Food and Drink

Best Hole in the Wall Bar

This is the kind of place you would walk right by. There is a crooked sign on the side of a building for the Quarry House Tavern and then some narrow stairs descending into the ground behind it are the only other outward sign. You walk down into a basement with a bar and bunch of tables, a bunch of them occupied with folks drinking $2 Pabst Blue Ribbon in a can. This is not the normal kind of place I’d roll into looking for a good drink, but Colleen knows my taste in beer and she’d been wanting to bring me here for a while.

We sat down and got a greasy grub menu and a beer list. They’ve got a relatively limited menu but plenty to go with good beer. They specialize in burgers but I ordered myself a grilled triple cheese sandwich and some tater tots, while Colleen went for salad and a really tasty hummus plate.

So, the reason I love this place is not just because of the dark red walls and ’70s wood paneling, funky old school bathroom and tater tots on the menu (though, really, I’m pretty sold right there) but because of the beer. You can get $2 PBR but they also have two whole pages dedicated to just Belgians (Belgian and Belgian-style from North America), listed by category in their “beericulum vitae”. They aren’t playing around here. Then there are several more pages of other yummy imports that you don’t see everywhere over here as well as a nice selection of American micros. They have quite a few of my faves like Duvel, Hoegaarden, Le Fin du Monde, Hennepin, Smuttynose, man, I could go on and on. The thing I love though is that there are so many that I’ve never even heard of, much less tried before. If this place was remotely close to my house I’d go there every night and work my way through the menu.

I ended up getting a Franches-Montagnes la Meule from Switzerland which is a golden (also called pale) Belgian-style brewed with sage. They served it in a brandy snifter which is a good all-purpose glass for a Belgian so you can really get the aromas. It was a yummy beer and the sage added a really interesting taste to it that I really liked. I wouldn’t drink it all the time but it was a damn fun way to start off trying new beers. They were nice enough to let me bring home a copy of the beericulum so I’ve taken a snap of the Belgians along with my la Meule bottle. I had to drive home so I only had the one with my dinner but I’m sure I’ll be swinging back by there again soon to check out some more. If you are anywhere near Silver Spring, MD and you are in the mood for a cool, chillaxin place with tater tots and awesome beer you really owe it to yourself to swing by too.