Category Archives: Food & Drink

Mother’s Day at Black Finn aka A Tale of Two Finn’s

Here at Bethesda Actually we ended up chatting to a few different folks who were out and about for Mother’s Day. One interesting review that came our way was for Black Finn near Veteran’s Park in old Bethesda.

Some folks we know went there for lunch today and had one of those experiences that a restaurant like Finn’s can and should learn from.

First let me share the “upside” of their experience. The group really enjoyed the quality of the food at Finn’s – a couple of them ordered the Fish and Chips and found the fish to be top quality, nicely battered and lightly fried (two thumbs up!). Another guest ordered the Salmon and really enjoyed the Asian peanut sauce. The guests also liked the calamari appetizer, quiet atmosphere and delightful sweets.

All of that sounds very positive and if the owner of Finn’s was to read it one would suspect they would be quite pleased. However, the post for this entry is not called a “Tale of Two Finn’s” for nothing!

Bethesda Green Happy Hour at Caddies on Thursday

Hi folks, I wanted to share a portion of this email message I received from Dave Heffernan, the head of Bethesda Green:

Bethesda Green hosts a regular First Thursday Happy Hour at establishments around downtown Bethesda. For those of you who have not attended, the events usually attract 50-75 people interested in green jobs, sustainable living practices, environmental stewardship, as well as casual conversation and social networking.

We will meet this Thursday, May 6, 5 – 8 pm at Caddies on Cordell, 4922 Cordell Ave., Bethesda, MD 20814. Join us on the second floor party room. We’ll be raffling a Caddies gift card. Discount drinks and appetizers will be available. Caddies is donating 15 percent of sales to Bethesda Green, a nonprofit collaborative of residents, businesses and government.

The featured speaker this Thursday is Bethesda Green Board Member Ilaya Hopkins.

For more information, go to

I’m going to try and swing by….hope you can attend — Bethesda Green is well worth supporting

Med Cafe Interest is Growing

We have written a bit about the new Med Cafe that is going to open in the spot where the Posh Pooch was once located. It is near my home so I look forward to strolling up to Norfolk Ave and checking it out. I was chatting with a local businesswoman today and she was telling me how much she is looking forward to Zee opening…..I agree and hope to meet with the owners soon for a chat!

Bethesda Central Farm Market Opens in Three Days!

Terrific news folks — we are a mere three days away from the opening of the Bethesda Central Farm Market. You can be sure that the Bethesda Actually team will be there and will report back on what will surely be a terrific opening. Here is the opening time and location info from the official site:

 BCFM 2010 Schedule : Sunday 9-1 -Parking lot off Elm Street across the street from the Barking Dog and behind Jaleo Thursday 3-7 Bethesda Lane between Elm Street and Bethesda Avenue (Starts May 6, 2010)


Cork 57 Co-Owner Involved with “Food and Wine Company”

So it seems that Cork 57 owner Francis Namin is behind the new Bethesda venture the “Food and Wine Company.” We have discussed the new restaurant in the past but will really try to get a few more details now that we know Namin is involved. One of the interesting dimensions to his new business is that he is looking to drastically limit the mark up on wines. This is unusual but could be a brilliant move. More to follow on this…..

Austin Grill Seems to Have Closed

As Brian pointed out in the comments below, Austin Grill seems to have closed its doors here in Bethesda. If that is correct, it is a bit of a shame as I quite liked their reasonable prices and nice outdoor seating area. I found AG to be a decent place for a couple of drinks, chips and salsa on a summer’s evening. I don’t know the reason for the closing (if that is what it is) but perhaps the combination of Uncle Julio’s and  Tia Queta proved to be too much competition in their niche?

When I walked past their (old) premises a couple of days ago I noticed that there was a refurbishment going on inside and Brian mentioned in the comments below that an American Tap Room may be filling the void. We’ll check it out and get back to you with more details.

Would you be happy to see a Tap Room in that spot if AG has infact closed its doors in downtown Bethesda?

Uncle Julio’s Rio Grande and Frogs

I recently received an email from a member of the Bethesda Actually community and wanted to share its key points with you.

It seems that a non-profit called “Save the Frogs” will be conducting, in their words, “The world’s first protests in defense of frog populations” this Friday in MD, VA, and TX. Friday is, apparently, the 2nd Annual Save The Frogs Day.

A focal point of the action will be Bethesda because we have a branch of the Uncle Julio’s Rio Grande chain. Uncle Julio’s is a target because they serve frogs legs on their menu (as an aside, I have had drinks there a number of times and we have given the place a favorable review on this site).

Anyway, the details are pretty interesting so I am going to post a portion of the email below. Bethesda Actually is also happy to post information on this matter from Uncle Julio’s and Save the Frogs. Feel free to email us ( or leave a comment below.

Head to Lebanese Taverna for Restaurant Week


I just wanted to offer my 2 cents on restaurant week this week — if you are looking for a place to go for lunch I’d suggest that you give Lebanese Taverna a whirl. I enjoy their food and RW gives you a chance to get it at a nice price.

They have a terrific looking RW lunch menu with one of their diverse range of mezza plates, dessert and a soft drink available for $15….the Med and Vege mezzas are most appealing to me but I am sure that the traditional mezza will also be good as they do the staples of the region really well in my humble opinion.

They are also offering a wonderful looking dinner option as well that is centered around a lamb entree that has been a big hit for the restaurant.

If you do make it there drop us an email or leave a comment below — we’d love to hear from you.

Trying to Make a Cafe Con Leche

A year and a bit ago we visited Spain to celebrate my cousin’s wedding. We had a super time and among the many wonderful experiences I developed a real liking for the tradition coffee drink served throughout the country – cafe con leche. Since we have been back I have tried various approaches to duplicate this drink with limited success. My better half gets the prize for the closest effort – she makes strong coffee in a french press, steams milk separately and blends the two.

I tried a slightly different approach at Cosi just now and am left sipping luke warm espresso and milk….back to the drawing board I guess. Does anyone have a suggestion for a place in the Bethesda area that serves a drink that comes close to a Spanish cafe con leche?

Lebanese Taverna to Participate in Bethesda Central Farmers Market

Well folks, as you know, here at Bethesda Actually we are big, big fans of the farmers market and are pleased that we are seeing a big push by a number of different groups to make sure they are sustainable. One interesting question we have been considering is how can the markets be used to bring in different businesses — by broadening participation one would assume that the financial base is grown and the markets become more sustainable (and yes more fun).

In relation to that question, we just heard that Lebanese Taverna may well be participating in one of the Bethesda Farmers Markets — this is of course very interesting news and we hope to get a few more details to you tomorrow… stay tuned!