Saturday, December 8, 2012

A Little Bit of Spain and Mexico - La Malinche

As a follow up on my previous blog post, I finally had a chance to pop into La Malinche. They have a nice set up with appropriate art decor to their theme featuring the hybrid of the two cultures - Mexican and Spanish and they did a good job of portraying that. They have a nice bar set up on the left as you walk in.  On this fine Friday night in particular there were a few people watching soccer at the bar. It had a nice vibe to it and I was happy to see the restaurant pretty full.

I don't know that I would call the food Mexican and Spanish fusion, since in reality, the foods aren't "fused" together. For example, you won't find tacos de pulpo (octopus tacos), chorrizo al vino fajitas, or horchata sangria, however, you will find plates individually from each culture on one menu.

Service was great, food was good and consistent, and everything tasted fresh. The ham came out first and then 5 minutes later the rest came out all at once, which was a little too fast for tapas. My Portuguese father-in-law uses an expression for this style of food: "estas aqui a fazer sala," meaning one should take their time and dine as if hanging out in someone's living room. Of course we weren't looking to take up a table for hours and hours, but tapas are meant to be shared and enjoyed and are usually brought out a couple at a time. So in other words, slow your roll.

We started with the jamon serrano (ham) followed by the rest: albondigas a La Malinche (meatballs), patatas bravas (potatoes with spicy tomato and aioli sauce), fritura de bacalao (codfish croquette with potatoes and garlic aioli), and gambas a la cazuela (sauteed shrimp with wine and garlic). To drink: Traditional Sangria Tinta and a glass of the Malbec, recommended by our waiter. Both were great, although the sangria was a a little sweet for me but the boo enjoyed it just fine.
My only qualms were: the tacos served (we didn't get these but we saw others) were the larger hard taco shells. I would expect the smaller more authentic soft corn tortillas for this type of restaurant. Also, the boo pointed out that if they left the heads still on the shrimp, it would kick them up two levels, but that's the Iberian in him talking. Although I definitely agree with him and he makes a great point, as one would then be able to suck out the delicious goodness out of the heads. 

The restaurant makes for a great addition to Downtown Silver Spring for a much needed tapas spot.  One will notice right away that the waiters and staff take pride in their product. I hope that our neighbors go out and continue to support this venue so it can be around for many years to come.
La Malinche

8622 Colesville Rd
Silver Spring, MD 20910
Easily accessible via the red line metro (just a few blocks). Also there are two parking garages within walking distance that offer free parking on evenings, weekends, and holidays. The Spring Cameron Garage and Town Square Garage are the most convenient. 

Wednesday, November 21, 2012

Right at Home with Mexican Spanish Tapas

I had a chance to catch up with Jaime Jorto, one of the four owners of La Malinche, set to open on Colesville Road within the next few weeks. They don't have a set date yet, but they know it will definitely be before Christmas.

"La Malinche," fittingly named for the marriage of the cuisine the restaurant will feature, is termed after an Aztec legend for a woman from Mexico who played a role in the Spanish conquest of Mexico. Wiki legend has it she was Hernán Cortés' lover and that she gave birth to his first son, Martín, who was considered one of the first "Mestizos" (European and Indigenous American mixed baby), hence combining two fabulous cultures to form a tapas style restaurant.

I peeked into their dining room and it's looks good; tables are out, the bar is set, and it looks like they are just working on last minute details, artwork, etc. I did ask to peruse the menu and featured items but they are still making changes to it, so unfortunately I don't have much to report regarding what we can expect to chow down on.

They have a website up but it's not fully functional just yet. However, there's a picture of a nice looking slice of what appears to be prosciutto and cheese to whet our appetites. In my mind, there's an Iberian black hoof pig just chillin back in the kitchen waiting for his place in the sun. Obviously, since I don't have the menu, that's solely speculation and my wishful desire.

Jaime sounded really excited to be in Downtown Silver Spring. We're happy to have this new and unique restaurant in DTSS. I think it will fit in perfectly in our multicultural neighborhood.

La Malinche
8622 Colesville Road

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

Thanksgiving: Eat, Give, Shop, and Slug

Gratitude. Tradition. Lots of food, family, and friends - if you're fortunate. To some, Thanksgiving means catching up with old friends, feasting on traditional and non-traditional meals, catching up on sleep or watching re-runs of Curb Your Enthusiasm (me). But to others, it may not be different than any other day, especially if they have to work.  Reminder to thank those who might be working events, or at a movie theater, behind a kitchen, in a cop car, in the hospital, working late to make sure we have power or cable, or driving a cab or an ambulance. Those who are working so we can have our conveniences. Lots are working because they don't have a choice. Just a simple "thank you" is good enough to let them know we appreciate it.

Thanksgiving Day Meals

There's still time to order your Thanksgiving turkey or entire meal from Whole Foods. You can get your turkey fresh, cooked, or ready to cook. You can also get the entire meal to serve 16 for $189.99. They also have smaller meals depending on how many are dining.

On Thanksgiving Day, Mrs. K's Tollhouse Restaurant will be serving a 4 course meal for $55/person. They'll have turkey and ham as well as prime rib and other options. A reservation is strongly suggested. For details please contact the restaurant at 301.589.3500.

Twisted Willow Restaurant & Bar inside the Doubletree Hotel on Colesville will be doing a Thanksgiving Day buffet from 12noon - 6pm for $29. Kids under 4 eat free. You can check out their buffet menu on their Facebook page.

The Society Lounge confirmed they will be open on Thanksgiving evening, after 5pm. They will have some specials, but those are TBD. Check back for updates. 

C-C-Courage

After dinner, you can hit up AFI Silver Theatre on Thanksgiving night and see Wizard of Oz at 7pm. On Black Friday and Thanksgiving weekend, The Godfather will feature one showing per day: Fri, Nov 23, 4:00 Sat, Nov 24, 4:00 Sun, Nov 25, 8:00.


Shop Local

Fenton Street Market will be launching their first ever holiday street market on Small Business Saturday, November 24, running through the Saturday, December 22 (for last minute shoppers). Hours are 10am - 4pm and they will feature over 75 vendors

Donate Goods or Volunteer Your Time

The Fillmore is hosting the first annual "Giving Thanks" event on Thanksgiving Day. They will provide a free lunch at the venue for those in need from 11am - 2pm. They are currently looking for volunteers and donations (food and clothing). To volunteer, please call The Fillmore at 301.960.9999. 




The Wheaton Patch mentioned that the non-profit "A Wider Circle" still needs sponsorship for families who are less fortunate in Silver Spring, Aspen Hill and Wheaton. The center is located at 9159-C Brookville Road, Silver Spring. As per the article, the items they are requesting are low-sodium canned beans, yams, vegetables, collard greens, low-sodium gravy, stuffing mix, and cranberry sauce.

The Thanksgiving Parade on November 17 is still looking for volunteers. If you're interested, call 240-777-6821. The 
Thanksgiving Parade will start at 10am on Ellsworth and Veteran's Place. The parade will head South on Georgia and will end at Silver Spring Avenue. Don't forget about the road closures through 1pm on that route. Also, the Spring Street and Ellsworth garages are closed during the parade so plan other options for parking. The Silver Spring metro stop is just a few blocks away and that will be your best bet to avoid the cluster. 


Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Zombieween, Costume Parties, Discover the Taste of Silver Spring


Zombieween

This year won't be quite like last year, as mentioned by Silver Spring, Singular, most know by now, there will be no organized "Zombie Walk" like previous years. However, there will be so much else going on this weekend of 10/27 & 10/28! Check out Silver Spring Zombie Walk for a detailed list of events and more info on Zombie Night.

Don't forget McGinty's

On Saturday, October 27, in addition to the Zombie Assemblage at 8pm at Sidebar and the Dance-Off in the Back Room of Jackie's (ie the sideroom of SideBar) going on from 9pm - 12pm, Piratz Tavern is having Zombie Ball as mentioned on the Zombie Walk site. Or, at 9pm you can Zombie crawl to Quarry House Tavern, for drinks and then move onward to Halloween on Screen at AFI.

Also on October 27, McGinty's is having a costume party starting at 9pm. There will be prizes for best costume, creepy Halloween themed drink specials, and DJ Hawk will be throwin' down some dope boo beats. There is a $5 cover for this Halloween party.



Also going on Saturday, October 27, The Society Lounge on Georgia Avenue is having a Halloween Party with DJ Nica. They will have a Sexy Costume Contest and the winner gets a $50 bar tab. Party starts at 10pm. So, theoretically, you could compete in every costume party in the Downtown Silver Spring area on Saturday if you were a slutty Zombie...

Still Undecided on my Costume

I'm still undecided on what I will be for Halloween. Previous costume includes my all time cheapest and best costume idea I've come up with - the "Can you hear me now?" annoying people from the Verizon commercial. My sarcastic "The 1%" costume from last year wasn't nearly as popular as this group costume:



A few ideas that have crossed my path are: SunDrop girl from the commercial, a ghost (old school style), Vicki from Small Wonder - I'm wide open to suggestions on fun, creative, make at home costumes; there's still time. Creative minds, please send me your best suggestions! 

The Great Pumpkin

There's still time to get your pumpkin from the Pumpkin Patch at the Woodside Methodist Church. They still have lots of pumpkins so get out there and support the Boy Scouts! Woodside United Methodist Church
8900 Georgia Avenue

Discovering How Tasty Silver Spring Is

Tuesday, November 13 from 5:30pm - 8pm is the 8th Annual "Discover the Taste of Silver Spring." This event will be held at the Discovery Communications building. It's ages 21 and over (cash bar). Tickets seem a little steep, although your ticket includes all the tastes you can eat from many restaurants in the area. They are $60 for Silver Spring Chamber of Commerce members and $70 for non-members. However, if you buy your tickets before October 26, tickets are $50 for members and $60 for non-members. Note that the deadline for this event is November 7 and you must pre-register. They will not accept walk-ins at the door. For more info, visit or contact the Silver Spring Chamber. 



That's it for now! Have a happy and safe Halloween!

Tuesday, October 2, 2012

Your Right to Vote


Voting. It's your duty and your right. You gotta get out there and represent. Hopefully this info that I've compiled from various resources will help in knowing where to go and what to do.

Important dates to know

Last day to register: Tuesday, October 16, 2012
General Presidential Election - Tuesday, November 6, 2012


Where do I vote?

While here is a list of polling places list of polling places, (scroll down to page 5 of 6 for more of the locations in Downtown Silver Spring), the easiest way to find out where you vote is by looking at your voter registration card (if it is updated) and/or checking out this Polling Place locator provided by Montgomery County.

Am I registered to vote? I can't remember.

You can call 1-240-777-VOTE (Montgomery County Board of Elections) and follow the prompts:

  • For information on registering to vote - prompt 4
  • To confirm you are a registered voter - prompt 2
  • Enter Date of Birth in 2 digit format followed by # sign
  • Numerical portion (house number) of street address followed by # sign
  • Then an automated guy will butcher your name - but you'll know you're registered.

Can I vote early? 

Yes. The Silver Spring Civic Building is one of the locations. Saturday, October 27, 1012 - Thursday, November 1, 2012 from 10am - 8pm (except Sunday, 12pm - 6pm).  Here is the link from Montgomery County with details/locations regarding voting early.

The following info below is directly from Silver Spring Center:

May I Register to Vote?

All residents of Montgomery County may register to vote, if they meet the following requirements:

  • County resident
  • United States citizen
  • At least 18 years of age on or before the next General Election
  • Have not been convicted more than once of a disqualifying crime
  • Are not under a sentence imposed pursuant to conviction of an infamous crime
  • Are not under guardianship for mental disability

Where Do I Register?

You can either print a Voter Registration Application and then mail it to your County Board of Elections. It has to be mailed or dropped by in person because it needs an original signature. See their website for their additional info, their address, etc.

Voter Registration Applications are available in Montgomery County at :

Montgomery County Post Offices
Montgomery County Public Libraries
Montgomery County Public Schools
Montgomery College Campuses
Montgomery County Government Regional Services Centers
Montgomery County Community Health Centers
Montgomery County Aging and Disability Services
Montgomery County MVA Offices
Montgomery County Licensing
Montgomery County Register of Wills

Voter registration applications are available from the Elections Office, 751 Twinbrook Parkway, Rockville. Our office hours are 8:30 a.m. - 5:00 p.m., Monday through Friday; telephone (240) 777-8500. You may have a form mailed to you by calling our 24-hour voter information line at (240) 777-VOTE and leaving your name and address after the recorded message.

Saturday, September 29, 2012

Silver Spring Fest, New Starbucks, Fall Scarves, and More

Pumpkin Spice Lattes for North Side

There's a new Starbucks coming to town for North DTSS. It's coming soon to the Sheraton (old Crowne Plaza) on 8777 Georgia Avenue. Not sure when it's scheduled to open but I'll keep an eye out. I don't really see this as "taking" business from our local coffee shops. For example, I live on the north side of Georgia in Woodside. Regardless of having a Starbucks just a few blocks in walking distance, I like to support our local establishments. So if I'm going to take a stroll for coffee, it's not going to be a chain establishment. I'd rather go to Kefa Cafe or Zed's regardless. But for others in my neck of the woods that want the closest coffee shop, the new Starbucks in the Sheraton might be their go to. So the main places that could be affected by the new Starbucks will be the other Starbucks by the metro and possibly Caribou since those are the closer coffee shops.



Scarf Up

Chilly autumn morning weather is here and scarves are the hottest accessories this fall. Check out some of the scarves tweeted from On The Purple Couch's Pinterest board. Bahia, the shop's owner, says the scarves will be out in about a week or so. They are located at 955 Bonifant Street.



Basement Gems

Saturday, October 13 and Sunday, October 14, Pyramid Atlantic is hosting a yard sale from 9am - 6pm at the Pyramid Atlantic Art Center. Check out their blog post for the list of items they are seeking. They need stuff that is in good shape. No busted-up-chewed-up-by-Fido couches or banged up China Glass that you dropped and taped together. This is for a good cause! Go rummage your basement and see what gems you come up with!


McGinty's Golf Society Outing

Grab your golf clubs and join McGinty's Public House for a golf outing on Saturday, October 6 for a 1pm tee off. Event will be held at Cross Creek Golf Club in Beltsville. Cost per player is $50. Fee includes 18 holes, golf cart, range balls, post outing drink, and food at McGinty's Public House. Prizes for longest drive and closest to the pin. For more details, call McGinty's at 301-587-1270 or info@mcgintyspublichouse.com.



Perfect Autumn Day - *see update below

 Capital Weather Gang rated Saturday, September 29 a 9 out of 10. For anyone planning on attending the South Silver Spring Street Fest, this is music to our ears. They say that the only thing from keeping today from being a 10 are the few clouds in the sky.   


There are a few things I'm personally excited about for today's festival: my friends' band - Redline Addiction performing at 2:15pm, the "beer garden and cocktail bar sponsored by Fire Station #1 and Jackie's Sidebar", and the vendors - especially those with unique jewelry or apparel/accessories such as KrissyKat Vintage and reinCARRnations and quirky art from Twisted Oak Press

*Update 9/30/12: Event was a big success! Check out pics on their Facebook page.

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Dinner and a Movie...in Spanish


Closing out Hispanic Heritage Month

Just in time to close out Hispanic Heritage month, AFI is hosting the Latin American Film Festival (plus films from Spain, Portugal, and the US) September 20 through October 10. You can browse the movies, dates, and times by country here.

I noticed some big names such as Spain's "As Luck Would Have It" featuring Salma Hayak. Also, the special presentation is "The Girl", with Abbie Cornish (from Limitless). Both were official selections from the 2012 Tribeca Film Festival. 


I'm really looking forward to the music in "7 Days in Havana", which as per the AFI website is "a colorful collection of seven vignettes set in Havana, directed by and starring a blend of Cuban and international talents" to include one of my personal favorites, Benicio del Toro (El Yuma), official selection from Cannes Film Festival.

Another movie sure to have an awesome soundtrack is 
Tropicália. As per the AFI website, "Tropicália was a relatively short-lived but hugely influential movement in Brazilian arts and music during the late 1960s."

Get your Groupon ASAP

If you jump on it, you can catch a Groupon for 2 tickets for $12 or 4 for $24. This deal expires soon - one more day to catch it on Thursday, September 19.


Nando's sponsored Happy Hour


The AFI Silver Cafe is featuri
ng Happy Hour from 5:30pm - 7pm on 9/21, 27, & 28 and October 4 an 5 (every Thursday and Friday during the festival) for pass and ticket holders to films on the given dates. Happy hour includes complimentary tastes from Mozambique-Portuguese Nando's Peri-Peri from DTSS. I wonder if they'll have "natas", as featured on their menu. This egg tart pastry (dessert) is off the hook. So good that if they don't feature it, you should finish up at the happy hour, walk a few blocks over to Ellsworth and scoop it up (ask them to heat it up) and sneak it back in. You'll thank me.

Get saucy at Mi Rancho


Catch dinner at tex-mex restaurant Mi Rancho just a few blocks away on Ramsey Avenue. They have a huge covered outdoor patio and service is always prompt and courteous. The combination fajitas for two is plentiful and comes out quickly (in case you're in a hurry to get to your movie). You can even get one of these prior to the movie:

My brother-in-law ordered this last time we were there. It made him boogie down for Sergio Mendes at the Jazz Festival.
Lechon Asado oink oink

There's also Cubano's across the street from Mi Rancho with a smaller outdoor seating area as well. The Ropa Vieja (shredded beef Cuban style) is tasty and a staple and you can't go wrong with the Lechon Asado (roasted pork). You can also get a decent glass (or carafe) of sangria or a mojito.

Sunday, August 26, 2012

September

September: The end of summer is near. Our days become shorter. Many of us get our hopes up for the 'Skins to represent. Pumpkin food and drink pops up all over the place. Kids make new friends in school.

There is a lot going on in the neighborhood this month.  Go out and meet your neighbors. Support your local venues and establishments.  Here is a list with many opportunities to do so:

August 29 – Real Madrid vs FC Barcelona (Spanish Supercup Final)
Showing on the big screen at The Fillmore
Doors 4:30/Game 5:30, Free event

September 1, 15, 29 – Fenton Street Market
Crafts, antiques, arts, jewelry, apparel, international goods, books
10am - 4pm, Fenton St & Ellsworth Dr

September 4-9 – Fall Free Class Week
Willow Street Yoga
Arrive early: free classes fill. Priority given to new students and those bringing friends new to WSYC. Please check their website for schedule of classes for the DTSS location

September 5 - NFL Kickoff - Cowboys (Boooo) at Giants
Firestation-1 (8131 Georgia Avenue) and McGinty's (911 Ellsworth Drive) are great places to watch the games. Redskins play that following Sunday. Full schedule on the NFL website.

September 5 - Planning 101: How (Real-Estate) Development Projects Happen
Join representatives from the Maryland National Park & Planning staff go through the process from start to finish. More info on the Silver Spring Speaks blog.
7pm, Civic Building

September 7 – Raiders of the Lost Ark: The IMAX Experience (Re-release)
Regal Majestic Cinema on Ellsworth
One-week limited showing 9/7 – 9/13. Scoop up your tickets now through Fandango.

September 8 - Silver Spring Jazz Festival
Grammy Award winning Sergio Mendes will be performing
4:30 - 10pm, Veteran's Plaza at the Civic Building
Parking garages are free on weekends and there are several within walking distance. (Don't plan on doing your grocery shopping at Wholefoods this Saturday...)

September 9 – SSTCi Upscale Yardsale
Support the Silver Spring Town Center and donate your goods to their yard sale. Check out the list on their site for items they are seeking.
12pm - 7pm, Veteran's Plaza

September 14 - November 16, 2012 - Free For all Fridays
FREE theatre classes on Friday afternoon from 4:30-5:30pm for Pre-K to 12th grade
Round House Theatre Education Center
925 Wayne Avenue


September 15 - Master Gardeners in Downtown Silver Spring
If you have gardening questions, this would be a good time to stop by and get some advice to get your green thumb ready for fall. Check out their calendar for details.
9am, on Ellsworth - Fresh Farm Farmer's Market

September 20 - October 10 - AFI Latin American Film Festival
As per their website, this festival "showcases the best filmmaking from Latin America and, with the inclusion of films from Spain and Portugal, celebrates Ibero-American cultural connections."

September 21, 27 & 28; October 4 & 5 - Weekly Happy Hour (during the Latin American festival at AFI)
Stop by the AFI Silver Cafe every Thursday and Friday during the festival from 5:30 to 7:00 p.m. for Happy Hour. The Happy Hours will feature complimentary snacks courtesy of Nando's Peri Peri, Latin American drink specials and music. NOTE: Happy Hour specials are valid only for AFI Latin American Film Festival pass holders and ticket holders to films playing on the given dates.

September 22 – PANAFEST,  3rd Annual Pan African Cultural Festival
Showcasing the cultures and heritages of Africa
Veteran's Plaza at the Civic Building

September 22 - Tony Hawk Sound Track Show & Reggae Rock Show (School of Rock) 5pm, Tony Hawk Sound Track
7pm, Reggae Rock Show
Silver Spring Plaza, at the fountain

September 25 - National Museum Science Cafe from the National Museum of Health and Medicine
"Send for the Doctor: Researching the Life and Times of Dr. Edward Stonestreet, 19th Century Physician and Civil War Surgeon"
Free and open to the public. No RSVP required.
6pm - 7pm, Civic Building - Fenton Room

September 27 - October 20, 2012 - Forum Theatre presents Holly Down in Heaven
Round House Theatre Silver Spring
8641 Colesville Road
Tickets going on sale soon


September 29th – 6th Annual South Silver Spring Fest
Street fest celebrating the people, artists, musicians and establishments in the community.
12pm - 6pm, 8040 Kennett Street

Not in DTSS but worth noting:

September 9 - Takoma Park Folk Festival
Music and dance from around the world on 7 stages. Children's activities include: interactive musical games and dancing, and storytelling.
10:30am - 6:30pm, Takoma Park Middle School, 7611 Piney Branch Rd. (one block north of Route 410)

In regards to the Scion opening, as per one of the owners, looks like they don't have a specific launch date at this time.  They are currently awaiting construction and are very much looking forward to joining the neighborhood.

I also noticed that the H&M site hasn't even posted for jobs/hiring. From my retail days, hiring for sales staff is usually something that comes a 3-4 weeks prior to opening. So - not sure if this means we might possibly be looking at middle/end of October.

If you have questions regarding the events posted, please reach out to them directly. If there's something I missed, please shoot me an email or tweet to me at MyLineIsRed

Saturday, August 18, 2012

My Line is Red Wine. It's also Liquor and Beer.


"Homer no function beer well without." -Homer Simpson

Where can I get cold beer? Where can I get a hard to find bottle of vintage Port? Where can I get beer or wine past 9pm? Where else within walking distance other than the government controlled store can I get liquor? I'm in a hurry and I need to find parking right away. I just need one more can of beer for my beer pong game, where can I get just one can? Where can I get a seasonal pumpkin ale?

If any of these aforementioned thoughts have crossed your mind and you reside or work in the DTSS area, then this blog post might be a good one for you to keep handy.

Below I've included a variety of places you can get beer, wine, or liquor in the Downtown Silver Spring area. I've included my own opinion on what makes the place a good option in addition to what the downside might be. All of these locations are within walking distance to the Silver Spring metro stop. May your thirst be forever quenched.

Adega Wine Cellars

8519 Fenton Street
Focus on boutique wines and new wine regions, also features craft beer, restaurant
Awesomeness:
If you're running in to grab a bottle of wine, you can grab a sandwich or fish tacos while you’re at it. Possibly the only shop in the area with an intentionally curated sweet red wine section. If you’re eating there and you don’t like their wine selection on the menu, you can grab a bottle from the shelf with no corking fee. Employees have strong product knowledge. Locally owned and dedicated to be a part of DTSS. About 25% of the beer is cold. Open until 10pm Monday-Thursday, 11pm on Friday and Saturday, and 9pm on Sunday.
Booo:
No wine/beer outside while you eat lunch. Although they have cold beer, from what I've seen it's not usually the top of the line craft beer that's stored in the fridge. Parking can be hit or miss.
To note: This wouldn't be a place to pick up a 6 pack of Miller Lite or bottle of Yellowtail.

Addisu Gebeya International Super Market
8107 Fenton Street
Supermarket featuring Ethiopian goods, wine, and beer

Awesomeness: 
Sell both beer and wine to include Ethiopian beers. Open until 10pm every day except Sunday. Large selection of cold beer. Coors, Yuengling, Fat Tire, Corona to name a few. They sell forties if you need 'em.
Booo:
Crowded parking lot – tough to get a spot, not an overly large selection of wine and beer.
Adissa Gebeya 

The neat and organized wine aisle in Adissa Gebeya

Fenwick Beer and Wine
1327 Fenwick Lane
Craft beer and wine store

Awesomeness:
Possibly the best selection in DTSS for both beer and wine. Over 600 kinds of beer. Friday tastings from 4:30pm - 7:30pm. Ample free parking. Gluten-free beer, kosher wines, selection from local wineries as well as renowned international wineries. Locally owned. They donate and support local causes.
Booo:
They close at 9pm Monday - Saturday (Sunday 7pm). So if you run out of something in the middle of a party, you’re SOL. No cold beer. You need deep pockets - six packs are about $10 on average but you can easily spend a lot more than that.

Fenwick Beer & Wine
La Fonda Paisa
7914 Georgia Avenue
Mini Market, wine and beer shop, restaurant, all in one

Awesomeness:
Cold beer with your staples (domestic, imported). If you need 1 more beer for that last game of beer pong, you can grab it here. Modelo, Corona, Heineken. You can get a legit authentic lunch while you're at it and eat indoors or outside.
Booo:
Smallest wine selection of all. I saw only 4 different wines available the last couple times I was in (maybe they were waiting for a shipment on both separate occasions?). Ordering food could be a challenge if you don't speak Spanish but this shouldn't apply to just grabbing your beer and paying. 

La Fonda Paisa. Although the sign says "Beer and Wine", it should probably say "Beer and 4 Bottles of Wine" 

Lenox Beer and Wine 
1400 East West Highway
Mini-Market wine and beer shop

Awesomeness:
Very good selection of beer and wine. Possibly the best selection of cold beer in DTSS. Open until 10pm Monday - Saturday (8pm Sunday). Small, tight quarters.
Booo:
No parking unless you live there. Wine selection is minimal.

Montgomery County Department of Liquor Control
Aka Liquor-Wine or iquor-Wine when the bulb goes out
8715 Colesville Road

Liquor, wine, beer
Awesomeness:
Unfortunately, they are the only place you can get liquor in DTSS. Helpful and friendly staff. They will drop some knowledge on you and there's nothing they can't answer. Free parking out back.
Booo:
Why is the government going all Cuba on us holding a monopoly on the sale of liquor and spirits? Why do they get to be the only authorized seller? Also, they have no cold beer. 

At the mercy of big brother

Silver Spring Deli, Beer, Wine
8746 Georgia Avenue
Deli, beer, wine

Awesomeness:
You can grab lunch (inside seating or limited outside) while doing a beer or wine run. They sell forties if you need 'em. You can buy just 1 beer if you need it. They have a fridge with domestic cold beer selection. Decent selection of wine considering how small the shop is. Family owned and operated. Serving the community since 1976.
Booo:
Beer prices are a little high, no parking, they close early.

Since 1976
Veridian Market & Wine
8010 Blair Mill Way
Mini-Mart wine and beer shop

Awesomeness:
Friendly staff, pet friendly, good wine selection especially for such a small shop, micro-brews and local beers, one stop shop. Open until 11pm Friday and Saturday.
Booo:
Lack of parking unless you live here.

Not in DTSS but worth a mention and can still be accessed walking from the Silver Spring metro stop:

Morris Miller Wine and Liquor
7804 Alaska Avenue, NW, DC
Liquor, wine, and beer 

Awesomeness:
They are located just a block over the MD/DC border. Free 30 minute parking, wine tastings on Fridays (4-7) and Saturdays (2 – 6pm). Nice, friendly, and knowledgeable staff. This is the only other place outside of the government controlled spot in DTSS within walking distance from the Silver Spring metro stop that offers beer, wine, and liquor. They have a large fridge with cold beer. ATM inside. They are under new management and they rebuilding and working on improving selection (although I found the Malbecs and Port wine sections to be plentiful).
Booo:
They are only open Monday - Saturday 9am - 9pm (closed Sunday). They are in the "rebuilding" process so the stock and selection isn't where it needs to be. 
To Note: I saw a note on their website that said "Pickup and Delivery info coming soon." What are the chances they'd ever be able to deliver over state lines? (Isn't that how NASCAR started...)

 A good alternative to the MoCo Liquor Store


Some empty shelves while they rebuild

Snider's Super Foods
1936 Seminary Road
Grocery store to include beer and wine

Awesomeness:
How revolutionary. Grab your groceries at the same place you get your wine and beer. Cold beer readily available.  Family owned and operated since 1946.
Booo:
Beer selection is not the best. Monday - Friday they are open until 9pm, Saturday until 7pm, and Sunday until 6pm. Parking can be a cluster on weekends or when the weather channel announces 50% chance of rain.

What did I miss? Is there something you think should be on here? Did I feature your business and you'd like me to add to what I may have mentioned? Email me here.

Sunday, August 5, 2012

Welcome to My Underground Lair

Not too long ago I was standing outside of Pacci's after dinner chatting with a friend and we heard a passerby say in conversation to whoever he was talking to on the phone, "we're headed to QHT." QHT?! Is that what the kids are calling it these days? Did I miss the memo? Isn't just "Quarry" 1 syllable shorter for language efficiency? Isn't that the point of Acronyms, after all?

I do love Quarry House Tavern. Love the vibe, the tater tots, the Captain & Coke, and the people. Last I was there was about a month or so ago and my friend Laura and I posted up at the bar for a few drinks and to catch up on life. Within minutes, we became best friends with those around us. The party really got started when Laura strolled over to the area's best jukebox and picked a Gogol Bordello song. If I'm not mistaken, it was "Suddenly...". Then things got straight up cray. Next thing we know, our arms were twisted to go sample a new Captain Morgan rum over at PT (only if I was cool and hip) and well, the rest of that story is for a different blog...

Arguably the best juke box in the DC Metro area (with Ben's Chili Bowl a close 2nd?)

I was really happy to see Quarry House getting some love from Jarred Walker over at WAMU who wrote up an article regarding DC Dives. He chatted up locals and bar employees and got a few words from Jackie Greenbaum, who also owns Jackie's and Sidebar down the street, in addition to her most recent venture, El Chucho Cocina Superior, a delicious and creative Mexican spot in Columbia Heights.

Stealth entrance to Quarry House

The underground lair

While we're on the same topic of bars (although not a dive bar), just a reminder that McGinty's will be continue to broadcast the Olympics through the closing ceremonies on August 12. It's a spacious place to watch them and if you go on the weekend, you can hit up their Saturday and Sunday brunch from 10am - 4pm. Menu here.

Thursday, July 26, 2012

What's Upcoming

Upcoming in Downtown Silver Spring:

Saturday, July 28. 3rd annual Annual Fenton Street Market Joke Fest
As per the Fenton Street Market site: "Come see if you can top some of these gems from our 1st Joke Fest in 2010. After telling a joke on mic, children from ages 1-12 will receive an age-appropriate book (of their choice) authored by the How-To Cowboy (aka Edward Allan Faine). Young ones can make an animal sound in lieu of joke." (That last part was not made up).


Saturday, July 28 and Sunday, July 29Sally Kempton at the Willow Street Yoga Center Silver Spring studio. A weekend of meditation and modern yoga.
Saturday: 12pm - 8pm

Sunday: 10am - 6pm


Sunday, July 29.  Piratz Tavern to host a "Bar Rescue" party.  More details covered here in the Washington Post. Heard the episode is a hot mess guaranteed to get a few LOLs out of you. I hope this will help bring more patrons to the restaurant/bar (despite of their frozen french fries). I actually do love to hang out here and the last time I popped in for a drink the bar area was pretty busy. Hopefully the TV show will help them with getting the word out one way or another.

Downtown Silver Spring and Arts and Humanit
ies Council of Montgomery County have teamed up in search of a resident artist to "re-imagine the holidays" at the fountain plaza on Ellsworth.  The application has been extended to Monday, July 30. So if you're still working on your monumental art piece, get 'er done! As per the Creative Moco site, this will be a temporary public artwork located on the fountain plaza. The theme for this project is sustainability through the use of recycled materials and/or sustainable energy. It will be available to view for about 10 weeks. Their project budget is $8,500, materials, and fabrication. Pretty good dough - and if you're an artist looking to get your name out, this might be a good start. Oh - also they will provide the fork lifts should you need them... More details on the Creative Moco website.

Saturday, August 4, 2012Walking Tour to Silver Spring's Original "Silver" Spring.
10:00 a.m. - 12:00 p.m.
Join Silver Spring Historical Society president Jerry A. McCoy on a walking tour to the spring after which our community was named and other historic sites surrounding the B & O RR Station. McCoy is the author of Historic Silver Spring (2005) and Downtown Silver Spring (2010), both by Arcadia Publishing. Cost $5.00. RESERVATIONS ARE REQUIRED. Email sshistory@yahoo.com or call (301) 537-1253.
Baltimore & Ohio Railroad Station
8100 Georgia Avenue (at Sligo Avenue)

(Update) As per Discovery's tweet from earlier today (7/28), Chompie is starting to go up at Discovery. He'll remain perched up through the Discovery building for Shark Week, which starts Sunday, August 12 for their 25th Anniversary. Watch their underwater Shark Week announcement on Discovery's blog.

Check out Jackie's new Carolyn's Espresso Semifreddo Sandwich, pictured on their Facebook page. It's a spin on the classic ice cream sandwich and it looks amazing.

Don't forget the half price wines Monday nights at 8407 Kitchen Bar on Ramsey. I enjoyed 
an awesome meal there with a decent bottle of red from a winery in Santa Barbara, Zinfandel-Carignane-Sangiovese, which ended up being a steal at under $20. 

Friday, August 24, 2012 - 6:30pm - 9pm
Cultural Arts Center - Montgomery College, 7995 Georgia Avenue
America Meditating - Make a Shift: Music, Speakers, Dancers, Comedians, and Medication
Tickets are free but you have to register.

The transformation from Crowne Plaza into a Sheraton is complete. I peeped into their bar area on the ground flood and it looks like it would make for a good pre-going out meeting spot because of all the space. Might also be good for a large group to catch a game on one of their TVs.




Know of any upcoming events I may have missed? Please shoot me an email here.

Saturday, July 21, 2012

Fresh, Simple, Local - Lunch

Here is a simple, quick and easy lunch idea mainly using organic and local ingredients. 



We used a few products some of the vendors from the Fresh Farm Markets in DTSS.


Goat Cheese: Firefly Farms

Tomatoes: Mock's Greenhouse and Farm

Corn & Red Onion: Spring Valley Farm and Orchard

Basil: My backyard

Cucumber: In-laws yard in Silver Spring

Fig: In-laws yard in Silver Spring

Pita, Dill, and Lamb: Wholefoods DTSS

Roasted red peppers: Snider's


Lemonade: Evensong Farm Mint & Sage or Basil. Not pictured here because it was too hot to for the lemonade to stick around for a picture. But it was perfectly refreshing for a hot summer day.

Corn from Spring Valley Farm & Orchard


Tomatoes from Mock's Greenhouse & Farm


 Spring Valley Farm & Orchard vegetables



Corn salad: corn, grape tomatoes, red onion, basil

Fresh fig with balsamic

Warm pita topped with homemade yogurt: cucumber, dill, grilled lamb, roasted red peppers, goat cheese



Ready to serve

Quick, easy, delicious

Sunday, July 15, 2012

Burger Delivery, Local Glass Art, and More

(This post has been updated 7/29/12)


If you live in DTSS and you find yourself craving a juicy burger and you're too lazy to walk or don't want to deal with parking, Stage Burger Lounge is now delivering. It's a minimum of $20 so this might be a good idea for when you're really hungry or with friends. Delivery applies to a 1 mile radius.

UPDATE on the Burger post above. Stage Burger Lounge is no longer delivering. It lasted all of a few weeks and then they decided to cancel because "it wasn't working out", as per one of the employees. Not sure what that means. Potential great idea FAIL!


I found a really cool glass art table at Fenton Street MarketRyan Eicher, who was manning the table, designs and creates the glass art out of his garage. He's local to Silver Spring and grew up in Woodside. He started when he was in high school and now he features and sells Homegrown Glass Art at local markets. He mentioned they can usually be found at the Fenton Street Market in addition to Eastern Market.  If you can't make it to either, you can purchase his art on his Etsy site.

Glass making demo from Ryan

Homegrown Glass Art table. I scooped up a ring holder which made for a great gift.



Next time you're taking a stroll on Ellsworth, check out some of the featured art by local artists from Pyramid Atlantic posted up in between the DSW and the future H&M. And if you glance hard in between the art through the glass, you can check out H&M's progress. As per their press release, H&M is expected to open in September 2012 and brings the center’s occupancy to 98.3%.
Art on Ellsworth featured by Pyramid Atlantic

Don't forget about the VanGo free shuttle every 8 minutes Monday - Friday from 7am to 7pm. It would be great to see those hours extended through 10pm Thursday - Saturday for going to dinner and going out especially for the winter months when it gets colder out. Here is a list of all their stops.


Over The Line Festival is going on through July 29th. Check out my blog post here: Music. Dance. Theater. All Under One Roof.

One of my previous blog posts mentioned the Crowne Plaza on Georgia turning into a Sheraton on July 12th but the new date is now July 19th. Here are some renderings on what the interior is supposed to look like. Unfortunately the outside did not get a face lift.

Fantasy Nails (not in DTSS but in walking distance from the Silver Spring red line metro stop) on Georgia has a new location - launched right across the street from their old location (which is still there and open for business). $19.99 manicure & pedicure at the new location. Lucky they are launching that special since they are in competition...with themselves.