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“Needs some work but has potential” 3 of 5 stars
Review of Steamers Seafood House

Steamers Seafood House
4820 Auburn Ave, Bethesda, MD 20814-3006
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Ranked #216 of 288 Restaurants in Bethesda
Cuisines: Seafood
Dining options: Dinner, Reservations
Restaurant details
Dining options: Dinner, Reservations
North Bethesda, Maryland
Level Contributor
71 reviews
61 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 65 helpful votes
“Needs some work but has potential”
3 of 5 stars Reviewed March 4, 2013

Let me begin by saying that I will definitely go back to this restaurant in the summer season. It's the kind of place that has that beach like feel and it's hard to rate a crab restaurant when they can't get crabs because it's off season. That being said, my recent visit was hit or miss as far as the food. The crab dip appetizer was outstanding as was the large and very fresh steamed shrimp. The crab cakes however, were disappointing. Mostly filler and not up to expectations. I had potato salad with my entree and it was bland and mushy. The Cole slaw was much better. I noted a lot of discussion amongst the staff that needed to be taken off the dining floor. It gives a negative impression when the servers are debating who has what tables and the management is yelling across the room about a problem with the computers causing some issues with the orders routing to the kitchen.
I can see this being a fun, casual beer drinking crab picking place when the summer hits, but also worry about their ability to keep guests comfortable. This place has a tent roof and the space heaters kept us comfortable in near freezing temps outside, but I am not sure what they can do to manufacture A/C in the summer. I will definitely make a trip to see what happens and hopefully they will have some nice jumbo crabs available.

    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 3 of 5 stars Atmosphere
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
    • 3 of 5 stars Food
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26 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • Spanish first
  • Any
English first
Silver Spring, Maryland
1 review
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 7 helpful votes
1 of 5 stars Reviewed October 28, 2012

If Negative Stars were Possible, I would rate Steamers, with Several Negative Stars!!!

Bought A Groupon for all You Can Eat Crab Feast $39, (a $77.00 Value). I also purchased one for my sister as a gift and we were allowed to all sit together. Our party was a total of 4 people (3 adults and 1 child ). We also ordered a side of Hush Puppies and a round of drinks. Our Additional total purchase was $34.08. Service was very basic. Crabs were mostly small. Menus, condiments were very sticky.

When we got our final bill, we went ahead and paid, but then noticed an issue, which I thought to ask our Server, just to understand the breakdown. Our drinks and hush puppies were $34.08, Gratuity of $35.50 was automatically included for our table of 4. Although it is customary to tip on the total pre-groupon value), it was not stated on the Groupon Deal or anywhere on the menu, that Gratuity would be automatically added. Furthermore, an extra $2.00 (plus tax and tip) was added to our already paid Groupon Deal valued at ($154). Our Grand total for the "Feast" $223.58.

When I asked the Server why I was being charged $2.00 extra, she replied that the price of the Crabs Feast had gone up by $2.00 since the Groupon was offered and that she had to charge extra for it. I explained to her that she didn't have to adjust the bill since we had already paid, but that it was not right. She replied that she was not the owner and she would get the owner and I could speak with him.

When the owner (older male) came, I extended my hand to greet him and politely and calmly explained the issue. The owner was not apologetic at all and became defensive saying they were not doing anything wrong and that it was only $2.00. I explained to him, that I had no problem paying for my purchases, but being charged an extra $2.00 (or any amount) without my knowledge was not right, especially when I had already paid for the GROUPON. The Owner kept on insisting they were not doing anything wrong and it was it was only $2.00. I further explained to him that as a customer, I felt that being charged extra (regardless of amount), without my knowledge and consent, was not right and unethical. (How many other people Groupon Customers were being charged the Extra $2.00, plus tax and gratuity without their knowledge or Consent?). I insisted that it was NOT RIGHT. He kept on insisting it was only $2.00 and he was not doing anything wrong. In anger he proceeded to pull a stack of cash out of his pocket and said "since you are making such a big deal, here is your $2.00". I declined the $2.00 and told him he could add it to our Server's tip who was standing next to us the entire time of the conversation.

I ended the conversation and proceeded to leave. As I turned to walk away, the Owner of Steamers said "Don't come Back" and added "[--]" also clearly audible to my 11 year old child who was standing along side us during the entire conversation!!! I would NEVER go back to this place.. There are many other nicer establishments, with better food, cleaner environment and most important, better customer service in the DC Metro area... What can you expect from a place that has a sign on the wall that states something like.... No whining, $5.00 Extra charge!!

  • Visited October 2012
    • 1 of 5 stars Value
    • 3 of 5 stars Atmosphere
    • 1 of 5 stars Service
    • 1 of 5 stars Food
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Northwest Indiana/Chicago
Level Contributor
30 reviews
8 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 23 helpful votes
“Tasty crab cakes, laid back atmosphere”
3 of 5 stars Reviewed July 14, 2012

My family of 4 (kids aged 6 & 9) ate here the first week of June.i think we all ended up with crab cakes of some sort, and we were all happy with them. Although not full of lumps of crab meat, they were heartier than any in the Midwest, where we live, and we're flavorful and not overly breaded. We ordered the crab dip as an appetizer, but it seemed to be mostly dip and low on crab ; however, it is served with carrots, celery, and pita bread, and our waitress brought more of those before we even asked. I ordered asparagus as my side, and it was delicious grilled and crispy. My daughter did not like her coleslaw, but it tased like normal cole slaw to me, and my son's fries were pretty good. We all had a nice time listening to the laid back tunes in the casual environment. We had a very nice and attentive waitress, and it seemed all the waitresses were treating thier tables in a similar fashion. The folks who ordered whole crab plates seemed to have a ton to eat and unhappy. There were folks of all sorts, from families with little ones, retired couples, young professionals, and forty-something's. The restaurant has an outdoor veranda and an "indoor" dining area which is like a big tent over a wooden deck floor. The atmosphere is like a seaside crabs shack, although from the outside it really does look like a house with a big deck. We had a great experience and would go back again if in the area.

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Chevy Chase, Maryland
Level Contributor
3 reviews
3 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 7 helpful votes
“Would you go back to a place with mice at your feet?”
1 of 5 stars Reviewed June 14, 2012

I haven't eaten here since 2009. Let me tell you why I will never go back. I was eating in the dining room with a friends and there were two mice running around on the floor - very close to us. I brought this to the attention of our waiter and he acted like I was uptight. When I questioned whether he thinks this is normal, he replied, "yes, and it's an issue in most Bethesda restuarants." He is wrong - and so is your choice if you decide to eat here.

  • Visited July 2011
    • 1 of 5 stars Value
    • 1 of 5 stars Atmosphere
    • 1 of 5 stars Service
    • 3 of 5 stars Food
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Level Contributor
75 reviews
34 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 30 helpful votes
“Very sorry to see the sorry trend downwards”
1 of 5 stars Reviewed April 23, 2012

This very casual neighborhood place has been our "go-to" place fresh seafood for years. A recent trip confirmed that's it's lost its way. Service terrible, food poorly explained and poorly presented. A shame.

It was a lovely spring night, just cool enough to require a sweatshirt on the outdoor veranda (where it's also a bit quieter than the very loud interior space, with its multiple flat screens for all of the local team sports). We asked to be seated there. Our host wasn't sure if there was room, but he escorted us out and placed the two of us at a table for four. Nice. We waited for our waiter. And waited. The host came by about 5 minutes later and asked if he could offer a drink. I asked what beers were on tap. He didn't know. I asked for a dark ale, bottled. My wife asked for a margarita, not frozen, with salt. He asked if he wanted the bar brand or the upgrade, but couldn't say how much more it was. It was a "special occasion" so my wife upgraded (turned out be a $3 upcharge).

Several minutes later, he returned with a frozen margarita for my wife (no salt) and a pale lager for me. We sent them back.

Several minutes after his return, he came and asked whether our waiter had arrived. "Nope." "Okay, I'll take your order." Need I say that he screwed that up too? My wife ordered a "crab burger" which he explained was "kind of like a crab cake, but served like a burger." I ordered a seafood platter with lobster (I had come for that specifically), along with mussels, clams, and crab.

My wife's "crab burger" turned out to be a hamburger with some crab meat on top. My large serving arrived without lobster ("sorry, we're out, didn't he tell you?") and Alaska King Crab substituted "at market price."

Not only did we not get what we ordered.....my offering was cold, and made me think of the old joke, "the food was awful, and there was so much of it!"

The host never made it back to ask if "everything is ok." I would have given him an earful. Our server disappeared for 10 minutes while I tried to pay at the end of a really poor eating experience. When she did bring the bill, I was stunned to see the "market price" was at least $20 bucks higher than one could reasonable expect, and that the bill included charges for the drinks we had been served erroneously (as well as the two we actually consumed).

So 10 minutes later, with a bill voiding out the extra drinks, I paid, we left, probably not to return again.

  • Visited April 2012
    • 1 of 5 stars Value
    • 3 of 5 stars Atmosphere
    • 1 of 5 stars Service
    • 1 of 5 stars Food
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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