People do not always have the time or the money to take advantage of all the fine dining in D.C. But every Kinkead’s has its Au Bon Pain, and there are plenty places to pick up a quick bite for a reasonable price. While travelling through the city, be sure not to miss these top-notch sandwich shops.
20th St. NW, north of Pennsylvania Avenue
With the weather turning cold lately, hot sandwiches make a welcomed meal. At Penn Grille on 20th Street, the sandwiches are made hot on the grill while you wait. Although steak sandwiches are its specialty, the restaurant also serves hot chicken and grilled vegetable subs. The cold sandwiches feature toppings such as alfalfa sprouts and watercress, a sign that cooks know their hoagies.
For those who do not favor sandwiches, Penn Grille cooks up a mean stir-fry. With eight to 10 people working, the wait at the sandwich shop is never long. The best part about Penn Grille is definitely the price. At $4.35 for a hot sub, this is one of the cheapest eateries around.
1751 Pennsylvania Ave., NW
This D.C. restaurant is owned and operated by Mark Furstenburg, who started the Marvelous Market chain in Cleveland Park. The name comes from the lines of bread-starved people who would line up in front of Marvelous Market in its early days.
Furstenburg continues to bring top-quality breads to D.C. at BreadLine. The restaurant is known by many Washingtonians as a superb place to grab a sandwich and a cup of soup, but grabbing a table is a different story. The restaurant has a very hectic atmosphere, even more so during lunch rushes.
The restaurant is a popular lunch spot for White House and World Bank employees. The sandwiches are out of the ordinary, as the sandwich-makers create diverse combinations with fish, beef, chicken and vegetables. Seven dollars will buy a sandwich that satisfies the appetite for the rest of the day.
BreadLine is not open on weekends, and stops serving lunch at 3 p.m.
Connecticut Avenue, north of Dupont Circle
Marvelous is really the only way to describe this organic food store chain nestled into a small spot off Dupont Circle next to Kramerbooks. The usual stigmas that follow pre-wrapped sandwiches do not apply here. Even though sandwich-makers do not put the sandwich together right then and there, the combinations of organic and freshly made ingredients make many menu selections hard to pass by. The bread is baked fresh daily at Marvelous Market’s Cleveland Park location. Sandwiches are made from baguettes, multigrain bread, foccacia, semolina flatbread, and other varieties.
The veggie-lover cannot pass up Marvelous’ Berkley Brunch sandwich, which is a combination of sprouts, avocado and havarti cheese on multigrain bread. The Marvelous Club combines a grilled chicken breast with caramelized onions and bacon. The mustard vinaigrette dressing really makes this sandwich. The sandwich shop also offers an inventive chicken salad, which incorporates Granny Smith apples and toasted walnuts.
Marvelous Market has more than just sandwiches. It also sells fresh-baked goods, such as pastries and muffins, making it a viable option for a late breakfast as well.
Most sandwiches and salads cost about $5. While there are no tables at Marvelous Market, a one-block walk to Dupont Circle in nice weather can make for a nice picnic.
3000 K St. NW at Washington Harbor
There are a multitude of places to pick up a quick bite to eat in Georgetown. Georgetown Deli and Pan Geos come to mind. These places, however good and cheap, cannot compare to the dining experience that is eating at Sequoia.
Not to mislead, Sequoia is not deli or sandwich shop, it is a top-notch restaurant whose dinner entrees can put a big dent in anyone’s wallet. Its sandwiches, which are moderately priced, are gigantic. The steak sandwich, for $12.95 including french fries, is a mouth-watering 10 oz. New York strip steak on foccacia bread. The turkey wrap comes on an herb tortilla with a dressing made from tomatoes and pesto. There are, however, some good deals at Sequoia – with careful ordering meal costs less than $15. The restaurant’s location on the waterfront makes Sequoia a fantastic place for a sit-down lunch or light dinner.
Sequoia’s outside dining has one of the best views in the city. Located on Washington Harbor just south of Georgetown, one can dine right on the Potomac River overlooking the Kennedy Center and the George Washington and Key bridges. It makes for a relaxing place to sit and enjoy a rest after a long day of sightseeing or shopping.
Sequoia is not an ideal place for young children, but whether a diner plans on having a sandwich or an entree, it’s a welcomed treat for any GW student looking to escape J Street.