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Tiki Central Forums » » Locating Tiki » » Orchid Isle [then under new mgmt as Orchid 7], Bethesda, MD (restaurant)
Orchid Isle [then under new mgmt as Orchid 7], Bethesda, MD (restaurant)
Johnny Dollar
Tiki Socialite

Joined: Oct 01, 2003
Posts: 2954
From: Baltimore, Maryland, PNG
Posted: 2011-02-17 12:13 pm   Permalink

Name:Orchid Isle, then under new mgmt as Orchid 7
Type:restaurant
Street:4723 Elm Street
City:Bethesda
State:MD
Zip:20814-2901
country:USA
Phone:
Status:defunct

Description:
all i know about this one is someone mentioned it on a non-tiki message board, and i recently found a matchbook cover image on worthpoint.com.



the current location is a restaurant/pub and was likely the original building to this restaurant. apparently orchid isle failed as a business and was opened under new management as orchid 7, who also opened a restaurant in georgetown under the same name. no mugs, menus or matchbooks could be found with the "orchid 7" markings.


[ This Message was edited by: johnny dollar 2011-02-25 12:11 ]


 
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Dustycajun
Tiki Socialite

Joined: Nov 16, 2007
Posts: 4272
From: Santa Barbara, CA
Posted: 2011-02-17 12:39 pm   Permalink

Johnny Dollar, Tiki King of the greater Washington DC area!

I had clipped that matchbook from ebay a long time ago, here are slightly bigger images.




(nice graphics in the border)


I also found this postcard image in my files from an Orchid Isle restaurant. I don't own the card so I can't be positive it is from the same location.




Looks like the dinning room had some Tiki going on with fishnet floats, tapa and bamboo. Are those Tiki lamps on the table, and Tikis in the back of the room?



Will have to find this card again.

DC


 
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Johnny Dollar
Tiki Socialite

Joined: Oct 01, 2003
Posts: 2954
From: Baltimore, Maryland, PNG
Posted: 2011-02-17 12:58 pm   Permalink

sweeet! looks like.

i haven't been in the barking dog for probably 12 to 15 years, but the ceiling heights and room proportions looks like a possible match.

another potentially relevant piece of data, depending on when the orchid isle was operating, it could have been in direct competition with the benihana that is only two blocks away (and still operating to this day).



[ This Message was edited by: Johnny Dollar 2011-02-17 13:14 ]


 
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Dustycajun
Tiki Socialite

Joined: Nov 16, 2007
Posts: 4272
From: Santa Barbara, CA
Posted: 2011-02-17 1:32 pm   Permalink

I just remembered where I got the image from the Orchid Isle, Tikisgrl posted here on TC and it is from Bethesda. Maybe she can post a better scan and show the back of the card.

http://www.tikiroom.com/tikicentral/bb/viewtopic.php?topic=1099&forum=5&vpost=406516&hilite=orchid isle

DC


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Johnny Dollar
Tiki Socialite

Joined: Oct 01, 2003
Posts: 2954
From: Baltimore, Maryland, PNG
Posted: 2011-02-18 08:00 am   Permalink

Quote:

On 2011-02-17 12:39, Dustycajun wrote:
Are those Tiki lamps on the table





signs point to yes...


 
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Johnny Dollar
Tiki Socialite

Joined: Oct 01, 2003
Posts: 2954
From: Baltimore, Maryland, PNG
Posted: 2011-02-25 12:15 pm   Permalink

here is the article from the WaPo from 1973 that i came across in looking for info about the Orchid Isle in Bethesda, which became Orchid 7... which lead me to finding out about Orchid 7 in georgetown, and we know the rest of the story...

Quote:
Orchid 7: Bongo bongo soup and flaming showmanship
by Donald Dresden
The Washington Post; Jul 29, 1973;

Food: [smileyface] [smileyface] [smileyface]
Style: [whisk] [whisk] [whisk]

Restaurants are rated on food by smiles, none to four; and on service, comfort and ambiance by wire whisks, also from zero to four.

4723 Elm St., Bethesda, Md. 654-5137. Monday through Friday, lunch from 11:30 to 3, dinner 5 to 11. Dinner Saturday 4:30 to midnight, Sunday 4 to 11. Reservations, major credit cards accepted. Valet parking for dinner.

The Orchid 7, which began operations last year, has no connection with a restaurant called the Orchid Isle that formerly occupied the premises. However, Orchid 7 is a property of Pagoda 7, Inc., which operates the Pagoda 7 restaurant in Hillcrest Heights, Md. The head of this two-restaurant enterprise is Gregory Tu. Shanghai-born Tu managed Trader Vic’s Washington, D.C., place for about 15 years before striking out on his own.

Tu has insisted that the décor of the Orchid 7 be authentically Oriental. To that end, he and his associates scoured that part of the world for artifacts and decorative pieces which now adorn the Bethesda restaurant. A pleasing atmosphere has resulted; a good lighting system enables one to enjoy the setting, and also to read the menu and to see what he is eating. Cheers.

The Orchid 7 menu is split among Oriental, Continental and Occidental, but the list has an unmistakable South Seas accent. It is easy to read, quite comprehensive, and with many of the items explained in English.

One not explained in writing, but described verbally to the diner, is bongo bongo soup, an unusual and outstanding starting course. This is essentially a creamed soup of pureed oysters and spinach with sherry, a bit of garlic and curry powder, along with other ingredients, all handled with care. Just before being served in a large shell, the soup gets a ladle of whipped cream, and then goes under the broiler to make it golden on the top.

Fried chicken livers also serve superbly as a starting course. The pieces of liver are dipped in a light batter, seasoned with salt heated until it assumes a charcoal flavor, then deep fried in peanut oil until golden brown. The taste is quite delicate.

The Orchid 7 Own Soup was a third of the starting courses at a recent dinner. It starts out with a concentrated chicken broth to which a bit of tomato is added, and just before serving, beaten egg with sesame seed oil is stirred in. It was estimable.

One of my guests, looking for a main course with South Seas tones, chose almond duck with plum sauce. The duck (Long Island type) is simmered until the chef needs only his fingers to remove the skin and the meat. Oversimplified, the duck meat is “smashed” (in Tu’s term), then mixed with sherry and water chestnut flour, spread on a fireproof dish and steamed. After cooling, the duck mixture is deep fried, then cut into serving pieces.

The dish is served with plum sauce, a rather standard Far East sauce, except that the Orchid 7 version includes guai flower paste made from a yellowish, fragrant blossom. Also, chopped almonds top the duck.

Compared with other Oriental duck dishes, this one was fairly bland, and the deep frying did not result in a crisp exterior. My guest rated the dish short of memorable, a judgment that coincided with my tasting.

The pago steak, another main course, was based on a fine piece of beef, butterflied (split the long way) and slightly grilled, since it was ordered rare. The tableside preparation approximated that of steak Diane as done in New York (and perhaps here, too) before the present trend toward inordinate amounts of taste-killing sauces become common. Because of that restraint, the dish came off reasonably well, but why two flamings with brandy? Just showmanship.

Cantonese lobster turned out as one of the best of the three main courses, despite the fact that the crustacean had been frozen – it came from Australia. Only the tail of a three-and-a-half-pound specimen is used.

This is not meant to be a recipe, but rather, an approximation of the way the dish is prepared: In a highly flamed wok, peanut oil (it imparts no taste) is heated. A little chopped pork, tomato, garlic and mushrooms are all cooked quickly and removed from the wok. Then the cut-up lobster, a bit of white wine, a special, light soy sauce, Accent and chicken broth go into the wok for about two minutes, with a final addition of the other elements and an egg to thicken the sauce.

The service at the Orchid 7 is exceptionally polite but only reasonably good.

Dinner for three was $28.10. The lunch daily special is $3.15.



_________________


[ This Message was edited by: Johnny Dollar 2011-02-25 12:18 ]


 
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jacob
Member

Joined: Jun 10, 2011
Posts: 2
Posted: 2011-06-13 9:19 pm   Permalink

Hi there, I am Jacob. I have a small truckload of boxes and furniture that I need to store for a few months. So I am looking for the self storage baltimore md. Please share some suggestions for me.

self storage baltimore md

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Johnny Dollar
Tiki Socialite

Joined: Oct 01, 2003
Posts: 2954
From: Baltimore, Maryland, PNG
Posted: 2012-02-24 05:43 am   Permalink

another scan of the postcard for this place.



 
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Johnny Dollar
Tiki Socialite

Joined: Oct 01, 2003
Posts: 2954
From: Baltimore, Maryland, PNG
Posted: 2012-04-12 08:09 am   Permalink

here is a nice ad and blurb in the 1977 edition of "dossier," a dc publication http://www.scribd.com/doc/78865794/2/PIlIicattOnlleSll-n


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