A couple of DC Moms were treated recently to a sampling of the tasty foods on the menu this fall at Quench. A “Modern Bar and Restaurant,” Quench is a cozy little bistro located in the Traville Gateway section of Rockville. The seasonal cocktails are inspired and creative and the menu is full of not-uncommon foods prepared with a soulful but trendy and modern twist, just enough to keep you coming back again and again. The seating options vary, there are tables and a few booths and some coffee house-type sofa seats too if you choose to have a cocktail and relax at the end of the day. It’s a place where you can bring the family, kids are always welcome!, or stop in a coworker for a happy hour drink and snack or go for an 8pm date night with your partner.
I sampled so many tasty dishes. You can easily make a meal of just drinks and bar snacks and starters if you are sharing with a friend and intend to sample all night long. Bites o’ Pretzel is a nice middle-of-the-taste-bud-road dish for the not-too-adventuouse palate. I snacked on them all night! But don’t fill up on that Natty Boh cheese sauce and Peach Dijon dip because there is plenty ahead on this flavorful journey. The Goat Cheese Dip was mild but rich and sweet too. I am not a big fan of goat cheese but this was delicious and I kept coming back for another bite! I can’t forget Three-Ways-of-Bacon. Three dips served alongside several pieces of super-thick cut bacon with a good ratio of that ideal bacon crispy-to-fatty ratio. The dips were a peach-dijon, maple-sriracha and house BBQ. While sriracha is popping up everywhere this season, this was a good use of the spicy sauce. This dish, along with many others on the Quench menu, is Gluten Free. If you fall into this particular diet category you can really get a thorough sampling of Quench’s menu while attending to your needs. Even some desserts are marked GF! We also had sauteed calamari. Served in a warm marinara sauce it was a nice departure from the typical fried calamari but it wasn’t a table-favorite among those who regularly adore calamari.
We didn’t sample it, but I can’t neglect to mention that the Grilled Cheese Sandwich is one of the signature dishes at Quench because the recipe changes a few times a year. The type of cheese and sandwich accompaniments change seasonally just to keep you coming back for a new taste.
My big plate, or main dish, was the Chicken and Waffle Plate. I chose this because it sounded like a great sampling of what Quench is known for, a soul-food dish prepared to please a modern suburbanite. Plus, it came with sauteed kale and mac and cheese, my two favorite foods in the entire planet, albeit, on opposite ends of the diet-conscious spectrum. My chicken was moist with a crispy fried exterior. The homemade Belgian waffle was what all waffles should be; warm, thick and served with maple bourbon syrup. The syrup had just enough character and depth to remind you that this wasn’t your mother’s brunch syrup. The kale was lightly steamed and provided a great healthful and colorful balance to the fried chicken and waffle. The mac and cheese which also comes a it’s own main dish is orecchiette pasta with NattyBoh cheese and topped with crumbled Nacho Doritos. It was delicious but a tad heavy. I tried to eat a sampling of everything brought to the table so perhaps I just overate, which isn’t hard to do at Quench. Everything sounds intriguing and comforting.
We had dessert too, of course, fried Oreos, the huge (!) cinnamon roll and the gluten-free Boston creme which instead of pie is served as a custard. For someone on a gluten-free diet who can’t usually eat pie, this would be a perfect indulgence in what you have been missing. But if it’s authentic Boston creme you are seeking, pass this up for what we feel is the best dessert on the menu, the cinnamon roll. A thick, cinnamon-y, doughy roll topped with coffee cream cheese icing is a perfect example of how Quench takes a basic food and spruces it up just enough to make you scrape the plate and lick your fork twice. The fried oreo was dipped in crushed oreos not the typical fried-dessert batter. A lighter version of fried dessert, perhaps. Simple food done well, with an inspired and trendy twist of flavor.
It’s not as often as the owners intended that families come with their kids but the intent of Quench is that you will bring your kids. They make 95% of their food from scratch and can custom make some chicken tenders or a kid-friendly grilled cheese, mac and cheese or burger right along with your duck tacos and ahi tuna tartar which is marinated in spicy soy, served alongside pickled ginger and wonton chips.
Another all-season food is the bar snack deviled eggs, which gets a slight make-over each season just to keep it fresh, seasonal and interesting.
Price is important to those who design the menu for Quench. Nothing is over twenty dollars. Bar snacks are under $10, Starters are about $8-13 a plate, Salads and Sams average $12 and come with a variety of choices, Big Plates are $15-19.
If you visit Quench a few times a year you will notice slight menu variations, so if you go and love something, go back the next week before it gets fancied up for the next season. Take your kids, take your out-of-town family. There really is something on the menu for everyone.