Monday, April 05, 2010

Silver Spring News 'N Notes

An extremely busy work and home schedule, accompanied by warm and sunny weather have resulted in the dearth of blog postings as of late. I'll also be away for a bit starting this week, though hopefully upon my return I will have the time and motivation to do something more of substance. In the meantime, here are a few miscellaneous items...

- Last month I missed the fourth anniversary of this blog's founding. A happy belated birthday to it.

- As I'm sure you are aware, 8407 (pictured below) is open for business, though I haven't had the opportunity to try it myself. Personally, I think it's best to give a place at least a month or two to let get the staff familiar with the menu and all the kinks worked out. Perhaps when I get back from vacation. Most reviews I've heard so far, including those on Yelp! seem to indicate a good start, though some clearly disagree (and in the process take the opportunity call me a "a gentrified Yankee-transplant so-called 'local'".)

Photo from 8407's Flickr Account

I certainly appreciate 8407's investment towards creating a clean and modern space for their interior. It brings a little more class to downtown Silver Spring.

- Also recently opened: The Sidebar, named for its spacial relation to Jackie's Restaurant, rather than its presumed future popularity with judges and lawyers. DCist has a first look.

- Did anyone hit up Silver Spring's Big Cherry Block Party, this past Saturday? How was it? While I had intended to attend myself, I later decided I needed to maximize the opportunity provided by the beautiful spring weather to complete some outdoor projects.

- The Silver Spring summer concert series will not be canceled after all.

- Someone (Cool Hand Luke?) busted open a bunch of meters in the county parking lot on the 8200 block of Fenton Street. The cops want to know if you've come across anyone "with unexplained large amounts of coins." Were it me, I'd be at the Coinstar redeeming the coinage for credit codes. Ha, ha, just kidding - everyone knows those machines are never actually in service.

- A week from Saturday, the lot at the corner of Fenton St. and Silver Spring Ave. will host this year's first Fenton Street Market, whose two dates last fall were apparently successful enough to justify making it a weekly event.


Anonymous said...

You're so vain... you probably thought that Nacho's blog post was about YOU, personally.

Try 8407 yourself, and make up your own mind about it. He won't attack you for having an opinion.

I'm sure the pork is fine, now that someone bothered to check the expiration date. You can thank me later!

Sligo said...

Well, since I was the one who dubbed it "Nicaro Hut", then the statement "as the gentrified Yankee-transplant so-called 'locals' have dubbed it, the 'Nicaro Hut'" would technically be about me.

Anonymous said...

I was excited about 8407. Watched it being built with great anticipation. But I dropped by Friday night only to discover that French Fries are made with duck fat. I waddled my way out the door and over to Olazzo where I had a surprisingly good meal.

Sligo said...

Olazzo is a good stand-by. You know your meal will always be decent there and you won't ever leave hungry. At least in my experience.

Anonymous said...

It would be nice if 8407 could had a few vegetarian options on their menu. Even their french fries are made in duck fat. Why would they snub an entire segment of the population who may not eat meat or for religious reasons only eat vegetarian outside of the house.

Gary said...

My wife & kids went to the cherry blossom thing. The most exciting thing she could come up with was that she sat behind Ike Leggett & the Japanese Ambassador (& spouses) - otherwise not very interesting.

Pete said...

I haven't eaten at 8407, and I do fear it's out of my price range for routine eating, but I'm going to give it a try. If I remember right the chef/owner came from Tabard Inn (to Nicaro first) and I love me some Tabard Inn. The fries are fried in duck fat because it's DELICIOUS. I also want it to be good to spite the humorless bile posted about it on that other blog.

While you're sort of posting about restaurants, are there any local recommendations for good, basic sushi? Doesn't need to high end, but reliable. Like an Olazzo for sushi. Have tried Asian Bistro and Sushi Jin and been underwhelmed.

Anonymous said...

What a vacation?

Steve said...

I just wanted to say happy 4th birthday SS Singular and thanks for a good post with some useful stuff (I didn't know Jackie's sidebar thingy had opened til now). Keep up the good work.

Melanie said...

Happy Birthday Sligo. Did you say duck fat??? Ma mouths a watering just think'n about it!

Springvale Roader said...


At Anonymous 4:26:00 PM, 8407 can accomodate vegetarians and vegans (like me and my wife). Here is my review, that I posted on Just Up the Pike:

Anonymous said...

Where is this veg friendly review?

Springvale Roader said...


My bad! It's in Soco Eats' blog. Here is the link:

Then look for my letter in the comments section.


Terry in Silver Spring said...

Happy birthday, Sligo!

...and those duck fat fries are every bit as good as you think they are.

Anonymous said...

Happy Birthday and Congrats on 4 years!!!! - Jen

WashingtonGardener said...

See I thought "side bar" was a publication reference not a lawyer thing - hmm, will ask Jackie her inspiration.

As to the SS Cherry Fest, I loved it - couldn;t have picked a better day. Big crowds, spontaneous karaoke in the street, great craft vendors, new trees planted, samurai sword fighting demos, what more could you ask for?

PS I noticed the words "litchen bar" added after 8407 on their logo wall out front now.

Anonymous said...

Thanks a lot, Springvale Roader.

Anonymous said...

Well this stinks, according to SoCo eats what was supposed to be Hook and Ladder Restaurant and Bar is now called Fire Station 1 (not a big deal) but according to the post today is no longer associated or owned by Hook and Ladder. No real reason is given, but this news stinks.

It also sounds like they will try to be kid friendly, to the extent that "They purchased a fire engine for the kids to play on and will have larger rooms available for b-day parties." Gross.

Looks like my wait for a decent bar to open in Silver Spring will be longer because this no longer sounds promising.

Anonymous said...

The food and the drinks at 8407 were yummy! Check out the clementine martini before it is taken off the menu.

Terry in Silver Spring said...

I went to the Fenton Beer and Wine shop this week. Very, very nice. Great selection and the man who runs it is knowledgeable and helpful.

Steve said...

It's interesting to read the negative comments readers have posted over at SoCo Eats regarding the new Fire Station #1. It seems that all the good will built up over the years of waiting for the place to open has been dashed by a few (as yet untested) things:
1. The Menu. It certainly looks way too busy, and as others have pointed out, way too similar to many "casual dining" establishments (e.g. Applebees, TGIF, etc). There really doesn't seem to be a focus or a light touch to it at all. While I don't think anyone was expecting the Inn at Little Washington, I think there was hope for a more sophisticated approach to pairing beers with food.
2. The child friendly environment. This one is more problematic as it really depends on how they try to achieve this. While I wouldn't exactly say that a brew-pub can't be child friendly, I would argue that it is very challenging to create an environment that appeals to children and adults alike.
3. The lack of a Hook & Ladder imprint. Sure, they're going to be offering H&L at the bar, but I think we were sold on the idea that the place was actually going to be a H&L owned establishment. And while this isn't a deal breaker, I think some people sense a bit of a bait and switch going on.
Ultimately of course we should withhold judgment until the place has opened and they've found their legs, however right now they're only just behind Tiger Woods in terms of needing an image makeover.

Springvale Roader said...

Good points, Steve. Right now Firehouse Station 1 seems like a Hooters without the hooters. Like you, I'm especially disappointed that it is not owned and operated by H&L, which would have made it a source of local pride.

My idea of a brewpub is one with humble wooden floors and tables laden with peanuts in the shell, along of course with the brewing equipment proudly displayed. Kids are okay -- hey, I like kids, and was even one myself once -- but only if the place itself is still focused on the grown-ups.

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