Jump to content

G Street Food, Local Chain in DC Open for Breakfast and Lunch Only - 19th Street Location Has Closed


Recommended Posts

I wonder if Sietsema's description of the lunch offerings is exhaustive. Obviously it's too early to pass judgment, but my initial reaction to that list is that the restaurant seems to be taking a pass on some of the great street-food cultures of the world. But hopefully there will be some kind of rotation going, and he'll be able to find room for chaat and pani puri and more from the subcontinent, not to mention the great street food offerings from Mexico and Latin America...

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I just popped over after reading this thread, and yes it looks open. Two people inside, one wearing whites. Doors locked, no opening times listed.

We stopped in for a quick lunch. First impressions were good. I had the Banh Mi, and the bread was great and the sandwich (for me) just the right size for lunch. I accompanied that with a ginger beer, and it was a good meal. Prices are lower than BreadLine, and the space feels much more open. My co-worker had the caramelized onion pizza, which she also enjoyed. I do wish they had larger bottles of diet soda, but that's a minor quibble. I wanted to try the cookies, but they were sold out or not on display, or something.

The design is smart, and the location is great. They could fill up the restaurant and still have people out on the plaza with no problem. There is a "stable" area for you to wait for your food, so there is plenty of space to order and wait.

Looking forward to going back again soon, maybe even for breakfast tomorrow (or lunch--Bratwurst with kimchi!).

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Went today for lunch. It was relatively crowded, but not overly so. You can tell that they tried to design the space to move people through the restaurant efficiently. For the most part this worked, although the big menu near the entrance created a bit of a choke point in front of it.

I had the Banh Mi, which I thought was very good. The bread was excellent, the meat was flavorful, the pickled vegetables added a nice spiciness, and it was overall a very nice sandwich. There were a number of other things on the menu that looked tasty as well.

As for the comparisons to Breadline, it is, of course, similar. It looks like there are fewer options at this time on the menu, and today they weren't quite as fast in getting their food out. I'll have to eat my way more thoroughly through the menu before I make a final judgment, however.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I had the Banh Mi yesterday, and I found it lacking. Pork sliced very thin, and it was very dry. The pickled vegetables did not provide enough moisture, but a good assortment, cauliflower, broccoli, celery, bell pepper and something else. There was an unusual taste to the pickle that I could not identify. No heat at all. The bread was very nice, great crust. The sandwich was $8.75 including tax, which is standard for this part of town - except Potbelly of course - but expensive in my book for what I got. And from home I can just drive a couple of miles to get the real deal for $2.50.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

That's what I'm intrigued about too. Has anyone tried G Street's Montreal bagels yet?

I went last Friday, pre-opening, when they were "sampling" various menu items. I tried the bagel, which was served with veggie cream cheese. I'm not sure how to describe it. It was good...harder and chewier than "regular" bagels but with a nice flavor. I'm not rushing back for one, but it is worth trying.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Today I ventured over to G Street food. Having an office next to Breadline I was very interested to see what this new place was all about.

Let me start off by saying that if changes to the menu are not made soon then unfortunately, this place will be gone. I had picked up a menu last week to review. Many of the foods offered seem interesting, but for a place that is only basically open for lunch less interesting and more try-and-true is needed. I consider myself a foodie and have eaten in plenty of places around town so I am not one to be afraid of trying things, but for a lunch hour, a certain comfort is needed.

I went to the restaurant today and it was not too busy. The space is very nice and inviting. I went on a Tuesday because I wanted the chicago style hot dog. It was served with the Breadline-like fries which are very good. Unfortunately, the hot dog was served on a piece of county white bread. The condiments were placed in first and then the hot dog was placed on top with the bread rolled around. Needless to say, the entire thing fell apart in one bite. Since I specifically went with an easy order, I am completely disappointed that a traditional hot dog bun was not used and it made me think to myself, what is this place doing?

I sat in front of the door and watched the foot traffic. Plenty of people came in during the lunch hour. Given the location, you have a wide variety of people of all ages.

There was one common characteristic that I saw on everyone who came in and looked at the menu board -

total bewilderment.

cold moroccan tomato soup, summer minestrone, tartine of the day, pan bagnat, bahn mi, fattoush, moorish chickpea, tunisian mixed salad with tuna, bratwurst with kimchi, merguez, roman pizza

There were more people coming in and staring at the board with furrowed brows then I have every seen. For every 4-5 people in the door, 1 person stayed.

I feel badly because it doesn't even matter if the food is incredible, a lunch-hour crowd needs to read a menu board and find something that they can grab on to. With cosi and subway around them, competition is fierce. I cannot imagine the bewildered people returning because they know that a safe $6-$7 sub or sandwich is right nearby. Just taking the few extra minutes during the lunch hour to venture into a new place is something that one does ONLY once. One of my staff was sad to learn that the pizza place is gone - so maybe transitioning to this place with more daily pizzas may be a way to keep old customers...but the menu is such a departure.

I post this comment on the board because I was so truly surprised at what I saw. I hope the owners realize that normal lunch-crowd people really want to spend their money on interesting twists on food they know, not necessarily interesting food. That may be a sad statement to foodies, but we are talking about lunch, not fine dining.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I went to the restaurant today and it was not too busy. The space is very nice and inviting. I went on a Tuesday because I wanted the chicago style hot dog. It was served with the Breadline-like fries which are very good. Unfortunately, the hot dog was served on a piece of county white bread. The condiments were placed in first and then the hot dog was placed on top with the bread rolled around. Needless to say, the entire thing fell apart in one bite. Since I specifically went with an easy order, I am completely disappointed that a traditional hot dog bun was not used and it made me think to myself, what is this place doing?

. . .

I post this comment on the board because I was so truly surprised at what I saw. I hope the owners realize that normal lunch-crowd people really want to spend their money on interesting twists on food they know, not necessarily interesting food. That may be a sad statement to foodies, but we are talking about lunch, not fine dining.

I'm eating my Traditional Chicago Style hot dog as we speak. My bread isn't wrapped around, it's just two pieces cut from the same loaf, kinda like a bun. I don't know if that is traditional or not, but it's nice. The fries are good as well.

It was a third full by the time I got there at 2. I thought about sitting down at the table next to Michel Richard, but he seemed to be enjoying his pizza too much and I know I would have started a conversation.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I'm eating my Traditional Chicago Style hot dog as we speak. My bread isn't wrapped around, it's just two pieces cut from the same loaf, kinda like a bun. I don't know if that is traditional or not, but it's nice. The fries are good as well.

It was a third full by the time I got there at 2. I thought about sitting down at the table next to Michel Richard, but he seemed to be enjoying his pizza too much and I know I would have started a conversation.

like I said...comfort lunch food - you got the hot dog and Michel got the pizza.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I post this comment on the board because I was so truly surprised at what I saw. I hope the owners realize that normal lunch-crowd people really want to spend their money on interesting twists on food they know, not necessarily interesting food. That may be a sad statement to foodies, but we are talking about lunch, not fine dining.

This may be the saddest thing I've ever read. Let's hope there are enough people interested in interesting food to keep this place going (assuming the food is good) forever.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

...I post this comment on the board because I was so truly surprised at what I saw. I hope the owners realize that normal lunch-crowd people really want to spend their money on interesting twists on food they know, not necessarily interesting food. That may be a sad statement to foodies, but we are talking about lunch, not fine dining.

Thanks for the insightful post. Your thoughtful analysis of the pedestrian, and ultimately passerby, traffic, coupled with a realistic assessment of what typical lunch crowds are seeking seem spot on to me. By sharing this perspective, you are illuminating the base intention of the shopper, valuable intel for business strategy.

And, yes, it's sad to see culinary opportunities and horizon-expanding adventures fall off the radar screen as office types seek comforting lunch foods. But until we're all self-actualized change champions (Ew! I said change champion!) in deeply fulfilling roles, lunch will continue to be a reprieve of familiarity for many during an otherwise jarring work day.

Which is why I plan to join the circus.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Today I ventured over to G Street food. Having an office next to Breadline I was very interested to see what this new place was all about. . . I went on a Tuesday because I wanted the chicago style hot dog. It was served with the Breadline-like fries

I thought it was very much like Breadline's style. Except with less menu options and more outdoor seating.

I sat in front of the door and watched the foot traffic. . .There was one common characteristic that I saw on everyone who came in and looked at the menu board - total bewilderment.

The menu is the worst part of the restaurant, it is very confusing. The menu is divided into food categories: Salad, Soup, Terrine, Cold Sandwiches, Grilled Sandwiches, Pancake, Pizza, and something else. For each food category, there seems to be a further sub-category of the day of the week; i.e. some items are only offered once a week. For soups, there is a Monday and Wednesday soup, and a Tuesday and Thursday soup. The bottom line: even though there are probably 30 things on the menu, only perhaps 15 of them are available on any given day. That's a lot to filter out, and maybe G Street Food should consider just having a daily menu.

To make matters worse, my first choice, a cheddar, bacon, tomato sandwich was not available since they were out of bacon. 2 other items had bacon in them or were no longer available, so that added to the confusion. I contemplated walking out at that point, and am not surprised to hear ruslev's account.

I cannot imagine the bewildered people returning because they know that a safe $6-$7 sub or sandwich is right nearby. Just taking the few extra minutes during the lunch hour to venture into a new place is something that one does ONLY once. . . One of my staff was sad to learn that the pizza place is gone

Two days ago, I learned about Food Phobias. My newfound sensitivity for this issue dictates kindness and understanding. The me of two days ago would have facetiously offered to sponsor your colleague for a Terrine of Day excursion -- but now I just want to encourage them to take attainable baby steps: a bite of a baguette, or maybe a toasted Montreal bagel. Really!

Despite the confusing menu, and the lunchtime cibophobiacs in the area, I am hopeful that the World Bank and IMF workforce will have some employees who are more open to trying these "street foods" of the world. G Street Foods isn't revelational, but it is high quality and deserving of a brisk business. I predict they shall overcome.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

G Street Foods isn't revelational, but it is high quality

I had a very good Breakfast Tartine ($4.25): bread, ham, cheese, and fried egg (not poached, per their website). Perhaps I was too curt in saying the place isn't revelational--it's a very good spot with unique offerings. They serve Intelligentsia coffee here as well.

PS:

The bottom line: even though there are probably 30 things on the menu, only perhaps 15 of them are available on any given day. That's a lot to filter out, and maybe G Street Food should consider just having a daily menu.

Thankfully, they now only pin up the items that they offer for that day, although you can grab a take-out menu or check out the website for their complete offerings.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I had picked up a menu last week to review. Many of the foods offered seem interesting, but for a place that is only basically open for lunch less interesting and more try-and-true is needed. I consider myself a foodie and have eaten in plenty of places around town so I am not one to be afraid of trying things, but for a lunch hour, a certain comfort is needed.

So what's the point of opening (or patronizing) a new restaurant?

This is like a justification for having no music on your iPod released since Kurt Cobain offed himself (which is something I'd be tempted to do if I had to survive on "tried and true").

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I had a very good Breakfast Tartine ($4.25): bread, ham, cheese, and fried egg (not poached, per their website).

This is good to know. I have been meaning to make it down there for breakfast and do recon on G Street Food's Montreal bagel. Now that you mention the breakfast tartine, that sounds good too. Speaking of tartines, I really like Le Pain Quotidien's tartines (especially the proscuitto-mozarella one), but they're pretty pricy at $9-$10 each and not all that filling.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I have been back several times since my disappointing chicago hot dog and I received an email detailing new menu items such as Sloppy Joes. I do think they are slowly catching up to expand the menu a bit. I had their fish chowder and it was really great. The nicoise sandwich was ok, but not quite briny enough.

I hope things work out because there is no doubt they are trying hard. Competition is fierce in the neighborhood. In fact, Breadline is going to get some new competition next door from a Chicago-based eatery in the very near future.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I have been back several times since my disappointing chicago hot dog and I received an email detailing new menu items such as Sloppy Joes. I do think they are slowly catching up to expand the menu a bit. I had their fish chowder and it was really great. The nicoise sandwich was ok, but not quite briny enough.

I hope things work out because there is no doubt they are trying hard. Competition is fierce in the neighborhood. In fact, Breadline is going to get some new competition next door from a Chicago-based eatery in the very near future.

I just got back from picking up lunch there today and I was really impressed. At about 12:30 the place was pretty empty. Wide variety of food on the menu: two different pizzas (one spinach, one onion and ham), several sandwiches including the sloppy joe, banh mi, french style ham and mufalletta, three different soups- sweet potato, bean and rice, and ?, four or five different salads as well as some homemade desserts.

I got the sloppy joe with french fries. It was a little spicey, not too saucy and generally really tasty. I think it was on a brioche style roll that was grilled and held up nicely under the meat. Fries were pretty awesome. Super crispy, mildly salty, perfect golden brown, not greasy and piping hot. My friend got the Banh Mi (roasted pork with pickled veg and herbs) and the sweet potato soup. She was very happy with it. In particular she noted the french baguette was still warm from the oven.

I wouldn't say that the food is dirt cheap, but the prices are reasonable. Sloppy Joe, fries and a baguette for dinner was just about $9. I can see how this type of food is adventurous for some people. But it is a great addition to my work neighborhood and I will be back.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I went by there today and I am now very hopeful. The large confusing menu hanging inside is gone. Now, outside on a handwritten board are menu items like: meatball sub, sloppy joe, day after thanksgiving turkey, and deviled egg salad. Of course, the other selections are there- tartines, salads and pizza. I think the variety of choices for the common AND uncommon man is a great mix.

Btw there were no seats available at 12 today.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Btw there were no seats available at 12 today.

No empty tables at 1:00 today, either, so I sat down with some strangers. Every one seemed pretty happy with their food. I had the deviled egg salad sandwich. Quick meal, not expensive (I didn't get a drink or fries), and tasty. egg salad was not too rich and quite peppery.

PS: and this is my first post! Sorry it's so brief, but I wanted to finally contribute something at least...

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I had a sloppy joe for lunch today, and given that I have a pretty low expectation when it comes to sloppy joes I thought it was about as good as it could get. The bread was really good, a nice buttery brioche, and the meat mix was nicely seasoned. 5.75 is a decent price for something of that quality too. It was served with a salad of greens in a simple dressing that was pleasantly assertive. My friend wasn't too pleased with his bahn mi though.

The place was empty about 1:30 today (rainy) and I found the space kind of odd, and the complaints about the menu being off putting make sense to me. I wouldn't say it was too weird for me but I did find it kind of disjointed.

I guess I am posting to say that I heartily endorse the sloppy joe, given the price and assuming ten minutes or less of travel time to get there.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Just as I thought things were improving...

From Going out Gurus:

G Street Food, Furstenberg part ways

"No longer on the menu at G Street Food: Baker Mark Furstenberg. The muse behind the fledgling establishment serving street snacks from around the world (and egg salad, too) submitted his resignation to restaurateur David Choi over the weekend."

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I had not been in a while, so I decided to drop G Street Food as I was nearby and the Breadline options did not wow me. The Cubano I got was pretty good. It cost $7 which is a lot for a sandwich but its the same cost as sandwiches at Breadline. It was not too bad, their take uses pickled jalapeños and prosciutto instead of a pickle and ham respectively. I also tried their house made donut, which is pretty good as well. Its $1.50. Not overly sweet which is nice.

Overall I would put them on par with Breadline. A really decent carry-out lunch option, though I wouldn't go out of my way to get there.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

New branch has opened at the former Jonathan's on 19th Street between L and M. I was passing by yesterday and happened to see they had just opened. Cool looking space, several people checking it out. Nothing on the menu is more than $7.95, and lots of sammies that could be competition for food truck fare. Menu is a bit limited though, and I'm not sure if that's because they just opened, or if they plan to expand the offerings.

I grabbed a menu and scanned it, but don't know how to go about posting it! Anyone have any hints/

Link to comment
Share on other sites

So seems like this now needs to be in the multiple locations part of the Dining Guide? At least that's where I looked for it first...

The odd thing about this location is that it doesn't seem to be publicized anywhere. Even the G Street Food website still only lists the G Street address :huh:. However, there is enough lunch time foot traffic on that block people definitely know about it. I've been 3 times now, and it's been pretty busy each time (although not overwhelmingly so).

As squidsdc noted above, nothing on the menu is over $7.95. So these aren't cheap sandwiches, but the ones I've had are quite large, so they're certainly not skimping on the ingredients.

I don't love the set up where they funnel you to the back of the restaurant to order (one line for sandwiches/street food and one line for soups/salads), then you wait for your food, then go mid way back through the restaurant to pay (the tables are along one side and in front), but whatever.

The first time I got the Banh Mi ($7.95 - Traditional Vietnamese sandwich. Roasted pork, prosciutto, pickled vegetables, cilantro, fresh jalapenos & mayo. Served on our baguette) and a side of Gazpacho ($3 with the sandwich or $4.55 without) that came with a roll too. I really liked the baguette the sandwich came on and thought the taste was good, but it was a little bit dry. The soup was excellent. I would consider getting that again, but with the sandwich it was just way too much food.

On my second trip I had Grilled Chicken Chermoula ($7.95 - Grilled chicken breast, Allan Benton bacon,

roasted tomatoes, and Moroccan basil chermoula. Served on our baguette) mostly because I wanted something on a baguette again! Unfortunately something went a bit wrong in the prep of mine since the baguette was overly charred and thus had an off taste. The chicken and chermoula were good though. I also added a side of fries for $1 (after seeing them on someone else's plate last time) and these were an excellent addition. It is a fairly large serving (could certainly split it between two people) and tasted fresh cut. Not so healthy, but very good.

On this visit I met a couple of friends. I had the Alpine Panini ($7.95 - Grilled sandwich with caramelized onions,prosciutto and Gruyere cheese. Served on our ciabatta) with fries. This was almost too much bread to filling ratio, with the grilled bread being a bit hard around the corners, but the flavors were good. The onions were especially tasty. And the fries, once again, hit the spot. My dining companions had the Banh Me and the Asian Lettuce Wrap ($7.95 - Chicken marinated in homemade hoisin/garlic sauce. Served w. rice, fresh cilantro, pickled daikon & carrots, bean sprout, scallions, hot sauce, roasted peanuts, and iceberg lettuce), which is served in a do it yourself type package of a 1/4 head of iceberg, a pile of chicken, a scoop of rice, and sauce and peanuts on the side.

Since I've now tried a number of the sandwiches, I'm curious about getting the lettuce wrap or some of the other street food next time. I'm also curious about the salads since they don't have much description on the menu.

Of course I'm still full over an hour later from this lunch, so this isn't really something I, personally, was missing, but I don't think they have any dessert options available, which is something to note.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

So seems like this now needs to be in the multiple locations part of the Dining Guide? At least that's where I looked for it first...

[sorry. :) I've now ranked this above Taylor Gourmet in the "Delis" section - do you agree with both the section, and the ranking within the section? (I do not have it in italics.) I've never been here, other than to take a quick walkaround, but I've seen what has happened to Taylor and am making an educated guess for now.]

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I would disagree with the ranking. My coworkers and I were in last week for sandwiches and thought they were rather bad. I had the Kentucky sandwich which was mediocre at best, other than the bread which was good and the bacon which was good and crisp. The fried chicken had little or no batter, it was ridiculously spicy and the meat was stringy. The sandwich had one mushroom on it. My coworkers both had the chicken bahn mi. Both declared the chicken on it inedible and proceeded to throw out the sandwiches. I didn't have a chance to try their sandwiches but both said the chicken tasted off. The fries that were served with the sandwiches were sad soggy and cold fries. They could theoreticallty be good, but they were reminiscent of Five Guys on a bad day.

We all agreed to give the place another shot, hoping this was a very off day. I'll report back.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Menu is a bit limited though, and I'm not sure if that's because they just opened, or if they plan to expand the offerings.

As squidsdc noted above, nothing on the menu is over $7.95. So these aren't cheap sandwiches, but the ones I've had are quite large, so they're certainly not skimping on the ingredients.

I would disagree with the ranking.

The menu comes across to me as being fairly expansive (not expensive, expansive) - it's odd seeing "Allan Benton bacon bits" immediately above "American cheese." I can't imagine the socca is good here (it traditionally requires a griddle the size of a hula hoop), but my antennae are up. Jenny, it's hard to gauge whether or not you like it - reading your post more closely, you seem to be hedging a bit.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

The menu comes across to me as being fairly expansive (not expensive, expansive) - it's odd seeing "Allan Benton bacon bits" immediately above "American cheese." I can't imagine the socca is good here (it traditionally requires a griddle the size of a hula hoop), but my antennae are up. Jenny, it's hard to gauge whether or not you like it - reading your post more closely, you seem to be hedging a bit.

I have to admit I am a bit unsure myself. The bread that I've had has been great. And I really did like the fries (mine came out hot and fresh, which would certainly make a huge difference). The gazpacho was also really good on my first trip.

However, the burnt bread from my second visit was a bit off-putting. Not inedible by any means, but definitely not superlative.

At this point I plan to re-visit and try some other stuff on the menu, and hope that they also continue to work out some kinks as it is open longer.

As for how to rank it with Taylor Gourmet, I'm not sure. I've always liked Taylor, but I've only ever been to the original H St. location, so I don't know how things have dropped off elsewhere.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Just stopped by the Dupont location, and the Cubano I ate was one of the best sandwiched I've had in DC. Slightly non-traditional...it was on a baguette instead of being pressed, and had a dijon/lime sauce instead of the normal mustard, but it was excellent. Juicy, chopped roast pork with a little prosciutto on top, some lettuce, pickled peppers and the sauce. Great bread. I'll be going back to sample more of the menu.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I work at 18th and G, which used to be a pretty depressing chain lunch wasteland when I was here from 2005-2008. When my officemates sent me to G Street Food, I didn't have very high expectations, but I have really enjoyed the lunches I've had there (and now I usually go about once a week). I really like the chicken banh mi and the Alpine panini mentioned upthread, and the fries are really good if you eat them in-store or if you don't have far to travel (otherwise, they steam in the bag and get soggy). I feel like the amount of food you get for the price makes the place a pretty good value, too.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I also work near the 18th and G location and on the occasions when I don't bring my lunch to work, it's my go-to, partly because of proximity, but also because I think I've only had a bad sandwich once. The banh mi aren't authentic, but they're tasty and filling; the chicken chermoula is garlic heaven (I brought that into a meeting one day and everyone wanted to try it); and once in a while I stop by on my way into the office for a pricy breakfast sandwich and coffee, because I love their thick english muffins, which soak up the bacon and cheese fat.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I thoroughly enjoyed my first visit to G Street Food, loving the Chimichurri sandwich (salami and mozzarella with house made chimichurri, greens, and roasted red peppers, $8.95). The salami and chimichurri pack a good punch but are well balanced by the cheese. And the bread, no surprise, is great.

It wasn't as crowded as I thought it would be at 12:30.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Stopped by the 19th street location for lunch today - first time at this place. I was lucky and had a hit with the grilled chicken chermoula sandwich and fries, but my wife's curry chicken salad and potato salad were not so hot.  We go to Breadline pretty regularly and it doesn't surprise me that this place started out with Furstenberg's help as it is very similar in concept - the fries are also very similar as are the cold salads.  So many choices it was hard to decide, but I went for unusual with the chicken chermoula and was rewarded.  Very nice grilled baguette loaded with grilled chicken that was chopped up and marinaded in a garlicky herb sauce and topped with roasted tomatos.  I don't do pork so I skipped the bacon on the chicken and I don't think I was missing much.  Now having read the thread above, apparently the chermoula is one of the go to items for others too. Definitely another worthy lunch option for sandwich lovers in the area.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now
 Share

×
×
  • Create New...