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Attman's Delicatessen Opens in Potomac

9 Jul

In what has been one of the most anticipated openings in the Potomac area for quite some time, the famed Attman’s Delicatessen of Baltimore finally opened their second location in Cabin John Plaza yesterday.

Rachel and I took a sneak preview of the deli this past weekend and right off the bat we could tell that this place was going to be a surefire hit. Let me preface by saying that this area suffers from a severe shortage of legit, Jewish-style delicatessens. Sure, there are places like Parkway Deli and DGS Delicatessen, but the former is more of a diner while the latter is more of an upscale dining option.

Corned beef on rye

Attman’s, a Baltimore staple known for their piled-high sandwiches, fills the niche in the best way possible. By offering a massive selection of high-quality deli fare in an area rife with deli-lovers, the Washington area finally has an authentic delicatessen, with history behind it to boot! And while Cabin John Plaza isn’t necessarily Corned Beef Row, at least parking is easy to come by.

Attman's Deli of Potomac

When you step inside, the first thing you notice are the deli counters lined up against the left side housing a variety of meats, cheeses, and knishes. It’s probably best to research the menu before stepping in line as you’ll need to be prepared what to order given how extensive the menu is.

Pastrami on rye

What’s also nice about the Potomac location is that they offer table service towards the back of the restaurant. And of course, their catering department should have no problems generating business given the heavily populated D.C. market they just entered. One drawback, however, is that Attman’s is not kosher outside of their Hebrew National offerings (hot dogs, salami, and bologna).

Attman's personalized chairs

Our advice? Order the extra lean corned beef on rye with mustard. Tender, flavorful, and sandwiched between two slices of soft rye bread, this is as good as it gets. And while the pastrami was very good, it’s the corned beef that keeps you coming back here for more.

Attman’s Delicatessen is located on 11325 Seven Locks Road in Potomac, Maryland.

Attman's Deli on Urbanspoon

Brunch at DGS Delicatessen

6 Feb

Perhaps one of the most anticipated restaurant openings of 2012 was Dupont Circle’s DGS Delicatessen. Rachel and I have longed for a Jewish deli that would not only do New York proud but also wouldn’t be another short-lived, poorly-executed knockoff.

Remember Uptown Deli and Bubby’s? Those two didn’t fare so well, and while Parkway does a reasonable job providing an assortment of Jewish fare, the place gets so chaotic on the weekends that we’ve sworn it off for brunch.

DGS MenuDGS DelicatessenDGS Delicatessen

Enter DGS Delicatessen. With head chef Barry Koslow working the kitchen, we knew this wouldn’t be your average deli. We went with a couple of our friends for brunch a few weeks ago to finally see if DGS met the hype.

We kicked the morning off with some libations. The Le Marais is the gem of the brunch cocktail list, comprised of champagne, St. Germain, orange juice, and bitters. It’s a shame this beverage isn’t served in pitchers, because I easily would have had gone through four more glasses.

Pickle plate

While it’s oftentimes nice to do a spin on things and make them fancier, sometimes you just want a good ol’ pickle plate. DGS’ plate included just four pickle spears and some other pickled items such as radishes and cauliflower. And while it was beautifully arranged, we kind of yearned for the complimentary pickle bar at Parkway.

DGS 8 Day Pastrami Sandwich

For our main course, it was no surprise that I went for the pastrami sandwich. This is a sandwich that is prepared with care and for good measure – it takes eight days to make! Brined for over a week, the smoky, succulent meat is sandwiched between two slices of warm double baked rye along with a shmear of house mustard. The result is a tender, smoky sandwich that leaves you wanting more. For $13, the sandwich isn’t piled as high as anticipated, but it’s still one of the best you’ll find in the District. However, one would expect some sort of side to accompany the sandwich given the price. Chips, coleslaw, something.


Rachel opted for more of a classic brunch choice, DGS’ rendition of Eggs Benedict, aptly dubbed the Benedictberg. Featuring poached eggs, house-smoked salmon, latkes, and sumac hollandaise, this dish was a clear winner. The combination between the crispy latkes, smoky lox, and rich hollandaise really worked well and made for an excellent brunch dish.

Overall, we felt the food at DGS was terrific while being slightly overpriced. With tip, Rachel and I spent roughly $60 between the two of us. And this was for brunch. With each cocktail at $10 per glass, a meal here adds up quickly. The service was very accommodating given we had two babies with us, and they gave us a table by the front of the house with more than enough room for the strollers.

Suffice to say, this will be the first of many visits to this establishment. We only sampled just a fraction of the menu and with items such as pickled blue fish, flanken, and kreplach still waiting to be tried, a return to DGS is definitely in order.

DGS Delicatessen on Urbanspoon

Stachowski Market and Deli

21 Nov

I don’t even know how to begin with this post other than saying I am completely in love with this place. Tucked away on a quiet corner of Georgetown, Stachowski Market & Deli is a meat-lovers dream.

Stachowski Market and DeliStachowski Market and DeliStachowski Market and Deli

When you step inside the market, a table of locally-grown produce is situated in the center of the room while two cases in the back of the house a plethora of locally-sourced meats, ranging from cocoa-rubbed capicola to fresh duck sausage to dry-aged steaks. My eyes lit up analyzing the variety of meats Stachowski had on display.

Sandwich Menu

On top of that, they also offer a deli counter serving up ten or so sandwiches. Based on a tip from DC sandwich guru Jack Kogod, I ordered the pastrami. Let me go on the record and say that this was the best pastrami sandwich of my life. I try to defer from using such hyperbole, but let me tell you, this sandwich was no joke.

Pastrami Sandwich

Featuring thick slices of smoky, juicy pastrami and sandwiched between two sliced of warm pumpernickel bread as well as a smear of spicy mustard, this mammoth of a sandwich was my lunch and dinner. Seriously, there is something wrong with you if you are able to finish this beast in one sitting. At the price of $11.99, you’re paying for two meals. Don’t believe me? See for yourself:

Pastrami Sandwich

Yeah, thought so.

Meanwhile, Rachel ordered a more manageable sandwich with the Butcher Shop Dip, which was also $11.99. Packed with warm roast beef, provolone, hot peppers, jous, and served on a mini baguette, this sandwich was, just like the pastrami, enough for two people and just as enjoyable (though the pastrami gets a slight edge because, well, I just love pastrami – especially if it’s hot and smoky).

Butcher Shop Dip

On top of that, we also ordered two patties of their “smash and grill” turkey burgers to-go. We grilled them up on the grill pan the following evening and were mutually impressed by how fresh and flavorful they were. These were restaurant-quality turkey burgers and made for a great “home-cooked” meal. And for $6.99 per pound, it was a quality purchase.

On top of Stachowski’s sausage, steak, and charcuterie selections, they also offer prepared dinners which typically range from $13 to $16. Take, for example, “chiduckon” – chicken breast and duck breast wrapped in bacon. That pretty much sounds like the most amazing thing, ever.

So yeah, we’re big fans of this place and we have only been once. We can’t wait to go again.

Stachowski Market & Deli on Urbanspoon

Lunch at Jetties

18 Apr

Given that my office is a stone’s throw from Bethesda Row, it’s no wonder that I don’t venture as often as I’d like to the other side of Woodmont Avenue. There are lots of great places to choose from, but it involves a ten to fifteen minute walk, so you have to factor that (as well as the weather) into your plans. Today was a perfect day for a walk, so I met a friend over at Jetties for lunch.

Less than a year old, Jetties has quickly gained popularity as another sandwich and salad option for the lunch crowd in Bethesda. They offer a dinner menu too, but you could tell that lunch really draws the crowds. Between the beach decor and signs on the wall, there is some sensory overload when you walk in. We walked in and were a little confused by the line as there were several areas of people gathered, whether it was to write down their order, order at the counter, or wait for their order to be called. There is also a separate line for ordered desserts from Something Sweet as well as ice cream from Gifford’s.

We made our way to the cashier and quickly decided on one of the specialty sandwiches. I decided on the Nobadeer… essentially thanksgiving dinner on bread. The sandwich came with fresh-carved turkey, stuffing, and cranberry sauce with some mayo on sourdough bread. Given that I can’t have regular deli meat (damn nitrates), this was right up my alley. My friend Todd got the Cisco which also looked delicious. I went for my own Arnold Palmer version of their fresh lemonade and fresh brewed tea as it was great to sip on while sitting outside.


There aren’t a lot of tables inside Jetties itself, but there is a lot of seating outside between their own tables in addition to the public ones around Woodmont Triangle. We sat outside and enjoyed our sandwiches while taking part in some great people watching. My sandwich was delicious and huge. I only ate half but was skeptical how the rest would hold up for later. I loved how everything tasted together, but expected the turkey itself to be hot. Instead, it was a little warm because of the layer of stuffing, but it still tasted great. The only thing I will say is the cranberry sauce made the bread a little soggy, and maybe heartier bread would have held up better with all the ingredients.

At $8.95, this was by no means a cheap sandwich, but then again, it’s pretty hard these days to find a lunch option in Bethesda for less than $10 unless you want Subway, which obviously pales in comparison to anything you’ll find at Jetties.

Jetties (Bethesda) on Urbanspoon

A. Litteri

4 Jan

One of the reasons I love DC so much is that, despite its relatively small size as a city, there is something new to explore each and every day. Take A. Litteri, for instance. I have long heard about this Italian market as the place to get a sub, whether it was raves from my coworker Jeff, a DC native who lives in Brentwood and routinely stops by for lunch, or tweets from Jack Kogod of the Washingtonian, recommending the 9” hard roll sub as one of his favorites in the city.

A. Litteri

Jeff decided that it was due time that I check out this establishment for lunch, so off we went to Northeast DC to buy some subs. Honestly, I wouldn’t have known this place existed if it wasn’t for Jack and Jeff. Situated in the Florida Avenue Market amongst warehouses and a stone’s throw from Gallaudet University, A. Litteri has been operating since 1932 and is a District treasure, albeit a slightly hidden one. Patrons are here for a purpose.

A. Litteri

When you walk inside, you have stepped into perhaps the finest Italian market in DC: a large selection of goods stuffed into the smallest space you can possibly imagine. Stacks of canned tomatoes, pastas, olive oils, and wines adorn the shelves. Around the corner, there’s a cooler housing frozen pastas, pizza dough, and homemade sauces, just to name a few of the many items contained inside.

Meat Counter

The back of the market, however, was our ultimate destination. Not only is this where you order your sandwich, but you can also buy fresh meats and cheeses by the pound. I have never seen such an extensive selection before, let alone where one has a choice between six different kinds of prosciutto!

Italian Sub on 9" Hard Roll

When it came time to order, I went with Jack’s recommendation: the classic Italian on a 9” hard roll. The ingredients? Capicola, Genoa salami, prosciuttini, provolone, lettuce, tomatoes, onions, hot peppers, and of course, Italian dressing. My coworkers and I tried to resist noshing on the sample tray while we waited for our sandwiches, but it proved rather difficult when they kept replenishing it.

Meat Counter

As we made our way to the register, I had a last-minute urge to grab some pizza dough. I just could not bear to leave A. Litteri with only one item in hand. Oh, and the sandwich? Good heavens, this was as good as it gets. I cannot ever recall enjoying lunch at my desk as much as I did while eating this sub. The freshly-baked hard roll kept the layers of fresh meats and cheeses soaked in dressing intact without getting anywhere close to soggy. As if this wasn’t good enough, the total cost of this excellent sub was a mere $4.95. Yeah, you read that correctly.

I’m so glad I finally got to experience a sub from A. Litteri, but at the same time, I’m a little mad at myself for not checking it out sooner. I cannot believe what I was missing out on for so long.

A Litteri on Urbanspoon

Primanti Brothers: A Pittsburgh Institution

21 Oct

I was recently in Pittsburgh for a few days for a conference and figured I should try to make the most of it by checking out some food establishments that are quintessential to the city. Based on the suggestions I received from friends as well as from the exposure from Man vs. Food on the Travel Channel, I knew the one place I had to check out was Primanti Brothers. It wound up being my last stop before the airport and definitely the most memorable.

Primanti Bros Turkey and Cheese Sandwich

There are several Primanti Brothers locations throughout the metropolitan area, with the original being in the Strip District. I went inside and sat myself after a friendly employee asked if I was expecting anyone else. Staring right at me was the famous menu. Each sandwich comes with lettuce, tomato, coleslaw, and French fries. That’s right, what you would normally find as sides on your plate are actually on the sandwich. I guess the thinking is that it saves time for a quick lunch break as well as not having to use a fork.

All items are cash only, with no sandwich costing more than $6.49. I opted for what I thought was the “healthiest” option and got the turkey and cheese sandwich. When it came, I was blown away by how quickly it arrived as well as the sheer size of it. It’s a shame my DMV Dining partner in crime wasn’t with me because he certainly would have enjoyed this experience.

Primanti Bros Menu

The thick white bread held the ingredients together without getting soggy. The turkey was smoked and had a nice char to it. I thought the fries would be too much but it actually wasn’t. Combining the melted cheese, turkey, fries, and vinegar-based coleslaw with lettuce and tomato led to one perfect bite. And then another. And another. I had to literally step away from the sandwich to avoid eating the whole thing.

I have to admit, I was a little skeptical if Primanti Brothers would live up to the hype. After trying one of their countless varieties of sandwiches I can say that it is definitely a must-visit in Pittsburgh, like Ben’s in DC or Oklahoma Joe’s in Kansas City. I don’t know when I’ll be back there, but when I do, it’ll definitely be on the list so I can revisit that delicious sandwich.

Primanti Brothers (Strip District) on Urbanspoon

Corned Beef King Reigns Supreme

11 Oct

We have already talked about several food trucks that primarily travel around Montgomery County, so I was lucky enough to try the newest entrant to the field, Corned Beef King. After being in business less than a week, they decided to make their debut in downtown Bethesda a few days ago. We caught up with them right at Woodmont Triangle, a perfect location for the lunch crowd.

Corned Beef King

Their focus is on slow-roasted corned beef and pastrami, and they also serve specialty sandwiches such as the classic Reuben, a vegetarian Reuben, the Manhattan, and the Milly Ann. If sandwiches with one-third of a pound of meat aren’t enough to satisfy your hunger come lunch time, combos are also available that include sides such as potato salad, knish, coleslaw, or chips.

Of course, you got to have a Dr. Brown’s to complete your meal, and I happily ordered a corned beef on rye sandwich with a diet Dr. Brown’s cream soda. I’m generally not a huge corned beef person, but I figured I had to order the company’s namesake. And let me just say, it lived up to it.

Corned Beef on Rye

The corned beef was warm, juicy, and piled high on thick rye bread. It was such a big sandwich that I could only eat half, saving the other half for Brett. He enthusiastically seconded my thoughts on the sandwich, noting the generous amount of meat stacked in between the soft rye bread.

My friend Carlye ordered a hot pastrami sandwich, and after trying one bite I have to say, I think the pastrami might be even better than the corned beef. They were both excellent sandwiches, but the pastrami had a bit more flavor and zest to it.

Corned Beef King

Needless to say, we are thrilled that there is a new food truck in town, and a quality one to boot. I can’t wait until it comes around again so I can try something else next time. The only downside is that I was in a bit of a food coma after lunch, but then again, it was definitely worth it!

You can find out where Corned Beef King is parking its truck by following them at @cornedbeefking or by becoming a fan on their Facebook page.

MGM Roast Beef

3 Aug

Didn’t you know that all the good sandwich shops are always located next to car auction lots? Okay, so maybe that only applies to DC, but guess what? MGM Roast Beef serves up some of the meanest sandwiches in the District.

Inconspicuously located next to the Capital Auto Auction in the Northeast neighborhood of Brentwood, MGM Roast Beef has been under the radar for far too long. We decided to grab lunch at the deli before touring DC Brau, which was just a couple of miles down the road.

MGM Roast Beef

Stepping inside MGM, you’re transported to simpler times as the majority of the seating wraps around the counter, reminiscent of diners back in the day. The scene reminds me of nearby Deli City, where diners are a melting pot of blue collar, white collar, and everything in between.

Rachel and I decided to split a roast beef sandwich, topped with lettuce, tomato, onion, and fresh horseradish, all stuffed between a handmade onion roll. For two dollars more, you can turn it in a combo meal, which comes with fresh-cut French fries and a can of soda. We threw in a cup of gravy for 50 cents extra because, well, it’s gravy.

You fill out your order form then hand it over to the carver, who then begins slicing fresh cuts of roast beef right before your very eyes. It’s hard not to drool while watching the action take place so I kept my saliva contained by waiting at our seats by the counter.

Fresh-carved roast beef

When our sandwich was served, it was gloriously stacked with fresh-carved roast beef that was tender and flavorful. The onion roll was nice and soft while the fries were delicious, especially once they were dipped into the fresh, thick gravy.

While MGM Roast Beef is a little off the beaten path, it is certainly worth the trip. The prices are reasonable given the amount of food you’re receiving as well as the freshness. We can’t wait to go back and try their brisket, if only for that delicious homemade brown gravy. I think I might have an addiction.

MGM Roast Beef & Co on Urbanspoon

Bubby's New York Deli Ups the Ante in Bethesda Deli Scene

22 Feb

Who would have imagined not one but two New York-style themed delis would open not only in the same town, but also a block apart from one another?

It was only five months ago when Uptown Deli started up shop in downtown Bethesda, offering a menu reminiscent of Jewish delis found in the Big Apple.

Now enter Bubby’s New York Deli.

Corned Beef Sandwich

Taking over the space on Cordell Avenue previously occupied by Rustique and Sasso, Bubby’s (Yiddish for “grandmother”) offers patrons waiter service with a large dining room – two things which differentiate themselves from their nearby counterpart.

We went to their grand opening last Friday for lunch and checked out a few items on the menu.

The waiter came over and greeted us, served us a bowl of pickles and coleslaw (nice touch!), and asked for our drink orders. While it was not listed on the menu, Bubby’s does indeed serve Dr. Browns, a prerequisite for any New York deli.

Bowl of pickles

Rachel and I started off with the Chicken Athena – a plate of marinated, grilled chicken breast with Feta cheese, pepperoncini, romaine lettuce, tomato, olives and Greek vinaigrette. While the dish was good, we were kind of thrown off why Feta was thrown on top. Kosher style this is not.

For our main course, I went with the lunch special which consisted of a bowl of soup and half a sandwich. With a choice of chicken, French onion, or mushroom barley, I of course went with the matzo ball soup.

The matzo ball was superb. At just the right density with fluffy texture, it really complemented the broth, which was great in itself. While a little oily, it wasn’t too heavy on the salt and tasted rather authentic given the focus of the restaurant.

Matzo Ball Soup

As for the half sandwich, the hot corned beef was a no-brainer. And while the meat was full of flavor, I have to admit it was rather disappointing that there were only so many slices in between the slices of fresh rye bread.

If you’re going to call yourself a “New York Delicatessen”, you better start piling the cold cuts high. What’s even more surprising was that Bubby’s wasn’t following their own mantra where the slogan “Bigger is Better” is found under the Sandwiches section of the menu.

Meanwhile, Uptown Deli generously stacks its sandwiches with so much meat that you’re stuffed from eating just half of it. We’re just hoping that this was a first day snafu and not something that will become normal practice. I don’t think my Bubby would approve of that.

Stuffed CabbagePotato KnishChicken Athena

She would, however, kvell over the stuffed cabbage and spinach knishes. Rachel ordered these appetizers as her meal and they were about as genuine as you can get when it comes to Jewish delis. The knish was not greasy at all and tasted more baked than fried. The filling was a blend of spinach and potato and really hit the spot. Meanwhile, the stuffed cabbage had a perfect balance of sweet and sour sauce. It was so filling that I had to help her with it, not that I had a problem with that.

We were told that they would serve dinner till 9pm during the week and 10pm on the weekends while offering more entrée type dishes. We talked to the owner who seemed very excited about his new venture, and when Rachel complimented the stuffed cabbage, he smiled and said that was his son’s recipe.

He said they will open every day at 11am and plans on offering brunch in a month while keeping open the idea of opening earlier for breakfast, if there is interest. He pointed out that since it is a sit-down restaurant, most people would not have time for a full meal during the week.

Bubby's New York DeliDining RoomBubby's Wall

He also showed us his sign for “Bubby’s Wall”, a dedicated wall inside the restaurant where he encourages patrons to bring in pictures of their Bubby’s to proudly display while diners nosh on their meals.

Nonetheless, the real winners in all of this are deli aficionados. With two New York delicatessans within 400 feet of each other (no, seriously – look at Google Maps if you don’t believe me), Bethesda diners that are craving a tounge sandwich went from zero options to two venues in a mere matter of months!

Bubby’s New York Deli is located on 4866 Cordell Avenue in downtown Bethesda.

Bubby's New York Deli on Urbanspoon

Hanukkah Dinner at Star and Shamrock

7 Dec

Before heading over to the Free Energy show at Rock and Roll Hotel last Wednesday night, we thought to ourselves, what better way to celebrate the first night of Hanukkah than by having a “holiday meal” at nearby Star and Shamrock?

While we have been to the Atlas District countless times, we finally had the opportunity to step foot into H Street’s Jewish deli meets Irish tavern.

Open Face Roast Beef SandwichWe grabbed two seats at the bar and, without hesitation, ordered the latkes. It is Hanukkah, after all.

Just a few minutes later, six huge, freshly fried potato pancakes arrived in a basket with a side of apple sauce. While I wasn’t too crazy about them being deep-fried as opposed to being traditionally cooked in a pan, they were still rather good.

And since I’m the type of person who strays away from having his latkes on the soggy side, I came away impressed with the crispy texture. Just judging from their sheer size alone, these are not definitely your bubbie’s latkes.

For dinner, I ordered the open face roast beef sandwich with gravy, one of the specials Star and Shamrock was offering that night. While the roast beef itself was decent, the bread was ridiculously over-buttered to the point that you could nearly taste the food that was cooking on the griddle earlier that day.

The butter flavor nearly overpowered the sandwich’s contents, and that includes the subpar gravy. While the bread surprisingly did not become too soggy, it was unfortunate the meal took such a dive after the latkes.

Potato Latkes and Matzo Ball SoupRachel, on the other hand, played it safe and went with the traditional matzo ball soup. The matzo ball itself was very large, yet had good density – not too hard but not soggy either. Yes readers, there is a science involved when it comes to matzo balls.

In fact, it was so big that it took up nearly the majority of the bowl. It was difficult to enjoy the broth when you had to cut through so much of the matzo ball. In regards to flavor, it was just average.

All and all, nothing really stood out except for maybe the latkes, and considering we recently cooked some frozen ones from the Golden label a few days ago (which are excellent, by the way), that’s even a stretch.

At least Free Energy put on a great show.

Star and Shamrock on Urbanspoon