Thursday, January 21, 2010

Silver Spring News 'N Notes

Happy Squirrel Appreciation Day, everyone! I sure appreciate the hundreds of holes they dug in my yard this past week. Did they they misplace all their acorns during the snowstorm? Speaking of squirrels, I haven't seen our neighborhood albino squirrel in ages.


- posted some photos taken at the future location of Joe's Record Paradise. I'm not sure which opening I'm looking forward to more - Joe's or Goldberg's Bagels.

- On the subject of Goldberg's, a posting on the Washington City Paper's "Young and Hungry" blog shines a little more light on the ambiguous relationship between The Goldberg's Bagels in Rockville and the one up in Pikesville/Baltimore. It turns out that while the owners of the two establishments were once business partners, they may not have dissolved their alliance under the friendliest of terms. Sadly, we'll have to wait for next week's post for the conclusion of the story. Bagel feuds FTW!

With respect to differences in taste and quality of bagels from the two establishments, they may be minimal. Both bagelries use dough from the same New Jersey wholesaler. Hopefully the Silver Spring location will open soon so that I might asses the worthiness of their "everything" bagels.

- The proposed Costco in Wheaton would likely be a big draw for Silver Springers who currently patronize the warehouse club's Beltsville and Gaithersburg locations. My membership lapsed a couple years back, but having a Costco so close would make me strongly consider renewing it.

One negative is that a Costco in Wheaton Plaza could exacerbate the already annoying downtown Wheaton traffic, not to mention its potential to make the parking situation at Wheaton Plaza intolerable. Of course, insufficient parking is a Costco trademark... try going to the Alexandria or Beltsville locations during the weekend.

- Following up on an earlier post, it turns out that three Silver Spring restaurants ended up making Washingtonian's Best Restaurants list: Jackie's, Ray's the Classics and... The General Store? Didn't see that last one coming. Kudos to them for making it in their first year.

- Since I've been accused of not posting about the Haiti Earthquake enough, I will take this opportunity to let you know about a happy hour fundraiser for Haiti tonight at Piratz Tavern hosted by the Montgomery County Young Democrats (the event itself is bi-partisan.) The happy hour runs from 5:30-8:30 and features half-price appetizers and $3 and $4 beers. A $5 donation at the door is requested, and Piratz will also donate $1 for each shot purchased.


lilkunta said...

"The General Store" is Mrs Clark's coffee shop in Forest Glen right? It is open? Since when?

Costco: I'd like something in the old Hechts location (the furniture store moved to the Circuit City) but I dont know about Costco. I am DEFINITELY AGAINST Mont County giving Costco 4mill in order to open up.

Sligo said...

The General Store has been open for about a year now, I believe.

Thayer Avenue said...

I'll still go to the Costco in Columbia. I would bet that parking and checkout lines won't be any better in Wheaton then they are in Gaithersburg or Beltsville.

Sligo said...

Plus, can you buy beer at the Columbia one?

Thayer Avenue said...

Oddly enough, you can't. Don't know why. But one of the best beer stores around is right across the parking lot.

Anonymous said...

Costco Wheaton would be nice only if it sells gas. Is this part of the deal that the county is considering?

Anonymous said...

The General Store?! Eww!

I'm all for supporting local, non-chain restaurants, but that place is the pits.

Whats up Wheaton said...

We too are wondering about parking at Westfield. But then there used to be a Hechts there and an Office Depot... If people used the North entrance just South of Valley View on University it would be fine but because everyone tends to file up Georgia and turn left into the mall is could be brutal - especially on Black Friday.

Terry in Silver Spring said...

I got a postcard in the mail yesterday from a new beer and wine store that's opening this weekend at the corner of Second and Fenwick, in that little brick house that used to be a real estate place. Just up the block from the Post Office. The grand opening is Saturday with free tastings, they say they have craft beers and boutique wines. If you have a postcard from them, you get 10% off through the end of February.

Here's their web site:

Anonymous said...

The General Store?!?!?!?
I've given that place three tries and ordered something different each time in hopew of getting something edible. No dice, overhyped, overpriced and inedible. Just because you wear a chef's hat doesn't mean that you are really a chef.

Sligo said...

Maybe the General Store gets street cred since it is essentially a new variation of a preexisting DC restaurant. (Remember, DC things are always > Silver Spring).

I've had mixed experiences when I've gone, so I'm surprised it's considered one of DC's top 100 restaurants. I can name quite a few off the top of my head that are significantly better. Nava Thai???

Robert said...

Costco in Wheaton would be great. And if it takes a one-time county subsidy to get it, I'm for it. The store would generate enough new tax revenue to more than compensate for the subsidy.

Springvale Roader said...

Too bad Adega didn't make the list. In many ways, it's my favorite restaurant in Silver Spring.

I can't make it to Piratz tonight, but I'll donate some more doubloons to the relief efforts.

Anonymous said...

I agree The General Store shouldn't have made the list, primarily becuase it is (slightly) overpriced for the atmosphere and definitely for the completely impersonal customer service. In the five times I've been there, the people that work there (chef and her partner?) have never once smiled or acted in the least bit appreciative that I was spending $50 on dinner for two at their flegling restaurant. Maybe if they took some speach classes to learn how just a hint of infletion in the voice can have remarkable consequences in how they are perceived. Food there = yummy. People = rude-ish.

Anonymous said...

"speech"...maybe if I took some spelling classes :)

Anonymous said...

I live in DTSS and I did a google map to the current drive to Costco in Beltsville and the drive to Wheaton Plaza. The one in Wheaton will save me a whopping one minute of driving time.

Sligo said...

I can say from experience that the Google map travel time you got SEVERLY underestimates the hassle of Route 1 traffic in Beltsville.

Anonymous said...

My multiple experiences at General Store have been (1) mediocre food, at best (2) grossly overpriced for what it is and (3) extremely overpriced when you consider the owner/chef and staff (as someone already said) show NO appreciation for your paying that price for that product (or any price for any product, actually).

But like several other operators with boring/bad food and indifferent service around SS, they have nothing to fear because this community is total loyal to "local" no matter how bad it is.

How did it make the Washingtonian list? I have to think the writer is one of those Local Loyalists.

Anonymous said...

There's a big section on "Silver Spring Best Bets" in the new Washingtonian magazine that once again features the owner of the General Store. Also an article about Crisfield's. As for Costco, bring it on. That empty space at the mall is sad.

Anonymous said...

Ironically, in the photo of the chef of The General Store she has a huge smile on her face. Maybe she should blow up the image and frame it at the entry to her restaurant because that's the only time patrons will ever see her without a gruff and unwelcoming face. Oh, and while we're bitching about the overpriced food at The General Store--you have to give your order at a counter, they bring out your food and if you want anything else, you have to go back to the counter and wait in line again (only to eventually be asked by someone "what do you need?"). All this at prices that should provide full sit down service. I'll be amazed if they make it through the recession.

Anonymous said...

The sociopathy present in this post is astounding!

Anonymous said...

Really? What do you base that statement on? The fact that the comments almost universally agreee that The General Store doesn't deserve to be on a list of best restraunts? There is a common theme to patronizing The General Store...unfriendly and shoddy service and overpriced, mediocre food. Unfortunately, the owner/s and their fans seem to feel that those qualities deserve some positive recognition.

Sligo said...

I think the previous poster was being sarcastic and referencing a comment (now deleted) from an earlier post.

Anonymous said...

Count me down on the general store. I went to her previous incarnation called Colorado Kitchen and the atmosphere was stiffling. We brought our little kids in and there was a sign saying someting like 'curb your kids'. I like sas as much as anyone, but they where down right hostile. No thanks.

chippy said...

I enjoy the food at The General Store but agree 100% that the two owners show no signs of being nice to their customers. I think that to survive in their location they will need to become the "neighborhood place" but they need to learn to be neighborly.

Chip Py

Jill said...

Adored the chi-chi waffles at the General Store, but would have liked SOMETHING for brunch besides waffles. Even a biscuit or bacon on the side.
Portions seemed small for the price, but the flavors were carefully orchestrated and our meals were well-cooked.
Haven't been back since, but I do plan to get takeout at some point--I've heard that's the way to go.

whatsupwheaton said...

I cant say I find the General Store all that warm especially considering how hard it is to reach. Not bad otherwise.

eda said...



heel3 said...

Geez you all - since when is some one supposed to kiss your ass and smile because you are spending money. Colorado Kitchen was superb - an part of its charm was the gruffy staff being short while Jillian and Robin stared daggers . I'm not a masochist, but I enjoyed the attitude . My family (we ate at Colorado Kitchen for 8 years) believes that Jillian is experimenting with too limited a menu and too few staff. Considering the consistant and loyal crowds they used to get at the Kitchen, they'll realize the jig is up and go back to what made them succesful (though Jillian has stated she does not want to) or close

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