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Day 243: Bethesda Fall Bar Tour

Bethesda Fall Bar Tour

On Saturday September 10th, from 1-9 p.m., Lindy Promotions and Coors Light present the 5th annual Bethesda Fall Bar Tour.

Here’s the deal.  You bring two cans of food with you to the event and that will be donated to Manna Food Center (Manna is the main food bank in Montgomery County and, yes, we do have poor  hungry people right here in the County – in fact over 3,300 families each month are served).  The cost is is $10 if you bring some cans and $13 if you don’t.  Either way Manna gets benefit.  If you want you can get advance tickets online through Lindy Promotions by clicking here.

From 1-9 p.m. you can enjoy $2 Coors Lights & $3 Blue Moons plus great food and drink specials offered by some of our favorite drinking holes:

  • Parker’s American Bistro
  • BlackFinn
  • Hard Times Cafe
  • Union Jack’s
  • Tommy Joe’s
  • Steamers
  • Wing Hub
  • Saphire Cafe
  • Ri Ra Irish Pub
  • Caddies on Cordell

Walk up registration is available 1-6 p.m. at Caddies on Cordell at 4922 Cordell Avenue.  Come join us for a good cause and remember to not drink and drive.  Put this into your phone as “Ride Home.”  Barwood Taxi at 301-984-1900.  I just found a= really cool app for your mobile phone called Taxi Magic.  If you need a taxi just text your pickup address to 862442.  For example “4922 Cordell Avenue, 20814” and a taxi pickup confirmation will be sent to your phone.  You can also download an application to your smartphone (I’m Mac, Amy’s PC/Blackberry – poor child).   Check it out and enjoy the “bar crawl” and don’t forget to bring some canned food for the needy.  ~Brian

Day 214: Back in Black

The bar

Recently, after our Day 173 blog post, Meet Me at the Finn, the marketing director for BlackFinn American Saloon offered to share with us a sneak peek of their new menu.   It was a treat we just couldn’t pass up!  We called a couple of friends and headed over to 4901 Fairmont Ave in Bethesda.  We were “Back in Black” but not to drink.  We had a whole new mission – to eat!  And did we ever eat!  Oh, we drank too of course!  I mean c’mon, it is BlackFinn!

After a round of cocktails served by their terrific bartenders in the lively and well-equipped bar, we were guided down into the lower level of the three-story restaurant.  I had never been down to that area before but could imagine a heck of a good time there watching football when the season comes around.  Steelertown baby!

The Mediterranean Platter - get this!

Our generous meal began with some really scrumptous appetizers.  Since one of our friends is a vegetarian, we tried the Mediterranean platter and also the BlackFinn platter.  While visually the Med Platter doesn’t jump out as something you wouldn’t be able to stop eating, let me tell you, that stuff is GOOD.  I couldn’t stop snacking.  I wanted to just get a spoon and scoop up the roasted tomato dip!  The hummus was great too.  I highly recommend the platter, whether you are a veggie person or a carnivore.

Dinner was a fun experiment for us.  We all ordered different entrees and then shared bites with one another.  When I tried my friend’s shrimp and grits, I was so bummed.  It made me wish that I had ordered HIS meal instead of mine!  Even though the pecan crusted rockfish I had ordered was tasty, the shrimp and grits was off-the-charts delicious!  The grits were fluffy and nice – not soupy like some places make it and the cajun seasonings were zingy and flavorful.  Very nice!

The Chocolate Cup - Sinfully delicious!

But what really knocked our socks off was their delectable dessert that the manager encouraged us to try  – the “chocolate cup.”  It’s actually a warm mug of real peanut butter encased in chocolate cake with ice cream and some caramel sauce.  People, the chocolate cup alone is worth the trip to BlackFinn.  Who knew?  The manager told us how they created this concoction in the kitchen (it’s very simple) but I won’t reveal the recipe here.  You’ll just have to go to BlackFinn and try it for yourself!  Maybe the manager will let you in on the secret too.

So cheers to Blackfinn for a terrific new menu and a rockin’ good time!  See you there for football season!  The restaurant won’t be the only thing in black and gold!


Day 173: Meet Me at the Finn

Outdoor seating is available at BlackFinn

BlackFinn American Saloon located at 4901 Fairmont Ave in Bethesda offers a nice, upscale bar menu and a host of options for your entertainment pleasures – everything from a nice happy hour to a popular weekly Ladies Night to a lively late night party scene.  Plus, word has it that the bartenders are “the best” at BlackFinn!

Their menu is more extensive than the typical bar menu offering an array of great appetizer options, burgers of all kinds and some interesting entrees such as shrimp & grits, bacon-wrapped meatloaf and pecan-crusted rockfish to name a few.  Plus, don’t miss the dessert sliders!  Here is some of what you can expect from this local Bethesda fixture:

  • Happy hour is held Monday – Friday from 4 – 8 PM and offers $3 drafts (wow!), $4 wells and $5 wine/flatbreads.
  • Weekly lunch features are offered for $7.99.  You can checkout their website for the feature of the day.
  • SIN Mondays from 9PM – close featuring $3 U Call It drink specials for service industry employees.  That includes bartenders, wait staff, retail, salon/spa and other service industry employees with proof of industry employment.  They even include real estate agents amongst the list!  Sweet.  We get to enjoy SIN too and there’s no need for confession afterward!
  • Wednesday evening is Trivia night.  These days it seems every bar has trivia night and BlackFinn is no exception.  They even have an entire Facebook page devoted exclusively to their trivia night.
  • Bubbles at BlackFinn is the weekly Ladies Night event held every Saturday from 10 – 11 PM, June 7th – August 27th.  It’s becoming quite the rage!  In fact it is recommended that you book in advance for this event, especially if you have a large group.  This weekly party features a guest sponsor who offers great prizes to attendees while BlackFinn provides free champagne, fresh fruit with chocolate (yum!) and a $5 martini menu.  If you’re interested in checking it out, make your reservation with Nicole at
  • Private parties at BlackFinn are reportedly a great success.  The staff is friendly and outgoing, the food is tasty and the experiences we have heard about were very positive overall.  You get 10% off your next private party if you join The Finn Club.
  • The Finn Club is free to join on their website and if you’re planning to visit BlackFinn, there’s no reason not to sign up.  When you do, they send you a $10 gift card, discounts and VIP offers.

BlackFinn offers a nice environment to enjoy a drink after work or to share game day with your buddies.  You can wear just about anything you want to BlackFinn (except perhaps your birthday suit) and you’ll fit in just fine.  The late night scene is definitely a younger crowd and the place can be incredibly packed.  If you’re interested in that scene, check it out but if you prefer to avoid a sea of humanity, stick to visiting in the afternoons or early evenings for a more relaxed experience.  Personally, I am looking forward to stopping by there to watch my beloved Steelers play football this season where BlackFinn is a hive of black and gold!


Day 133: The Finest Fine Art Show in Maryland!

It has been said that art is a tryst, for in the joy of it maker and beholder meet. 

~Kojiro Tomita

This weekend, May 14th – May 15th, is the annual Bethesda Fine Art Festival.  Held from 10 Am – 6 PM on Saturday and 10 Am – 5 PM on Sunday, the show features art works from 140 artisans plus live entertainment including rock, jazz, reggae and more.  No event is complete without delicious food and the fine art festival is no exception!  Local restaurants will be serving as food vendors on Del Ray Ave (“food row”) with some tasty treats to enjoy while you check out the works of art.  I am keenly interested in having some of the crab cake sliders offered by Blackfinn American Saloon. 

BUP Map of Fine Art Festival 2011

The event is FREE and there is FREE parking available at parking garages in the area – the closest one is on Auburn.  You can’t beat that, however, keep in mind that parking in Bethesda on the weekend is a bear, so if you can walk, bike or bus into town, that’s a better option.  The METRO is another good choice; it’s about 6 blocks away.  While the art event will be held on Auburn and Norfolk Aves., the food vendors and live bands will be enticing you over to Del Ray Ave.  The map shows you the lay of land, courtesy of BUP.

Our fine art festival is held RAIN or SHINE which is a good thing since the weather this weekend looks more like a day in Seattle than Bethesda…drizzle, drizzle, drizzle.  With that said, all your other outdoor festivities are botched so why not stop by and enjoy the treasures to be found?  Bring your bumbershoot!  The festival artists from 25 states in our nation plus Canada are showcasing one-of-a-kind original fine ceramics, glass works, furniture, painting, photography, printmaking, sculpture, wood crafts, mixed media, clothing, jewelry and more. 

According to the Bethesda Urban Partnership website, the Bethesda Fine Arts Festival was ranked #78 on the 200 Best Shows by Sunshine Artist Magazine in September 2008, making it the highest ranked fine art show in Maryland!  Of course, it could be the ONLY fine art show in Maryland for all I know!  (But I doubt that.)  I hope to check it out for myself tomorrow.      ~Amy