‘Black Market Bistro’
courtesy of ‘ImaginaryGirl’
OK, I know what you’re thinking and I can already see the look on your face. But trust me, Rockville isn’t that far away. And I know you’re saying, “hey, isn’t this called We Love DC?” Yes, it’s true, but it’s also called We Love Food, and if you do, you’ll love Black Market Bistro.
Technically located in the oft-unheard of Garrett Park (America’s first nuclear-free zone!), the restaurant is the very definition of “off the beaten path”. You’ll wind your way through a lovely neighborhood before you inevitably decide you’ve gone down the wrong road, right before you take a hard left as to not run in to the train tracks. There you will find the parking lot for the restaurant. Housed in a building also used as the town post office, the interior is something I’ll call “classy Americana.” Like if your mom only let your dad put his collection of vintage Coca-Cola paraphernalia in the basement, but over the years he subtly infiltrated the rest of the house.
I always try and sit in the main room on the left when I dine there. The restaurant is very small and though they have an auxiliary room on the right of the front door, it doesn’t have the same feeling as the larger dining room. And as a bonus to all those with small children, the MARC train tracks are about six inches from the window in the dining room. I saw one little boy get so excited when the train went by that I thought his head was going to explode all over his French toast.
The restaurant is owned by the Blacks (of Addie’s, BlackSalt and Black’s Bar and Kitchen fame) which is pretty obvious when checking out the Black Market Bistro menu. They clearly operate on the “if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it” theory of restaurant management. You’ll find a lot of fresh vegetables, cleanly prepared fish and meat and reasonable prices. I have a hard time passing up the salads when I’m there, though the Cider-Cured Pork Tenderloin and Grilled Yellowfin Tuna tend to call to me as well. It goes without saying that if you’re eating there with me, I’ve decided what you’re ordering long before we sit down.
Black Market Bistro really blows me away at brunch. They open at 10am on Sundays and 11am on Saturdays so I always try and arrive early before the major rush. The menu is organized in a way that lends itself to a long, leisurely meal spent with friends. I’m sure all those people who didn’t arrive as early as me don’t appreciate that, but they’ll eventually have their time in the sun. The Orange and Vanilla Bean French Toast is so flavorful and unexpected it’ll make you feel warm and fuzzy inside. I’m also a sucker for poached eggs, so I am hard pressed to pass up the Croque Madame or the Eggs Benedict on a homemade biscuit.
If you’re still hung up on how far away it is and you’re currently formulating some lame joke about needing your passport, just keep in mind that the restaurant is only a little over a mile from the Grosvenor Metro station. This is about the same as the walk from Logan Circle to Dupont Circle, which I’m sure many of you have done drunk on occasion. And if you’re looking for a good excuse to stop by the restaurant, head over on Sunday, October 24th for their outdoor pig roast. The money raised will be used to build a state-of-the-art kitchen at the Children’s National Medical Center to support children with diabetes. So just trust me and make the trek, no ZipCar reservation required.
Black Market Bistro is located 4600 Waverly Ave. in Garrett Park, MD. The closest Metro stop is Grosvenor-Strathmore (Red Line). For more information, call 301-933-3000.