Thai Sisters: Not as good as it used to be
**note**- I lived in Thailand for 3 years when i was younger, so I am often much more critical of Thai restaurants than others might be. I love the food and am always happy when I can find a place that is reasonably authentic.
had gone to this restaurants many times over the years. It recently changed owners (and names, it used to be Old Siam,) the previous owners retiring. It is located in a less busy corner of Old Gaithersburg.
The restaurant itself doesn't seem to have undergone much change in terms of appearance, it is still a clean, comfortable place. There is a large bay window (not much a view though) and a lot of light in the front of the restaurant. Sit at the tables by the window if you can.
The menu looks new, keeping some of the better dishes from the previous ownership. I did find the menu a bit hard to read though. The menu has become more limited though (compared to the previous ownership) I tried mostly standards since I didn't know how the new management would be and if the same chef was there.
Service was good. The friend I went with really couldn't make heads or tails of the menu and the waiter was pretty good about making recommendations.
My review is based much on the quality of the previous ownership, which realistically may not be entirely fair. anyway. There aren't many Thai restaurants in Gaithersburg/Germantown. In terms of comfort and convenience its good. It seems to me that the new owners americanized the food a bit..it was less spicy, less hot than before. Not bad, but too many compromises for my taste.
Favorite Dish: Appetizers- I tried the old Thai standard, satay. Chicken was good and the peanut sauce was excellent!
Soup- Tom Yong Kung- tasty. Usually, this soup has more chilies in it, Good, but not very authentic.
Penang Curry- I asked for this hot and it didn't disappoint. This was one of the better dishes that the previous owners had.
Kapow- nice basil sauce, relatively plain presentation. was just ok in my opinion. My friend had it medium spiciness and liked it.
Dessert- in season, the desert to have is sticky rice and mangoes. Unfortunately, this management missed the boat on this. The rice was not sticky, there was no coconut milk. The Mangoes were excellent, but that isn't enough to justify the price of the desert
- Food and Dining
Pho & Grill: A bit different for a Vietnamese restaurant
Right across the street from Lakeforest Mall in Gaithersburg is a small(ish) restaurant that I always enjoy going back to. Many of the Vietnamese pho restaurants in this area are usually pretty simple affairs, little in the way of decor and the service is often rushed.
Pho and Grill opened a few years ago and I could tell from the first time I came in that this was a bit different from the norm. It is nicely decorated with wood paneling and evocative lighting. The space is somewhat on the small side, but even when the place is crowded I've never had a problem with bumping into others.
Service has been consistently excellent at this restaurant. You are never rushed here, something I like very much in a restaurant and something that increases my willingness to return as long as the food is reasonably good. Going up to the counter to place your order is perhaps the one thing i don't care for, but ultimately its not a big deal here.
Pho restaurants tend to be fairly similar most of the time. Pho and Grill is different as it offers more grilled dishes, and really many of them are very good. Portions are generous without being overly large.
Daily 11 am to 9 pm.
Favorite Dish: In terms of appetizers their summer rolls (with the peanut sauce) are excellent! You can also get the rolls with grilled meat but i have had this only rarely.
You have the normal assortment of pho dishes. I tend to like their chicken pho as it always has generous portions of good quality white meat.
Of their grilled dishes, the lemongrass pork or the grilled lemon chicken are both excellent.
Definitely go for the lime soda, it goes well with the food here.
- Food and Dining
Pasha Land: Very nice Moroccan restaurant in Kentlands
This restaurant has been in Kentlands for a while, so finally a friend and I decided to stop by and try it out one evening.
We came in and were seated promptly, noticing a large number of reserved tables. The ambience is nice, it has the Moroccan tilework and some nice pieces of decoration, just enough to be eye catching but thankfully not so much that it was a distraction.
Service was prompt and the waitress was very nice and explained the menu to us. Since my familiarity with Moroccan food is quite limited, I was glad that she made recommendations, which it seems more restaurants really do not anymore.
On Friday and Saturday nights at 8 there is a belle dancer that comes in. The one we saw was excellent. There was somewhat limited room at the front of the restaurant but she did a wonderful job. Prior to the belle dancer there was a group of three people playing their music. I enjoyed that the music wasn't too loud, as it can often be in restaurants.
On the nights that there are belle dancers you will want to reserve if your party is more than two people. It was packed the Friday night we were there! Dinner was a bit on the pricey side, but with the entertainment and the portion sizes i would say it was a pretty good value.
Favorite Dish: For dinner I had an appetizer of hummus with lamb, which was excellent. The sauce especially!
My main course was a traditional dish that is common throughout the middle east, kefta, which is spiced beef. The meal was good, quite filling, though the kefta was not as spicy as I was used to having it.
The specialty of the house is something called a bastilla, which is phyllo dough stuffed with marinated chicken, almonds, onions, herbs. Very tasty (also very filling) I had this on another occasion at lunch.
- Food and Dining
Crepes a go-go: Crepes a go-go
This is a small restaurant/cafe in Kentlands, a fairly new part of Gaithersburg that was developed about 10 years ago, one of the better applications of the old town concept that I have seen. By and large it is a fairly upscale neighborhood with lots of shopping and restaurants.
The Crepes a go-go serves only crepes, so if you are really hungry it is not likely to be enough. The cafe is nicely decorated and comfortable. On Saturday nights in summer it will get pretty crowded when they have bands playing on the plaza.
Their coffee is delicious too. This is a good place to come if you just need a snack or want an after dinner crepe and some great coffee.
- Food and Dining
Tara Thai: Thai delicacy
The restaurant is located in the Rio promenade and has a nice view of the man made lake right next to the property. It has an interesting interior to it, feels like you in the middle of a deep blue sea. They have indoor waterfalls and varied colors painted on the walls and ceilings.
It gets busy during the weekends and book in advance if you have a large party, but you should be fine if you are a couple or 2. We had a 10 min wait time to be seated as we were a group of 6. They have a huge parking lot and it is free. There are stores and an AMC movie theater close by so there is a lot of activity even during the weekdays.
Food is a little pricey though for dinner, having lunch here is cheaper!
Favorite Dish: We had veggie spring rolls for appetizers and Pad Thai, which is supposed to be the Thai National noodle dish. It was good a meal with large generous portions. Thankfully we were all hungry so we could finish our food, but try and order a single dish for 2 if you don't have a problem sharing because the portions are really huge.
I would love to have a meal here again sometime and try something new, maybe some seafood my friends ordered and were not kind enough to share with me :(
- Food and Dining
Biscotti: Italian food
This restaurant is a bit off the beaten track. Muncaster Mill is about halfway between Silver Spring and Gaithersburg. The restaurant itself is somewhat small, across the parking lot from Mickey D's. Ive been there several times, closer to 6 pm it is rather crowded and it might be difficult to get a good table.
Service is good. They set out some bread and olive spread as you read the menu. The menu has all the standard Italian fare. The chef seems to be very good at cooking wine sauces. The plates are very large sized though the portions probably are not as huge as the size of the plate might lead you to believe. You are not hurried.
Generally, I would consider this more of a neighborhood restaurant...nice, comfortable and not terribly expensive. Food quality is good, presentation is good.
Favorite Dish: Penne ala vodka- Penne pasta with salmon, spinach and tomatoes
in a light cream vodka sauce. $13.99
I like the penne arrabiata,, can be quite spicy:)
SALMONE GUARNITO $ 16.99
Sautéed salmon with vegetables and mashed potatoes in a creamy basil sauce. this is very good, recommended
- Food and Dining
- Wine Tasting
Yu Zhou cafe: Superb Szechuan food
This used to be Fu Shing, i guess its new ownership. This is located literally right next to the Gaithersburg Fairgrounds, right behind the Gaithersburg Square Shopping Center. Its not well marked but not terribly hard to find.
What you notice about this restaurant is how the overwhelming majority of customers are Chinese. It seems this attracts a lot of families, its not unusual to see several generations at a table.
The decor is nothing special really. You chose from the menu and take your order up to the cash register. After that sojourn into cafeteria style, the rest of the dining experience is very good here.
The menu is extensive . Apparently you can chose between an American chinese menu and a traditional chinese menu, i never saw that in the restaurant. Suffice to say that there is lots to choose from, and I have never had bad meal at this restaurant. Perhaps a bit less spicy than one might expect from a Schezuan style restaurant, but alas,,,,
Favorite Dish: I usually go with a friend and we select an entree each.
Beef with black pepper sauce
fish on the sizzling plate
entrees come with a bowl of rice (small)
portions are quite generous and tasty
price- about average
- Food and Dining
Alicia's Mexican Grill: Great new Mexican Spanish restaurant
When a friend suggested a new mexican restaurant I was less than excited honestly. Most mexican restaurants have become so common and so bland in the last few years. In any case,
Alicia's was a breath of fresh air. it is located in a small mall along Frederick Road in what used to be a bar. You walk in, the place is nice and clean and well lit. Tables have tablecloths and cloth napkins, so right away I started feeling good about the place. They didn't try to go over the top with traditional mexican decorations, just a few small touches that to my mind were about enough.
Service was very nice. The wait staff was fluent in both languages, spanish and english. The menu clearly told you that this restaurant was not intended to cater only to spanish-speaking clients.
You notice right away on the menu, that beyond the standard mexican dishes (burrito, enchilada, tacos etc) there were a lot of fish dishes and even a few dishes that are more traditional of Spain as well as a few traditional Peruvian dishes.
Favorite Dish: Something quite unusual for Mexican restaurants, the menu had a considerable number of fish/seafood dishes.
I tried a Trucha Pacifica- which is a trout with a tasty brown sauce topped with spinach, a few broiled shrimp and mushrooms. The main plate came with white rice and black beans and a small potato. It sounded like a lot of food, though i did not feel overly full when i left the restaurant. The trout was nicely presented and well prepared. Would I have this dish again, absolutely!
appetizers and so forth- the salsa given to you with chips was basically tasteless. this was the only thing i didn't particularly care for. Don't get filled up on chips and salsa.
Price- portions were of reasonably good size, though it seems that when you are reading the menu it seems like a lot more food than it really is. Prices seemed a little higher than most Mexican restaurants in the area, but the food was absolutely worth it
Would I go to this restaurant again, absolutely.
- Food and Dining
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