Bringing international street food to America’s capital

After returning to campus following a month of gluttonous home cooking, I was determined to find an alternative to monotonous college dining.

I found my answer just a few blocks from campus at G Street Food.

The large, cafeteria-style lunch spot offers a daily menu of international street food, while its location near a number of government buildings draws crowds of hungry professionals during the lunchtime rush hour.

Though I’m not the hardest person to please, I found G Street Food’s dishes sensational in taste. Served on simple paper plates, the food is the main focus of every G Street experience. I did overhear someone behind me in line complaining that the menu is not an adequate representation of genuine street food, but the selection incorporates enough variety to please me.

Zach Krahmer | Hatchet Photographer
G Street Foods co-owner Janice Choi serves a cup of coffee to caffeine-craving patrons Monday.

After perusing the varied menu and making the ever-difficult decision, orders are placed at a counter where you can watch the friendly chefs prepare your gourmet treat, just as you would at a traditional street vendor.

The lively buzz produces a delightful, contemporary atmosphere, and dishes are quickly whipped up, making G Street Food ideal for either a quick lunch break or a leisurely meal with friends.

Named one of the best sandwich shops in the area by The Washington Post, G Street Food crafts delectable sandwiches priced from $6.45 to $7.95, each with its own global theme. From the traditional Vietnamese chicken banh mi ($7.95), made with lemongrass and ginger marinated chicken, pickled daikon and carrot, cucumber, cilantro, fresh jalapeño and mayo served on a baguette, to the Mediterranean ($7.75), a vegetarian treat of grilled Portobello mushrooms, red pepper, asparagus, with hummus and provolone served on foccacia, G Street Food offers the experience of global cuisine without having to leave Foggy Bottom.

A recent addition to the multinational offerings, the Thai tuna salad ($7.75) offers a magnificent twist to the uninspiring chicken of the sea. Curry and jalapeño peppers liven the dish and result in an acute explosion of flavor. Bean sprouts top it all off and tame the spice just enough to leave you begging for more. The dish can be served as a salad or on saj – a delicate, traditionally Mediterranean flatbread.

Some of the most authentic dishes can be found in the menu’s Around the Globe section. The chicken quesadilla ($7.95) uses perfectly spiced chicken and a refreshingly flavorful homemade pico de gallo that reminded me of bona fide Tex-Mex fare from back home in Arizona.

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