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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?

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[The following posts have been split into separate threads:

Doner Kebabs (Kanishka)

Peanut Butter and Marmite Sandwiches (Tweaked)

Banh Mi (Mrs. B )

Rita's West Indian Carryout (Erin)

Naan and Beyond (babka)

Polonez Gourmet Delicatessen and Bakery (Nadya)

Breadline (shogun)

Roasted Lamb Sandwiches (crackers)

Tacos Pepitos 1 and 2 (ferment everything)

Byblos Deli (deangold)

IndAroma (goodeats)]

Edited by DonRocks
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Does BBQ count as ethnic? The pulled pork from Kenny's on the the Hill is very tasty.

Does anyone know a good spot for doner kebab? after having one in Madrid that was possibly the best one I've ever had, I've been on a search.

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Doner Kebabs

Edited by DonRocks
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I have just discovered the wonderfulness of Vietnamese subs - Bahn Mi.  Oh my goodness!  The crunchy vegetables, that perfumed meat, those spicy jalapenos moistend with a slightly sweet, somewhat tangy velvety smooth sauce!!!

Had my first (and 2nd & third) from a market-carryout on Georgia Avenue (it has a back entrance from Wheaton Triangle - sorry don't have a name).

They sell them for $2 a pop (buy 5 get 1 free) and I am addicted.  Their pork belly looks pretty rightous too but we haven't tried it yet.  Iwill be back.

That sounds like what used to be Nam's? They were a sit-down the last time I was there. Bahn Mi are great. We go to Ba-Le (?) bakery on Rockville Pike across from Wintergreen Plaza. I think that may be dinner tonight.

I am addicted to the garlic sauce at Lebanese Taverna, particularly when it's slathered all over the chicken shawarma and stuffed in their excellent pita. wub.gif

Cuban Corner in Rockville has very good Cuban (what else?) sandwiches.

Do patties count as sandwiches? If so I nominate Negril's.

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Do patties count as sandwiches? If so I nominate Negril's.

Grabbed one of Negril's beef patties for an afternoon nosh today, and it was good, very good...one of the best I've had, actually. The pastry was crisp and flaky, and better yet the mildly spicy filling was quite savory, even more than the ones from Caribbean Feast. Can't beat that for a buck-and-a-half.

Zoiks, now I'm craving the tyropita from Marathon Deli when I was a permanent undergrad.

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Sietsema reviews seven sandwich joints in the July 2, 2006 Post: Breadline, Cuba de Ayer, Deli City, Galileo Grill, Lebanese Butcher, Malaysia Kopitiam, and Nhu Lan. Glad we could be of service Tom. :unsure:

The one place that's news to me on the list is Nhu Lan. There have been many posts in various places about banh mi joints, but that one seems to be under-discussed. Has anyone besides Tom been there? Comments and comparisons?

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I had a mighty good falafel sandwich at the Lebanese Butcher for lunch today. Made-from-scratch falafel - fresh and seasoned just right. It's hard to find the real thing and this was it. Slightly crispy (on the outside) patties of ground favas seasoned with parsley, cumin, and other savory spices, served rolled in a thin pita, topped with lots of tahini, tomatoes, parsley, slivers of pickle, diced onion - perfect!

My dining companions ordered the beef/lamb shawarma platter and the chicken shawarma platter. Both inlcuded very generous portions of the shawarma with a load of accompanying veggies - onions with sumac, a little stuffed eggplant, etc.

My first visit there - definitely not my last. The market/butcher shop is worth a visit on its own. The meat (lamb especially) looks fantastic - I'll be back very soon.

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Made-from-scratch falafel - fresh and seasoned just right. It's hard to find the real thing and this was it. Slightly crispy (on the outside) patties of ground favas seasoned with parsley, cumin, and other savory spices, served rolled in a thin pita, topped with lots of tahini, tomatoes, parsley, slivers of pickle, diced onion - perfect!

Are favas more authentic than chickpeas?

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Are favas more authentic than chickpeas?

Y'know - I don't know...I actually made an assumption that they were favas and that was based on the recipe used in a cooking class I had taken at the Lebanese Taverna Market several years ago.

I found this link that says that in Israel and Palestine falafel is made with chickpeas, whereas the Levantine Middle Eastern variety is made with fava beans, or even sprouts.

ETA: Maybe that's why I really hate falafel made from a mix. I just looked at the Near East website and see that their mix is made from ground garbanzos. Nah, I'm pretty sure it's just that fresh is better than that boxed crap!

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I found this link that says that in Israel and Palestine falafel is made with chickpeas, whereas the Levantine Middle Eastern variety is made with fava beans, or even sprouts.

ETA: Maybe that's why I really hate falafel made from a mix. I just looked at the Near East website and see that their mix is made from ground garbanzos. Nah, I'm pretty sure it's just that fresh is better than that boxed crap!

That's really interesting- I've only had falafel in the US, which seemed to be dominated by the Israel/Palestine variant, and France, but that was at an Israeli-style place in the Marais. But I agree- most packaged mixes are pretty blah... :unsure:

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Here is some more info cribbed from wikipedia: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Falafel

"Falafel is made from fava beans or chick peas or a combination of the two. The Egyptian variation uses exclusively fava beans, while other variations may only use chick peas. Unlike many other bean patties, in falafel the beans are not cooked prior to use. Instead they are soaked, possibly skinned, then ground with the addition of a small quantity of onion, spices, bicarbonate of soda and deep fried at a high temperature. Sesame seeds may be added to the balls before they are fried; this is particularly common when falafel is served as a dish in its own right rather than as a sandwich filling.

Recent culinary trends have seen the triumph of the chickpea falafel over the fava bean falafel. Chickpea falafels are served across the Middle East, and popularized by expatriates of those countries living abroad."

And just so you know garbanzo beans are the same thing as chickpeas. The packages just suck. Since falafel is fried, the fresher it is, the better. I recommend Amsterdam Falafel in Adams Morgan for super fresh, classic chickpea falafel with a great fixins bar.

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And just so you know garbanzo beans are the same thing as chickpeas.

I knew that (others may not though). Would be interesting to do a side-by-side taste test!

The packages just suck. Since falafel is fried, the fresher it is, the better. I recommend Amsterdam Falafel in Adams Morgan for super fresh, classic chickpea falafel with a great fixins bar.

Agreed - Amsterdam's Falafel is REALLY good. I also remember having excellent falafel at a little cart outside the health food co-op (?) in Takoma Park. Are they still there? I haven't been in years and as I recall it was an Israeli couple who ran the stand.

(see my posts in the Intrepid Traveler - Boston thread about Romi's in Brookline for more thoughts on Israeli falafel)

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Inspired by today's Food section article in the Post, I must say that I too have an obsession with sandwiches. So, where do you get your favorite sandwiches? Off the top of my head, two of my favorites are the Surfside at Jettie's and the croque monsieur at Brasserie Beck. I think we should exclude burgers, especially since they have their own topic.

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Easy. Washington is not a sandwich heaven, like New York. But you can't go wrong at my three faves --

Loeb's at 15th and I Sts. is close to a Jewish deli.

Breadline between 17th or 18th and Pennsylvania is Washington's take on a decent sandwich, and isn't bad for local standards.

In the suburbs, the Italian Store on Lee Highway in Arlington is darned close to a New Jersey hoagie shop.

But, true to my moniker, if you want a real sandwich, the shwarmas at Mediterranean Gourmet Market on Franconia Road or the Lebanese Butcher in Falls Church are incredible.

I'm still waiting to find a Cuban sandwich that compares to some of the incredible delights I've had at gas stations in Tampa....

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Easy. Washington is not a sandwich heaven, like New York. But you can't go wrong at my three faves --

Loeb's at 15th and I Sts. is close to a Jewish deli.

Breadline between 17th or 18th and Pennsylvania is Washington's take on a decent sandwich, and isn't bad for local standards.

In the suburbs, the Italian Store on Lee Highway in Arlington is darned close to a New Jersey hoagie shop.

But, true to my moniker, if you want a real sandwich, the shwarmas at Mediterranean Gourmet Market on Franconia Road or the Lebanese Butcher in Falls Church are incredible.

I'm still waiting to find a Cuban sandwich that compares to some of the incredible delights I've had at gas stations in Tampa....

The Cuban sandwich at Cuba de Ayer in Burtonsville is pretty authentic according to my Miami-born wife.

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They make a Reuben at Central? Or are you talking about the Corned Beef Sandwich?
You're right. It's a corned beef sandwich. I have such a hard time finding reubens I like, I just conflated the two in my mind. I really have to get to Deli City to try theirs.
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Agree with the remarks about Maratahon Deli!

Carry out a cold cut sub or meatball and parmesan sub from Marchone's in the Wheaton Triangle. Been around for ages. The little grocery has cheeses, meats, olives, frozen dinners, vinegars, pastas, and San Marzano tomatoes, etc. And the owner is a nice man.

http://www.washingtoncitypaper.com/display.php?id=35510 Skip down to the section on Marchone's.

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I'm on a quest for the best of the Washington area Cuban sandwiches. I've had many, most recently last week at Shelly's Back Room, and my quest continues. If this merits a separate thread, then so be it! For now, I'll tag onto the sandwich thread.

Last week at Shelly's Back Room, I enjoyed a passable Cuban sandwich with the requisite pork, ham, cheese, pickle, and mustard, on a hot-pressed bun. I would give it roughly a B-, and the accompanying fries featured a lot of potato skin. The Guinness draft that washed it all down was a nice mid-day diversion. In fact, I had a second. Unfortunately, food at Shelly's has to be enjoyed through clouds of cigar smoke, thus diminishing the enjoyment.

A few months back, I noticed the Cuban had arrived as a lunch menu item at the very underappreciated Blue Iguana in Fair Lakes. It was an impressive attempt, a good B+, almost Tampa-like.

I had tried to make it over to Jackson's Roasting and Carving before it closed, and found out that the Cuban was only offered as a Friday special. I missed it....but heard it was quite good.

My favorite all-time in the DC area was a special at Acadiana about a year ago. Reviewing this thread, I saw that Ceiba also offered it as a special last year. Someone needs to whisper in Chef Tunks' ear that it needs its own regular place on the menu. The one at Acadiana was a good B+/A- and I have craved a repeat performance ever since. It could be served in Miami.

People have told me about Cuba de Ayer, and it's on my short list, but I get to Maryland infrequently for food forays. I will have to trust a field report and catch it on an occasional Maryland venture.

What I'm hoping to beat out of the Board is a no-BS list of must-consume Cuban sandwiches in the DC metro area...

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Let's try to reinvigorate this thread.

The [Earl's] Pork and Fries is one of the 5 best sandwiches in the area

Agreed.

I nominate the Macho Meatball by the good folks at Rebel Heroes as another top 5 contender. They also serve a pretty good "Pressed Cubano" that may interest Kibbee Nayee.

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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 following posts have been split into separate threads:

IndAroma (goodeats)]

This thread came to mind as I wrote about SUNdeVICH just now. Needless to say, this meets the criteria of your original thread title: Ethnic Sandwiches: Touring The World Inside A Bun. [see? I remember!]

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Ok, I'm reviving this thread a bit because I love sandwiches and am always looking for new places to grab a quick lunch on a weekday (when you work from home you need appetizing excuses to get out :) ). So here is my current list of good places in DC to quickly grab a sandwich (or similar size entree)  (all counter-service) and I think I've posted reviews on this site for all of them in each of their own topics:

G Sandwich

Sundevich

Stachowski's Deli and Market

DGS Delicatessen

Amsterdam Falafel

Breadline

Julia's Empanadas

WTF takeout

Bub and Pop's

The Greek Deli

G Street Food

So I like all of the above, but some are farther away and we all need variety - what are your favorite weekday lunch counter-service places in the city?

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Ok, I'm reviving this thread a bit because I love sandwiches and am always looking for new places to grab a quick lunch on a weekday (when you work from home you need appetizing excuses to get out :) ). So here is my current list of good places in DC to quickly grab a sandwich (or similar size entree)  (all counter-service) and I think I've posted reviews on this site for all of them in each of their own topics:

G Sandwich

Sundevich

Stachowski's Deli and Market

DGS Delicatessen

Amsterdam Falafel

Breadline

Julia's Empanadas

WTF takeout

Bub and Pop's

The Greek Deli

G Street Food

So I like all of the above, but some are farther away and we all need variety - what are your favorite weekday lunch counter-service places in the city?

[sorry, I didn't realize Justin wrote his A. Litteri post in response to this query.]

Forget coffee and cupcakes; DC is becoming one heck of a good sandwich town!

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I'd second Red Apron at Union Market, and add Neopol, also at Union Market. The smoked salmon BLT is fantastic. And then I don't get there enough, but I love Wagshal's.

Both branches of Nourish--Falls Church and McLean--make a variety of excellent sandwiches. Some are vegan and some are not.

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Ok, I'm reviving this thread a bit because I love sandwiches and am always looking for new places to grab a quick lunch on a weekday (when you work from home you need appetizing excuses to get out :) ). So here is my current list of good places in DC to quickly grab a sandwich (or similar size entree)  (all counter-service) and I think I've posted reviews on this site for all of them in each of their own topics:

G Sandwich

Sundevich

Stachowski's Deli and Market

DGS Delicatessen

Amsterdam Falafel

Breadline

Julia's Empanadas

WTF takeout

Bub and Pop's

The Greek Deli

G Street Food

So I like all of the above, but some are farther away and we all need variety - what are your favorite weekday lunch counter-service places in the city?

For the Arlington section of DC I vote for Earl's on any variety sandwich with fresh roasted turkey.  Eat one of those and it feels like Thanksgiving!!!

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What sandwich do you like at Cork Market? The one time I stopped in to check out the selection I wasn't that impressed. What am I missing?

their selection is minimal.  i've heard good things about the grilled vegetable sandwich but i'm not keen on portobello mushrooms and that's so often a given in a grilled vegetable sandwich.  their chicken salad has a nice kick of lemon zest.  it's not my favorite sandwich place but i work in the neighborhood and would rather buy from cork than get a sandwich from taylor.

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What sandwich do you like at Cork Market? The one time I stopped in to check out the selection I wasn't that impressed. What am I missing?

Their (very mustard-y) french ham sandwich is good.  I also like their egg salad, with bits of bacon in it.  They've also run special (summer only?) pork belly bahn-mi sandwiches, which they make to order, which are rich and delicious.  Not sure if those will be in the cards anymore as I believe the chef who used to be responsible for the market is now running things over at the restaurant down the street.

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