The Rockville outpost of Matchbox is the third iteration of the local chain and easily the biggest. It’s an impressive space, with a ceiling that appears to go on forever, handsome brick walls, multiple fireplaces, and on occasion a jazz band playing in the front room. The smells coming from the open grill are just as inviting.
A recent drop-by began promisingly: a perfectly executed plate of the restaurant’s signature mini-burgers and a superlative salad, with pink-grapefruit segments, local goat cheese, and Marcona almonds nestled among delicate, vividly fresh leaves of green-oak lettuce. The wine list is a good effort for an operation that doesn’t aspire to fine dining, and a friend and I settled in for what promised to be a nice weekend afternoon of good food and live music.
But everything after that (a pasty crabcake sandwich, an overly cheesy, floppy-crusted pizza, a gelato sandwich that tasted more like ice cream) smacked of a bigger, more impersonal chain.
Matchbox Rockville, 1699 Rockville Pike, Rockville; 301-816-0369. Open Monday through Friday for lunch and dinner, Saturday and Sunday for brunch, lunch, and dinner.
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