Tuesday, October 25, 2016

Car stolen on Connecticut Ave., liquor arrest at Whitley Park condos + more - Bethesda crime update

Here's a roundup of crimes reported across Bethesda on October 22, according to crime data:

Stolen car. 9000 block Connecticut Avenue.

Liquor arrest. Whitley Park condominiums.

Burglary. 11100 block Stillwater Avenue.

Vehicle burglary. 5500 block Randolph Road.

Theft. 11400 block Patriot Lane.

Buy one taco, get one free today at California Tortilla

Today is Taco Tuesday, and the last one for a while, at California Tortilla in Bethesda. Buy any taco, and get one of equal or lesser value free. You can get as many as 5 free tacos in your visit today. The offer is valid on in-store purchases only, and doesn't apply to delivery orders.

4871 Cordell Avenue
(301) 654-8226

New brunch menu at City Perch - here's my review (Video+photos)

City Perch at Pike & Rose in North Bethesda has a new brunch menu, and I stopped by this past weekend to try it out. New menu items include French toast; Eggs Benedict; Arugula+Endive salad with grilled shrimp, candy-striped and yellow beets, poached pears, goat cheese, candied walnuts and a maple balsamic vinaigrette dressing; The Roma sandwich with mozzarella cheese, tomato, pesto, and arugula on toasted sourdough; a crispy chicken waffle sandwich; crispy latke fries with applesauce and sour cream; Monkey Bread Babka; and smoked salmon-stuffed popovers.

Central to the new brunch is the Brunch Box concept, which pairs any entree with a cocktail or non-alcoholic beverage for $19.99. You can upgrade to bottomless beverages for a $10 fee. Other high-end upgrades include truffles and caviar.
While they have a great Bloody Mary here, I chose a mimosa because most of the food I was ordering wouldn't pair well with tomato juice.
There was a strong flavor of freshly-squeezed juice in this classic brunch cocktail.
City Perch has been recognized by even the notoriously Montgomery County-averse food critic Tom Sietsema for its bread basket. Now you can order a special brunch version, which when I visited included a chocolate croissant, a lemon poppyseed muffin, and a walnut croissant, all new. Also in the basket were two favorites from the dinner version, the honey-dipped cornbread and orange-sage biscuit. Spreads included were Trickling Springs butter and strawberry jam.
Walnut croissant

Honey-dipped cornbread
with goat cheese and
toasted corn kernels on top
Orange-sage biscuit

Chocolate croissant

Lemon poppyseed muffin

City Perch plans to have a different kind of muffin in the bread basket each week. The lemon poppyseed muffin lived up to its name with a lemon zing to balance the sweet and very moist cake. Surprisingly, I found I liked the walnut-stuffed croissant as much as its dark chocolate-stuffed twin. Both are even better with butter added. If you remember my City Perch dinner review, you'll recall I highly rated the cornbread and orange-sage biscuit. Together, the brunch bread basket rates five stars.
Monkey Bread Babka
with a pitcher of
Nutella syrup
Another new bread item is the Monkey Bread Babka. Stuffed with even more dark chocolate than the croissant, it is a cross between a frostingless Cinnabon cinnamon roll and a popover. Inside the layers are coffee and cinnamon, and there is a small pitcher of Nutella syrup. I would give this four stars. However, while I ordered this to test out for purposes of this review, normally this would be too much bread following the bread basket.

In that case, I would advise going with the bread basket, unless you are a Nutella fanatic. For $5 more, you get a variety of breads and still get chocolate in the croissant. Either bread order is more than enough for two people.
Now, on to the main course - French toast. This isn't a diner recipe, that's for sure. At City Perch you get two thick slices of brioche with ricotta cheese, bananas, candied pecans, powdered sugar, and with a lemon-and-orange cornflake-encrusted bread crust for extra crunch. But don't stop there. At upscale Pike & Rose you can upgrade your French toast to "decadent" for $4, which adds farmers market berries on top, and mascarpone cheese between the slices of brioche.

I also added a side of two scrambled eggs to a meal desperately in need of protein. The eggs were perfect, and I didn't need to add any salt or pepper.
Lemon and orange-flavored
corn flakes add crunch to
the crust of the brioche
A generous portion of
farmers market berries
atop the toast

Warm mascarpone
oozes out from between
the slices of brioche in
the "decadent" version
The result is an off-the-charts-rich French toast, the soft bread and fillings contrasting with the crunch of still-crisp corn flakes and berry seeds. Unless you are a traditionalist, this may be the ultimate French toast in town. Perhaps not surprisingly for a restaurant known for its bread, this new French toast earns five stars.

All of the items and upgrades I ordered added up to $43.45. Assuming you get only one bread side, you could knock $4 (Monkey Bread Babka) or $9 (brunch bread basket) off of that price. And, of course, with no bread, you could get the French toast and mimosa for $19.99, and the eggs for an additional $4. Not bad for this price-point of restaurant.

Brunch at City Perch is an excellent and convenient choice when you are catching a Saturday or Sunday matinee at the iPic Theaters the restaurant is part of.
I had extra carbohydrates
to go
Pike & Rose is
decorated for Halloween

Monday, October 24, 2016

Theft at Westland MS, 3 drug busts + more - Bethesda crime update

Here's a roundup of crimes reported across Bethesda on October 21, according to crime data:

Drug arrest. Cordell-St. Elmo Parking Garage 40.

Disorderly conduct. Woodmont Avenue at St. Elmo Avenue.

Drug arrest. Rockville Pike at Jones Bridge Road.

Drug arrest. Rockville Pike at South Drive.

Theft. Suburban Hospital.

Theft. 5500 block Friendship Boulevard.

Theft. Westland Middle School.

Burglary. 4700 block Waverly Avenue (Garrett Park).

Theft. 5100 block Nicholson Lane.

Theft. Westfield Montgomery Mall.

Proposed downtown Bethesda church/apartment combo development seeks approval this week

View of the development
from Rugby Avenue
The long and winding road to redevelop 8015 Old Georgetown Road at the edge of downtown Bethesda goes directly through the Montgomery County Planning Board on Thursday. Christ Lutheran Church is proposing to demolish its existing church building, and replace it with a new church, a community center, and a residential building with 107 units on the same site.

Planning staff are recommending approval of the redevelopment, with conditions. Among the conditions is a requirement that the development include the following recreational amenities: picnic/sitting areas, a multipurpose court, pedestrian system, a swimming pool and an indoor fitness facility. They are also asking for 15% affordable units; 12.5% is the percentage mandated by Montgomery County.

No direct vehicular access to the development will be allowed from Rugby Avenue under the plan.

Rendering via Montgomery County Planning Department

Lucky Strike opening postponed to 2017 at Westfield Montgomery Mall

You may not be surprised if you saw how little progress had been made in my last construction update on Lucky Strike Social, the new bowling suite/gastropub concept coming to Westfield Montgomery Mall, but their opening has been delayed until early 2017. It will take the place of the old movie theater at the mall, and directly compete with the future Pinstripes at Pike & Rose up the road.

Lucky Strike's original opening had been scheduled for this past summer.

Sunday, October 23, 2016

Assault at Bethesda bar, vehicle vandalized on Inman Park Circle + more - Bethesda crime update

Here's a roundup of crimes reported across Bethesda on October 20, according to crime data:

Assault. Bar/nightclub in 4800 block Cordell Avenue.

Theft from vehicle. 5100 block Battery Lane.

Assault of spouse/partner. Condo/apt. in 5200 block of Pooks Hill Road.

Theft. 6400 block Bradley Boulevard.

Forgery/counterfeit/identity theft. 4900 block Sentinel Drive.

Vehicle vandalized. Residential parking lot in 5800 block of Inman Park Circle.

Juvenile runaway. 11300 block Schuylkill Road (Randolph Hills).

Ministry hosting grand opening party Thursday at Bethesda Row

A day after reporting that Ministry would likely open at 4823 Bethesda Avenue later next week, I have received word that the store - which the functional businesswear chain refers to as its Bethesda Work/Shop - will be hosting what is, so far, an RSVP-only grand opening party on Thursday, October 27, from 7:00-10:00 PM. Appetizers and drinks will be served, and the company's product lines for men and women will be on display.

How to get invited? That's where it gets interesting. I would recommend signing up for their email list, and see if they email you an invite. Secondly, watch your Facebook feed for a "Sponsored" post from Ministry that has a link to RSVP. However, after seeing that ad go by in the feed, I cannot access that sponsored post from Ministry Apparel from their Facebook page, or via Facebook search.

Good luck! And stay tuned for more information as I get it.

Saturday, October 22, 2016

Disorder at Bethesda nursing home, car stolen at Westfield Montgomery Mall + more - Bethesda crime update

Here's a roundup of crimes reported across Bethesda on October 19, according to crime data:

Theft. 4900 block Elm Street.

Theft. 4900 block Bradley Boulevard.

Fraud. 5600 block Parkston Road.

DUI arrest. 8700 block Rockville Pike.

Theft. Whole Foods Market (Friendship Heights).

Theft from vehicle. 6100 block Connecticut Avenue.

Disorderly conduct. Nursing home in 5700 block of Grosvenor Lane.

Drug arrest. Wilson Lane at MacArthur Boulevard.

Stolen car. Westfield Montgomery Mall.

Bethesda construction update: The Perry at Park Potomac (Photos)

The Perry apartments look quite nice, one of the completed Phase 2 projects at Foulger-Pratt's Park Potomac at the Montrose Road exit of I-270. They feature kitchens with granite countertops, Travertine backsplashes, and stainless steel Energy Star appliances.

Amenities include a hotel-style pool, entertainment lounge, dog park and grooming spa, bike storage, shuttle to White Flint Metro, fitness center, outdoor dining patio, business center, fitness center and a Zen garden. Units range from 1-3 bedrooms.

Park Potomac is very much
an automobile-oriented
development, but here comes
the Ride-On bus (the
buildings in the background
are not part of The Perry)

Ministry opening as soon as next week at Bethesda Row

I'm hearing some noise in the system about Ministry potentially opening on Bethesda Avenue as soon as late next week. Formerly known as Ministry of Supply, the retailer carries upscale but highly-functional businesswear for men - and now, women. Stay tuned for an official opening announcement.

Friday, October 21, 2016

Update: Rape reported on Goldsboro Ct., car stolen on Brookville Rd. + more - Bethesda crime update

Here's a roundup of crimes reported across Bethesda on October 18, according to crime data:

Rape. Goldsboro Court (Update, October 23: Montgomery County Police have confirmed the sexual assault reported did not occur on Goldsboro Court. A citizen called police from Goldsboro Court regarding a sexual assault that had occurred elsewhere).

Theft. Chevy Chase Club.

Shoplifting under $50. 5400 block Westbard Avenue.

Theft. 5600 block Parkston Road.

Stolen car. Taken from driveway in 6800 block of Brookville Road.

Theft. 5400 block Wisconsin Avenue.

Vehicle burglary. 3200 block Flushing Meadow Terrace.

DUI arrest. 5900 block Carlton Lane.

Vehicle burglary. 9300 block Burning Tree Road.

Vehicle burglary. 9900 block Holmhurst Road.

Vehicle burglary. 9900 block Holmhurst Road.

Bethesda construction update: Cheval Bethesda ultra-luxury condo tower (Photos)

The future Cheval Bethesda ultra-luxury condo tower is about 4 stories above street level now. These are primary the garage levels that will separate the ground floor from the residential units above the garage. The Cheval is located at the corner of Fairmont Avenue and Old Georgetown Road.

Duball, LLC is the developer of Cheval Bethesda. The 17-story tower will house 72 condo units, and 7000 SF of non-residential space. Prices will be in the ultra-luxury tier: From the $900,000s to over $2.5 million. Delivery is expected next year.

About 400 potential buyers showed up to a sales launch event for the Cheval last month.
Looking north along
Old Georgetown Road

That's what will be the
garage ramp in the
foreground behind the