I’ve never written a restaurant review before but I feel compelled now. It’s a one word review—horrendous! Can I give it negative stars? The restaurant is in Bethesda, Maryland. It’s a dirty restaurant-tavern in a strip mall. The only thing I can say positive about it is that the band was great. That was pure dumb luck. I hope the band never plays there again.
When I arrived, 8:30 Saturday night, there was one person sitting at a table in the dining section and two people in the bar area. Obviously not a hot restaurant for reasons I would soon discover. They had two choices of beer on draft—Bud and Bud Light. Woohoo! As an alternative they had a selection of about 12 bottled beers but they were out of almost everything on the list. Also turns out the beer was almost lukewarm. I didn’t bother to complain. When my friends arrived and tried to order wine, we found out that they had two wine choices—some kind of red wine and some kind of white wine. The server wasn’t sure. It didn’t seem unreasonable to expect a bar to have at least a modest selection of alcohol. It was an unreasonable expectation.
The food was as bad as the drink selection. My friends ordered the mozzarella sticks. Awful, over-cooked, and greasy with genuine ketchup dipping sauce. One of the reviews I read beforehand actually said that the French fries were good so we took a chance and got an order of fries. Wrong—they were awful, limp, undercooked, frozen fries. There was some sort of chicken salsa salad on the menu so I asked the server if they had chips and salsa. She looked at me like I had three heads.
At 9 o’clock the band came on. The band was fabulous but at 9:30 the restaurant owner asked them to take a break. A handful of people had come in and sat in the bar area after we arrived, including a couple wearing hockey shirts. The man in the orange hockey shirt was really, really drunk and was creating a commotion. The hockey shirt woman explained to us that he had been drinking all day, “Beer, then liquor, more beer, more liquor, more beer . . .” She assured us that she was driving. When the band stopped playing only a half hour into their set, the hockey shirt man selected music from the jukebox and was playing air guitar with stick from the pool table. Apparently the owner had asked the band to stop playing until the hockey shirt guy wore himself down. My friends and I wanted to hear the band instead of the jukebox so we asked to speak to the owner. The conversation went something like this.
I said: We don’t think it’s fair that you’re not letting the band play because you’re accommodating this drunk guy.
Owner said: Well, you’re going to have to suffer the consequences if I let the band start playing again. (Drunk guy in hockey shirt) is here all the time and I know he’s going to act up.
I said: Okay, guess we don’t need to stay any longer. We came to hear the band.
Owner said: How many times have you been married?
I said: Once. (But why did I even bother to answer him?)
Owner said: Did he die?
I said: Yes, he did.
Owner said: I figured as much.
At which point my friends are in shock, the owner turns off the jukebox, the band starts playing again, and drunk guy in hockey shirt defies the owner’s prediction and sits quietly and watches the band.
But that’s not all. When the band started playing again, hockey shirt woman started dancing with another woman who came into the bar. The other woman looked like a washed-out stripper. She had a humungous bosom that was amply exposed and she and hockey shirt woman were dirty dancing. The grungy guys hanging out in the bar were getting quite a show to go with their warm Bud Light and greasy cheese sticks. Who ever would have thought seemingly upscale, stuffy Bethesda could be so raunchy?
You just can’t make up this stuff.