself away from my faves.

The deli has a front area where you can order Meats/Cheeses, Prepared Foods, Sweets, Drinks and other items. Don’t let the brisk carryout business and small tables out front distract you from the fact that there is a full restaurant in the back!

Walk past the cases of food and the kitchen, and you will find a large, efficiently run dining room FULL of people. NOTE – Once you are seated, be prepared to order quickly – the staff is busy, and it may be a little while before they circle back to you! This can be tricky since the large menu is full of tempting dishes. Never fear if you miss your first opportunity to order… once you have made your selection – there is a self-service Pickle Bar that is a happy distraction while you wait for your server to circle back.

Other menu items of interest include hot-tub sized bowls of Matzo Ball Soup, and rotating specials (roast chicken, brisket, etc) which you are sure to enjoy… But as you may have guessed… I recommend getting the REUBEN!

8317 Grubb Rd
Silver Spring, MD 20901


Restaurant Review – Nando’s Peri-Peri

Over the last couple weeks the legend of a new suburban chicken outpost has been growing… A legend of a new and exotic kind of chicken, Peri-Peri chicken. People boasted of having eaten this chicken in the city, and bragged of its greatness. But what WAS this Peri-Peri chicken? Happily, I did not have to wait very long to try the new and mysterious dish.

For my first expedition, I was invited to join three other people for lunch on the last day of the soft opening. Feeling like a VIP, I decided to do some research on the place so I knew what to expect. I learned that Nando’s features old-school fusion food – a spicy, flavorful (and sometimes hot) style of cooking that was invented by Portuguese settlers who were living in Mozambique a long time ago. The settlers cooked dishes from their homeland but used the ingredients they had at hand, including piri-piri chilis from which the Peri-Peri name evolved. I also learned that the Nando’s empire started in South Africa in 1987 with one small storefront serving the popular chicken with the even more popular Peri-Peri sauce. Nando’s evolved quickly into international restaurant concept that has grown to span 34 countries on 5 continents. The restaurants are known for blending casual dining with the feel of a sit-down place. Having exhausted the website that I was using as my primary source, I was ready for lunch!

Upon arrival at the Silver Spring location of Nando’s Peri-Peri, we were greeted by a cheery hostess who ushered us through a sleek but warm dining room to a cozy table in the back. Menus were handed out and directions were given. Yes, directions… you will need them the first time you visit… it can get a little confusing. Take time to peruse the menu at the table, and when you (and your group) are ready, walk up to the counter to order (and pay for) your meal. An extremely cheerful cashier walked us through our orders… helping each person chose appetizers, entrees, sides, beverages (YES they have wine and beer), and desserts.

Once we ordered our food we were pointed towards a central island where we could wash our hands (!! germaphobes rejoice !!), pick up silverware, sauces of choice, and fill fountain sodas. The food was brought to the table by attentive and cheerful servers, I should note that everyone we dealt with was decidedly peppy. The servers and bussers were quick to inquire if we needed anything, and were proactive in their service – One young man accidentally hit the top of my friends straw with his hand as he was serving a plate. He rushed back to the table with a fresh straw before the owner of the old straw knew what had happened. Thoughtful!

We started with the Peri-Peri Nuts, Spicy Mixed Olives and Hummus with Peri-Peri dirzzle. The spiced nuts were a hit, the tiniest bit hot and sweet, they are fun to snack on while waiting for the rest of your food. The marinated olives were not as well received… they seemed strangely vinegary instead of briney as one would expect. A late appetizer arrival – the Hummus was pleasant, served with nice warm bread and a tiny bottle of the eponymous sauce to drizzle over the chickpea spread.

Three of the four of us opted for the Peri-Peri chicken. How could we pass up the main attraction? …

Read More »

Food Truck Round-Up

Ok, food trucks are becoming more and more popular, and there are several new additions to the DC scene… This is not strictly speaking a suburban topic… but plenty of you live and work in the city, so here is the skinny on the new (or notable) trucks – listed in alphabetical order:

Eat Wonky One of the newest additions to the scene. This truck most notably serves up Poutine – A Canadian dish consisting of French Fries covered in brown gravy and cheese curds. I have not had the wonky version, but this (delicious) dish seems more like late night fare to me – it may not be the best choice for lunch, but is worth a try!

Fojol Brothers of Merlindia – A “Traveling Culinary Carnival” serving up Indian style meals (both vegetarian and meat based) over a bed of basmati rice. Chips and Laasipops can be ordered as well. You can even enjoy your meal on one of the blankets that have been spread out around the truck! It should also be noted that the Fojol Brothers give back to the community, supporting local programs for at-risk youth and working hard at being environmentally responsible.

Fry CapitanServing up french fries and milk shakes. Choose regular, duck fat or sweet potato fries – then select one of 7 seasoning options, and one of the more than 20 dipping sauces to accompany your fries. 15 types of shakes can also be ordered – choose from standard flavors or experiment with the more exotic options such as Pistachio or Honey Lavender.

Red Hook Lobster Pound – Burst onto the scene a few weeks ago with incredibly popular Lobster Rolls and Shrimp Rolls, served with Cape Cod Kettle Chips and Maine Root Soda. The lines for this truck are long, but they move quickly.

Sâuçá – Serving breakfast, lunch and dinner with global flare (and a smile!). The big draw here are the Sauca wraps – globally inspired dishes wrapped in warm flatbread. The menu currently boasts Mumbai Butter Chicken, Pork Banh Mi, Mexicali Fish Tacos and Medi Vegi wraps amongst other items. There is generally one entrée per continent and up to sixteen different sauces are available for you to customize your meal with. Also – try a toffle (Sâuçá’s take on the waffle) for breakfast or dessert.

TaKorean – Starting today (9/7) they will be handing out Steak, Chicken or Tofu tacos made with an Asian flair. The truck prides itself on making everything from scratch with fresh ingredients. They will also be donating 1% of gross sales to local non-profs. The truck will be around for lunches as well as late night snacks.

And… for Dessert (or a sweet snack):

Curbside Cupcakes – Cupcakes from a pink truck – what could be better?

Sidewalk Sweets – Serving cupcakes, cup-pies and cup-tails from a yellow truck.

Sweetbites Mobile – Find cupcakes, bars, cookies, scones and other treats brought to you by the dessert caterer of the same name.

Want to find a truck NOW? Check out real-time updates on many of the DC area trucks @


Restaurant Reminder – Jaleo

With all the shiny new restaurants that are popping up across the metro area, it is easy to forget an older favorite. I was reminded of this last night when I met friends for dinner at Jaleo!

I have always enjoyed Jaleo – the tapas and sangria never fail to please, and there always seems to be new, seasonal items to discover… Jose Andres really knows how to keep a good thing going!

Reasons to visit Jaleo again soon include the “Jaleo Hour” Happy hour specials available from 4:30 – 7pm ($4 each for select tapas, wine, sangria, or draft beer), and the special Tomatina Festival tapas menu, featuring dishes that highlight the seasonal fruit (hurry! The special menu is only around until September 12th… and yes, it’s a fruit).
Locations VA, MD and DC :
480 7th Street NW, Washington DC (202) 628-7949
7271 Woodmont Ave, Bethesda MD (301) 913-0003
2250A Crystal Drive Arlington, VA (703) 413-8181 *this location also has a Spanish Wine Shop

Restaurant Review – Fire Station One, Silver Spring

Fire Station One in Silver Spring is an interesting place that seems to be trying to find its identity.

The restaurant/bar is housed in a converted fire station on Georgia Ave in Silver Spring. The building was originally a National Guard Armory, but was converted into a fire station back in 1919. The fire station moved to a new location across the street a number of years ago, and the building was sitting vacant until construction started on the restaurant.

Due to the history of the building, and the fact that the restaurant embraces it’s fire-house roots – the space is pretty cool. There is a large, open lower level dining room/bar area and an upstairs loft style bar with more room for seating. An outdoor patio area sits outside the large glass garage doors of the old station. There is even a fire truck parked outside.

Admittedly – Fire Station One is a neat place to meet friends for drinks or catch happy hour. The bar offers a decent selection of beers including many from the local Hook & Ladder brewing company. (Rumor has it that the Hook & Ladder team was originally more involved in the project, but are now just partners in beer arena).

Unfortunately, the menu strays a bit too far from the concept’s fire-house roots, resulting in some confusion about what the kitchen is trying to be. The menu features some fire house favorites, but is also peppered with fancier dishes that are out-of-place and (even worse) poorly executed.

The food in general is poorly executed, each item seemed a bland (and overly processed) rendition of what it should have been… If you go – stick to the burgers, steaks, ribs, chili etc… and the home-made potato chips are really nice! The pizza also had some fans on my recent visit, but the thick crusted versions are not suited to all of the toppings on the menu.

The good news is that I have seen improvement between visits, and I hold out hope that the kitchen will find it’s voice in the coming months. I really hope so because I work in close proximity to the place, and would like to have another good restaurant to add to the lunchtime rotation! Stay tuned.

Fire Station 1 Restaurant & Brewing Co.
8131 Georgia Ave.
Silver Spring, MD 20910

Fire Station 1 Restaurant and Brewing Co. on Urbanspoon

Restaurant Review – Againn (Rockville)

Local. Organic. Fresh. Sustainable. Delicious.

One of the new gastro-pubs in DC  set up another shop in the old Houston’s space on Rockville Pike! Againn Gastropub (pronounced “aguinn”, meaning ‘together’ or ‘with us’ in gaelic) opened its doors six weeks ago, and is a welcome addition to the suburban foodscape. Touting traditional pub fare inspired by fresh, local ingredients – they really hit the mark.

I have visited the establishment twice so far – eating a delicious, relaxed dinner in the dining room the first time, and more recently, meeting friends in the bar for lunch and drinks. Both experiences were memorable, and the food was incredible both times. Every dish is done right… Made from scratch with the previously noted organic, sustainable and local ingredients.

Today, the bar area beckoned… We selected from the extensive beer menu on which seasonal drafts and interesting craft beers mingle with international heavy-hitters to complete a well-rounded beer list. *It should be noted that a lovely selection of pre-prohibition era cocktails and wines by the glass or bottle are available as well*. Our bartender for the day was Fabian – knowledgeable and passionate about good spirits – he is on a mission to make sure we all expand our drink (beer/wine/cocktail) horizons – pushing you if need be to try new versions things you already like.

Waiting for friends we slow-played lunch… starting with Crispy Brussel Sprouts and Spinach and Artichoke dip. The crispy sprouts were my favorite – crispy leaves (almost charred in places) encase perfectly cooked Brussel Sprouts and are tossed with what tastes like lemon, salt and pepper. The dish is served with a lightly curried mayonnaise that is the perfect complement to the dish. I enjoyed the creamy spinach and artichoke dip as well, but the Brussel Sprouts are a standout. (I NEVER though I would say that!)

Lunch entrée orders included the Pan-Crisped Ham and Cheese Sarine (sandwich), a wonderful lamb based Shepherd’s Pie, a craft burger (featuring grass-fed beef), and a (daily special) sandwich piled with home-made pastrami.

The hot Ham and Cheese sandwich is made with brown bread, house made ham, and jasper hill cave-aged cheddar cheese. It is served with a homemade pickle and nicely fried “chips” (fries!). The cheese really makes this sandwich, seeping out of the bread and frying to a crisp on the bread, while still maintaining a melty-gooey texture in the sandwich itself. The fries and pickle round out the meal nicely, but be careful – the pickle is spicy-hot! The Shepherd’s Pie was served bubbling away in its own dish, with a gold and crispy mashed potato crust hiding a treasure trove of tender ground lamb underneath. (I was thankful to have been able to sneak a bite or two of this amazing dish!).

The home-made pastrami sandwich was served on grilled brown bread with arugula, thinly shaved red onions and  rustic mustard, and the grass-fed beef burger was beautifully cooked and served on a soft brioche bun. I have it on good authority that both dishes were wonderfully executed and I can attest to the fact that they were well received.


I would be remiss if I neglected to note the sumptuous potted pork or steamed mussel appetizers I enjoyed during my first visit. Likewise, the extensive Scotch selection can not be overlooked. There is also the fact that special menus for Brunch and Sunday Roast are in the works.

Againn Gastropub is the place I would want to own. Honest and delicious food served in a warm and relaxed environment. It is a place that I intend to visit over and over again (no pun intended!)  :)  Be aware that menus will change with the seasons, but you are sure to find interesting selections every time you visit.

12256 Rockville Pike
Rockville, MD 20852