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Fearless Critic restaurant review
Casual restaurant

Mon–Thu 5:00pm–1:00am
Fri noon–2:00am
Sat 2:00pm–2:00am
Sun noon–1:00am

Features Date-friendly
Bar Beer, wine, liquor
Credit cards Visa, MC, AmEx
Reservations Not accepted

Silver Spring, MD
8401 Georgia Ave.
Silver Spring, MD
(301) 587-8350
Quarry House Tavern
Artisanal burgers, bar food, and beer-nerd beer in an underground speakeasy-like space

The closest thing Silver Spring has to a speakeasy, this hidden haunt is an unexpected dose of subterranean fun—and it’s tasty, too.

A lot of people sneak down to the Quarry House just to drink. If you’re in the laid-back school of dating, it’s a great choice—in part because of the easy, divey, tavern-like feel and lively crowd, but also in part because your date will be seriously impressed by the you-must-be-in-the-knowness of the joint. But those who know, know; they come back again and again. They come in ones, twos, and big groups for an easy evening of revelry and good, old fashioned eatin’. The only thing that’s not easy, on a busy night, is getting a table.

The practically unmarked entrance to the Quarry House is on the corner of Georgia Ave. and Bonifant, tucked in beneath the high-school-kids-must-not-be-able-to-handle-themselves-when-they-see-the-name-and-even-our-adult-gay-friends-can’t-stop-giggling-at-it Bombay Gaylord. You make your way down a narrow staircase, you open a creaky door, and you step into an alternate, windowless universe of clinking glasses, sizzling burgers, and hearty laughs.

What’s surprising, given the whole dive shtick, is the artisanal angle of the nouvelle-comfort-food menu and the impressive breadth of the beer list. Fried pickles, house-made potato chips, Pabst-Blue-Ribbon-battered chicken tenders, tater tots, half-smokes, and wings are good sideshows to the main bar-food event: well-executed burgers made from up to a pound of high-quality meat. We’re particular fans of the patty melt, which allows the cheese to play a more central role in the taste/texture combination.

Speaking of PBR, they’ve got it on tap too (no snobbery here), rubbing elbows with crazy, little-known microbrews—and, of course, Dogfish Head, the beer that will get you drunk faster than any other. Beyond that, the extensive “beericulum vitae” is extremely strong in Belgium and Germany, with some overhopped American IPAs and nice English porters thrown in. Particularly nice to see is the dry cider from France: Christian Drouin Pays d’Auge, Etienne Dupont Bouche Brut de Normandie. These are underappreciated gems even in a mainstream beer world that is getting increasingly sophisticated.

And how about a Lindemans Framboise float?

Cheers to that.

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