Discover Bethesda, Maryland...365 Days a Year!

Day 77: Hangover in Bethesda

It’s the day after St. Patrick’s Day and we hope you enjoyed a jolly good time yesterday and made it home safely after a lively night of good eats, drinks and fun.  We promised to give you some hangover remedies today so here’s our Top 5 list:

1. SLEEP IN!

2. Drink lots of fluids, preferably water, sports drinks or fruit juice (no coffee as it dehydrates you even more).

Parker's....Cheers of Bethesda!

3. Some like to grab a little bit of the “hair of the dog that bit you!”  If that’s your style, we suggest a Bloody Mary as the tomato juice and celery will replenish vitamins and help you feel refreshed while taking the “edge off” too!  A great place to grab a Bloody Mary and perhaps a burger is Parker’s Bistro on Bethesda Ave.  They open at 11:30 AM and will take good care of your hangover needs.

4. Take a good shower – hot or cold or alternate both as needed!

Le Pain Quotidien

5. Eat a good hearty breakfast.  We have found some great breakfast places in Bethesda.  You could try a tasty bagel from Bethesda Bagels or try some stone ground oatmeal or fresh omelettes at Le Pain Quotidien on Bethesda Lane.  Or, for a very inexpensive, American diner-style breakfast there’s always Tastee Diner, a 24-hour local favorite since 1935.

Bethesda Bagels

If you’re in need of more invasive assistance in the form of medication, we suggest CVS Pharmacy on the corner of Arlington Road and Bradley.  It’s actually open 24-hours a day, a little known fact (a terrific place to go for a late-night chocolate fit too!).      ~ Amy & Brian

Day 77: Hangover in Bethesda

It’s the day after St. Patrick’s Day and we hope you enjoyed a jolly good time yesterday and made it home safely after a lively night of good eats, drinks and fun.  We promised to give you some hangover remedies today so here’s our Top 5 list:

1. SLEEP IN!

2. Drink lots of fluids, preferably water, sports drinks or fruit juice (no coffee as it dehydrates you even more).

Parker's....Cheers of Bethesda!

3. Some like to grab a little bit of the “hair of the dog that bit you!”  If that’s your style, we suggest a Bloody Mary as the tomato juice and celery will replenish vitamins and help you feel refreshed while taking the “edge off” too!  A great place to grab a Bloody Mary and perhaps a burger is Parker’s Bistro on Bethesda Ave.  They open at 11:30 AM and will take good care of your hangover needs.

4. Take a good shower – hot or cold or alternate both as needed!

Le Pain Quotidien

5. Eat a good hearty breakfast.  We have found some great breakfast places in Bethesda.  You could try a tasty bagel from Bethesda Bagels or try some stone ground oatmeal or fresh omelettes at Le Pain Quotidien on Bethesda Lane.  Or, for a very inexpensive, American diner-style breakfast there’s always Tastee Diner, a 24-hour local favorite since 1935.

Bethesda Bagels

If you’re in need of more invasive assistance in the form of medication, we suggest CVS Pharmacy on the corner of Arlington Road and Bradley.  It’s actually open 24-hours a day, a little known fact (a terrific place to go for a late-night chocolate fit too!).      ~ Amy & Brian

Day 54: Bethesda Lane is in my ears . . .

Bethesda Lane

In 1992 my father and my oldest brother Matthew decided to move Stuart & Maury, Realtors Inc., the real estate company my father co-founded in 1956, from DC to Bethesda, Md.  They wisely chose their new digs in a relatively new office building managed by Federal Realty at 4833 Bethesda Avenue.  Across the street was a long defunct cement mixer factory (now the site of Uncle Julio’s and the Apple Store).  My father had an office on the corner of the second floor and from his office we had an unobstructed view of Bethesda Avenue and the rooftop of a sad-looking Giant Food store and large parking lot located on the corner at Arlington Road.  In 2008 all this changed and today this location is the site nearly two dozen retail establishments, restaurants, Upstairs at Bethesda Row, the chic downtown Bethesda apartments, and today’s blog Bethesda Lane.

In the last 20 years Federal Realty has helped transform Bethesda Avenue into the unofficial “Main Street” of Bethesda and Bethesda Lane is a beautiful compliment to the ongoing process of urbanizing Bethesda.  Walkability is the hallmark of sustainable urban design and Bethesda Lane exemplifies the concept.  Bethesda Lane is a wide walkway linking Bethesda Avenue to Elm Street and is completely closed to automobile traffic.  Each side of the lane features restaurants and specialty retail establishments as well as access to the 180 luxury residential apartments above the ground floor retail.  One of my favorite spots to eat outdoors in Bethesda is on Bethesda Lane at Le Pain Quotidien (see blog Feb. 16) or at Redwood Restaurant (see blog Jan. 27).  I haven’t tried the Italian gelato at Dolcezza Gelato but my daughter says it’s divine.  I’ve also enjoyed the treats, cheese, and assorted farm goods available at the outdoor Farmer’s market that is held on the Lane periodically as well.  But most of all I’ve just enjoyed walking down the Lane or having a cup of coffee and watching the people stroll by.  My boys love to race back and forth from one end of the Lane to the other (that’s gonna have to stop pretty soon as I’m certain my youngest is destined to be a linebacker!).

Bethesda Lane

Beneath Bethesda Lane is one of Bethesda’s best kept public parking secrets!  You can actually find a place to park in the area in this underground garage, featuring 244 spaces, which is easily accessible from Elm Street.  Once parked underneath you can exit using the elevator which conveniently deposits you in the middle of Bethesda Lane or you can use the stairs which lead you to a walkway connecting the public parking garage next door to Bethesda Lane.  Either way, when you leave you can pay using a credit card at the no-hassle pay stations located near the exits.  One tip.  Be careful exiting the garage as the exit crosses the busy pedestrian sidewalk on Elm Street.  Vehicular manslaughter will really kill a relaxing evening in Bethesda every time!  Parking is difficult in this area and Federal Realty has tried to respond by offering valet parking services.  For a brief time Federal Realty used Bethesda Lane for this purpose but the term “walkable” and the resulting image of rows of parked cars and scrambling parking attendants, reminiscent of a night at the Playboy Mansion, just wasn’t working.  Wisely, Federal Realty has quickly discontinued the practice of parking cars on Bethesda Lane but will have valet service at this location with the cars being parked off-site.  Like the Beatles song Penny Lane, Bethesda Lane is in my ears and in my eyes…..There beneath the blue suburban skies…. I sit.  Bethesda Lane.      ~Brian

Day 47: Give us this day our "Daily Bread"

Le Pain Quotidien

The name of the restaurant is Le Pain Quotidien and it means literally “the daily bread.”  Amy and I say, “let’s eat at the Pain restaurant.”  We call it The Pain Restaurant because in true ignorant American form we resist the proper Dutch pronunciation of the restaurant which phonetically is “luh paN koh-ti-dyaN.”  Click here for a tutorial complete with audio for how to say the name of this restaurant courtesy of the company’s website.  They recognize the problem with the name and even poke fun at themselves when they say “It was so simple in Belgium!”

We really enjoy this restaurant located on Bethesda Lane.  You will feel at home when you step inside this bakery and you would never know this company is a worldwide operation with restaurants in 20 countries around the globe.  Prepare to feel transported to a European bakery far oversees.  You will notice right away the large “communal” tables.  These tables, made from reclaimed wood, could seat an entire Mormon family at Thanksgiving.  If you don’t like to stand next to people in a crowded elevator you may want to sit along the perimiter of the restaurant where the tables only seat two.

It seems nearly every company today is discovering and striving to achieve what I call a “corporate conscience.”  This means that the founders of the company, employees, and stockholders are taking responsibility for the well-being of the customer and the planet in all phases of its operation.  Le Pain Quotidien embodies this philosophy.  They source organic ingredients from their farm suppliers in order to provide great tasting and healthy fresh-baked goods including breads, Baguettes, French rolls, Challah, Broiche, and Croissants.  This philosophy extends to the design of the stores as well with the use of reclaimed wood, recycled materials, energy-efficient lighting, and environmentally friendly packaging and cleaning supplies.  The company cares about the planet and the community they serve.

Did I mention the food tastes great too?  Amy and I often eat breakfast here and we both enjoy the smoked salmon and scallion omelette and the organic oatmeal with fresh berries.  This is a great place to start your day.  Of course I have a serious sweet tooth so I really like the Belgian hot chocolate that’s served with its own miniature vessel filled with chocolate sauce.  Take a stroll down Bethesda Lane and stop in.  The name’s a pain but the experience is all pleasure! ~Brian