When I heard Benny’s Bar and Grill was coming to the Cabin John Shopping Center & Mall, I had high hopes for a great family restaurant. While Bethesda has several wonderful restaurant options, we had yet to find our “family restaurant” - that place where food is made with love, children enjoy it as much as their parents, and memories are made. With Benny’s, I think we may have found that place.
Benny’s has an old Hollywood 1940’s look and feel. An old jukebox and antique radio greet diners at the hostess stand, glossy photos of starlets adorn the walls, and neon lights cast a colorful glow on the beautiful tin ceiling tiles.
Our waitress was was prompt in greeting us and enthusiastic in answering our questions. We started off with a cup of chili to share. I had just come off having a cold, so something warm and spicy sounded good. The chili was fantastic. It was a house-made bean and beef chili topped with cheddar cheese and tortilla strips, and served piping hot.
For our entree, we decided to split the White House Chopped Salad and the Turkey Burger. The salad consisted of hearts of romaine, grilled chicken, cherry tomatoes, apples, scallions, cheddar cheese, tortilla strips, ranch dressing, and BBQ sauce. The ingredients were fresh and the portion was huge.
The turkey burger was probably one of the best turkey burgers we’ve ever had at a restaurant, period. It was so juicy and had a great flavor profile. The burger was served with Pepper Jack cheese, sliced tomato, and roasted red pepper aioli, with fries and cole slaw on the side. It was served open-faced, but here is a photograph of the cross-section, which is usually my favorite way to photograph a burger.
For dessert, we split a slice of the cheesecake. We honestly weren’t expecting much. Cheesecake is cheesecake at most family eateries. What we got, however, was incredible. It was made in-house and baked in a chocolate crust. So craveable.
Aside from the friendly service and old Hollywood feel, what makes Benny’s so wonderful is the fact that everything seems to be handmade right there in the kitchen. Nothing tasted like it came out of a bag. Nothing tasted frozen. Everything tasted like it was made with love from a family kitchen.
I look forward to making my way through the menu. While we didn’t explore the drink menu on our last visit, Benny’s promises the best drinks in town, so we’ll be sure to check those out next time!
Welcome to the neighborhood, Benny’s!
I’ve been battling a sinus infection and mild fever for several days, and when I woke up this morning, I had a stabbing pain in my left ear. Since I don’t have a general practitioner in Bethesda yet (any recs?), I decided to swing by the Minute Clinic at CVS (Wisconsin and Bradley) to see if it really was as efficient as their name implies.
The check-in process was a breeze. A few taps on a screen, and I was first in line. That’s where the efficiency ends. The doctor (I’m going on an assumption here that I was treated by an actual medical doctor) called me into the exam room and began asking me several questions. Her questions came directly from the screen in front of her, and she checked boxes on her screen as I was answering them. The questions went on for several screens, and the screens eventually diagnosed me with a common cold.
She then took my vitals. The thermometer measured my temperature at 97.1, and the doctor seemed to think that was an accurate reading. She looked into my ears, and said there was a bit of redness in one, but no sign of an infection. I told her that the feeling of being stabbed with a knife in my ear points to an infection to me, but hey - I’m just what the screen tells me I am.
After a very long and frustrating 30 minutes of going nowhere, the doctor wrote me a prescription for a cough medicine, and I went on my way. I then headed to my son’s five month checkup with Dr. Idriss, our wonderful pediatrician. After my son was examined, I spoke to Dr. Idriss about my own symptoms. He examined my ears and told me that my left ear was completely infected. He started a new patient file on me, wrote me a prescription, and sent me on my way to health.
Moral of the story: The Minute Clinic isn’t worth your time. Also, don’t tell your spouse about seeing a Pediatrician if you don’t want to be compared to Ross from Friends ('The one with the Pediatrician')
The United States Postal Service is looking for community input regarding the addition of a new Bethesda location within the 20816 zip code. The new location would need to be at least 2,000 square feet while also allowing parking for up to 27 vehicles.
The Wisconsin Avenue location which opened last year in downtown Bethesda has proven to be problematic for customers looking to park. While the location has metered spots nearby, there is no dedicated or handicap parking.
If you have suggestions for a new location and would like to attend this public meeting, it will be held at 6:30 PM this evening at the Bethesda-Chevy Chase Regional Services Center at 4805 Edgemoor Lane.
Last month, we celebrated our one year anniversary as Bethesda residents. While I’m still very much getting to know this town, I wanted to put a list together of my favorite and not-so-favorite places and things. I should note that my list includes places in Bethesda and surrounding areas.
- Favorite grocery store: Whole Foods Friendship Heights
- Favorite brunch: Black Market Bistro (Praline is a close 2nd)
- Restaurant closest to my heart: Jaleo (first date with hubby)
- Favorite salad: steak salad from Redwood
- Favorite pizza: Fig & prosciutto from Mia’s
- Favorite falafal: Roti
- Favorite ice cream: Dolcezza
- Favorite steak: Ray’s the Classics (Silver Spring)
- Favorite Tex Mex: Mi Cocina
- Favorite Italian: Tie between La Panetteria and Sugo Cicchetti
- Restaurant I wanted to love, but didn’t: Newton’s Table (to be fair, it was lunch and I was nine months pregnant)
- Place I didn’t want to love, but did: Hunan Kitchen
- Favorite Food Truck: Corned Beef King
- New place I’m most excited about: Fish Taco in Cabin John
- Next date night spot to try: Range
- Favorite summer food: fire-grilled corn at Old Angler’s Beer Garden (Potomac)
- Favorite non-profit: A Wider Circle
- Favorite spa day: Red Door
- Favorite place for fresh air: anything along the C&O Canal
- Favorite patio on a gorgeous day: Old Angler’s Beer Garden (Potomac)
- Place I can’t believe I haven’t been to yet: The Central Farm Market
- Favorite Pharmacy: River Rx
- Places I wish would open up a Bethesda location: Paul Bakery, District Taco, anything by Michel Richard
Like I said, there are many, many places I have yet to try, so I’m certain this list will evolve as my relationship with Bethesda does.
Hello, neglected blog. You may have wondered where I’ve been.. you may not have wondered. The short of it is, I’m back, and I’m committed to blogging again.
Over the last several months, I’ve spent my time being a mom - not a blogger. Late last year, my husband and I welcomed our second child to this world, a beautiful baby boy. We are finally getting a better grasp of life with two wiggly, playful, restless, messy, adorable little children, and life is truly as wonderful as it’s ever been.
I have missed blogging immensely. I miss having a reason to share my words and images. I miss the mindset of exploration that blogging puts me in. I miss meeting locals and business owners. I miss painting a picture of the place that so many people love and call home.
Blogging for me is an art form that combines so many of my favorite things - technology, photography, writing, and adventure. I look forward to blogging again, and hope you’ll (re)join me on my adventures through Bethesda!
A random selection of iPhone photos….
One of the BEST steak salads I have ever had. Truly. From Redwood in Bethesda Row. Just writing this is making me crave it again…
A stroll through downtown Bethesda…
Quiche Lorraine from Praline in Bethesda (excellent!)…
A visit to Krispy Kreme in Rockville…
A gorgeous date-night stroll through the Georgetown Waterfront…
Some of the best stuffed grapeleaves I’ve had the pleasure of eating in DC. At Vasilis Mediterranean Grill in Gaithersburg.
A derecho victim a few houses down from us…
Independence Day lunch from Urban BBQ….
Independence Day Fireworks at Congressional Country Club (Viewed from our parked car between two large trees because we had a sleepy toddler in the backseat.)