Tom Sietsema

JACKIE, OH!: The precise shade of the bubble gum-pink sign announcing Jackie's (8081 Georgia Ave., Silver Spring; 301-565-9700) on the facade gets repeated inside, where the proud namesake, co-owner Jackie Greenbaum, can be seen greeting and seating her guests. (Greenbaum is easy to spot: she's the hostess with the easy smile and the short pink pigtails).

"So what do you think?" she can be heard asking people who find themselves in a booth padded with '60s-era fabric or at a table beneath a starburst of power lights dangling from the ceiling. What used to be an auto parts garage has been transformed into a pretty groovy dining room, thanks in part to a soundtrack that acknowledges Petula Clark and a see-through kitchen.

As for the eclectic American menu, the food tastes familiar, in a good way. Maryland crab soup brims with its star ingredient, pork ribs are stir-fried with scallions and chilies, and the flat-iron steak is enhanced with shallot-parsley butter. An appetizer of multi-hued peppers -- glistening with olive oil, sprinkled with rock salt, and served with fried yucca and a rousing green dip -- is one of the best snacks playing anywhere. If the lemony "sunshine cake" proves a tad dry, the mocha ice cream float is good to the last drop. Chef Sam Adkins hails from Cashion's Eat Place in Adams Morgan, and the training shows in his good ingredients, clean presentations and fun ideas. Anyone for a plate of mini "Elvis" burgers? Lunch entrees $8-$15; dinner entrees $12-$19.