DonRocks

Breadline, 18th St. and Penn. Ave. Downtown - Sandwich Shop Now Owned by La Brioche Doree

209 posts in this topic

[posted on eGullet 2003-2004]

The Grill at Galileo gets a lot of attention here (justifiably so), but Breadline doesn't get enough. A "turkey sandwich" ($6.90) might sound unimaginative, but the one at Breadline reestablishes just how great and important a restaurant this is. The turkeys are roasted daily, and must surely be brined, because the meat is flavorful like Palena chicken is flavorful, and is offered up in thick, generous handcarved slices (a perfect mixture of white and dark meat) on the best focaccia roll in town. The sandwich is at its best topped simply with lettuce and mustard (tomatoes are not available off-season), and it stands as one of the truly great lunch items in all of Washington. And it's healthy, too!

Gobble one down and see for yourself,
Rocks.

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[posted on eGullet 2003-2004]

From The Washington Post, an excerpt from the article entitled "Humble Sandwich Often Tops the Menu - Chains Try to Gobble Up the Market for Gourmet Lunch Fare" by Candy Sagon:

Washington baker Mark Furstenberg, who owns BreadLine near 17th Street and Pennsylvania Avenue NW, has nervously watched in the past year as Potbelly, Quiznos and Corner Bakery have all opened within a block of his restaurant.

"It's hurt my business. We used to serve 975 customers a day, we are now serving 775," he said. Competing against the chains is difficult, he said, "because they have greater buying power [with suppliers], so they get better deals. They can also afford to operate at break-even, even at a loss sometimes, to increase their market power."

Never forget what just happened to Ann Amernick's bakery: AVOID THE BLOODSUCKING, EXANIMATE CORPORATE CHAINS.

Rocks.

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And it's up for a James Beard Award, regardless how much weight you put on the JB awards, excellent recognition for a sandwich shop!

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The egg salad. Not many places can do egg salad without it turning in to a gloppy mess.

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I'm just thankful that my local grocer, Snider's always has a shopping cart full of Breadline breads just inside the front door.

J'adore les baguettes.

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I had a very nice work lunch at Poste about a week ago. One of my companions kept going on and on about the bread. We asked about it and they get it from BreadLine.

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Citronelle too, If My Memory Serves Me Correctly.

I. Love. Breadline.

The fried cod sandwich is compulsory for me (as well as for two of my underlings whom I got hooked on the things) on Friday, and I try to get there at least one other day during the week. If you have even a passing interest in fish sandwiches, get over there! These are the fish sandwiches of the gods. My fillet last week must have been creeping up on an inch thick in the middle. :lol:

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[posted on eGullet 2003-2004]

From The Washington Post, an excerpt from the article entitled "Humble Sandwich Often Tops the Menu - Chains Try to Gobble Up the Market for Gourmet Lunch Fare" by Candy Sagon:

Washington baker Mark Furstenberg, who owns BreadLine near 17th Street and Pennsylvania Avenue NW, has nervously watched in the past year as Potbelly, Quiznos and Corner Bakery have all opened within a block of his restaurant.

"It's hurt my business. We used to serve 975 customers a day, we are now serving 775," he said. Competing against the chains is difficult, he said, "because they have greater buying power [with suppliers], so they get better deals. They can also afford to operate at break-even, even at a loss sometimes, to increase their market power."

Never forget what just happened to Ann Amernick's bakery: AVOID THE BLOODSUCKING, EXANIMATE CORPORATE CHAINS.

Rocks.

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Please offer recs for what to order...my husband has gone twice now and said he doesn't see what all the hype is about for a $7 sandwich! I did ask what he ordered, but I can't recall at the moment. I'll follow up when I find out. I read Don's post to him, and asked if he'd tried the turkey-- not so, and he agreed he'll give it another shot.

While taste is subjective, I'd like to know if anyone thinks I should recommend a different sandwich to him? :lol:

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Following the suggestion/direction of our forum host on my last visit I ordered the turkey sandwich. It was a huge disappointment. The turkey was watery and tasteless. It only had chunks of dark meat. It made the bread watery too. I ended up taking out the meat and eating a $7 lettuce sandwich. Needless to say I was quite unhappy.

Try the tuna.

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I am a fan of both turkey (preferably in summer to have tomatos too) because of the combo of thick slices of carved white and dark meat turkey with spicy mustard that make it feel like a great Thanksgiving leftover sandwich and the pork bbq with coleslaw because of the great tangy zip the vinegar and crunch of the slaw add to the sandwich. I have not liked their gazpacho but that is personal preference and not poor execution. They serve a chunky style and I prefer a smooth puree with blended flavors.

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* Fried cod (Friday special) see above. This is basically why I go to work Fridays, because I might as well be in the city since there is no Breadline in Arlington, and I'd just end up Metroing in anyway.

* The reuben (Tuesday special). Oooh, Reuben.

* Toast Tite (everyday). Made with a variety of Italian cheeses, it's the best $7.00 grilled cheese you're likely to have.

* Sausage sandwich (everyday). Good sausage sandwich. What's not to like? Also comes as a pizza or piadine.

* Tuna (everyday). I probably wouldn't have tried it except for Hillvalley's recommendation on eGullet. It's great!

* Spicy Chicken Dahlia (Wednesday or Thursday special): Little weird, but I like it. More sandwiches need peanuts and fried plantain.

* Salami!

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Crusty's got a crunchy-looking stack of matzo in the display case with a big note saying Order NOW for the weekend.

And damn. The chicken dahlia was good on a wintery day, but when it's sunny and sweaty outside, it's _good_: Chicken with more taste than my napkin and onions carmelized into candy, both layered with peanuts and a sauce that has just just enough kick that you eat through your best intentions to save half for tomorrow, because the pleasure of the next bite anesthetizes the pain of the last one.....

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Crusty's got a crunchy-looking stack of matzo in the display case with a big note saying Order NOW for the weekend.

Does he make his own? It takes serious baking mojo to turn cardboard into art. I would actually consider eating his matzah.

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Does he make his own?  It takes serious baking mojo to turn cardboard into art.  I would actually consider eating his matzah.

yup.

and yup.

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As Khart on eGullet mentioned, according to Breadline's blog, Breadline is going to be open 11-3 for lunch on Saturdays!

Furthermore: Po'boys and softshells are back! :lol:

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I, and everyone who was at my Seder table, now bow down the master of all things matzah.

Furstenberg is a genius. This week of eating cardboard from a box will be that much harder because I now know what matzah can be. Crusty's matzah is what all others should strive to taste like. Crisp, flavorful (yes, matzah, full of flavor, who knew?) with beautiful air bubbles dotting the large round pieces. A hint of salt lingers after each bite.

Thank you babka

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The Case for Mark Furstenberg as Best Chef, Mid-Atlantic

Mark Furstenberg is arguably the most influential chef in the history of Washington, DC. An impossible combination of Popeye, Alice Waters and The Soup Nazi, he betrays his gruff demeanor by letting his considerable charitable actions quietly resonate throughout the community. Several weeks ago, he rallied the most famous chefs in Washington together for a Tsunami-relief benefit held at his restaurant. He is almost single-handedly responsible for the introduction of world-class bread to the region, and his is the only name that affects each-and-every diner at Washington's two best restaurants, Citronelle and Maestro. Breadline is a bastion of strength near The White House, a last gasp of artisanal quality and craftsmanship in an area being overrun by faceless corporate chains completely devoid of any humanity or meaning. He will not serve tomatoes in the wintertime, and if you want a cola with your meal, your only choice will be one from a local microbrewery. Nowhere in all of Washington, DC will you find a better lunch than at Breadline - it isn't open for dinner, but many other nominated restaurants aren't open for breakfast or lunch. Walk into Breadline and you'll see a broad cross-section of America at work, all of whom are friendly, efficient and obviously motivated by this great pioneer who has been inexplicably overlooked for this award in the past, probably because nobody ever thought of him as a "chef." He defines the term, however, and would be a terrific choice for Best Chef in the Mid-Atlantic region.

Cheers,
Rocks.

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mmmhhh--had the prosciutto, gorgonzola and fig jam sandwich and it was a great choice! Then I bought some matzoh to take home, and proceeded to gnosh on that :lol: (somebody...take...it...away...before...I...eat...the...whole...thing...)

Everyone in my office who walked in the kitchen asked what it was, as it doesn't resemble any traditional matzoh. But boy did they like it. As hillvalley said, there is that hint of salt that lingers after every bite--but I also detected a hint of butter. For those of you who like to smather butter on the good ol' boxed matzoh, this stands on its own quite well.

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Oh, and I found out one of the sandwiches my hubby had that was so disappointing--it was the same one I had! It seems he was given a very skimpy amount of the proscuitto, which in my mind would definitley throw off the balance of taste, and make me also wonder why I would be paying $7 for a few measly pieces of ham. Since it seems he's been burned twice, I'm still working on him to give it another try...guess I'll try to get over there again next week to sample some more so I can convince him to go get it for himself!

(He did approve of the matzoh--how couldn't he? That stuff is the best!)

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I had the tuna w/ Moroccan spices for lunch today, and, unfortunately, it was really soggy - like so soggy I needed a fork to finish it because it was just falling all over the place. I think they sliced the olive bread too thin, but from the second I picked it up it was just sagging and dripping all over the place. Disappointing. :lol:

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I had the tuna w/ Moroccan spices for lunch today, and, unfortunately, it was really soggy - like so soggy I needed a fork to finish it because it was just falling all over the place. I think they sliced the olive bread too thin, but from the second I picked it up it was just sagging and dripping all over the place. Disappointing.  ;)

Yeah, the olive bread seems to have issues supporting the tuna and egg salad sandwiches. They need to either slice it thicker for these or pack it well onto a sturdier baguette. But lordy, that prosciutto... :lol:

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So I realized that I'm a food lover and craver of ethnic cheap eats when I held off breakfast and rushed over to Amsterdam Falafel in Adams Morgan this morning at 11am (right when they open) to get a taste of their great, fresh friend bites of chickpea bliss.

This place is great, haven't found any other place in DC with really fresh falafel made to order with a great fixins bar of sauces and salads like you find in the Mid East and apparently Amsterdam. As others have mentioned they have great fries too which go great with their killer garlic cream sauce (good on the falafel too).

In light of my mid-morning falafel hunt, I wanted to start this new topic to see what others people's great, ethnic sandwiches/cheap eats are? What is that unusual cheap ethnic delicacy that you could eat for breakfast, lunch, and dinner and still go out for at midnight?

The 'Spicy Chicken Dhalia' at Breadline* still consistantly rocks my world: The one yesterday was definitely spicier than examples past. ohmy.gif

* For the purposes of this thread, can one HAVE an 'ethnic' sandwich at an establishment like Breadline?

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Anyone been on Thursday lately to see if they have the fried oyster po boy?

I was there maybe a month and a half ago. It was listed on their website, but when I got there, they had the soft shell crab in its place.

However, the next week they listed both the soft shell crab AND the po boy on their menu.

I really want to take an out of town guest there tomorrow for a po boy, and I'm hoping they'll have it.

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