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Archive for the 'Silver Spring Businesses' Category

Leather Repair Shop – Convenient Little Gem in Downtown Silver Spring

Arina's Shoe Leather Repair Shop - Downtown Silver SpringArina’s Shoe Repair has been around since the 1960’s.  This one of a kind shop repairs shoes, purses, belts,  jackets, luggage and just about anything made of leather.

You might not think this is a big deal, until you need this service.  There are not a lot of these little specialty shops around anymore.  If you need new heels on a pair of nice leather shoes or a leather briefcase or purse repaired, where would you go?  If you live or work around Silver Spring this is the place to go.

The man that works at the Silver Spring Arina’s is a native of Armenia and is a master of his craft! Watergate.  After a few “insults and run-in’s” with a prominent Senator and a media person from NBC, he returned to the Silver Spring location and has been back here since about 1982.
Arina's Shoe Repair Shop - Fenton Street - Downtown Silver Spring

He has been working at the shop since the early 70’s.  He left for a couple years to work at the Arina’s location in the

They make keys too, that really WORK (better than any hardware store or locksmith I’ve used before).

Arina’s Shoes and Leather Repair
8207 Fenton Street
Downtown Silver Spring, MD 20910
Phone (301) 587-4477

Posted by Debbie Cook | Discussion: No Comments »

Another Place for Excellent Homemade Ice Cream

National Ice Cream Month is winding down. When I think about good premium ice cream, I think Moorenko’s in Downtown Silver Spring, but there is another place I think of that’s a little further outside of Silver Spring in Burtonsville.  It’s definitely worth the short trip for the ice cream.

Seibel’s, a family style restaurant, is a Landmark at the corner of Route 198 and Route 29 in Burtonsville.

Buck Seibel built a Milk Processing Plant in 1938.  Milk was processed from the Family Farm located 2 miles away from the plant.  Buck operated a home delivery service to local area homes and in 1939 opened Siebel’s Dairy Bar in a small storefront at the plant.  Along with ice cream he later served hamburgers and soup at the Dairy Bar.

Buck Siebel created his own recipe for homemade ice cream, which became famous.  He never advertised, yet people as far away as Virginia learned about thisdelicious ice cream and came to Burtonsville to buy it.  You can still buy this same ice cream today at Siebels Restaurant!

July is a great month to go out for ice cream at Siebel’s because they usually have special low prices on cones!
How does 1.25 sound?!!

My favorite ice cream treat at Seibel’s is the Strawberry Shortcake, the real old fashioned kind make with a biscuit (not cake) and their hot fudge cake is out of this world too.

Today, after many improvements and additions to the little old Dairy Bar, Siebels is a full service restaurant serving Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner including alcohol.

The last time I was in Siebels, Montgomery County Executive, Ike Leggett was having lunch with his staff 2 tables away from ours.

15540 Old Columbia Pike
Burtonsville, Maryland 20866
Seibel’s Website

Posted by Debbie Cook | Discussion: No Comments »

Best Local Ice Cream in Silver Spring

We are in the middle of National Ice Cream Month

The best place for ice cream in Downtown Silver Spring “hands down” has got to be Moorenkos Cafe.

Moorenkos is a small independent bussiness started by Susan Soorenko in 2002.  The factory where it’s made is in Silver Spring on Brookville Road. Moorenkos was named the “Best Ice Cream in the DC area” by the Washingtonian Magazine.

This is truly LOCAL ice cream, made fresh in small batches with a french custard base and an out of this world butterfat content ( higher than all the other premium ice cream brands).

This ice cream is homemade and considered Ultra Premium.  It is not your typical Ben and Jerry’s or Cold Stone Creamery. All made fresh from the bottom up with no artificial ingredients.

The Cafe shop is small but bright and cheery.  Check out their menu of flavors, so good, that some people say certain flavors will make you weep.  The bittersweet chocolate
with orange is my personal crying flavor.

Located at 8030 B Georgia Avenue
Silver Spring, Maryland 20910
Walking Distance from the Silver Spring Metro

Cafe Interior Photo from Silver Spring Daily Photo

Stop by and have a dish or a cone of the purest, freshest, localest ice cream around and don’t worry if you get addicted because it can be bought “on the street” in bulk at your local area grocery stores.

Posted by Debbie Cook | Discussion: No Comments »

Paczki and Pancakes – Fat Tuesday in Silver Spring

Woodmoor pastry shopTomorrow is Fat Tuesday, Shrove Tuesday and Paczki Day, the time we all Fatten ourselves up before tightening our belts and giving up things for Lent begining on Wednesday.  

A couple of  ways to do Fat Day in Silver Spring: 

For Paczki or King Cakes

Head  to the WOODMOOR Pastry Shop in the Woodmoor Shopping Center for some of their famous, divine, decadently outrageous Paczki.   It is the very best, or maybe the only place to get real homemade Paczki in Silver Spring. 
apple paczki -apple filling maple icing Check out reviews of the Bakery and the Paczki at the Woodmoor Pastry Shop

They also make fantastic King Cakes.

 For All-You-Can-Eat Pancakes
There are several Silver Spring and Takoma Park Churches with Pancake pancakes goodSuppers tomorrow night:

Church of the Ascension on Sligo Avenue in Silver Spring

Grace Episcopal Church on Grace Chruch Road and Georgia Avenue

Takoma Park Presbyterian Church on Tulip Avenue in Takoma Park

Woodside United Methodist Church on Georgia Ave

Posted by Debbie Cook | Discussion: 1 Comment »

For Valentines Day – The Romantic Choice for Dinner in Downtown Silver Spring

The most romantic place for Dinner in Silver Spring has to be Sergios.

rosesIt is intimate, quiet and dark, like a cozy cave, the wait staff are attentive, the drinks are good, the food is Real Native Italian, Generous and Excellent! (especially the veal dishes).  The atmosphere is understated thick white tablecloth elegant and romantic.

Nothing beats having  that warm, friendly personal greeting from Sergio Toni, the owner, a native of Rome and now a Silver Springer.   Sergio has been involved with this restaurant since 1982 when it was Mamma Reginas.

This Silver Spring Restaurant is a hidden treasure – the location is in the basement (off the garage) of the Hilton Hotel in Silver Spring.

Sergio Ristorante Italiano
8727 Colesville Road
Hilton Hotel Garage
Valet Parking
(301) 585-1040

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Laundromats in Silver Spring – You’ve Come a Long Way, Baby

Laundromat sign Silver SpringI haven’t been in a laundromat in a long, long time, maybe 12- 15 years. 

The last time I needed to use a laundromat I went to the one near the corner of University Blvd & Piney Branch Road  and also the one in the 16th Street Strip Mall that was on the level under the McDonalds there.  They were both crowded places and kinda dingy and dark.  There were 2 different sizes of washers and dryers that took coins.  I couldn’t wait to get my laundry done and get out.

I recently went into the new Tropicana Laundromat on Fenton Street to wash some real bulky items (rugs, big comforters and pillows), that my regular washer and dryer can’t handle.  I was amazed at how far Inside Tropicana Laundromat Silver SpringLaundromats have come since I’d been in one!

This place is CLEAN, Bright, Airy, Pleasant and Spacious.  You could eat off the floors.  They had 2 people outside hosing down and cleaning off the parking lot steps and even the asphalt (that people park their cars on) when I was there.  It was immaculate inside and out.

There must be 6 -7 different sizes of washers and dryers,  from tiny ones for delicates to the Heavy Duty Super Jumbo size that I used, and there are  lots of them!  There are huge, long, nice clean folding tables and plenty of  those big rolling steel laundry baskets. 

State of the art Laundromat Silver SpringThere are 3 Big Screen TVS mounted on the back wall and areas to sit and read or watch a big screen while you are waiting for your laundry to be done.

And . . . No more coins to fumble with – you can load money (via credit card)into a card to use in the machines.

I have to admit, when I first saw the sign go up last year I thought it was going to be some kind of an all night Restaurant/Bar.   I had visions of  Mai Tais, Margaritas, pina-coladas, other tropical drinks and food dancing in my head.   I was disappointed at first when I figured out it was a Laundromat.

Tropicana Laundromat
8010 Fenton St
Silver Spring, MD 20910

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The Backyard of Backyard Bounty – Downtown Silver Spring

Backyard Bounty along alley in Silver Spring

This backyard backs to an alley in  McNeill’s neighborhood of Silver Spring,   It was a cool thing to watch this small back yard space transfomed into such an abundant oasis, in a neighborhood that is just 2 blocks from the Downtown Silver Spring CBD. 

This was really a bare small backyard just a few years ago.  Every inch of space has been used cleverly, (even part of the alley) for the landscape and plantings.  Even though there is a lot of space used for gardening, there is still a driveway Alley Behind Backyard Bounty Silver Springto the garage and a large gazebo used for outdoor dining and fun.

It is still early in the growing season and I love watching Edamarie’s garden grow, fill in and florish through the spring, summer and into fall for the past couple years.

Backyard Bounty is a local Silver Spring  Business that designs, builds and maintains kitchen gardens and sustainable landscapes.

Check out the Backyard Bounty Website with more photos including the Front Yard of Backyard Bounty

Posted by Debbie Cook | Discussion: No Comments »

Unique, Cozy, Funky and Vintage – Silver Spring Books

exterior silver spring booksI’ve always liked this bookstore. The atmosphere, arrangement and smell remind me of the “bookmobile” that used to come to our neighborhood when I was a kid.  Remember them?  This place is exactly what you think of when you think of a great used book shop.  Long rows of tall bookshelves, cluttered, dusty, books piled almost to the ceiling.  It’s packed with books, hardbacks, paperbacks, periodicals, reference books, magazines and a huge selection of romance novels.  The organization here is a little crazy, but searching for a book is half the fun of visiting this shop.  Just browsing in here is a great relaxing escape and I could do it for hours.  Rooting through shelves and stacks of miscellaneous books is a experience you can’t put a price on.  The prices are decent, higher but sometimes much lower than online used bookstores but competitive if you consider that you don’t have to pay for shipping or wait for your books to silver spring books inside window displayarrive. 

Looking for a specific category or author?  You may need to look in two to four different places.  Because the store handles books for multiple used book dealers, and they each get their own area of the store, one book or author may exist in a different section for each of the sellers.

Co-owner, Cynthia Parker, is an expert in Romance Novels.   She has won an award for promoting romance novels and writers.   The award is proudly displayed at the front desk.   Cynthia was wearing a pink “Books – The Original Search Engine”  T Shirt when I visited.   She says they are struggling to stay in business right now.

Cynthia Parker @ SS BooksThere used to be a lot of these used bookstores, but they are mostly gone.  Remember Bonifant Books?  This one moved to Wheaton – then died.  I also remember a cool little used bookstore being on that strip of Sligo Avenue where Jackie’s Restaurant is now.  It is great to see this one still hanging on after 20 years in business.  

Shop this store, and support a local Silver Spring business.   It’s definitely a different experience than you will have around the corner at the huge Silver Spring Border’s Store. 

This perfect little independent book store is within walking distance of ss books outsideDowntown Silver Spring/METRO.  Located on the “eclectic” part of Bonifant Street, between Georgia Avenue and Fenton Street.  Don’t drive or walk down this street too fast, or you might miss it, the storefront is inset next to the Ambros Tattoo Parlor, just past the Atlantic Gun Shop.

Silver Spring Books
938 Bonifant Street
Silver Spring, Maryland 20910
(301) 587-7484

Posted by Debbie Cook | Discussion: 1 Comment »

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.

Posted by Debbie Cook | Discussion: 4 Comments »

Paczki Day Today at the Woodmoor Pastry Shop in Silver Spring.

Today is Paczki Day!

Woodmoor BakeryThe tradition is the Tuesday before Lent is a time to indulge or Fatten up before tightening belts and giving up things for Lent, which starts on Ash Wednesday.
I know of no better excuse to make a visit to the 
Woodmoor Pastry Shop.
The best, or maybe the only place to get Paczki in Silver Spring, is at the Woodmoor Bakery/Pastry Shop in the Woodmoor Shopping Center.  They make the most divine, decadent Paczki anywhere in the area.

Check out reviews of the Bakery and the Paczki at the Woodmoor Pastry Shop

Posted by Debbie Cook | Discussion: 1 Comment »

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