Quarry House Tavern

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BA SCORE
92
outstanding

26 Ratings
Ratings: 26
Reviews: 21
rAvg: 4.14
pDev: n/a
Taps: 9
Bottles: 300
Cask: N
Beer-to-Go: N
[ Bar, Eatery ]

8401 Georgia Ave
Silver Spring, Maryland, 20910-4425
United States
phone: (301) 587-9406

visit their websiteWebsite view map and get directionsMap 

Notes:
None, yet.

(Place added by: NOmiccityson on 12-15-2006)
Place: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 26 | Reviews: 21 | Display Reviews Only:
Reviews by MBPChead:
Photo of MBPChead
4.72/5  rDev +14%
vibe: 5 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4.5 | selection: 5 | food: 5

I have been to this bar many a time and it's my favorite bar for a reason: its close by, the food is great, beer from across the globe, and most people in attendance are quite friendly. At a glance it's pretty easy to miss, especially since it's a basement but for those who venture 13 steps down and inside the door are in for a real treat. The atmosphere is, although a bit dingy, warm and welcoming the walls littered with various paraphernalia for a large variety of different brews. Getting down to brass tax the quarry house offers offer 300 beers on bottle from various corners of the globe including the major beer capitals as well as several oddities and has 9 rotating taps for the true brew lover. Whether you crave a Russian imperial stout, English brown ale, Belgian strong dark ale, or whatever you wish to drink rest assured they can suit your need. But if you crave booze other than beer than don't fret for this dive offers wine roughly 200 different types of whisky as well as your other standard hard liquor for cocktails and that sort of thing. The food they offer is pretty typical of your average pub grub, but that's not exactly a bad thing. Especially since their burgers have a reputation that speaks for themselves. With a slew of different toppings to choose from the burger is a landmark of the Tavern's menu and for good reason, whether it's a 1/3, 1/2, or even a full 1-pound premium beef burger your craving shall be fulfilled, plus if you go on Monday its 1/2 half price. But, if a burger is not what you seek than fear not for their menu also includes sandwiches (hot and cold/veggie and meat), a veggie platter (with hummus and pita that will knock your socks off), salads, beer batter chicken tenders, and your every day bar appetizers. The wait staff is friendly, helpful, and knowledgeable about what they serve. On a final note there is but one thing this wonderful dive has to offer that I still have need to mention Music. For the Quarry House in addition to housing a Juke Box with a musical selection that offers something for almost anybody's eardrum, they also frequently showcase live musical performance from a several bands and genres. Every Saturday is rockabilly night for those who want to have a good time dancing or just wanna listen to some Good Ol' Boy/Oldies Rock N' Roll music. If your looking for some LIVE ELECTRIC BLUES than the first Friday of every month will get you Jonny Grave and The Tombstones from 9-12. Or if your more of a head banger or a skin head than the occasional hardcore punk and metal shows should be right up your alley. So if you're in the neighborhood sometime give them a try whether you like the place or not it'll be an experience that you won't soon forget.

More User Reviews:
Photo of shivtim
3.89/5  rDev -6%

Great place to get a beer in Silver Spring. Very much a dive bar atmosphere. Beer selection is great but not excellent - the draft list is small and the bottle list is way overpriced. Still, a lot of great things and you're sure to find something good.
Service was agonizingly slow. Like really really really slow. Took an extremely long time to even place an order for a beer, and then over an hour for food to come out. The burgers, which had been highly recommended to us, were good. Not the best ever, but still good. Nice to have the tater tots option.

Photo of Guden
4.5/5  rDev +8.7%

Photo of phishfoolme
4.25/5  rDev +2.7%

Photo of BeerDazed
3.74/5  rDev -9.7%
vibe: 4 | quality: 3.75 | service: 3.5 | selection: 3.75 | food: 4

Don't blink, or you will miss this place. Actually, depending on the direction you're walking, you may totally miss it. It is hard to find if you're a first-timer. Once I saw the address, and the stairway leading down, I didn't know what to expect. You walk in, and hear lots of people talking, and it is dark. Exposed wood, pipes, etc. Very cool. I asked, and the place has been around since before Prohibition. The main bar has probably a dozen or so chairs that one can belly up to. If you don't want to sit ringside, there are quite a few small tables and chairs in the main bar area too. Don't expect to be served if you sit down at a table in this area. It is not a serving area, but no one will tell you. One of the guys (a patron) sitting up at the bar actually gave me the menu of liquid libations and what was on tap. Some decent beer offerings, and I made my way back ringside and ordered up. Lots of bottles here, and it looks like they know how to mix a good, stiff, drink or two as well. Staff is a little on the gruff side, but once you engage in some conversation, it's all good. I would definitely recommend if you're in this area. Don't dress up. Jeans/shorts/t-shirt is fine. The 1/2 pound black and bleu burger w/ bacon was very good.

Photo of yourefragile
3.75/5  rDev -9.4%

Photo of Paz8812
5/5  rDev +20.8%

Photo of dexterk1
3.91/5  rDev -5.6%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4 | service: 3.75 | selection: 4 | food: 3.75

This is a solid place that I love. Location is nice and it is something that Silver Spring needs. It is a rare place in that town; a good, interesting bar. It is what it is. A basement place that is comfortable and laid back. Great beer selection and they always have interesting and quality beers on draft. Service has been pretty good every time I have been here(it has been many times). Food is solid. Nothing spectacular(wings may be the exception here), just basic.
Good place to visit regularly and just hang out.

Photo of Boone757
4.25/5  rDev +2.7%

Photo of smakawhat
4.1/5  rDev -1%
vibe: 5 | quality: 4 | service: 4 | selection: 4 | food: 4

Here is a place that seems completely out of its element. Within downtown Silver Spring sits a basement bar, hard to find and not even well marked, surrounded by new development and restaurants. Upon entering you realize you are walking into somewhere special.

The atmosphere is a great dive vibe. You're in a basement which could pass for your grandmas house, with a bar, and wooden paneling. The jukebox or tunes pump out something edgy some times giving it a rustic feel.

As for the beer, there is a good solid standard bottle list and it's quite varied. Prices are very reasonable too. Tap selection though is very minimal with maybe 6 offerings and I am sure one will always be Guinness.

That being said chowing down on a burger and some tatter tots while having a few beers is a great way to pass the time. It feels like a secret joint. Come here for the atmosphere and just take it easy.

Photo of Rootdog316
4.15/5  rDev +0.2%
vibe: 3 | quality: 4 | service: 4 | selection: 5

This was such an odd place. I've passed this intersection a few times before and never even noticed it. Unless somebody had shown you the place before, you wouldn't know it existed because there is no sign. The beers were all very reasonably priced, and the service was decent. It was very small and a bit crowded, but worth going to for the beer selection. While here I had an Atwater Vanilla Java, Back in Black, Ten Fidy, and a Fuel Cafe. There selection is huge, and totally worth going to if you are a beer afficionado in Montgomery County. It is definitely one of the better beer bars in Montgomery County if not the entire Washington DC area.

Photo of CuriousMonk
4.08/5  rDev -1.4%
vibe: 5 | quality: 4 | service: 4 | selection: 4.5 | food: 2.5

It's hard to find, it's dark, it smells, anything resembling a crowd and the service takes a nose dive and I love it. This place is hidden which is found by going down the stairway.

Let's start with the food and get to the good stuff later: If you plan on eating here don't look in the kitchen. I imagine the only reason the health department hasn't shut them down is because they couldn't find the place either. The burgers are typically under cooked (ie, I prefer medium rare, here I ask for medium) go ahead be a stud and ask for medium rare if you want - you'll be eating a beef jelly donut. The tater tots are little chunks of fried gold! We all know about Mondays being half price burgers but frankly I don't think saving the $4 is worth it, but I prefer going Wednesday through Saturday.

The good stuff: The QH is more of a beer bar but they do have an excellent selection of whiskey and rye. The draft selection is good but limited. They rotate out beers so be sure to ask what's on tap. The bottled beer menu is fun to peruse and you can find some lesser known brews. A top notch dive bar in the area!

Photo of LOM718
4.65/5  rDev +12.3%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 5 | service: 4 | selection: 5 | food: 4.5

This place is awesome! But you might miss it, it's not well marked but you'll see a few people hanging around outside an opening on the corner that leads down some stone stairs. The place doesn't look like much even once you're inside, but this is a really great place!
They have a huge selection of beers, especially Belgian beers. Additionally, the burgers are really great! And they'll cook them properly (which is hard to find). I highly recommend this as a beer hang out for anyone in the area!!

Photo of glocks4interns
4.2/5  rDev +1.4%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4 | selection: 4 | food: 4

I like Quarry House a lot. It is a smallish craft beer/dive bar at basement level.

Beer: They have a limited selection of beer on tap (compared to other craft-beer bars I goto) but most of it is very good. Their bottle selection is pretty extensive and very high quality.

Food: The food is above average with great tatter tots and some very hot wing sauces.

Atmosphere: It is dark, the ceilings are low, and it's a dive. None of those things are negatives if they are what you're looking for. The staff is friendly and reasonably knowledgeable.

Price: It is also pretty reasonable for a craft beer bar and while you can spend a lot it's better than many other options.

Cons: My biggest complaint is some parts of it are a little too "divey". The bathroom is not gross but not great.

Overall I recommend it and am glad it's two blocks from my place.

Photo of Waltwvu
4.44/5  rDev +7.2%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4 | selection: 5

From the outside and when you walk in the first thing you will think is dive bar with the low ceilings, dark lights and exposed brick walls, but take a look at the bottle list and you will be pleasantly surprised. The taps are decent there were 5 i think with blue moon, DFH 90 and a few other crafts as well as 1 macro. While this bar does sell a fair share of PBR and other tall boys they have an impressive bottle list catorgorized by type and region with and explanation of the beer for those who are unfamilair. They have bar menu with some pub fare but i did not try. this is a neighborhood gem worth seeking out

Photo of alysmith4
4.15/5  rDev +0.2%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4 | service: 4 | selection: 5 | food: 3

What the.. My friend bet me that this random door from this desserted looking alley went to this ridiculously great bar in Chevy Chase. I shook her had as we descended down the stairs. Before I knew it, I was sulking in my delious Belgian brew, and yes - I'd be the one picking up the tab for that afternoon's festivities.

This bar is a really fantastic understatement. The beer list is extensive, the food is good, and the service is great. What a great place to duck into on a cold winter afternoon. I'll definitely be back, assuming I can find it again.

Photo of livedrinkbeer
4.83/5  rDev +16.7%
vibe: 5 | quality: 5 | service: 4.5 | selection: 5 | food: 4.5

What an incredible find. My wife found it on the internet while tying to find fried pickles. It's underneath an indian restaurant down some dark dirty stairs. I don't think it could be descized any better. Glad we're moving around the corner sure to become a regular hangout. I dug the underground vibe food was delicoius, beer selection couldn't have been better, service was dead on and price was very good considering area. I would definatly recomend and can't wait to take friends there when they visit us. I had a black and blue burger cooked perfectly that melted in my mouth, a 90 min. draft, and a oscar blues scottish ale. Fried oreo ala mode for desert. The only problem I could sse would be that it might get a little crowded for it's size, we were there early afternoon so it was perfect for us.

Photo of ralree
4.26/5  rDev +2.9%
vibe: 3.5 | quality: 5 | service: 3 | selection: 5

This place was really fun to visit. They had a live band, and the beer selection was wonderful. It was a little loud, but that was to be expected. I had no trouble finding various IPAs I wanted to try. They also had some interesting imports (one was French). A must if you live in the DC Metro Area.

I didn't try the food, and I'm not sure if it would really be any good. If you want food, there are other places nearby that can satisfy. We also went to the Pirate Bar, which wasn't nearly as cool, and didn't have the great beer selection this hole-in-the-wall offers.

Photo of macpapi
4/5  rDev -3.4%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4 | service: 4 | selection: 4

Warning: if you are looking for an upscale, trendy, polished environment to hang out and enjoy a brew or two DO NOT come to the Quarry House Tavern. On the other hand, if you don't mind a grungy, dank, subterranean, somewhat funky, hipsterish locale with an above average selection of craft and import brews, this may be your place.

As many others have said, the Quarry House should first and foremost be labelled a 'dive bar.' Take that for what you will. To me it means this bar is somewhat welcoming in its cramped,cozy, dimly-lit comfort; with its cast of hipster, pierced, and modern grunge characters; and with the high decibel sounds of some of the loudest classic and modern rock to hit the airwaves. There is a smallish bar, with around 10 seats and a handful of tables in the front room, and more tables in the back room (assuming there are no bands playing the venue.) The bar shows off a relatively impressive array of quality spirits and five draught beer handles, as well as a good array of proper beer glassware. A t.v. hangs at the inside corner of the bar, though during each of the three times I've visited it has yet to be turned on.

Beer selection is quite good. Though there are fewer tap-lines than deck many good beer bars, two considerations mitigate this situation. First off, four of the five represented drafts are usually pretty high quality. With the exception of one typical macro or Euro macro (PBR and Carlsburg on my visits) the other lines have been inhabited by the likes of Dogfish Head 90 minute, Dominion Oak Barrel Stout, Allagash White, Fordham Helles, Flying Dog IPA, and other fine craft brews in the past. Secondly, the bottle list is extensive, if somewhat eclectic and laid out in a very helpful and humorous fashion. There are too many listed bottles to describe here. Suffice it to say that the traditional craft beer powers are well represented, along with some lesser-known more obscure brewers and brews. Euros are well-done too. Many Belgians, Germans, British, to go with a handful of fine Italian, Eastern European and non-western beers.

Service is friendly and helpful with information--if somewhat slow. Bartenders have been very personable and outgoing and know quite a bit about the beer. Always served in proper glassware as well.

Prices are decent for the area.

Overall, this is a nice, laid-back place to visit for a pint, bottle, or two.

2.19.11: Slight edit. On recent visits, I've noticed improved service, and bumped grade up accordingly.

Photo of lstokes
4/5  rDev -3.4%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4.5 | service: 3 | selection: 4 | food: 5

The burgers are great, definitely get one if you come here. The PBR-battered chicken strips were also pretty excellent, as were the chips and dill dip. My friend and I loved everything we ate.

The bottle beer selection is excellent--there aren't that many taps, though (although they seemed to be mostly local the two times I went? which is a plus), and I really go to beer bars for the taps, so I can't say the selection overall any better than good.

The atmosphere is definitely that of a dive, so take that or leave that. I've been here once when a dive was just what I wanted, and once when the noise and the stickiness and the slow service got on my nerves. It definitely gets the vibe it's going for, so points for that.

(Seriously though, get a burger. They were damn good.)

Photo of drabmuh
3.4/5  rDev -17.9%
vibe: 2 | quality: 3.5 | service: 3 | selection: 4 | food: 4

Dive bar alert. Seriously though, this place is a dive. It is dark, everything is kind of dirty, its a big hipster doofus hang out. Lots of plaid, skinny jeans, and buddy holly glasses in the place. Interesting place though. We sat at a table that the bartenders covered so we had good service until the bar got busy, then no one came to talk to us. We had to go order at the bar like everyone else. The beer selection was decent, and the menu was broken up into style rather than region like most beer bars. I spend the majority of the night trying to decide if this was a good thing or not. I'm still conflicted. There were a fair number of beers available, a healthy mixture of European and American craft, they were not above serving crap like Bud, but I guess its a bar. They also had a full liquor bar.

We both ordered hamburgers because it was half off (if it wasn't half off with some of the outrageous prices they charge for SOME of the beers, this place would have gotten $$$). The burgers were good, and at half off quite a bargain. Beers were served in appropriate-ish glassware and I have no real complaints. I regret that I have not found my DC area beer bar yet, but I'll keep looking. This place is worth a look if you like beer, darkness, and low ceilings.

Photo of dickroop
3.95/5  rDev -4.6%
vibe: 3 | quality: 3.5 | service: 4.5 | selection: 4.5 | food: 3.5

I probably wouldn't have made a special trip to the Quarry House Tavern, but a friend had business close by and that made an excuse for a get-together of old work friends. It was a good place for that.

As noted by others, ambience is not the strong suit of this place. It's dark, none-too-attractive, and certainly not spiffy. Now that I've gotten that out of the way, you should know that the place definitely has its merits. The selection of bottled beers is wide and awsome, perhaps 60-80. The greatest variety is in the Belgian brews - they even had 6-7 varieties of the Flemmish sour ales, which one very rarely sees. There are only 6-7 taps, and the offerings were not especially noteworthy but they were OK. I had the Pauliner Hefeweissen and Framboise (raspberry lambic).

Our server (Jenny) was remarkably knowledgeable about the beer offerings, offering tips about which she enjoyed. She was also pleasant and efficient. It didn't hurt that the place was quite uncrowded early on a weeknight. Based on her claim that the QH Tavern's burgers had been named "the best in town", we decided to eat a light dinner there, providing the much-needed opportunity to sample more beers. It was a good decision. The hummus, pita, and veggies appetizer was good, and the grilled veggie sandwich I had was also quite good. My friends were not overly impressed with their burgers (too much salt added?), and so the dubious "best burger" claim needs scrutiny from the carnivore-officinados out there. But generally, I found the food here to have integrity - it's several major levels better than the atmosphere and decor would suggest.

Overall, with 3 beers apiece and food (and tip) it was $28/person. Used to be that was a hellava lotta money, but not anymore, and especially not in the DC Metro area. I would recommend the QH Tavern for just what it is good at - a neighborhood esablishment and tradition with a lot of bottles to sample and some good draft beers and simple food to sustain you. That alone is often enough to sustain a place, and this place looks like it has been here for a LONG time.

Photo of xv43
4.15/5  rDev +0.2%
vibe: 5 | quality: 4 | service: 3.5 | selection: 4.5 | food: 4.5

I work across the street from the Quarryhouse, so I find myself over there fairly frequently. It is completely a dive atmosphere, but I personally love that about it. Dim lighting, wood paneled walls - excellent.

The burgers are very good, and on Mondays they are half price, making them a great deal then. They also do beer tastings (I believe the first Wednesday of every month) and whiskey tastings (I believe the third Wednesday of every month).

The beer list is extensive and the staff are knowledgeable about it. It's not quite as long as the Brickskellar, but I've yet to encounter a situation where the Quarryhouse didn't have the beer I asked for - they actually stock all the beer they put on the menu.

The biggest thing I love about it is that the taps rotate. They always have Guinness on, but all the others taps can and will change from day to day.

Photo of dreadnatty08
3.68/5  rDev -11.1%
vibe: 4 | quality: 3.5 | service: 3.5 | selection: 4 | food: 3.5

Been here countless times, the best bet for beer selection in Silver Spring (we live in neighboring Takoma Park). Generally decent tap selections, I've had Fuller's ESB, Loose Cannon, my gf goes for the draft Hardcore. Bottle selection has improved since we started going there in August. More Belgians, more seasonals, and prices are generally pretty good, much better than the District.
Food, well, I always get a veggie burger and tater tots. They're fine, they are what they are. I believe they use organic beef for their burgers, QHT, owned by the same folks as Jackie's up the street are good stewards of the organic/local movement, always a plus in my book. Also, get the chips and dill dip, they're great.
Service can be spotty when it's busy, but whatever, it's not fine dining. If you HAVE to eat in Silver Spring, check it out, good beer selection.

Photo of Atlas1
3.28/5  rDev -20.8%
vibe: 2 | quality: 3 | service: 3.5 | selection: 4 | food: 3

The Quarry House Tavern is a little dumpy basement bar located at the corner of Georgia Avenue and Bonifant Street in Silver Spring, MD. Honestly, this place is a real dive. I've been there roughly three or four times and each time I've been there the place looks a mess. Tables aren't bussed, the bar is dirty, and the whole place has a certain disgusting stickiness to it. Needless to say, I am not a huge fan of the Quarry House ambience.

That said, it does have a nice selection of beer. If you can get past the dirty, unwashed menus, you can find a decent selection of imports and American craft beers to choose from. No need to go into detail here, just know that there is a nice array of Belgians, Germans, and local breweries. I had Clipper City on tap last time I was there, but that was a while ago. Not sure what the tap selection is or how often it rotates.

The staff has always been relatively genial when I've been there. They may not be in a huge hurry to assist you, but they're relatively nice when they finally get around to it.

I haven't eaten anything there besides the tater tots. Yes, tater tots. Honestly, in a dirty bar in Silver Spring could there be anything better to consume with your beer than tater tots? No. Not at all. At least they got this part right.

On the whole, this is not a terrible place. I'm sure there are some locals and regulars who absolutely swear by the place. And that's great, because all great neighborhood bars should be that way. But for me, my money is better spent on a nice sixer that I can take home and enjoy in a clean house.

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Quarry House Tavern in Silver Spring, MD
92 out of 100 based on 26 ratings.