Why I like Bethesda #27: Grits and Jukeboxes at the Tastee Diner


I have been doing some work for a company in Bethesda a few days a week and have really been charmed by the downtown area around Wisconsin Ave. and Old Georgetown Road.

Tastee Diner quickly became my number one breakfast joint for the days I get there early enough to partake. This is a diner like we had in New England, complete with the charm of wood paneling and cooks who banter with the customers. Nothing fancy like the fake Arlington “diners,” whose menus are pricy and the smokers permeate the air with stench. Nope, Tastee Diner has an affordable set of offerings on the menu. It’s not always fast in delivery but it’s consistently good and has grits and jukeboxes.

Grits are almost a necessity if I am going to consistently have breakfast somewhere. Maybe it’s a holdover from my years spent in the real south but I just love grits with my eggs in the morning.

Check it out: old-school jukeboxes like we had at every truck stop when I was a kid. I wasn’t much in the mood for Elvis or The Four Tops the day I took that picture but I hope to return and jam during breakfast playing some good, old-fashioned music. Let’s face it – all music goes with grits, from opera to country to funk.

Bethesda fans out there – what are your favorite things about the town?

8 Comments so far

  1. Ex-Hy Hy (unregistered) on June 15th, 2007 @ 2:00 pm

    The only time I’ve ever not left a tip for a water was at the Tastee in Silver Spring. The guy looked like he should have been washing dishes instead – unkempt, filthy shirt, greasy all over, and not friendly AT ALL. I’m always very friendly to waitstaff, but he wasn’t having it. Well, he didn’t have a tip, either. Slob. The food sucked too.

    As for Bethesda, I used to work in Chevy Chase and sometimes I’d walk the mile and a half there on my lunch break. I don’t remember patronizing any restaurants (always felt a little too bourgie to me) but the post office is really pretty…

  2. Carl Weaver (unregistered) on June 15th, 2007 @ 2:46 pm

    Ex-Hy Hy: Don’t get me wrong – I won’t stand behind Tastee Diner and claim that it is the pinnacle of good eating in town but let’s face it – it’s hard to screw up eggs and grits, although I have known some places that were so bad you wonder how they managed to survive.

    Tastee isn’t great and the service isn’t great, but it’s about the least “bourgie” place in town and that suits me pretty well.

  3. Ex-Hy Hy (unregistered) on June 15th, 2007 @ 3:13 pm

    I didn’t even know they had a Tastee in Bethesda. I used to go the one in Silver Spring fairly often but never again. I know that this area is proud of its awful customer service (pathetic claim) but that time was just too much! But I’m sure the standards at the one in Bethesda are a little higher. It is, after all, up the road from “Rodeo Drive East” (vomit).

    Man, what this city needs is a friggin’ Waffle House. Now there’s a REAL diner! I’ve eaten at WaHoes all over this country and the service has been 99.999% good. And other than it giving me explosive diarrhea that one time when I was driving through West Virginia, the food’s not bad!

  4. Carl Weaver (unregistered) on June 15th, 2007 @ 3:31 pm

    No joke! I’d love to have a Waffle House here! That’s a no-BS type of place with great food, great service and friendly folks. It’s one of many things I miss about the REAL South!

  5. Aaron (unregistered) on June 15th, 2007 @ 4:58 pm

    You know, it might be a chain, but what the hell. Rock Bottom has decent beer. And let me tell you, the Happy Hour (1.50 for any non-seasonal pint) is pretty much unbeatable around the metro area. It might lack ambiance, but if you’re just looking to, you know, drink beer, it’s pretty good.

    Also, Union Jack’s and Flanagan’s – great places to catch the EPL come August/September, if you get tired of going to Lucky Bar.

  6. dane (unregistered) on June 15th, 2007 @ 6:19 pm

    Whats ‘bourgie’?

  7. Aaron (unregistered) on June 15th, 2007 @ 7:32 pm

    Dane, I’m sure it references the Bourgeoisie. I would say fancy-schmancy, but to each their own.

  8. Don (unregistered) on June 16th, 2007 @ 12:04 pm

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