Check out updates to the planned list of restaurant visits below. Brookville Eatery and Eggspectations are out and Fresh Greek Grill is in!
I’m Jonna—resident of Silver Spring and owner/operator of jhPhotography. My husband, Cliff, is a professor at Prince George’s Community College and reporter for Soccer by Ives. Together, we’re on a mission. A food mission. The challenge: Eat at every restaurant in Silver Spring until we’ve sampled them all.
We’ll be reporting on our experiences through Silver Spring Inc. More on that later.
First, I wanted to tell you more about who we are. We don’t consider ourselves foodies, but we do love having new experiences and exploring new places. We’re both from Nebraska (Go Huskers!), enjoy traveling and are always on the lookout for a good dive bar or hole-in-the-wall restaurant.
We moved to Silver Spring six years ago to pursue career opportunities that didn’t/don’t exist where we’re originally from. Over time, we’ve fallen in love with this community and have chosen to make Silver Spring our home. We used to live right in the heart of downtown, near the intersection of Georgia and Colesville, but recently bought a condo in the Sligo Creek area.
We’ve always said we’re going to try new and new-to-us places, but almost always fall back on our regular favorites. As a way to better get to know the community, spend more time together, despite busy schedules, and broaden our horizones, we thought it would be fun to have the ultimate Silver Spring culinary experience. Silver Spring Inc gives us a platform to share the experience with all of you. If we’re lucky, we’ll be able to finish the challenge in a year and a half. Lord help us!
A bit about our culinary preferences: Cliff enjoys American-based food, and is especially attracted to beef (as any good farm-raised Nebraska boy would be)! He loves a good steak and is always on the hunt for that ideal burger. For him, the spicier the better. I usually avoid red meats, opting instead for vegetable-based dishes, though I’m not a vegetarian. I prefer ethnic cuisine and love trying new foods. With our palettes combined, we are Cap—oh, er… we believe we’ll make the perfect restaurant reviewers
It’s our mission to try every restaurant in Silver Spring. It’s a big challenge, but we’re game. To prove just how serious we are about the project, we’ve laid down some rules for ourselves—and for you, readers of this blog.
Here it goes:
- Eat Local. All restaurants will be based in Silver Spring. We’ll eat only at local establishments and small DMV-area chains only. (Sorry, Panera. It’s not you, it’s us).
- Enter here. Food trucks are out. Since we’re only able to do this on Friday evenings and weekends, we have to limit our eating options to brick-and-mortar businesses only. Love food trucks? We invite readers to do their own food-truck taste testing challenge!
- Lunch and dinner. Per the restrictions mentioned above, restaurants must serve a full menu and be open for lunch and dinner.
- ABC 123. By special request, we’ll start our journey with El Golfo. Otherwise, to be fair (and to keep easy records of where we’ve been and where we still need to go), we’ll go alphabetically down our list. (Please, somebody, pray for us!)*
- Keep the change. We are not receiving compensation from Silver Spring Inc or any of the eating establishments for this project.
- What’s cookin’? In each post, we’ll list the items we had along with prices.
- Playing favorites. We’ll identify restaurants we’ve previously eaten at. Since the goal of this project is to broaden our palettes, we’ll limit our menu choices to those options we haven’t previously tried.
Those are the pieces that aren’t open for debate. What is up for debate are the days and times we’ll try each place. We both have busy schedules. We hope to stick to something consistent—like trying a new place on our list every other weekend—but that may not always be the case. Additionally, while the majority of tastings will happen by the two of us, we don’t want to limit our outings. On occasion, we may try restaurants with friends, family or neighbors. The more the merrier, right?
Now onto the main event—that ridiculously long list of eating establishments*
Abyssinia Ethiopian Restaurant
Addis Ababa Ethiopian Restaurant
Bete Ethiopian Cusine and Cafe
The Big Greek Cafe
Blair Mansion Inn Restaurant
Charm Thai Restaurant
Copper Canyon Grill
Crisfield Seafood Restaurant
Crisp & Juicy
Da Marco Ristorante Italiano
The Daily Dish
Denizens Brewing Company
El Aguila Restaurant
Fire Station 1
Fresh Greek Grill
Gebeta Ethiopian Restaurant
The Greek Place
Jerry’s Sub Shop
Kaldi’s Coffee Bar
La Madeline Country French Café
La Malinche Restaurant
Laco Melza Ethio Cafe
Langano Ethiopian Restaurant
Lebanese Taverna Cafe
Lesaac Ethiopian Cafe
Lotus Cafe – 8077 Georgia Ave
Lucy Ethiopian Restaurant
Manny & Olga’s Pizza
Masa Hibachi Steakhouse & Sushi
McGinty’s Public House
Mi Rancho Restaurant
Moby Dick House of Kabobs
Mrs. K’s Toll House
Mulu Ethiopian Restaurant
Negril Jamaican Eatery
Odalis Restaurant & Bar
Pacci’s Neapolitan Pizza
Pete’s New Haven Style Apizza
Pho-Hiep Hoa of Silver Spring
Quarry House Tavern
Roger Miller Restaurant
Sergio Ristorante Italiano
Spring Garden Restaurant
Thai at Silver Spring
Thai Market and Carryout – 902 Thayer Ave
Twisted Willow Restaurant
Vicino Ristorante Italiano
Woder Ethiopian Carryout & Market
Jonna & Cliff, you go folks! Only thing is, add Ethio Express Grill 😉
Great challenge! It’s going to be tough keeping up with the influx of new restaurants! Good luck and we look forward to your reviews. You mentioned a few chains restaurants in your list, btw….
Wow, that sounds like a fun project and as a fellow Silver Spring resident, I’ look forward to reading your reviews. I hope that you have fun and enjoy lots if delicious food. However, I do have one question because I’m persnickety about facts and details. How did you determine which chain restaurants were DMV? I say this because I recognize a couple of restaurants that I’d consider national/international chains (I’ve eaten at La Madelaine’s in Austin, TX and pretty sure I went to one in Northern CA eons ago and Nandos Peri Peri is an international chain [I know it’s very popular in parts of the UK].
Eggspectation is a chain. I don’t think it is local or based in DMV. I’ve eaten at Eggspectation restaurants in Maine. Good luck.
Great idea! When we go out in Silver Spring, we try as hard as we can to eat at indepedent, local establishments. In going through your list I saw a few chains that extend out of the DMA area- Potbelly’s, Nando’s and zPizza. Obviously it’s your challenge, your choice (and all are delicious) but I thought I’d let you know. Best of luck, can’t wait to hear the updates!
Fantastic! Should be a great culinary adventure. Woodside Deli definitely belongs on that list, though. Long time Silver Spring establishment.
Also looks like 8407 Kitchen Bar was left off the list. And that crepe place on Fenton, near the comic book store. And that newer Vietnamese place on Colesville near the county liquor store.
There is a Vietnamese restaurant right on Colesville Road that you don’t have on your list: Pho Tan Vinh (http://www.yelp.com/biz/pho-tan-vinh-silver-spring) I highly recommend it!
great idea, but you have quite a few chain restaurants on here. You might want to do a little more research.
Oh god you have to wait so long to get to Urban Butcher! At least you have 8407 early which is fantastic along with the Big Greek and Charm Thai. Definitely all favorites. Mix Bar and Grille should be open by the time you reach “M” as well (I hope). I think you might have to check into Denizens. They don’t actually serve food to the best of my knowledge. They’ve partnered with a BBQ food truck to bring small plates, sandwiches, and picnic plates but I think they violate rule 2 & 3. However, looks like a great list! Good luck!
Sounds delicious! We feature Silver Spring in our local dining community. We only work with LOCAL restaurants as well and you could save a few bucks on your lofty mission. Looks like all the Spots of Spotluck Silver Spring are on your list! The app is free and its all about supporting local food.