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GrillMarx Steakhouse & Raw Bar – Olney, MD

During Coach Friedgen’s early years at Maryland, we hosted the Ralph Friedgen Invitational golf tournament in the summer.  The first 2 years were at Ford’s Colony. Rick Ford, a major Terps supporter, owned this amazing gated community.  Unfortunately he passed away a few years ago, but I’m sure his family is running Ford’s Colony with the same love that Rick did.  The golf course was amazing, we got to stay at the Marriott Vacation Club on site, and I spent the day shopping while the guys golfed.  The first year our table went through 4 bottles of Cristal before Rick finally cut us off. Cristal is okay, but certainly not worth the $600 cost. Honestly, to me it doesn’t taste much different than regular champagne.

After 2 years the tournament moved to a course closer to home, in Northern Virginia.  That year one of our donors brought Andy & Gabe as his guests.  They were 2/3 of the owners of Caddie’s on Cordell, a great bar in Bethesda.  After that first meeting we spent many happy hours and nights at Caddie’s.  They always took great care of me…within 2 minutes of walking in the bar there was a cocktail at the bar waiting for me.  I love that kind of service.

About 2 years ago, Andy left Caddie’s, and opened up GrillMarx.  It wasn’t open yet when I was visiting last summer, so I was so glad I was able to make it there twice this time around.  Unfortunately Andy wasn’t working Sunday night when I went for the first time…but Friday night he was there, behind the bar, in his element.  Emily was already there when I arrived, as was half of Olney.  But Andy spotted 2 barstools that were about to open up, and we were set.  One of the things I love about Andy is that he still remembers my favorite drink, even though I now see him at most once a year.  That’s the sign of a great bartender.

A couple times at Caddie’s Andy asked if we were hungry when we got there…duh… Instead of having us pick items, he just ordered us the best items from the menu for us.   I loved doing it that way because we never knew what we would get, and we were never disappointed.  Luckily nothing has changed since he opened GrillMarx.

As Emily and I chatted, a shrimp cocktail dish arrived in front of us.  I forgot to take a picture.  But lets’ just say they were enormously jumbo shrimp, with really fresh cocktail sauce.  Not 5 minutes later, chips with spinach dip arrived.

GrillMarx, Olney MD - Karyl's Kulinary Krusade

Both the dip and the chips were warm.  I’m a huge fan of warm chips.

Next came the entree.

GrillMarx, Olney MD - Karyl's Kulinary Krusade

Lobster, shrimp & steak…oh my!  Did we really need to dip the lobster in the melted butter?  Of course not!  But did we?  Of course we did!  The lobster was fantastic.  The shrimp were grilled, and the same huge size of the shrimp cocktail.  The filet was perfectly cooked.  The asparagus was chilled and crunchy.  The only thing we didn’t eat was the corn on the cob.  It’s kinda hard to eat that at the bar, and I don’t really know how we would have shared it.

Just when we thought it couldn’t get any better…

GrillMarx, Olney MD - Karyl's Kulinary Krusade

Chocolate Gnache, Toasted Hazelnuts, Caramel with Bruleed Marshmallow  and Vanilla Bean Ice Cream

Wow…that’s about all I can say about the dessert.  The ganache was so amazing.  I never knew I loved bruleed marshmallow until that night, but now there’s no doubt.

Maybe it’s a good thing I’m not still living in Maryland, because I couldn’t eat like that on a regular basis!  But it was so worth it, and I can’t wait to go back next time I’m in town.

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