Tuesday, November 13, 2012

Restaurant news: Rockville Ale House opens, Vegetable Garden closes

Following on the September opening in Rockville of popular DC restaurant Chef Geoffs in the former Houston's/Againn space, another new dining spot has hit the Rockville/North Bethesda scene. Rockville Pike became home to the nation's 57th Miller's Ale House, which opened recently at 1471 Rockville Pike, just north of the Congressional shopping plaza.

Miller's doesn't purport to offer anything particularly groundbreaking in either its food offerings or its drink menu. Its website boasts: "Can’t decide between a steak, fresh seafood or Buffalo wings? Our restaurant menu has it all," while the beer offerings won't be giving the always fantastic Gilly's a run for its money anytime soon. Still, it's an option to kick back with some drinks and pub fare in front of a bunch of TVs in a part of suburbia surprisingly lacking in such options. So I guess the people at Miller's did their research. The Ale House will be open till 2 AM Monday through Saturday, and until midnight on Sundays.

A bit farther down the Pike (and a bit late in delivering this news), a longtime Asian staple has closed its doors. The Vegetable Garden, which had a devoted following among those who crave good vegetarian Chinese cooking, shut down after a lengthy run in the strip mall across the street from the White Flint Metro station. Apparently the inevitable "lease issues" were to blame, with the strip mall owner in search of new tenants and having no qualms about losing old ones. (Witness the opening of the sex shop, La Tache, at the end of the strip mall.)

According to those who spoke with the owners, there are no plans to reopen. Another restaurant in the strip mall, Mediterranean House of Kabob, closed briefly earlier this year also following a dispute with the landlord. It has subsequently reopened.

For those still looking to get their vegetarian Chinese fix in Rockville, well, there remains no shortage of options. Chief among them is Yuan Fu, a bit farther north up the Pike.

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