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Uptown Deli Open For Business

8 Nov

Bethesda has benefited from many new restaurants in 2010.  I will say that given the number of questions we have received about this place, one of the most anticipated restaurants to hit the Bethesda dining scene has to be Uptown Deli.

You may have seen a previous post a month or so back where we wrote about Uptown Deli, and gave a preview of its menu. As you could tell, we were closely following the signs of the deli’s opening, and every time we were near Norfolk Avenue, we would look in the windows to see the progress.

While the deli was originally slated to open its doors back in July, inspection delays with Montgomery County (unsurprisingly) held up the opening. Deli owner Howard Wasserman recently setup Twitter and Facebook pages, and would give updates from time to time on how close he was to finally opening up shop.

Last week, Wasserman wrote that he was training staff and testing out dishes, and sent out a message on Twitter that up to 20 people in the area were welcome to come by and try out some sandwiches. Within minutes, I had sent a direct message to @NYDeliBethesda and suddenly two co-workers and I had our lunch plans for Friday.

Jets and Mets

The Jets and the Mets

It wasn’t quite a run of the whole menu, but that didn’t matter. We were to pick a piece of paper from a basket with a sandwich written on it, and whatever we picked was what we got to try. His reasoning was that he couldn’t possibly start out making 20 Ruebens for everyone, since the staff had to learn to make everything on the menu.

We walked into the place and you could already tell Wasserman thought of every detail when creating the atmosphere for Uptown. There were some pictures on the wall for Canter’s and other famous delis, a display of black and white cookies, rugelach, and other treats, as well as a fridge stocked different flavors of Dr. Brown’s soda.

The menu is quite extensive, and consists of traditional favorites such as matzo ball soup, knishes, and bialys, to more unique items like the “Nish Nosh”: a deep fried knish cut in half and stuffed with pastrami and mustard. Tongue and chopped liver are on the menu as well, and your vegetarian friend can get the “What’s Up Doc”: roasted root vegetables and creamy havarti dill cheese on multigrain bread with alfalfa sprouts and a sweet onion sauce.

Fuggedaboutit

Half of a Fuggedaboutit

Karin randomly selected the “Porky’s Triple Decker”, consisting of honey ham, roasted turkey, crispy bacon, Swiss cheese, lettuce, tomato, and mayo on three slices of marble rye (Hey, we never said this was a Kosher deli!).  It was a huge sandwich and she said it was enough for dinner that night as well.

I selected next and wound up with the “Fuggedaboutit”, a piled-high sandwich with Italian capicola ham, Genoa salami, Lebanon bologna, and pepperoni, with provolone, lettuce, tomato, onions, hot peppers, and oil and vinegar on an Italian Hoagie roll. Now, I’m generally not a picky eater, but I don’t usually eat ham and pepperoni, so Aileen graciously traded my sandwich for hers.

And boy was I happy she did! I ended up with the “Jets and the Mets”, already a good sign since I grew up a Mets fan. According to the menu, the sandwich consisted of hot steamed corned beef and pastrami with deli mustard on twin onion rolls. When my sandwich came, the meat was on toasted rye bread instead, but it was still delicious and didn’t take away from the dish at all. The corned beef and pastrami was perfect and tasted exactly like what you would have at 2nd Avenue Deli, with just the right amount of seasoning on the pastrami. The meal also came with a half sour pickle and a side of coleslaw.

We all ordered our sandwiches to go since they were so big, and I had planned on bringing the second half of mine home for Brett. The only problem was that it was calling my name the rest of the day at work, and by late afternoon, I couldn’t resist any longer and simply had to finish it. Brett was disappointed, but lucky for him, Uptown Deli is now open as of this past Saturday, and now we can go there all the time.

Uptown Deli on Urbanspoon

A Sneak Peak at Uptown Deli

17 Sep

The Washington metropolitan area has anxiously awaited a true, New York-style jewish delicatessen.

Let’s face it: it’s hard to find a place in the District that offers pastrami coming through the rye (yes, that was an Alan Sherman reference).

The only thing that comes close is Deli City in Northeast DC with its ridiculously good corned beef sandwich. But Deli City isn’t really a deli nor is that accessible nor has great hours.

There’s also Parkway Deli in Silver Spring. Any place that has a pickle bar gets our approval, but you still need a car to get there.

Enter Uptown Deli in Bethesda.

Owner Howard Wasserman was supposed to open his delicatessen back in July, but according to his Twitter account, Montgomery County has (not surprisingly) slowed down the process with their inspection processes.

Nonetheless, DMV Dining walked by the space formally occupied by La Miche and checked out the menu taped to the window.

Let’s just say this author started schvitzing in anticipation of their opening after reading what they will be offering…

Matzo ball soup? Check. Bagel and smoked whitefish platters? Yes, please.

Hot corned beef and pastrami sandwich on an onion roll with deli mustard aptly titled “The Jets ‘n The Mets?” Oh, you better believe it’s on.

Tongue sandwiches, Coney Island kinishes, and kosher hot dogs are featured as well, but it’s The Big Fresser that takes the cake (err, babka?) in proving you were Bar or Bat Mitzvahed.

For $19.99, one can engulf themselves with a sandwich with no less than four meats and three cheeses piled high with lettuce, tomatoes, onions, cole slaw, and Russian dressing. I’m sure your parents will kvell if you finish it.

Anyway, we’ll be sure to keep you posted when Uptown Deli finally opens.

Taylor Gourmet Arrives in Bethesda

10 Sep

We here at DMV Dining have been highly anticipating the opening of Taylor Gourmet Deli’s Bethesda location for quite awhile. Rachel and I frequent their H Street location several times (especially following late nights at Little Miss Whiskey’s) and we’ve always left satisfied.

So when we heard the news that Taylor would be opening up a spot in Downtown Bethesda, we knew we had to check it out the very first day it opened.  And so of course, we did just that.

The space itself is gorgeous and is much more open and airy than their Atlas District location. Instead of long, narrow corridors, the area features high ceilings and funky lighting fixtures. Fortunately, it still features the trademark garage door/window which offers visitors faux-outdoor dining.

The staff we encountered were very friendly and clearly demonstrated an effort to ensure that their customers were being taken care of.

We started our dinner off with Rocky’s Risotto Balls and we knew we couldn’t go wrong after having our first bite. They were prepared with the perfect blend of rice and cheese and were fried just right.  For $4.50, it’s quite a bargain as the order comes with six risotto balls.

As for our sandwiches, I went with the almighty Pattison Avenue. DC Foodies has already gone into vivid detail why this sandwich is the tits, but man, the combination of the roasted pork, garlicky broccoli rabe, and sharp provolone is honestly hard to top.

The only minor quibble I had while wolfing this glorious hoagie down was the bread. Although it was served warm and fresh, it’s not the easiest thing to bite into. It took plenty of time to chew it, but then again, it definitely assisted in soaking in the juice from the pork and rabe without it becoming soggy whatsoever.

Rachel opted to try the JFK Boulevard which consisted of grilled chicken, portabella mushrooms, and goat cheese. The meat was seasoned to perfection while the combination of the mushrooms and goat cheese was incredibly flavorful.

Since we couldn’t stop thinking about how good the sandwiches were after our first visit, Rachel decided to head back over this past Tuesday and order a couple sandwiches to go to take with us to the Nationals game.

She went with the Arch Street this time around (house-smoked turkey, roasted red peppers, aged provolone, lettuce, and onions) and ordered the Spruce Street for me (essentially the Pattison but substitute the pork with grilled chicken).

We each had half of one and, once again, found both to be solid choices. In fact, Rachel thought the bread seemed softer and fresher this time around as opposed to opening night. Coupled with some Herr’s kettle chips, our ballpark dinner proved to be a much better meal than your typical hot dog and soft pretzel combo.

I’m not saying I bought a soft pretzel after I finished the Spruce Street, but I’ll just leave it at that.

Overall, Taylor is a welcome addition to the Bethesda scene and should prove to be a successful venture given its unique combination of sandwich ingredients as well as its prime downtown location.

Before I left, I asked one of the employees if they plan to have late night hours a la their H Street shop. The dude I talked to said they plan to incorporate it down the road but are just going to be operating on regular business hours for the first few months or so.

But don’t worry, we’ll keep you posted on when we’ll be able to begin our post-midnight Pattison Avenue fixes.

Taylor Gourmet on Urbanspoon