When the salad bar alone has more than 75 items, you know you're somewhere with a lot of options. Such is the case at Golden Bull Grand Cafe, which has dazzled patrons with its versatility for more than 30 years. The popular Gaithersburg restaurant moves seamlessly between the formal and the casual, the vast and the intimate. As an award-winning banquet hall voted Montgomery's best by Gazette readers in 2013, Golden Bull regularly accommodates up to 300 guests in a space notable for its handsome hardwood surfaces and high ceilings. But it's just as much a casual eatery, perfect for Sunday brunch or a relaxed night out.
No matter the occasion, the best thing Golden Bull has going for it is the cuisine. "Bull crab" crab cakes are the signature dish here, with eight flaky ounces of jumbo lump meat showcasing the restaurant's signature spice blend. The prime rib and steak also draw their fair share of forks, as do the spirited fencing matches that occasionally break out at tables.
Chopstix Cafe & Grill at Urbana serves Chinese cuisine, only with a healthy twist. Instead of stir-frying ingredients or shooting them with chili-flavored lasers, chefs there specialize in grill-style cooking that results in tastier, better-for-you dishes. The cafe's list of quality ingredients doesn't hurt, either, and includes pork tenderloin, extra-large shrimp, and white-meat chicken that can be found in such popular dishes as the chicken with broccoli. As a full-service restaurant, Chopstix also pours adult beverages, including beer, wine, and Polynesian-style drinks.
JDS Shanghai Famous Food is home to many dishes that could rightfully be called beloved?dishes such as snow pea tips with fresh garlic, wontons in peanut sauce, and crispy fish accented with green and red bell peppers. But the starred attraction here is without a doubt the XLB, or Xiao Long Bao. These juicy, made-to-order dumplings are prepared with water thin wrapping, then filled with pork and vegetable soup, and served in a bamboo steamer. Upon request, they're dipped in a ginger vinegar sauce. At JDS Shanghai Famous Food, XLB is the cupcake of Chinese cuisine.
Though The Grille at Flower Hill just opened, their recipes evoke an older era. The chefs specialize in traditional American supper-club fare. They use a tried-and-true family recipe to create homey slices of meatloaf, and they select the juiciest beef-filet medallions to accompany the shrimp in the surf and turf. On the less formal side, they grill up half-pound burgers topped with savory ingredients such as bleu cheese and applewood-smoked bacon. They also stack together classic sandwiches, such as the crispy-crunchy BLT and the Jerry Lewis-loving french dip.
Every day, before they fire up the clay tandoor oven or strain the homemade paneer, chefs in the kitchen of Kerala Cafe roll up their sleeves and grind spices. They do this to keep each spice blend fresh and flavorful, whether it's a hot curry that will join up with a splash of vinegar to dress chicken vindaloo, or a coriander-laced rub for shrimp masala. North Indian or South Indian, vegetarian or not, a dish at Kerala is painstakingly curated and cooked, starting with the nearly microscopic grains of flavor that give it its personality.
At Good Eats Pizza, the kitchen preps its pizzas, pastas, and meats fresh every day. This results in tasty pizzas, especially the gourmet combinations. Gyro meat and feta cheese on the Greek pizza add Mediterranean flair without having to wrap it all in grape leaves, while spicy shrimps sear the tongue and philly cheesesteak fixings makes the pie more hearty. The menu also includes pasta dishes and sub sandwiches, both hot and cold.