Credit: Photo courtesy Willie T's Seafood Shack

Fast-Casual Catch

It’s mostly surf and a little turf at Willie T’s Seafood Shack. The eatery, serving the catch of the day, opened in March in Silver Spring with menu options that include grilled or fried catfish, seafood platters, lobster rolls, crab rolls and chicken tenders.  

Willie T’s is decorated with a nautical theme and serves up meals on metal trays with black and white checkered paper. It was opened by Thompson Hospitality, a food service company based in Virginia, and is named after the grandfather of Thompson’s founder. 

The restaurant’s only other location is in Fort Lauderdale, Florida.  

Side options include hush puppies, Willie T’s onion petals, coleslaw, mac and cheese, and crinkle-cut fries. For dessert, try red velvet cake or chocolate cake. The fast-casual restaurant also serves beer, wine and soda.  9326 Georgia Ave., Silver Spring, willietsseafoodshack.com


Comings & Goings

  • Baby Bar cafe is bringing a kid-friendly environment to the Kentlands neighborhood. The eatery will offer a youth-friendly menu for children of all ages, with options including pureed food and grilled cheese. The cafe was expected to open in June.
  • Charley Prime Foods brought a steak-forward elevated dining experience to Rio in Gaithersburg in May.
  • Citizens & Culture, offering a relaxed take on fine dining and a performance space, opened in Silver Spring in April. 
  • Butter Me Up closed at Westfield Montgomery mall in Bethesda in April after opening in May 2022.
Credit: Photo by Kelly Martin

Snacker’s Discovery

Gary Edell’s family hosts a big holiday party every year, and for years, the potato chips he made by hand in his Gaithersburg home would be the first thing to disappear. “It was always funny to watch people sort of gravitate to the chips,” Edell says.

At school and events, he says, people would ask his kids, “Where’d you get those chips?” They’d always respond with words that became the snack’s brand name: “They’re my dad’s chips.” 

Advertisement

As his kids went off to college, where Edell sent them chips in care packages, and they shared them with their friends, the popularity of the kettle-cooked crisps grew. Edell created an LLC in 2022, and the business, My Dad’s Chips, expanded through door-to-door sales and samples. 

What started as a basic potato chip has evolved into three flavors: original, barbecue, and salt and balsamic vinegar. Each chip is thinly sliced and cooked to a cracking crunch; the result is an explosion of flavor with a light saltiness.  

The chips are sold at small local grocers, delis and bagel shops throughout the DMV. To really show your local potato chip love, check out the specialized merch ranging from hats to T-shirts.  mydadschips.com

Advertisement

Credit: Photo by Juan Marroquín

Pinch of Wisdom

“Keep an open mind. I think a big factor is experimenting. Sometimes we get really locked in on a certain kind of cuisine, certain kinds of ingredients. But especially in the DMV, there are so many amazing markets and different cuisines.” Iris Jimenez, chef at Restaurant 198 in Burtonsville

This story appears in the July/August issue of Bethesda Magazine.