Archive | August, 2011

Grapeseed American Bistro and Wine Bar

30 Aug

After years of living in Bethesda, whenever someone has asked for recommendations of nicer places to eat, I generally think of Grapeseed as an obvious choice. We had been there several times for dinner, mainly for Bethesda Restaurant Week, and have always enjoyed our meals there. Earlier this year, we had purchased a LivingSocial deal for Grapeseed and were finally able to use it before it expired.

We arrived early for our reservation hoping to be seated, but they were still busy so we got a drink next door at Freddy’s Lobster and Clams, Chef Heineman’s new venture and one of our new favorite spots in Bethesda. After some tasty beers we made our way back and were seated by the front of the restaurant. It was nice to be able to see the full menu rather than a limited Restaurant Week one. One thing I noticed right away was that some of the dishes that stood out on the “sample menu” on the website were missing. I understand that many restaurants do this to only show a taste of what they offer, but I had to change my game plan and it threw me off a bit.

Sautéed calamari

We already had some drinks so we appreciated that you could order half glasses of wine, so we each ordered based on the sommelier’s recommendation on what to pair with our entrees. To start, we shared the sautéed calamari. I’m a sucker for grilled or sautéed calamari (as opposed to the fried stuff), so we had to try it. I enjoyed the lemon and caper flavors but the calamari rings themselves were fairly thin and limp. I guess I’m used to calamari when it is the thick tubes you have to cut, not the smaller rings. It was still a nice dish, but I’ve had better.

Pan Seared Sea Scallops

For the main course, I opted for the scallops that came with a lobster sauce, asparagus, and curried mashed potatoes. Overall I liked the scallops, but the lobster sauce was too salty for my taste and it in turn made the seafood taste overwhelmingly salty. They were definitely generously-sized scallops, but something was lacking in the dish overall. Interestingly enough, the dish listed on the “sample menu” came with roasted cauliflower and mustard greens as opposed to the asparagus and potatoes that I received. I’m not sure when it was changed but I’m wondering if it would have been better if I had tasted the dish as it was originally intended.

Pan Roasted Filet Mignon

Brett ordered the pan-roasted filet with horseradish mashed potatoes with an oxtail-mushroom ragout. Just like scallops, he thought the filet was good, not great. He ordered it medium rare, but it was unevenly cooked and just wasn’t as flavorful as anticipated. Meanwhile, the mashed potatoes were something we could have made at home and were a tad dry. Brett was also surprised how there wasn’t any sort of green found on the plate. Granted, you can order a side of mustard greens (for $7.50), but this was strictly a meat and potatoes dish that really needed a vegetable.

Overall we were slightly disappointed in our meal at Grapeseed. It’s not that we had bad service or the food was horrible, but it just didn’t wow us in the way it has in the past. We met a nice couple next to us who had never been before and they too were underwhelmed with their dinner. Maybe we were just there on an off night. Maybe we’re just tougher critics than we were when we last dined here years ago. I’m sure we’ll be back again, but I think we’ll be sticking to Freddy’s over Grapeseed.

Grapeseed on Urbanspoon

DC Restaurant Week at Adour

29 Aug

Rachel and I were rather strategic about this year’s Restaurant Week. We wanted to a) dine somewhere we have never been to before, b) make sure the $35 price tag was worthwhile, and c) eat at a place that offered the full menu.

Adour covered two out of three of those prerequisites – they only offered a limited menu – but given that Alain Ducasse’s DC establishment serves entrees that are typically priced over $35, we made an exception to that last condition.

With our party of six promptly seated for our 7:30pm reservation, the staff was already very hospitable given that one of our friends had brought their newborn along to dinner with a stroller. Adour isn’t one of the most baby-friendly restaurants in the city, but they were very courteous given the situation, though I think the highest honor should go to baby Micah himself. He was very well-behaved throughout the evening and barely made a peep.

Carrot Ginger Soup

While reviewing the wine menu, our waiter dropped off a plate of warm gougères which were quickly devoured by the table. After placing our orders, we were presented with an amuse bouche of carrot ginger soup. Delightfully creamy, it was a nice way to start the meal off.

Daurade Ceviche

For our first course, I ordered the daurade ceviche. The fish, which was served atop a layer of avocado, was light and refreshing. On top of the daurade were kernels of fresh corn as well as popcorn. The latter was an interesting ingredient to say the least, both texturally and flavor-wise, but it was way too salty and contrasted with the protein.

Path Valley Heirloom Tomato Gazpacho

Rachel started off with the chilled heirloom tomato gazpacho with compressed watermelon and basil. She debated if this would be a worthwhile Restaurant Week choice given that fact that it was just soup, but after the first bite she knew she had chosen well. The flavor of watermelon was very prominent, and combined with the basil and tomatoes, it was one of the better gazpacho dishes she has tasted.

Braised beef short rib

For our entrees, I went with the braised beef short rib. This dish easily made the meal for me as the short rib was simply outstanding. I barely had to use my knife since the meat was so incredibly tender. Served with sautéed onions, tomatoes, and peppers in addition to a side dish of creamy polenta, I can safely say that it was one of the best short ribs I have ever had. A bold statement, I know, but I was really blown away by the careful preparation of the chef. Considering that this entrée alone is regularly priced at $37, it’s a steal to say the least.

Seared Scottish Salmon

For the entree Rachel ordered the seared Scottish salmon. It wasn’t the best salmon she ever had, but it was well-cooked and melted in her mouth. The mussels on top were a nice touch and overall it was a pleasing dish. After having a bite of the short rib she did encounter some ordering envy, but she happily cleaned her plate.

Milk Chocolate Coffee Bar

As for dessert, I ordered the milk chocolate coffee bar. Served with a side of nougatine ice cream, this was a decadent ending to a great meal. Adour’s spin on the Kit-Kat, I would take Ducasse’s version over Hershey’s 11 times out of 10. Topped with crispy rice drizzled with chocolate, it was incredibly hard to put the fork down. Then again, I had to in order to use my spoon to scoop out every last remnant of the homemade ice cream!

Roasted pineapple with coconut sorbet

Rachel got the roasted pineapple with coconut sorbet. She loved the dessert as the flavors of coconut and pineapple blended together in perfect harmony.  Even though she was full from the prior courses, it wasn’t too heavy as she was still able to fully enjoy her dessert.

Overall, Adour was a fantastic meal. After reading some mixed reviews, I must admit that I felt I was going to be setup for a disappointment, but fortunately that was not the case. We had excellent service as they were very accommodating given our friend’s baby. Despite the limited menu options, the food was excellently cooked and even transcendent at times (see: short rib). We even received some complimentary cookies before we got the bill. For all the flack Restaurant Week receives, Adour is a shining example of how it can succeed.

Adour (St. Regis Hotel) on Urbanspoon

The Perfect Pita Opens in Bethesda

26 Aug

One thing Bethesda can never have enough of is affordable, quality lunch choices. Just a few weeks ago, another great option was added to my lunch rotation with the arrival of The Perfect Pita. A local chain in the DC area, the Bethesda location marks its first venture into Maryland. Judging from our first trip, we’re happy they chose a location right down the street from us.

We arrived to the small eatery and were able to sample some of their flavored hummus and salads before we ordered. Some flavors included jalapeño, black bean and cilantro, roasted red pepper, and traditional, along with taboul, Shepherd’s Salad, and white bean salad.


I decided to order the popular falafel hummus veggie pita, while Brett got the traditional gyro. Yes, falafel hummus veggie pita is a mouthful, and it certainly was a steal at $6.50. According to their menu, the veggie pita is “a generous portion of our unique hummus with lettuce, tomato, onions, green peppers and cucumbers sprinkled with feta cheese and topped with two slices of provolone, tucked inside our Perfect Pita. The pita is lightly toasted to melt the cheese.”

You can also add falafel or any type of meat to it. Overall, I loved the pita but thought it didn’t necessarily need the cheese. After eating just half the pita, I was stuffed while Brett happily (and predictably) ate the rest. Next time, I might just get a more traditional falafel and hummus sandwich, but I was also glad to have tried their Panini-type pita.

Falafel hummus veggie pita

Meanwhile, Brett enjoyed the gyro, and while his benchmark is the gyros found at Marathon Deli, he was pleasantly surprised with the one he ordered from Perfect Pita. The lamb was juicy and well-seasoned, but thought that the shredded lettuce was a little overboard. The pita might have been the best part, but why put the tzatziki on the side?

According to their menu they also offer pizzas as well as an extensive breakfast menu. You can even get party planners of some of their signature dips and salads, which we thought about buying for our upcoming party (that is if Irene doesn’t change said plans). We definitely enjoyed our first experience at Perfect Pita and will be back soon. We only wish that they were open a little later to have as a dinner option as well.

Between Cava, Yamas, and now Prefect Pita, Bethesda certainly isn’t lacking many Greek establishments these days.

The Perfect Pita on Urbanspoon

Bayou - A Taste of New Orleans in Foggy Bottom

18 Aug

While it has almost been a year since our New Orleans adventure, we have shockingly dined out for Cajun-style food just once since then, and that was with brunch at Acadiana. Coincidentally, a slew of new restaurants have opened up in DC offering New Orleans-style cusine within the past year. From The Cajun Experience to TruOrleans to Hot N Juicy Crawfish, the DMV has experienced a resurgence of Cajun cooking.

Because our friend was hosting a birthday party in the Foggy Bottom area, we felt it was an ample opportunity to try one of these new establishments for dinner before heading over. Bayou caught our eye only not only because of the convenient location, but also because of the appealing menu. The fact that they serve roast beef po’ boys hooked me right in.

Magazine Street: Roast Beef Po' Boy

Housed in what was formerly The Rookery, we were seated for our reservation in the restaurant’s small but homey dining room on the first floor. The interiors, adorned with purple walls and Mardi Gras masks, gave off a more authentic vibe than some New Orleans-style restaurants, making you feel like you were more in Frenchman Street than Downtown Disney.

After ordering a round of drinks for the table, which included staples such as Sazerac, Abita Amber, and a Hurricane, the waiter came by with a basket of complimentary biscuits with honey and rosemary butter. They were gone within seconds. Flaky on the outside and extremely moist inside, I regret not asking for another basket of them. They were authentically fantastic.


For our entrees, it was a no-brainer for me. I swiftly ordered The Magazine Street: a roast beef po’ boy (with debris) dressed with lettuce, tomatoes, mayonnaise, coleslaw, and pickles, along with a side of fries and collard greens. While it was not the sandwich I fell in love with at Tracey’s in New Orleans, this po’ boy was certainly no slouch.

First of all, the combination of mayonnaise and debris gravy is one to relish while biting into the flaky, French bread. And while the roast beef stuffed inside resembled more of a brisket thanks in part to its thick slices, it was still wonderfully tender and full of flavor if not just a tad fatty. If there’s another roast beef po’ boy in DC I don’t know about or have yet to try, it will be difficult to top the one found at Bayou’s. The mayo/gravy combo is key and the kitchen got it right.

As for the sides, the fries were highly addictive due to the Cajun seasoning they throw on top while the collard greens were true to their southern roots, if not a little too vinegary.

Blackened Catfish

Meanwhile, Rachel ordered the blackened catfish which was served atop a bed of dirty rice and accompanied with collard greens and green tomato chutney. The flaky white fish was well-cooked and nicely seasoned while the dirty rice was downright delicious.  She felt the greens were a little too salty for her liking, but other than that, she really enjoyed her entree.

After we finished our meals, we stayed for some more drinks which included a round of whiskey picklebacks. If you’re not familiar, it’s pretty much what it sounds like – a shot of smooth whiskey followed by a pickle juice chaser. Needless to say, Rachel was not a fan. She did, however, love the Hurricanes the bar was whipping up.

Overall, we had a really great time at Bayou. Our waitress was super friendly, the food was excellent, and the atmosphere was laid back just like the Big Easy. If we had it our way, we would have stayed throughout the entire night. It’s hard to find places you don’t want to leave, and having been to New Orleans and experienced the wondrous cuisine of the city, Bayou certainly makes you feel at home.

Bayou on Urbanspoon

DC Restaurant Week Extensions and Year-Round Deals

16 Aug

DC Restaurant Week kicked into gear yesterday and you might be thinking that it’s too late to snag a great reservation. We generally think some of the better deals happen at lunchtime if you’re lucky enough to work near a participating restaurant. It’s also a better deal if you can find a place that offers most if not all of their regular menu, or if you would easily spend up to $30 on entrees alone.

If you missed the boat on a reservation this week, we have compiled a list of places that have extended their offers. Also, some of these restaurants have prix fixe menus throughout the year during certain days and hours, so it’s a good idea to see if your dining destination is a special occasion place or an everyday destination.

Sesame-Seared Tuna at Kinkead's

Sesame-Seared Tuna at Kinkead's

1789 – $40 through September 15, Sunday – Thursday. Must subscribe to their newsletter to receive offer.

1905 – Extended through August 27th

2941 – Lunch and dinner extended to August 22-26, 5-9:30pm, dinner August 20, 5 – 10pm.

– Extended through August 28th. They also offer a pre-theater menu  from 5:30 – 6:45pm for $29.95 Monday-Saturday. On Sundays, they offer a pre-theater menu from 5 – 9:30pm.

Acadiana – Passion Food Hospitality is offering an extended week for their Loyalty Members ($25 to sign up for the program).

Adour – Extended through August 27th.

Art and Soul – Extended through August 28th.

Assaggi Osteria – Extended through August 28th.

Bastille – Extended through August 28th.

Bistro Lepic – Extended through August 28th.

Blacksalt – They offer a special lunch menu Monday through Friday.

Casa Nonna – Extended through the month of August

Ceiba – Passion Food Hospitality is offering an extended week for their Loyalty Members ($25 to sign up for the program).

Charlie Palmer – Offering a daily prix fixe lunch menu for $25.

CoCo Sala – Dinner extended through August 31st, including brunch August 27 and 28.

Columbia Firehouse – Offering their full menu through August 28th.

DC Coast – Passion Food Hospitality is offering an extended week for their Loyalty Members ($25 to sign up for the program).

Dino – Offering their whole menu through August 31st. They also have a three course dinner every day for $39.

Et Voila – Offering restaurant week lunch throughout the entire month of August.

J& G Steakhouse – Extended through August 26th. They also offer a pre-theater menu for $39 from 5:00 – 6:30.

Jackson 20 – Extended through August 28th.

Jaleo – Extended through August 28th.

Johnny’s Half ShellPre-theater menu for $35, 5 – 6:30pm.

Kellari Taverna – Extended through August 28th (dinner only).

Kinkead’s – Lunch extended through September 2nd.

Lyon Hall – Extended through August 28th.

Nage – Restaurant Month through all of August.

Occidental – Extended through August 28th.

Oval RoomPre-theater menu daily for $35, 5:30 – 6:30.

Oya – Oya offers a $20 prix fixe lunch Monday through Friday and a $35 prix fixe dinner every night of the week.

Oyamel – Extended through August 28th.

Perry’s – Extended through August 31st.

PS 7 – Extended through August 27th. Special includes a bottle of selected red or white for $25 with meal.

SEI – Oya offers a $20 prix fixe lunch Monday through Friday and a $35 prix fixe dinner every night of the week.

Siroc – Offering a four course menu through August 28th.

Trummer’s on Main – Extended through August 28th.

Tuscana West – Extended through August 27th.

Vento – Offering a four course menu through August 28th.

Zaytinya – Extended through August 28th.

Whew! So it appears that a lot of places are extending their deals, making it more like Restaurant Month than Restaurant Week. I tried to add in some other deals when possible, but there are simply too many to factor them all in.

Just a reminder that many places offer deals on a daily basis, especially early bird or pre-theater specials. Also, look for places that you have never been to before as a way to try out several courses and sample the menu.

Enjoy, and happy eating!

Food Truckin' in Bethesda

12 Aug

By this point, most people are familiar with the DC Food Truck scene. Names like Red Hook Lobster Pound, Takorean, Fojol Bros., and CapMac bring to mind a great food truck renaissance in DC. What you may not know is that over the last few months, several great food trucks have started up in Montgomery County.

GoFish! Food Truck

In the last few weeks, I’ve had the pleasure of trying out food from GoFish! and Carmen’s Italian Ice. We have also heard great things about Suburban Bros, Tops American Food Company, and the upcoming Corned Beef King . All of these trucks primarily serve Montgomery County, and I have consistently looked out for them whenever they come to Bethesda. I should also mention that Red Hook Lobster Pound has made several appearances since acquiring their MoCo permit, and when they do roll into town, it becomes the highlight of my day. Can’t beat that lobster roll, but I digress.

GoFish! operates as a food truck during daytime hours while offering home delivery to residents in the DC area, Tuesday through Saturday. The menu includes items such as jumbo lump crab cake sandwiches, colossal crab rolls, crawfish rolls, blackened shrimp Caesar salad/wraps, as well as market items to take home by the pound like crab cake mix and crawfish salad.

Crab Cake

They made their first trip to Bethesda recently so I had to try their crab cake. It was essentially all crabmeat and no filler, huge, and a great deal at $10. I was curious to try the colossal crab roll which consisted of lump crabmeat, scallions, old bay, and mayo, but a co-worker said it didn’t have enough seasoning to it. I’ll definitely check them out again and maybe try something else next time like one of their specials. I’m always a fan of fresh fish and their delivery model seems intriguing as well.

Carmen's Italian Ice

Another new truck to hit the streets of Bethesda is Carmen’s Italian Ice. They have had a stand-alone store, Carmen’s Italian Ice & Café, in Rockville since 2001. In additional to gourmet Italian Ice, they also serve frozen custard and gelato. Carmen’s has carts and food trucks that roam throughout Montgomery County, and the truck can now often been seen in downtown Bethesda.

Brilliantly, they were parked right next to Red Hook and while people were waiting for their lobster rolls, they gave out samples of their Italian Ice. I tried the mango, and it was so refreshing that I knew I had to get more for a post-roll dessert. I decided to try their strawberry-lemon mini ice, which basically tasted like strawberry lemonade. For $1.50, the mini was a perfect size and inexpensive afternoon treat.

Mango Italian Ice

We hope that this is just the start of more trucks in Montgomery County, and we will continue to look out for more trucks to try and write about. Given that I work and live in Bethesda, I’m always looking for new food options to add some variety to our dining routine.

Belgian Restaurant Week at Brasserie Beck

10 Aug

Brasserie Beck has been on our bucket list of restaurants to visit since they first opened back in 2007, yet when Mussel Bar (Robert Wiedmaier’s newest venue) opened down the road from us, the journey took a little longer given the latter’s proximity to our home. Nonetheless, we finally shook off the laziness and had our very first meal at Beck a few weeks ago. We soon realized that we will have to start making that excursion more often.

Veal Bolognese Mussels

The timing could not have been more appropriate given that it was Belgian Restaurant Week. This particular Wiedmaier restaurant is more upscale than its Bethesda counterpart in regards to its menu, interior, and service. Mussels are still prominent, but you’re not going to find, say, a Cuban Panini at Beck.

After surveying the expansive beer menu, I ordered a traditional Bavik Pils while Rachel got the St. Bernardus Pater 6. With the smorgasbord of Belgian brews to choose from, it certainly sounds like a great place for happy hour (half price drafts from 5-7pm), let alone lunch or dinner. Not that Mussel Bar doesn’t provide that option, but Montgomery County’s draconian beer laws certainly don’t help in the wallet department.

Steak Tartare

We started our evening off with the steak tartare. Nearly the size of a hockey puck, it was anything but stiff. The meat was very tender, but I was even more enamored with the presentation what with the variety of colors found on the plate. Topped with a slice of toasted brioche and a fried egg, it was a very enjoyable first course. My only beef (no pun intended) was that there was a little too much emphasis on the red onion, so much that it nearly overwhelmed the flavor of the beef.

Rachel also ordered a large roasted beet salad which was accompanied with goat cheese, caramelized walnuts, and mixed greens. She remarked that it was one of the prettiest salads she has ever laid her eyes on. Oh, and it also tasted rather good for those that were curious…

Roasted Beet Salad

For our main course, Rachel and I decided to split two entrees. We of course had to get an order of mussels, but we also wanted to try one of their other dishes as well. We ultimately settled on the veal Bolognese mussels and a half-order of the braised lamb pappardelle. We felt that this would be a suitable amount of food for the two of us as well as have an opportunity to explore Beck’s menu.

First, let’s get to the mussels: they were simply terrific. While Brasserie Beck does not allow you to take mussels home with you, is there a policy of just wrapping up the broth to-go? I would buy that stuff by the pint. The amount of veal found in the sauce was incredible. Mind you, the mussels themselves were great, but it was the ragu that took them to that next level. I think the server came by at least three times before he could clear my plate just so I could enjoy every last drop of broth.

Braised Lamb Pappardelle

As for the pappardelle, the homemade noodles were excellently cooked and were very delicate. The braised lamb was succulent while the accompanying tomatoes, peas, and onions helped balance the dish. I wouldn’t have minded a thicker sauce, but given that we just had veal Bolognese by the spoonful, it wasn’t that big of a deal.

Once we finished our entrees, we were so full that we were ready for the check. Unbeknownst to us, our meal wasn’t done yet. Our server brought over a Belgian chocolate torte (special for Belgian Restaurant Week), compliments of the house. After taking one bite, let’s just say it was hard to put the fork down. Topped with roasted plums from Toigo Orchards and drizzled with raspberry sauce, this was one rich, phenomenal dessert.

Belgian chocolate torte

All and all, we had a great evening at Brasserie Beck. Between the exceptional food and service, it’s hard to imagine that this was just our first visit. Rest assured, we’ll be back for many more meals in the near future.

Brasserie Beck on Urbanspoon

Beer Wine and Co. Opening Soon

9 Aug

Bethesda residents won’t have to wait much longer for Beer Wine & Co. to open its doors. The craft beer and wine store could potentially open as early as this Friday according to one of the partners we talked to yesterday.

Beer Wine & Co.

As we reported back in March, Beer Wine & Co. will be the sister operation of nearby Food Wine & Co. The store plans on selling most of the beer and wine found on Food Wine & Co.’s menu, and then some.

Beer Wine & Co.

Considering that Food Wine & Co. has one of the better beer selections in all of downtown Bethesda, residents won’t have to travel far to find their favorite microbrew.

Beer Wine & Co. also plans to sell sandwiches, meats, and cheeses in addition to their extensive beer and wine selection. The store plans on featuring a variety of American craft beers as well as a vast selection of imports.

Beer Wine & Co.Beer Wine & Co.Beer Wine & Co.

Pending Montgomery County inspection, they are hopeful to open this Friday, but if not, then sometime next week at the very latest.

Beer Wine & Co will be located on 7029 Wisconsin Avenue in downtown Bethesda.

DC Brau – The District's Beer

5 Aug

You may have already heard about (or already tasted) some of DC’s first and finest new beers from DC Brau. Only a few months old, DC Brau is the first fully operational brewery to open in DC’s 60 year history, and we couldn’t wait to visit the brewery for a tour and tasting.

Keg of DC Brau

DC Brau now offers tours and tastings most Saturdays from 1-4pm, and we decided to make a day of it after getting our fill at MGM Roast Beef. The biggest challenge may have been actually finding the facility. Tucked behind a post office on Bladensburg Road, it’s hard to believe a fully functional and thriving brewery is located behind this strip mall. We finally found the place and went right inside for samples.

Both the owners Brandon Skall and Jeff Hancock were on hand along with other Brau employees. Jeff took us on a tour after we tried the Public Ale and the Corruption. I think I liked the Corruption better, but both were good beers. Meanwhile, there was a constant line of customers coming in to fill their growlers and buy six-packs of the Public. We have tried the Citizen before at Iron Horse Taproom and loved the Belgian-style flavor. We can’t wait to try the Penn Quarter Porter either since we’re dark beer aficionados.

DC BrauDC BrauDC Brau Tasting Room

The tour itself was very intimate and really showed how passionate the owners and brewers are about this new venture. We saw the whole process from start to finish, including a special room filled with whiskey barrels for aging. There was even a full mural in the back that friends painted when they were first starting up the brewery.

Stack of The Public cans

DC Brau is continuing to grow and add to its beer selection. We highly recommend a trip over to the brewery to check it out for yourself. On top of being the first brewery to open in the District, they also paved the way for others who are following them including 3 Stars and Chocolate City. It took some time to set up their tasting room since they actually had to be involved in new DC Council legislation to allow for beer tasting in DC.

The Public

If you can’t get out to Northeast to see the brewery, look for their beers in many local bars and restaurants as well. Just make sure you get your drafts early since, based on recent experience, it goes pretty quickly and you may get left out!

MGM Roast Beef

3 Aug

Didn’t you know that all the good sandwich shops are always located next to car auction lots? Okay, so maybe that only applies to DC, but guess what? MGM Roast Beef serves up some of the meanest sandwiches in the District.

Inconspicuously located next to the Capital Auto Auction in the Northeast neighborhood of Brentwood, MGM Roast Beef has been under the radar for far too long. We decided to grab lunch at the deli before touring DC Brau, which was just a couple of miles down the road.

MGM Roast Beef

Stepping inside MGM, you’re transported to simpler times as the majority of the seating wraps around the counter, reminiscent of diners back in the day. The scene reminds me of nearby Deli City, where diners are a melting pot of blue collar, white collar, and everything in between.

Rachel and I decided to split a roast beef sandwich, topped with lettuce, tomato, onion, and fresh horseradish, all stuffed between a handmade onion roll. For two dollars more, you can turn it in a combo meal, which comes with fresh-cut French fries and a can of soda. We threw in a cup of gravy for 50 cents extra because, well, it’s gravy.

You fill out your order form then hand it over to the carver, who then begins slicing fresh cuts of roast beef right before your very eyes. It’s hard not to drool while watching the action take place so I kept my saliva contained by waiting at our seats by the counter.

Fresh-carved roast beef

When our sandwich was served, it was gloriously stacked with fresh-carved roast beef that was tender and flavorful. The onion roll was nice and soft while the fries were delicious, especially once they were dipped into the fresh, thick gravy.

While MGM Roast Beef is a little off the beaten path, it is certainly worth the trip. The prices are reasonable given the amount of food you’re receiving as well as the freshness. We can’t wait to go back and try their brisket, if only for that delicious homemade brown gravy. I think I might have an addiction.

MGM Roast Beef & Co on Urbanspoon