The wide aisles and shelves at MOM's Organic Market's new location teem with certified-organic groceries and produce free of chemicals, pesticides, and fertilizers. Between 11 a.m. and 8 p.m., fill a cart or 10-gallon hat with steaming grain bowls, salads, sandwiches, and raw juices from the Naked Lunch Kitchen, a new spot for take-home meals or quick eats on the go. Grocery carts may also be filled with a variety of gourmet cheeses, gluten-free food, sustainably farmed seafood, and local, organic dairy and meat products. GT's Kombucha Gingerade joins assorted Chobani yogurts to create power-packed breakfasts, and Vita Coco coconut water soothes parched straws with electrolytes. A new bulk-food section boasts a selection of local honey, grind-your-own nut butters, heirloom lentils and beans, and olive oils. The storefront, built with renewable materials, fume-fighting low-VOC paint, and energy-efficient skylights with LED bulbs, mirrors its eco-friendly offerings. Outside, ample parking stands ready to accommodate organic-fare-craving motorists.
There's something special about the ground at Good Life Farm. The fields—though now carpeted with veggies—were once home to an abundance of chestnut trees. Each autumn, the nuts would fall from the trees, decompose, and infuse the ground with carbon, nitrogen, and other minerals. While the mighty chestnuts died off in the 20th century, they left behind a powerful legacy: rich, potent soil.
Farmer Larry, the man behind Good Life Farm, uses this foundation to grow a changing bounty of fruits, veggies, herbs, and flowers. Larry plants favorites such as tomatoes and sweet corn, and he also scours over seed catalogs to find new things to grow. Farmer Larry's passion stems from a belief that locally grown food is healthier and better for the environment, humans, and the pack mules that transport us everywhere. To that end, Good Life practices community supported agriculture. Community members pledge financial support to the farm in exchange for a share of the weekly harvest. This system keeps members supplied with fresh, healthy foods, and it helps Good Life compete with nonlocal growers and people with high-tech food replicators.
Farmer Larry also works with the Montgomery County Food Council, which supports the creation of a sustainable local food system, and the Montgomery Countryside Alliance, which educates community members on local agriculture. Good Life Farm does its share to enlighten locals with tours, which teach about crops and farm animals.
Bentz Street Sports Bar serves up a menu of classically comforting favorites alongside entertainment that's ideal for the athletically inclined. Kick off mealtime by sinking fingers and teeth into a basket of wings bathed in a choice of sauce selections, such as sweet and spicy thai, Cajun, or Old Bay ($9 for 10, $16 for 20). Sandwich savorers may delve into a hearty bacon cheeseburger accompanied by made-to-order potato chips ($9.50), or sink teeth-hooks into a Belly Buster fish sub, a crispy, fried haddock nestled in a sub roll and sided with tartar sauce ($10). Heartier appetites can be swiftly satisfied with a 10 oz. New York strip steak ($18), accompanied by two platepanions such as french fries, a twice-baked potato, or miraculous room for dessert.
Inspired by early 20th century chili parlors, Hard Times Cafe aims to preserve the tradition of delectable, hearty fare served in a friendly, lively community eatery. Elevate taste buds to new heights with an order of legendary grilled wings in one of five flavors, including original Texas, chili-lime, honey-barbecue, and eternity ($8.99 per order). Hard Times Cafe serves four distinct varieties of chili. The authentic chili mac is served over spaghetti with your choice of accouterments ($7.49–$8.89). Burgers, sliders, and chili dogs are easily transportable by hand or hovercraft, and savory steaks and other suppertime favorites provide more refined nourishment options. Observing the pioneer tradition of ritual athletic observance Hard Times Cafe streams all the hottest sports games on multiple flat-screen TVs. To reward you for your literary prowess, every Groupon reader who texts HTCGRP to 59925 gets an additional coupon good for one order of bar nachos. Combine this offer with a Groupon, or save it for a subsequent visit.
In the dead of night in 1976, the Abi-Najm family boarded a cargo ship bringing only what they could carry; an escape from Civil War in Lebanon called for a quick getaway. They traveled across the ocean to safety in Arlington, Virginia, where they were able to open a small restaurant in 1979. To save money, they changed the eatery’s name from “Athenian Taverna” to “Lebanese Taverna” so that they only had to update one word on the eatery’s marquee.
From these modest beginnings grew a series of eateries that today comprises of six restaurants and four quick-service cafés, all still operated by the Abi-Najm clan. One look at the menu explains the success: chicken shawarma, spicy hummus, lamb tartare—all Lebanese staples that helped the restaurant earn a spot on Northern Virginia magazine's list of 25 Iconic Eats. There's even kibbeh, or stuffed meatballs, which blend ground beef, lamb, almonds, and pine nuts into fried spheres suitable for felling miniature bowling pins on top of the table before entrees arrive. The decor is as striking as the cuisine; inside the Bethesda location, light filters through the colored glass lanterns that decorate the dining room.
Held to rigorous kosher standards by The Rabbinical Council of Greater Washington, KosherMart stocks its shelves with Mediterranean and Middle Eastern groceries from brands like Manischewitz and Osem. Shoppers peruse an extensive array of tantalizing prepared foods, baked goods, and meats for immediate guilt-free munching, including kitchen staples such as Sabra babaganoush ($5.49). Ingredients for family dinners, romantic candlelit dinners, or religiously approved solo snacking over the sink all reside in the store's near-emporium-like 14 aisles of frozen, dry, and refrigerated items. The kosher oasis also boasts a full glatt butchery stocked with fresh Shabbat-ready meats, all solemnly blessed and surreptitiously high-fived by kashrut law.