NFT Washington DC Bethesda / Chevy Chase Business

Bethesda / Chevy Chase Business

Essentials
Every young DC couple yearns to become one of those suburban families clustered around Bethesda, with easy access to the metro, restaurants and top school systems. If they're lucky and their government salary permits, they can enter the Chevy Chase Country Club; if not, they can dress the part by shopping at the high-end stores along Wisconsin near Friendship Heights.

Sundries/Entertainment
North of the Friendship Heights glitzy, high-end shopping and restaurants is a brief residential pause before entering the arts end of Bethesda. Check out the Montgomery Farm Women's Co-op Market, where you can get your handbags handmade and Turkish rugs for cheap. Head to Bethesda Crab House to shell some Maryland blue crabs and knock back some cold ones.




         



On Our Radar:

Posted By:  Magda Nakassis
Photo:  Magda Nakassis

The Writer's Center
I feel heartened just being in the Writer's Center. And it's not because of the creepy downstairs, confusing layout, or less-than-sparkling building conditions. As a nonprofit community of writers, the space is unique. It offers workshops and classes, as well as an encouraging bookstore of hard-to-find literary journals, self-published poetry anthologies, and more. Workshops range from writing for comics to introduction to screenwriting to PR 101--and instructors are knowledgeable, encouraging, and talented. Taking a writing class may seem like a luxury, but just one visit will convince you that an institution such as this is essential, a place to be appreciated and supported.



Posted By:  Rin-rin Yu
Photo:  Rin-rin Yu

Bruce Variety
Looking for some school supplies? A pair of socks? Maybe a pink wig and a fishbowl? Where else is a one-stop shop in your neighborhood for all these items? Everyone in Bethesda will unanimously cheer: Bruce Variety! Situated in a hometown shopping plaza, parents and kids crowd into this five-and-dime-type store (except it's more like five-and-ten-dollar) for everything the entire household needs: kitchen sink stoppers, pipe cleaners and popsicle sticks, gift wrap, bolts of fabric, buttons galore, loot bag toys, Christmas ornaments, underwear, children's books, hair accessories. You name it, Bruce (probably) has it. Around each holiday, Bruce stocks the shelves with every possible holiday-related item, including severed heads, bleeding bats and witch's hats at Halloween, or Valentine's cards, candy and other accessories for kids and adults to share their love. The store is so random, yet so well-organized that what has potential to be a creepy 99-cent store replica is actually a charming and definite asset to its neighborhood, as it has been for decades.



Posted By:  Jade Floyd
Photo:  Jade Floyd

Strut Your Mutt
The 3rd annual Strut Your Mutt Dog Parade and Festival is coming to downtown Bethesda this Saturday. Bringing more than 3000 DCers to the burbs, this festival will feature 60 exhibitors and a dog parade starting at 10 am. The event benefits the Bethesda Chevy Chase Rescue Squad (BCCRS) which consists of 150 professionally-trained volunteers responding to incidents during evenings, nights, and weekends throughout the area. Exhibitors on hand (to cater to all of your pup’s needs) include A Walk in the Park, Dogtopia Daycare and Spa, Do-Rite Doggie Diapers, Greyhound Pets of America/MD, Inc., Montgomery County Humane Society, Mutts it to ya, ZenPawz and Zoomin Groomin. If ever you wanted to see hundreds of spoiled animals with owners drooling over them, this is the place to be. So bring your pooch or borrow one of your friends’ and venture to downtown Bethesda to Strut Your Mutt.



Posted By:  Rin-rin Yu
Photo:  Rin-rin Yu

Bethesda Crab House
If you like crabs, crab-related products or Bethesda, then Bethesda Crab House in downtown Bethesda is the place for you. The "house" opened in the 1960's and little has changed inside, meaning it resembles your parent's basement (assuming your parent's basement had wood paneling, florescent lighting and outdoor patio seating). But what better place is there to hammer at crabs covered in Old Bay seasoning (until you're covered in Old Bay as well) without worry about making a gigantic mess? Bang away with the mallet at the two-hour all-you-can-eat crabs, or order out to make a mess in your own home. If you're not a crab fan, there's not much else--corn, saltines and crab cakes are some of your options.



Posted By:  Graham Fortier
Photo:  Graham Fortier

Georgetown Bagelry
To say you can only get good bagels in New York is like saying you can only get good Mexican food in Mexico. Screw that. The Georgetown Bagelry (located in Georgetown, duh!) serves up some damn tasty bagels made fresh on the spot. Not to mention they have so many different types of cream cheese that it’s almost unbelievable. Need to catch an early breakfast before work? Warm bagels are ready for customer consumption at 6am, and that’s pretty freakin’ early if you ask me. And who says bagels are just breakfast food? They’ve got a deli’s worth of lunch sandwiches, but instead of being served on plain old bread, they’re served on delicious bagels. They close at 4pm every day though, so don’t expect to mosey in for an early dinner. Hurry on over to the Bagelry and just think: Bagel.



Posted By:  Graham Fortier
Photo:  Graham Fortier

With a name that strikes fear into the hearts of fake-ID carrying teenagers but convenience and selection for their parents, Talbert’s may as well be a DC area landmark. Right on River Road, this deadbeat’s paradise is stocked with wine, champagne, beer, and a lot of people still hoping to hit the Powerball jackpot. It’s pricey, but if its location is near your house, you can probably afford it, can’t you, Mr. Chevy Chase? It’s true, there may not be any other locale in a 50 mile radius that sells a six pack of Yuengling for $8, but you gotta love the place. The register is decorated with tons of fake ID’s that the Talbert’s staff prides themselves for confiscating (including my friend’s), and if you overlook the pricing, the people who work there are usually pretty helpful and friendly. Need something to go along with your Chardonnay? How about a pack of baseball cards from 2004? Or maybe some peanuts? Or a whole lotta ice. I mean a lot of ice. By the way, if the card you, ask for one of their bumper stickers that says “I got carded at Talbert’s.” I’m not joking. I’ve got three of them.



Posted By:  Graham Fortier
Photo:  Graham Fortier

Strosniders Hardware
There is no doubt in my mind that this is where MacGyver gets his supplies from. Hardware is just the beginning of this mind-boggling, post-apocalyptic yet family friendly store. Walking through the place is intimidating, as there are over twenty aisles stacked with power tools, nails, and other objects I would rather not put in my hands. Along with goodies like that, you’ve got your houseware section, your paint section, and of course, a hardware section that will offer turn that 32 year old beer drinker into a do-it-yourself hero. Still don’t believe me? The Washingtonian named Strosnider’s the best metro-area hardware store in 2005. Suck on that, Hechinger’s.



Posted By:  Graham Fortier
Photo:  Graham Fortier

Bowlmor
Okay, I know what you’re thinking. Strike? Isn’t that place overpriced and really seedy? Maybe it is, but c’mon, you’ve got to hand it to them. They are taking bowling to a whole new level. What kind of level I’m not too sure, but it’s a level where there’s a lot of freaking neon. What used to be a dumpy bowling alley in an isolated warehouse has become a hotspot for DC-area young folk. At night the halogen lights go out and the bright and hypnotic greens, pinks, and yellows flood the lanes. Sure, you can bowl, it is technically a bowling alley, but honestly, who needs bowling when you’ve got bottles of Red Stripe and mini-burgers? Over the past few years, Strike has become as much of a bar for singles and party-goers as it is a bowling alley. Under 21? Sorry, but you aren’t even allowed on the premises after 9pm. Why not? Because youngin’, the things that go on at Strike after 9 are things that your parents would not approve of.



Posted By:  Graham Fortier
Photo:  Graham Fortier

Indique Heights is extremely delicious, and if you don’t believe me, the proof is in the picture. That’s me on my 23rd birthday, eating fusion-Indian cuisine that was so damn good, it actually made me happy on my 23rd birthday (cause let’s be honest, after 21, they all kind of suck in their own special ways). Indique Heights is Indian cuisine, but with a nice twist to it (that’s why it’s Indique…not Indian). Sure you can get your chicken curry dish…Indique style, finished with coconut milk and curry leaves, but why not be adventurous? How about the Moyal Rabbit Korma, Rabbit cooked with cashew nuts, coconut, fennel seeds, star anise & curry leaves, a perfect dish for Easter time. If you are vegetarian (and probably found the rabbit-easter reference disgusting), there is a wide selection of goodies for your bloodless palate as well. I was pretty impressed with the Hyderabadi Baingan, which translates to baby eggplant cooked with sesame, cashew nuts, peanuts, spices & tamarind. I don’t know what tamarind is, but I ordered it anyway, and it was damn good.



Posted By:  Magda Nakassis
Photo:  Magda Nakassis

The press release has been issued: the peak blooming period for Washington’s beloved and oh-so-delicate cherry trees is the first week in April. Thousands will throng the Mall. Hundreds will queue up for their chance to paddleboat in the Tidal Basin. Some crafty tourists will discover that cherry trees also populate the adjacent East Potomac Park. But for those who don’t feel like visiting the Jefferson Memorial or dealing with the crowds, you can enjoy those pretty cotton candy blossoms in Kenwood, a wealthy suburban neighborhood just across the District line. The streets of Kenwood are lined with cherry trees, and when in bloom, richy rich little kids set up high-class lemonade stands for the visitors. On weekends, the streets will be full of couples taking a promenade and rubberneckers crawling down the road. But even if it’s slightly congested, it will be nothing compared to downtown, and I can guarantee you’ll feel as though you’re walking through a delicious cloud.



Posted By:  Jason DeYoung
Photo:  Jason DeYoung

About three years ago, there was a successful, family-run Persian restaurant where Café Noble is now. You could go in there and get a feast of rice and grilled vegetables for less than three bucks. But when the Persian restaurant finally closed, no other business could fill the gap. That is until Café Noble. What has Café Noble done differently? It has decided to be everything to everyone, and in this case it seems to be working. Since the Persian family left, this space has housed a Greek restaurant, a Mexican restaurant, and even a South American restaurant. Café Noble continues to serve up some of the same items from these defunct restaurants and added their own unique items, including fried rice and an Angus beef burger—the highlight of the menu. Café Noble’s owners have also redesigned the space, giving it a spiffy new look, and they installed free Wi-Fi. One thing that detracts from the hip new look is the canned music that’s pumped in—you never know if it’s going to be swank groove or gospel when you step inside. Eclectic indeed.



Posted By:  Brooke Morris
Photo:  Brooke Morris

Discovery Too Gallery
Much to everyone’s surprise, there’s more to Downtown Bethesda than hip restaurants, upscale shops, and expensive residences. The area is a fairly vibrant art district containing a number of galleries and events that showcase local artists. Discovery Too, part of the Discovery Galleries, features budding artists within the DC metro area and internationally. The bright, inviting gallery stands out amongst the cafes and boutiques on Woodmont Avenue. Though the gallery itself is rather small, it offers a variety of pieces, including sculptures and prints, art books and a random section of handbags. In addition to the up and comers, Discovery Too also displays works by acclaimed artists. The animated Michael Godard “Martini” prints line the perimeter while Thomas M. Easley’s fine wine still-lifes hang about the gallery walls. No matter the piece, most items are pricey so be prepared to shell out some money. Discovery Galleries holds various showings, events, and sales, the details of which can be found on their website.



Posted By:  Brooke Morris
Photo:  Brooke Morris

As we all know, malls are plentiful in the DC metro region. Whether it’s Pentagon City, Tysons, or Montgomery, it’s not hard to find a local shopping arena to get lost in. Every now and then, however, it’s nice to shop without the headache, or the hassle, that these malls often provide. Located amidst the other trendy boutiques and restaurants, Luna supplies similar merchandise as Nordstrom’s and Neimans, but with a much more soothing atmosphere. Because of its small size, the boutique isn’t as overwhelming and provides more individualized service. Additionally, the pleasant nature of those who work in the store sets it apart from its neighbors. Many of the posh shops in the area are full of salespeople who are often just as snotty as their well-to-do clientele. I’m usually skeptical about taking advice from those clamoring to make commission, but at Luna I felt as if I were shopping with a friend, not someone trying to make a sale. Luna also has an extensive collection of the latest apparel and accessories, particularly handbags, as well as a sizeable sale section. My suggestion: if you can’t find it in Luna, then head to the mall.



Posted By:  Molly V Strzelecki
Photo:  Molly V Strzelecki

The Brown Bag
With a name like Brownbag, you’d think it would be cafeteria-style, on-the-go, plastic-tasting food. And you’d think wrong. Bustling at lunchtime, this little shop serves up made-to-order salad, noodle bowls and sandwiches with fresh meats, cheeses, vegetables, fruits, you name it. Everyone should have olive tapenade as good as Brownbag. And who knew it tasted so good on a sandwich? The joint also serves up breakfast for you early birds: coffee, bagels, muffins, the whole shebang. It may be small on the inside (hence, the name Brownbag….you take it in a brown bag…to go…), but every dish packs big flavor and is worth every penny. Also, be sure to check out the posted daily special if you’re looking for a quality home-cooked meal at good value with huge portions.



Posted By:  Molly V Strzelecki
Photo:  none

You couldn’t make three pounds of meat lasagna for $11, but at Vace, you sure as hell can buy it. And let me tell you, it’s delish. Both the Bethesda and Cleveland Park locales (despite it being located on Connecticut Avenue across from Four Green Fields) are easy to miss if you don’t know where you’re looking, so keep your eyes open, because it’s too good to pass up. Their pizzas and calzones are delish if you’re looking for a quick fix, but for awesome traditional pastas, make a beeline for the freezer case, where you’ll find the aforementioned lasagna (Seriously?it rocks.) as well as homemade gnocchi, manicotti, ravioli, a plethora of homemade sauces from marinara to pesto, Italian cheeses, and more. And if you’re looking to stock up your supply of Nutella, Baci or other Italian food imports like olive oil or crackers, well, Vace has that, too.




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