Popular Ashton restaurant El Andariego has announced a week-long closure to allow its staff to go on vacation. The restaurant will close from Monday, August 7th until Sunday, August 13th, before reopening on Monday, August 14th. The full message can be seen below:

“Dear customers of El Andariego Restaurant:

We are pleased to share with you some important news after a year of intense work. As a team, we consider it essential that our valuable staff have the opportunity to enjoy a well-deserved vacation with their loved ones.

For this reason, and due to a shortage of additional personnel, we have made the decision to close El Andariego Restaurant for a complete week, from Monday, August 7th, until Sunday, August 13th, 2023. We deeply appreciate your understanding and support in this decision, as it allows us to provide our employees with the necessary time to rest and recharge. We are confident that this will result in an improvement in the quality and service we offer you.

We thank you for your loyalty and look forward to welcoming you again with our customary hospitality starting on Monday, August 14th, 2023. Sincerely, Consuelo, Jaime, Cristina, and the Staff.”



Sam Dickey, a senior at Sherwood High School, was awarded the $180,000 Navy ROTC Scholarship (Marine option) on Thursday, May 25th. Rockville Marines announced yesterday, “Today, Sam is one of the hand selected few who have been awarded the $180,000 NROTC Scholarship (Marine Option)!! What an awesome way to represent your family and Sherwood High School! Thank you for all of your hard work and dedication!”

Per the NROTC: The purpose of the Navy ROTC Program is to educate and train qualified young men and women for service as commissioned officers in the Navy’s unrestricted line, the Navy Nurse Corps and the Marine Corps. As the largest single source of Navy and Marine Corps officers, the Navy ROTC Scholarship Program plays an important role in preparing mature young men and women for leadership and management positions in an increasingly technical Navy and Marine Corps.

Selected applicants for the Navy ROTC Scholarship Program are awarded scholarships through a highly competitive national selection process, and receive full tuition, books stipend, educational fees and other financial benefits OR Room and Board at many of the country’s leading colleges and universities. Upon graduation, midshipmen are commissioned as officers in the unrestricted line Naval Reserve or Marine Corps Reserve.

The Navy ROTC Scholarship Program is available to qualified students who graduate from high school before August 1 of the year they intend to start college.

Students selected for the Navy ROTC Scholarship Program make their own arrangements for college enrollment and room and board, and take the normal course load required by the college or university for degree completion. Additionally, scholarship midshipmen are required to follow specific academic guidelines.

Full information concerning the Navy ROTC Scholarship Program is available from any of the colleges and universities with Navy ROTC units or from Navy and Marine Corps recruiters. A list of colleges and universities is available on this website at the Colleges and Universities page.



Another year, another Strawberry Festival! The 41st annual festival will take place at the Sandy Spring Museum (17901 Bentley Road) on June 3 and 4. “You might not think it’s possible but this year’s festival is going to be more fun than ever!  That’s because it’s the 41st year and there are at least 41 great things to look forward to.”

What’s the Strawberry Festival?  It’s a giant block party, picnic, neighborhood gathering, and community celebration all rolled into two days of outdoor, family-friendly fun.  Live music from two stages, kids’ games, petting zoo, pony rides, food trucks, crafts sale, the world’s greatest strawberry shortcake and many more activities. You can even eat crickets (video below)!



Montgomery County Fire and Rescue Services (MCFRS) responded to a collision in the area of New Hampshire Avenue and Ashton Road in Ashton-Sandy Spring at approximately 4:15am on Sunday morning.

According to MCFRS Chief Spokesperson Pete Piringer, the vehicle went off the road in front of the Exxon station at 17840 New Hampshire Ave and overturned. A patient was extricated from the vehicle and transported to the hospital. There is currently no word on the cause of the crash or the condition of the patient.


Sherwood High School’s Rock ‘n Roll Revival just had its 52nd annual show– the tradition has been going strong since 1971, with 2020 being the only year a live show wasn’t produced due to Covid (a virtual show was produced that year). It all began when Sherwood students were inspired by a concert at Madison Square Garden in New York City. Since then, students audition for the show and rehearse for a couple months, working with staff members to put together a show that is routinely seen by thousands of people each year.

Per Dan Gross of MCPS Communications, “performers work on four to five songs a day. Other cast members who rehearse separately accompany the larger group little by little until all 40 songs have been rehearsed en masse. Shortly before opening night, dancers join in when rehearsals move to the theater. In the weeks before opening night, the stage is built and painted, while the tech crew finalizes sound and lighting.” Gross writes that this year’s show involved 250 student performers and crew members and was seen by over 6,000 people over six performances this year. See the full MCPS photo story here.


Working with industry leaders, hospitality and restaurant management students at Seneca Valley and Sherwood high schools served a four-course meal at a pop-up restaurant in Potomac on Feb. 3. The school was above to raise over $5,200 from the event (photos available below).

The dinner was an opportunity for the students to experience the variety of activities necessary to stage a sophisticated experience—from social media and ticket sales to front-of-house management and heart-of-house hustle. With a team of chefs from CAVA, the students designed, prepared and served the dinner at the Falls Road Golf Course Café on Friday.

Prior to the event, CAVA restaurant owners Ted Xenohristos and Dimitri Moshovitis went to Sherwood to help students plan, create and execute an intricate four-course meal. Jana Anderson,  Montgomery College professor, worked with Seneca Valley students to create the perfect ambience and ensure students were hospitable, eager and able to serve their clientele. Alan Squier, owner of Squier Associates, donated rented linens, china, table settings and serving pieces. Lizz Durante of Payroll Network helped to publicize and market the fundraising event.

Proceeds from the fundraiser will allow the Foundation for Hospitality and Restaurant Management (FHRM) to offer programs throughout Montgomery County and give high school students the opportunity to explore the variety of careers in hospitality, work opportunities and apprenticeships and find ways to engage students and educators in projects. FHRM had additional support from Marriott, Mamma Lucia Restaurants, Acme Paper & Supply, the Federal Insurance Federation, Shulman Rogers and Perfect Settings.


Montgomery County Fire and Rescue Services (MCFRS) responded to a call at approximately 6:30pm for an electrical hazard on the 100blk of Olney-Sandy Spring Rd (Route 108), between New Hampshire Ave and Sherwood high school in Ashton. According to MCFRS Chief Spokesperson Pete Piringer, PE704 responded “for electrical hazard, wires down, some lanes blocked.” As of now there is no word on how the pole was damaged.


Seneca Valley and Sherwood High School students have partnered with restaurant industry leaders to gain first-hand experience creating an elegant pop up restaurant for one night in Potomac. The event will be the culmination of months of planning between MCPS students, hospitality program teachers Melissa North and Lisa Gilbert, and the Foundation for Hospitality & Restaurant Managements’ (FHRM) Student Professional Development Committee.

“Success starts with a spark,” said Ted Xenohristos, Chief Concept Officer & Founder of CAVA, “And, we’re here to light the match!” The dinner is an opportunity for the students to experience firsthand the wide variety of activities necessary to stage a sophisticated experience—from social media and ticket sales to front-of-house management and heart-of-house hustle. With a team of CAVA chefs, the students will design, prepare and serve a four-course gourmet dinner at the Falls Road Golf Course Café on February 3, 2023.

Jana Anderson, professor and Program Coordinator for the Hospitality Management Program at Montgomery College will coach the front-of-house student volunteers through in person and zoom workshops leading up to the event. “I am inspired by the students’ excitement and seeing this first dinner come together.”

Lizz Durante, President of Payroll Network’s Restaurant People Cloud and a FHRM Cadre, will lead the marketing activities for the fundraiser. The students will participate in two social media workshops led by Payroll Network’s Chief Revenue Officer, Mary Grothe and Becca Bollinger, Marketing Specialist. “We are excited to develop projects that engage MCPS hospitality program students in real-life scenarios like this,” said Ms. Durante.

Alan Squier, President of Squier Associates and a FHRM Cadre is working with the students to transform the café into a white tablecloth, candlelit dining room. “This fundraising dinner is our first,” said Squier, “but it’s not our last. We hope to learn from this experience and improve and expand future student dinners.”

“FHRM and MCPS recognize that teens today want to forge their own success and happiness in their future careers,” said David Child, General Manager of North Bethesda Marriott and FHRM’s President. “The most important thing to them is to do something they’re excited about, regardless of what career they choose. These students are drawn to hospitality.”

“At CAVA, caring, hospitality, warmth and generosity are our pillars,” stated CAVA Founder and CEO Ted Xenohristos. “Giving students the skills to succeed in the restaurant industry and nurture their passion is key to our vision. Mediterranean families have been perfecting healthy eating for 4,000 years. We hope to inspire a new generation to continue this great legacy.”

Student Takeover Dinner Details

Proceeds from the fundraiser will allow FHRM to continue to offer programs like this throughout Montgomery County and give high school students the opportunity to explore first-hand the wide variety of careers in hospitality, work opportunities, and apprenticeships and find ways to engage students and educators in public-facing projects.

Date: Friday February 3, 2023
Location: Falls Road Golf Course, 10800 Falls Road, Potomac, MD
Time: Two Seatings | 6 PM and 7:30 PM
Program: Four-course Dinner with Wine Pairings & Chef Meet and Greet

Tickets and sponsorship information Contact Lizz Durante [email protected] or visit the website https://go.rallyup.com/fhrm-student-pop-up-potomac/Campaign/Details

About FHRM
The Foundation for Hospitality and Restaurant Management (FHRM) serves as an advisory board, to Montgomery County Public Schools (MCPS), and is comprised of industry professionals, post-secondary educators and community partners focused on providing the skills that students need for management and entrepreneurial opportunities in hospitality, lodging, culinary arts, food and beverage, tourism and travel. The Foundation leverages its industry members’ first-hand knowledge and business acumen to provide MCPS strategic advice, encourage public/private collaboration, advocate for research and tracking of program and student outcomes as well as to guide educators and school leaders throughout the entire county on current trends in the industry. The Foundation’s core values and guiding principles are motivated by the industry’s vision. The Board members strive to foster a better world through real-world experiences, purposeful education and to do so with integrity, collaboration, guidance and an inclusive approach that embraces all.

Learn more at https://www2.montgomeryschoolsmd.org/schools/hospitality

About CAVA
Headquartered in Washington, D.C. and founded in 2010, CAVA Group is a casual restaurant company that produces a line of chef-crafted dips and spreads sold in specialty grocery stores around the country.

About Montgomery College
Montgomery College (MC) is a public community college in Montgomery County, Maryland. The college has three campuses, the largest of which is in Rockville. Its other campuses are in Takoma Park/Silver Spring and Germantown. Its off-campus sites include the Business Training Center in Gaithersburg and Westfield South in Wheaton, which are operated by the college’s Workforce Development and Continuing Education Division.

About Payroll Network and Restaurant People Cloud
Restaurant People Cloud serves restaurants exclusively with Payroll, HR, time, talent, benefits, compliance and workforce management are delivered in a unified platform that increases retention and productivity. Payroll Network’s People Platform helps companies succeed with outstanding client service and comprehensive human capital management (HCM) SaaS, enabling employees to reach their full potential. The company is celebrating its 25th Anniversary Year by amplifying philanthropy and community impact.

Learn more at www.payrollnetwork.com.

About Squier Associates
Squier Associates is a manufacturer’s rep located in Rockville, MD. We support dealers, commercial kitchen design consultants, and end users in the selection of kitchen equipment, tabletop and supplies from premium brands. From fine dining and quick service to hospitality, healthcare and education, we exude a tangible passion for our partners and their establishments.


Around 65 Montgomery County firefighters responded to a 1-story single family house fire Tuesday morning on Haw Lane (between Ashton, Spencerville, and Burtonsville).  According to Chief Spokesperson for MCFRS Pete Piringer, an occupant of the home witnessed a tree coming down on power lines, which caused a transformer to blow. They then notified the power company and minutes later saw smoke coming from the basement. The fire then vented out of a basement window of the home which ignited a propane/oil tank.

All occupants were able to make it out of the home and there were no injuries reported.  One family (3 adults) has been displaced.  Howard Co Fire & EMS assisted. Per @mfrsPIO on Twitter, “Origin/Cause, electrical in nature, tree pulled wires down (outside), combustibles in basement ignited (likely power surge) Damage ~$260K.”


El Andariego (5 Olney Sandy Spring Rd), a staple of the Ashton community for over 20 years, has announced that it will close from Monday, August 8th until Sunday, August 14th to provide its staff with a full week of vacation. In announcement made via social media, the restaurant states the following:

“Dear customers of El Andariego Restaurant, we want to notify you that after a long season of hard work of more than 2 years and during a pandemic, we have deemed it good to give a full week of vacation to our respectable staff, who deserve this time off for their unconditional support and honorable service. Due to the lack of more workers, El Andariego Restaurant will be closed from monday, august 8 to sunday, august 14, 2022. Thank you very much for your understanding always. -Consuelo, Jaime, Cristina & Staff.”

More on the history of the restaurant: El Andariego , or “The Wanderer”, after whom our Mexican restaurant is named, we were wandering on our own journey – a journey to set down roots and to share our love of food with a community we could call home. That journey brought us from El Salvador to Ashton, here in Montgomery County, MD.
In 1999, Cristina and friends founded El Andariego, which quickly became one of the first popular Mexican restaurants in the area. A few years later Jaime joined Cristina to oversee the dining room during the evenings. His days were – and are – spent managing the Lafayette Room, a “destination” restaurant at the Hay Adams Hotel in Washington, D.C. More recently, Jaime’s sister, Consuelo Molina, joined the team to head up the kitchen, after more than 16 years in fine Italian restaurants in Washington, D.C., most recently as Executive Chef at Finemondo.

WSSC has issued a Harmful Algal Bloom (HAB) Advisory for the Triadelphia Reservoir, warning to avoid direct contact with water. Drinking water is not affected. The Triadelphia Reservoir is located along the Patuxent River, near the Olney/Brookeville area, between Montgomery and Howard Counties. Their full message can be seen below:

“WSSC Water has detected high concentrations of blue-green algae in the Triadelphia Reservoir, which can cause serious adverse health effects if contacted. The reservoir, located along the Patuxent River in Montgomery and Howard counties, serves as a drinking water source for WSSC Water and as a recreational area for hiking, fishing and boating.

It is important to note that WSSC Water’s drinking water is not affected and continues to meet all Safe Drinking Water Act standards. As a precaution, WSSC Water is closely monitoring water quality conditions at its Patuxent Water Filtration Plant. Visitors to WSSC Water’s Triadelphia Reservoir should do the following:

  • Avoid all recreational water contact. If water contact occurs, rinse off immediately with clean water.
  • Do not allow pets to swim in or drink the water (prohibited at all times by WSSC Water watershed regulations).
  • Do not consume fish livers or digestive organs from fish caught in the reservoir. If a fish is caught in the reservoir, wash fillets thoroughly with drinking water.

Signs will be posted throughout the reservoir’s recreational areas to make visitors aware of this water contact health advisory. If you, your pet, or someone you know has contacted or ingested water at either reservoir, call your local Health Department:

  • Montgomery County: 240-777-0311(Montgomery County 311)
  • Prince George’s County: 301-883-4748(Prince George’s County 311)
  • Howard County: 410-313-1773 (Community Hygiene Department)

For more information on algal blooms, visit WSSC Water’s Algal Blooms page.”

During a health advisory:

  • Recreation areas remain open
  • Boating and fishing are allowed
  • Any body parts that come in contact with reservoir water should be rinsed with drinking water
  • Keep pets away from the water

Featured photo courtesy of WSSC.


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