I’ve compiled a list of the types of food establishments that Silver Spring is severely lacking, at least in my opinion. Included on this list are only things that could be realistically brought to downtown. (This is why In-N-Out Burger has been left off.)
1. Julia's Empanadas. For the love of God, WHY isn't there a Julia's here? That would be huge on weekend evenings. And every other day of the week.
2. A great Gelateria. The kind where they decorate each flavor of gelato with things that represent the taste. A good example would would be Naia, if you've ever been there. It's too hard to find decent gelato in this town. I actually want to start up my own place – I’m that convinced that one would do well. I’m not even joking. Anyone know anything about making gelato? (And yes, I do know they have gelato at Mama Lucia's, but driving to the other side of EW Highway defeats the purpose.)
3. A Phở joint that uses a vegetarian broth. The place we do have in DTSS, Pho-Hiep Hoa, uses a beef-based broth. I’m not a vegetarian, but my wife is, so that means I get no Phở. My favorite Phở is from Nam-Viet on Connecticut Avenue, but that’s a hike to get down there. There’s not a convenient place to get vegetarian Phở around here, at least none that I am aware of.
4. Great bagels. I’ve said this numerous times, so I won’t rehash the subject here.
5. A good sports bar. I want a place where you can go each Sunday and know that it will be full of (2-0!) Redskins fans well before the game even begins. The kind that has HDTVs and actually pays for the HD service. And wings, really good wings. I really don’t know of many good sports bars in MoCo, which I presume has something to do with the county’s draconian liquor laws. Willie & Reed’s in Bethesda seemed pretty popular on gamedays, but that one recently bit the dust.
6. Udupi Palace. Just move it here. Langley Park? Come on.
If I think of anything else, I’ll add to my list. Other suggestions are welcome.