A few selections at Pike & Rose from the Best of Bethesda

Best New Place for Game Time

Sports & Social

We can’t decide if it’s the ginormous screen or the Skee-Ball that makes Sports & Social the best addition to the local sports bar scene. An 18-foot screen—so big it feels like a Jumbotron that’s been transplanted from a sports stadium—anchors the nearly 7,700-square-foot space at Pike & Rose in North Bethesda. Don’t worry if it’s not showing the game you want to watch. Just glance at another of the 20-plus screens around the chic space (they’re all controlled from a DJ-esque station overlooking the main area of the venue). Between games, you can play some yourself: arcade basketball, foosball, Big Buck Hunter Reloaded, a table version of shuffleboard.

Though it’s part of a national chain, the Pike & Rose outpost, which opened in September, includes a lineup of Maryland brews, an outdoor “crush” bar that serves fruity cocktails, and a menu with a crabcake sandwich and a pretzel with crab dip. The other locations, some based in casinos, feature online sports betting through FanDuel. That might soon be another way to game at the Pike & Rose spot—at press time, legalized sports betting in Maryland was about to be officially on the books.

Sports & Social, 11800 Grand Park Ave. (Pike & Rose), North Bethesda, 240-747-3006, sportsandsocialbethesda.com

Photo by Erick Gibson

Food Hall Showstoppers

Little Miner Taco at The Block

The birria de res quesotacos platter (quesadilla + taco = quesotaco) at Little Miner Taco, which opened at The Block in July 2020, is a thing of beauty. Three deep-fried corn tortillas ($17) are griddled with loads of Jack cheese and birria de res, braised beef flavored with guajillo chiles, cloves and juniper berries. The tortillas are folded into tacos, topped with salsa roja, chopped scallions and cilantro, and served with lime wedges, pickled red onions and a cup of beef braising broth (consommé) for dunking and drinking. (Birria de res tacos not sold separately.)

Little Miner Taco at The Block, 967 Rose Ave. (Pike & Rose), North Bethesda, 240-600-1980, littleminertaco.com

Kyoto Matcha at The Block

The display case at Kyoto Matcha is an art exhibit of exquisite confections—many of them matcha based—meant to provoke impulse buying and photo posting. Resisting them is futile. We are intrigued by the 22-layer crepe cake slices ($9), especially the bright green matcha variety and the neon purple ube offering, but the brown sugar boba milk cap cake blows us away. It’s a round of delicate sponge cake bathed in silken white milk foam, mounded with purple boba and drizzled with brown sugar syrup, plenty for two to share ($12).

Kyoto Matcha at The Block, 967 Rose Ave. (Pike & Rose), North Bethesda, kyotomatcha.us