If you can't make it to the shore this month like the rest of Washington, it sounds like Freddy's Lobster + Clams might be your next best bet from the way Tom Sietsema describes it in this weekend's review— or the decor, at least : "Just think of what you like at the beach, and hold the saltwater taffy, the pizza and the sand." The food, on the other hand, is a little more hit or miss for the Washington Post critic, and so he gives Freddy's 1.5 stars.
Sietsema compares the Bethesda restaurant's Maine- and non-Maine-style versions of lobster rolls and clam chowder on his visits, and decides he likes the clear Rhode Island-style chowder best (if it didn't turn up tepid). He doesn't pick favorites with the lobster rolls, but recommends the cold Maine-style roll for a hot day. The critic also likes the deviled eggs filled with lobster meat, fried clams and "snappy and sassy" pork sausage links.
Among the complaints, however, are french fries that hail from the freezer section, a lack of vegetarian options and a whoopie pie that the critic describes as "a sad sandwich of dry chocolate cake supporting a filling of sweetened butter — and Crisco." [WaPo]
The Washingtonian's Kate Nerenberg also takes a first look at Freddy's for this month's issue. She finds the decor "generic," but also admits that it is "a near dead ringer for a dirt-cheap New England seafood joint." The cold Maine-style lobster beats out the warm Connecticut-style roll this time around and, interestingly enough, both Sietsema and Nerenberg point out that there are T-shirts for sale. The mark of any self-respecting seafood shack? [Washingtonian]
Todd Kliman offers up a twofer in this week's online chat with stops at Jerusalem in Falls Church and the new Tippy's Taco House in Rockville. The Washingtonian critic wishes the real Jerusalem had more of the celebratory spirit of the Middle Eastern cafe. And while the new Tippy's isn't quite what he remembers from his childhood visiting the College Park location, the tacos themselves "were right on, thin and crunchy and not tricked-out." [Washingtonian]
Somebody sitting next to the City Paper's Chris Shott pukes during one of his visits to Serendipity 3 and that sets the tone for this week's review: "The setting is so ostentatious, adorned with Tiffany-style lampshades and other precious tchotchkes; the crowd is so boisterous, full of chattering tourists and tweens; the portions are so prodigious, from the Chicken "Not So" Little soup to the four-person treasure chest of cakes and ice creams; and the prices are so inflated, ranging from an $11 hotdog to a $1,000 sundae, that you may find the entire experience a bit, well, nauseating. [WCP]
DCist's Josh Novikoff visits America Eats Tavern and decides that José Andrés could do better. The prices are high, there's not much to pair the famed catsups with, and service is spotty: "As you break the place down though, you realize what you are getting for your money is food with history, sometimes elevated by the skill of Andrés and his ThinkFoodGroup, sometimes not." [DCist]
THE BLOGS: Don Rockwell checks out Mala Tang and Station 4; Capital Spice tries some sandwich-and-side pairings at Sundevich; DC-Wrapped Dates does a sweep of U Street, trying Creme Cafe and Dukem; District Cuisine finds Inspire BBQ to be a good option on H Street.
Freddy's Lobster + Clams [Photo: Eddie K./Yelp]