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Gil’s Restaurant is Worth a Visit

There is a new and “improved” corner in Silver Spring.  Gil’s Restaurant has Gil's Restaurantopened @ the corner of Silver Spring Avenue and Piney Branch Road.  It’s the corner store at the end of  the old strip shopping center on Piney Branch Road near the  intersection of Dale and Piney Branch.   

I hardly recognized this place.   It’s was the site of Matchu Pitchu restaurant and then something like Lembada’s (not sure of either spelling), just remember the restaurants there before were “scruffy”, beat up looking, raucous at night and not very appetizing. 

The place has been painted, spruced up and there is new landscape in the front.  The inside feels cleaner than the places that were there before.

tortilla chips - Gil's Silver Spring, MdThe food was great.  It is Tex-Mex & Salvdorean.  I had a lunch special platter with cheese enchiladas.  The platter had the ususal beans, rice, guacamole and pico de gallo.  I won’t name names, but at most of the mexican places in the area, the beans, rice,  guac and pico de gallo are usually left on my plate after just a taste, especially the beans.   At other places the beans are usually so bland and greasy, I don’t bother eating them.  The beans at Gil’s are fantastic, I cleaned my plate.  The beans are seasoned to perfection and like none I have ever had before.  They are not greasy, bland, dry or hard, they are just right. 

The tortilla chips were also excellent, served warm with “warm” salsa, you could tell they were made there and made at least “very recently”.   The guacamole and pico de gallo were really FRESH and like the beans, seasoned better than Gil's Restaurant PlatterI’ve found in other mexican places.  The enchilladas were very light, not a hint of  heaviness and not greasy.

This is a place that I will go back to again just to try more dishes. 

NOTE:   They are just getting started in business and don’t have their credit system set up quite yet,  so don’t be surprised if your credit card reciept say’s “Gil’s Painting”.   The manager came to my table to give me my reciept and explained the situation.   They probably do painting too?  I’ll bet they did the great paint job on the outside and inside of the restaurant.

8200 Piney Branch Road
Silver Spring, Md 20910   

Seems Gil’s had a hard time opening the place because of this location’s “seedy” “problematic” past and nearby Sligo Park Hills neighborhood complaints.   They were only able to open by nixing pool tables, hard liquor and closing earlier than they wanted to.

  1. Alex

    I wish the new restaurant the best of luck, but I still wouldn’t recommend that strip at night, especially on friday and saturday night. The joint next to the Pupuseria/Bakery serves as a rather rough late-night salvadorian bar catering mostly to the day laborer crowd. There is also a fairly brisk trade in prostitution in that strip that is sometimes shockingly brazen and out in the open.

  2. Carlos

    This Restaurant is amazing, the people here are great and welcoming. The owners are always here to greet you at the door and have open ears to any suggestions and comments. The food here was excellent I ordered the Parilladas Gil (signature dish) and it was incredibly big. tThe ish came with a huge piece of well seasoned steak and chicken with a very tasty spicy chorizo (Sausage) it was more than i could eat. After I ordered a flan whihc by the way the flan and the tres leches were homemade, at the first bite i was sold and i had to order another one to takeout. Overall this place is different then any other Tex-Mex Salvadorian joint, the foods super fresh and prepared well. I recommend trying for yourself

  3. Amy

    We really wanted to like this place since it’s a short walk from our house and has an outdoor patio. However, the patio was filthy – littered with cigarette butts and broken glass, including a beer bottle whose end had been smashed off in the form of a weapon. Both the jagged broken bottle and its end were present. We were there with our 1 and 4 year olds, and didn’t want them touching anything on the patio (good luck!). When the owners don’t care enough to keep their property clean, you wonder what the kitchen looks like?

    The piece de resistance came when we ordered Margaritas and the server asked perkily, “con Patron?” (as in, Patron tequila). I shook my head and said ‘oh no, lo mas barato por favor’ (the least expensive, please) and she agreed to our order.

    Sure enough when the check arrived, there were our Margaritas – plus an extra $5 for Paton on each one, totaling $13 *per drink*. At a little dive bar/restaurant off Piney Branch road. Are you kidding me? I called her on it, and she said, ‘oh, did you want it without alcohol?’ – as if the regular price was for a virgin margarita and the $13 version was the only way to have a normal drink.

    We were also treated to a show of her fellow servers taking selfies on the patio, in hot pants they could barely squish into, and in platform heels so high they could barely walk. It was funny and sad, all at once.

    Oh – we ordered quesadillas and the children’s chicken tenders. Fine but unremarkable all around. The black beans and rice weren’t bad.

    Bottom line: Don’t bother. Go to El Golfo on Flower Ave for great and reasonably priced Margaritas, or enjoy pupusas at La Casita next door to Gils.

  4. Debbie Cook

    Wow – I haven’t been there is a long time – Sounds like it has gone way down hill since it opened. Such a shame . . .

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