Tuesday, October 18, 2016

Owen's Ordinary Review (Video+photos)

Owen's Ordinary opened yesterday at Pike & Rose in North Bethesda's Pike District, and I stopped by about half-an-hour after it opened at 4:00 PM. I chose to sit on the patio, which features mostly bench seating, as you often find in a beer garden. Beer is indeed the star of the show here, with over 250 kinds on tap or in bottles. The menu is best described as upscale American comfort food.

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OWEN'S ORDINARY?

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The opening of Owen's Ordinary marks the first time that Bluejacket beer, brewed in DC, is being served in a Montgomery County restaurant or bar. So I decided to try one, and chose Bluejacket's Forbidden Planet, a kolsch beer with 4.2% ABV.

Forbidden Planet has a cloudy, grapefruit juice appearance to it. It came from the tap with a thick head that didn't take long to dissolve, and a pungent aroma of hops. Upon drinking, fruity flavors like lemon and apricot became apparent, and there was a dry finish with little bitterness. Despite its complex flavor and aroma, it was fairly refreshing on an 80 degree day, and went well with the food I ordered. Four stars.
Speaking of which, I started off with a bowl of Tomato Bread Soup. Surprisingly, despite the name, the soup doesn't have a tomato-based broth. Instead, not-too-salty soup draws its flavors directly from the tomatoes, fennel, onions, basil and melted-shredded parmesan cheese. There's a nice flavor contrast between the fresh sharpness of the basil and the darker, stewed tomato flavor. I suspect this will be more popular in fall and winter, but even on a warm day, I will also give this dish four stars.
Now on to the main event: The Local Angus Double Stack Burger, which is rumored to have been inspired by In-N-Out Burger's famous Double Double Animal-Style burger. Say no more! A slightly-sweet, potato roll-style bun emerged, piled high with two 8 oz. burgers with a nice char, pickles, shredded lettuce, red onion, melted American cheese, a tomato slice, and special sauce.

This is a juice-running-down-your-shirtsleeve type of burger. When the plate was first set down, juice was oozing down the side of the lower bun onto the plate of its own accord. Surprisingly, the bun held up, and the spear through the center helped hold things together. The vegetables on top all had a fresh flavor. I pulled out the tomato slice to take a bite of it isolated from the rest of the sandwich, and it had a farm-fresh flavor.

While their double burger may lack the caramelized onion and mustard finish of the In-N-Out icon, you won't find a tomato slice of this quality at a fast food restaurant. The pickles are very important in a Big Mac/Double Double-style burger, and these had the ideal dill flavor. "Special sauce" isn't rocket science, but you have to get the ratios of the ingredients right, and they have here.

Look at that juice
running down the side
of the lower bun onto
the plate
Lots of juice, thick layers of warm melted cheese, high-quality toppings and two delicious dry-aged burger blend patties add up to five stars of burger excellence.
French fries
The fries on the side are of the thick-cut, skin-on variety. They get the job done. There's nothing particularly distinctive about them, scoring a satisfactory three stars.

Rounding out the meal was a plate of three cornmeal-crusted Rappahannock oysters atop celery root that resembles pasta, and topped with chili aioli. If you are used to oysters from other areas, you will find the Rappahannock variety less salty, with a smooth, buttery flavor. The thin layer of cornmeal let the plump oysters take center stage. Five stars.
Owen's Ordinary offers arguably the best craft beer list in Montgomery County, and rich, earthy dishes that pair well with complex-flavored brews. It is a unique and much-needed addition to the Bethesda dining scene. The patio gives Pike & Rose another neighborhood hangout, where a beer adventure that once required a trip into the District can be found at a walk-up window in Muse Alley - with two hours of free parking. Four stars.

11820 Trade Street
(Pike & Rose)
301-245-1226

12 comments:

Bethesda Dan said...

I don't see any pictures of Owen

Anonymous said...

Dyer es muy Ordinario.

Robert Dyer said...

Dan, the name refers to a historic tavern that once stood in Rockville.

Betty D said...

Rob, this is Bethesda, not Rockville

Anonymous said...

#DyertheAlchie

Betty Crocker said...

Pike and Rose is North Bethesda.

Anonymous said...

Doesn't this belong on RockvilleNights Rob?

Anonymous said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Anonymous said...

11:22 Talk all you want, but NBC won't be paying you $10Million to go away.

Anonymous said...

11:22 - did 7th grade already let out? STFU and leave.

Anonymous said...

Robert Dyer you will be revealed for who you really are ... a pathetic sad child.

deco said...

bethesda