On Thursday, we headed to one of our favorite bars in Silver Spring, Scion, for their Right Proper Tap Takeover. The event was to celebrate Right Proper’s entry into the Montgomery County market, which is certainly a big deal. The Shaw brewpub just opened up a much larger production brewery in Northeast DC.
The bartender at Scion, Matt, is extremely knowledgeable about beer and a good guy in general. Scion has a huge beer list and I will usually ask his opinion on what to get. The bar is a relaxed place, and the atmosphere was still relaxed even though there was a good crowd for the event. Another thing that Scion has going for it is that it has one of the best patios in Silver Spring, on the large sidewalk fronting East-West Highway. The food at Scion proper is good, but at the bar you can also order bao (Chinese steamed buns) from their sister restaurant, Nainai’s. I think that Nainai’s may be one of the best restaurants in Silver Spring for both quality and value.
As you know, we are both huge foodies. About three weeks ago, I (Paul) saw one of my favorite food writers mention on twitter that she was at The Classics. I tweeted back and told her that we’ve lived in Silver Spring for two and a half years and had never even considered it…we’re not really into steaks and it didn’t seem like the kind of place we would like. She strongly recommended it, though. She said that she and her husband, who is also a food critic, used to go there every Friday until they moved.
Because of her recommendation, we decided to include it in our #ultimatesilverspringweekend. Boy, are we glad we did. The bartender is this friendly yet curmudgeonly man and he is absolutely perfect for the place. He’s an old fashioned bar tender….the service was amazing, but he also just let us do our thing and didn’t bother us unless we wanted his attention. We ordered a New York Strip Steak, cooked to a perfect medium. As I mentioned earlier, we are not big steak eaters, but we devoured this. It was just the right amount of food for two people to be full afterwards.
We were finished up dinner, getting ready to leave, when guess who walks in? M. Carrie Allan, the Washington Post spirts columnist who I had tweeted at three weeks ago! I froze, starstruck. She came and sat at the other end of the bar. We had already gotten the check at this point but I told the bartender that we had a change of plans. We ordered another drink and who walks in but Tim Carman, the Washington Post food writer who sometimes fills in for Tom Sietesma as head food critic! Alas, we did not get a chance to talk to them. But it just shows what an interesting and fun place Silver Spring is!
On Saturdays, first thing upon waking up we like to walk across the street to Bump ‘n Grind. We will normally get two drip coffees to go as well as two biscuits, which are made at La Mano in Takoma Park. We then take the biscuits and make sandwiches with them at home. Bump ‘n Grind has recently starting showing soccer games on a large projector screen, which has drawn crowds the last few times I was there.
Later in the afternoon, we went for a walk to focus on the parks of Silver Spring. We actually went on part of my running route and it was nice to be able to appreciate the scenery instead of flying by. First stop was the surprisingly large Woodside Park, just on the edge of downtown at the corner of Spring and Georgia. Next, we made our way through the Woodside neighborhood to connect with the Sligo Creek Trail, an incredible resource to have so close. We walked all the way to Kemp Mill, basically to the northern end of the trail. Exhausted and hungry, we sat in the parking lot of a shopping center and ate food from CVS, the only thing open. Kemp Mill has a large Orthodox Jewish population, so almost everything was closed on Saturday.
We took the 9 Ride on Bus back to downtown and got some delicious black bass from Whole Foods to cook for dinner. Whole Foods is another great resource to have in walking distance.
Sunday was our Pete’s New Haven Apizza day. We ordered three personal pizzas to share so that we would have lots of leftovers for dinner on Monday. We got the Staven, with pepperoni, hot sausage, roasted garlic, caramelized onions and hot cherry peppers, the Margherita and the Merritt Parkway (named after the highway in Connecticut), with prosciutto, Kalamata olives, caramelized onions, basil and olive oil. Mmm, my mouth is watering right now just thinking about the Staven! The Silver Spring food scene is embarrassment of riches. We went to a lot of different restaurants on our Silver Spring weekend, but it would take a lot longer than a weekend to visit all of the good spots.
After we finished, we went home to drop off the pizza and then walked on the Sligo Creek Trail again, this time towards Takoma Park. At Maple Ave, we started walking towards Philadelphia Ave and then hopped on the F4 Metrobus back to Silver Spring. We got off at Veterans Plaza to pick up a few more things at Whole Foods.
We had a lot of fun on our Ultimate Silver Spring Weekend. We learned about some new things, like the Classics, but it also helped us appreciate the things we have nearby and that we may take for granted. Silver Spring is an incredible place and we are happy to call it home!
Places we visited
Scion: 1200 East-West Hwy, Silver Spring, MD 20910
The Classics: 8606 Colesville Rd, Silver Spring, MD 20910
Bump ‘n Grind: 1200 East-West Hwy, Silver Spring, MD 20910
Woodside Park: 8800 Georgia Avenue. Silver Spring, MD 20910
Whole Foods: 833 Wayne Ave, Silver Spring, MD 20910
Pete’s New Haven Style Pizza: 962 Wayne Ave, Silver Spring, MD 20910