First Taste: Markham’s Bar and Grill

First Taste: Markham’s Bar and Grill

Plus, opening updates on Roof Bethesda and Republic

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In October, Steve Markham closed his One3Five Cuisine trailer, which sat on a corner of the Bethesda’s Montgomery Farm Women’s Cooperative Market for two years. In November, he opened Markham’s Bar and Grill, just on the other side of the market.

I was a big fan of the trailer, and after lunch at the new restaurant, I wish Markham had kept on truckin’.

Maybe it’s a question of expectations; it was a better than average food truck, but as a sit-down restaurant, it just seems average.

Or maybe it’s because Markham isn’t as hands on with the brick and mortar operation now that he has a kitchen staff.

I know the Pakistani tacos were a popular dish at One3Five Cuisine, yet the misnomer mixture of Indian, Latin American and Middle Eastern ingredients (chicken, ginger, curry, tomatoes, hot peppers, cucumbers, pico de gallo, feta and tzatziki sauce) comes off as a multi-ethnic mishmash to me. My friend noted that it tasted like something she might have whipped up from the leftovers in her refrigerator, never to duplicate again.

The new smoked duck quesadilla, not part of the trailer repertoire, needs rethinking. It could have been filled with anything, as the little cubes of lackluster duck were easily drowned-out.

Markham’s signature banh mi was good (again). If I’m being nitpicky, I’d say the filling could have been more plentiful, and the roll a bit more toasted (it got mushy).

The Mo, a take-off on the old Hot Shoppes Mighty Mo, was surprisingly the best of the bunch. Two cheeseburgers stacked with shredded lettuce, pickle slices and “Mo” sauce, a concoction of mayonnaise, ketchup and other condiments, were exactly as advertised: simple, old time fast food.

7141 Wisconsin Ave., Bethesda, 240-800-4700, www.markhamsbar.com

Opening updates: Jeff Black’s latest eatery, Republic, a smart foray into the underserved restaurant community of Takoma Park, opens 5 p.m. Sunday, December 8. The casual restaurant, which will feature a bar, patio and oyster bar, is located at 6939 Laurel Ave. www.republictakoma.com    

Also, stay tuned for an anticipated Friday, December 20 opening for Roof Bethesda, the jazzy restaurant and rooftop bar at the corner of Cordell and Norfolk Avenues in Bethesda. Check out the menu at www.roofbethesda.com

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