The May 2011 issue of Washingtonian magazine features, “Where to Find Great Food” in the greater DC region–it’s about sources for ingredients (e.g., butchers, bakeries, spices, cheese), not restaurants–seems to favor Virginia. I’m not sure if that’s because they just don’t know the area north of Chevy Chase or if they’re too afraid of the Rockville Pike. I’m delighted that they found these outstanding places in and around Rockville (many of the places are listed as Rockville but they’re actually Rockville-Adjacent):
- Dutch Country Farmers Market (they listed Laurel, but there’s one much closer in Germantown)
- Firefly Farms (they sell their goat cheeses at the Rockville Farmers Market)
- Cherry Glen (they sell their goat cheeses at the Olney Farmers Market)
- Saint Michel Bakery (they’ve told me that they’ve had to double production in response to the Washingtonian‘s listing)
- Bagel City (in the shopping center with Office Depot and Friday’s on the Rockville Pike)
But there’s a lot that was missed, so using their same categories, here are my recommendations:
- Farmers Markets: I’m dedicated to Rockville because it’s my hometown, but the market in Olney has much greater variety, including several bakeries, ethnic food vendors, music, and local artists.
- Community Supported Agriculture (CSA): Tikvat Israel in Twinbrook has been offering this for years and I’m always tempted to try it, but with just two of us at home, I’m not sure I can handle the weekly bounty.
- Ice cream: York Castle Tropical Ice Cream is my favorite, although I know there are lots of fans for Carmen’s Italian Ice.
- Charcuterie (preserved meats): Kielbasa Factory (dozens of different sausages imported from Chicago, which makes the best in the US–sorry New York)
- Peruvian Roasted Chicken: We have several places but I can’t seem to go anywhere but Don Pollo in the Twinbrook Shopping Center because it’s so close to my house, however, I’ve heard that Carbon in the Town Square is outstanding and there’s a “crispy juicy” place on the Pike that keeps calling to me.
- Ethnic Markets: Lots and lots, from Indian (Patel, hidden in the College Gardens shopping center) and Argentinian (El Patio in Twinbrook) to Asian (Sam Kam and Maxim in downtown) and Latin American (the Latin Store in the Twinbrook Shopping Mart).
- Spices: Penzey’s (on the Rockville Pike just south of Edmonston) and in the greatly expanded Whole Foods in White Flint.
I have a nagging feeling I’m missing a couple places, so if you have suggestions, just post them in the Comments below (not restaurants, but outstanding purveyors of ingredients or specialized take away foods).