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WTF (Woodward Takeout Food) - Downtown's Great Sandwich Shop and Breakfast Carryout in the Former Potenza Space


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Stopped by WTF for lunch and was very impressed. We had the grilled corned beef sandwich with coleslaw and the duck confit reuben with purple slaw.  Both were large, somewhat messy (in a good way) sandwiches with good quality meats.  The kale and fontina empanada (they call it something odd like hand roll) on display by the register looked good and I'm so glad we shared one as an app.  It was excellent! tasty flaky but solid crust and fresh ingredients.  The array of desserts was really tempting but my better half helped me resist.  I highly recommend this place.

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Stopped by WTF for lunch and was very impressed. We had the grilled corned beef sandwich with coleslaw and the duck confit reuben with purple slaw. Both were large, somewhat messy (in a good way) sandwiches with good quality meats. The kale and fontina empanada (they call it something odd like hand roll) on display by the register looked good and I'm so glad we shared one as an app. It was excellent! tasty flaky but solid crust and fresh ingredients. The array of desserts was really tempting but my better half helped me resist. I highly recommend this place.

I'm sitting here eating the Garden Salad from WTF and thinking "WTF, why can't other places make a salad like this." A Garden Salad with shrimp is $11.75 which is marginally more expensive and the same size as the equivalent salad from Chop't. Only instead of being served premasticated, it is a solidly good mix of bitter mixed greens, nicely cut up vegetables (radishes, mushrooms, cauliflower, cucumber, tomato, green beans, peppers, carrots and celery), with fresh mozzarella, shrimp and a lovely vinaigrette. I prefer their green gooddess but that wasn't in the bag today. No matter. I haven't tried their other salads but today they had one that was a riff on chirashi with raw tuna and salmon, roe and pickled vegetables that sounded pretty good. The sandwiches coming out of the kitchen looked good. On their breakfast menu you can get a bagel and whitefish salad. Woudn't be surprised if the terribly trendy Cronut popped up there at some point since they seem to have a pretty nice bakery selection as well.

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Woudn't be surprised if the terribly trendy Cronut popped up there at some point since they seem to have a pretty nice bakery selection as well.

I can't comment on a cronut sighting, but I was back by there today post-lunch and drooling over the huge variety of sweets. I mean it was really hard to decide - they had good looking cakes, cookies, gelato, donuts, peanut brittle, fruit empanada/hand rolls, a red velvet cupcake, rice crispy treats, brownies, blondies, tfruit tarts, various fancier chilled desserts, and I know I'm leaving a few out. I'm starting to sound like shill for this place, but I'm just impressed by the quantity and likely quality of this place. They have more than enough variety for any dessert/bakery place, but per my prior post also really good savory food. All of that being said, I finally decided to try to the Berliner donut (large round cake donut with fruity filling and dusting of powdered sugar). Definitely fresh and well made, but a bit heavy after I had eaten a big lunch (I should know better it is a donut after all). It was good and served as a good compromise from the other desserts I passed on - rich, cakey, and fruity. Still think that chilled grasshopper pie looks too good - next time.

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I haven't tried their other salads but today they had one that was a riff on chirashi with raw tuna and salmon, roe and pickled vegetables that sounded pretty good.

I've had their srirachi salad a couple of times, and I've found it depends on who makes it. This last time there was better balance between the fish and the greens, and I was very happy. I generally eschew dressing, and do in this case as well; it's a sweet-spicy sriracha based dressing, but doesn't really do anything for me. Greens and fish and roe and pickled veggies is fine unadorned.

I've been tempted by the berliner but still haven't tried it yet.

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Although I have not tried any of the sweets, I have had the Garden Salad, Salad Nicoise, Corned Beef Brisket, the Porky Pig, the Duck Reuben and today's Muffaletta, along with an assortment of sides. There's no better sandwich/salad shop in DC.

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At the risk of seeming like a complete shill.......today's special Pork + Fork Sandwich was a completely ridiculous hodgepodge of random shit piled on a bun that was the most delicious trainwreck of a sandwich I've ever had spill out all over my shirt and tie.

Fried pork (ala schnitzel), thick cut ham, caramelized onions, some kind of soft gooey cheese, tomatoes, black bean spread, piles of fresh cilantro, heaped onto a grilled ciabatta roll. And just for the hell of it, let's throw a perfectly cooked, sunny side up egg on there as well. Presto!

Mad. Scientist. Genius. $9.75

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I have now been to Woodward Table and WTF. I would say that Woodward Table is a good, sit down place for lunch with some colleagues. But, if you want truly awesome food for the money, WTF almost can't be beat in the area. I had a chocolate coconut brownie bar from there last week that was $2.75, it weighed about a pound and was infinitely better than any cookies/bars/cupcakes that I have had over the past year. If I worked closer by, I would go here at least twice a week and likely weight fifty pounds more than I do right now.

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Here is the PM exchange I just had tonight with a respected member:

I don't mean to come off as a shill, but Jeffrey Buben, a James Beard award winning chef, has been putting out the best sandwiches in the city for several months, at his sandwich shop adjacent to a much larger, and more middling restaurant.

Mike Isabella goes to Italic after executing a similar endeavor for two days? I don't see how it's possible.

My response:

Is WTF not in Italic?!

I'm going to look right now. I was there just yesterday morning and had a marvelous peach bear claw (they didn't call it a bear claw, but that's pretty much what it was).

I have a favor to ask of our members: the next time I make such a blatant mistake, would you please tell me sooner?

WTF is *absolutely* in Italic, as of right now, just as it should have been all along. i didn't even have this split off into its own thread.

The primary disagreement I have with this venerated member is about Woodward Table, the restaurant, which is absolutely also in Italic. Chef Joe Harran has been cooking here since its opening, having come from Bistro Bis, and, despite the fact that many of you have never heard of him, courtesy of our city's fine restaurant critics, Joe is a Top 20 Chef in the city. And even saying that is something of an insult to him.

The food at both the sandwich shop and the main restaurant is wonderful.

Cheers,

Rocks

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I stopped by WTF earlier this week to finally try one of their sandwiches and was prevented by a sign announcing a fried chicken special...well damn.  The chicken (3 pieces as I recall) was nicely moist with a super thick, crunchy coating.  One of the better offerings I have had in town.  $9.99 for the chicken, which came with a biscuit (good but not especially memorable) and a side.

Highly look forward to making the trek back for a normal lunch and possibly breakfast on the way into work one of these days.

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Today in an effort to live dangerously, I switched it up from my normal salad and tried one of the soups.  The squash soup came with pepitas and sour cream, onions, and cheddar cheese on the side. The pint of soup was a generous portion for $6.50. The soup was complex and savory (I hate sweet squash soup), with a nice texture that wasn't reliant on cream to be creamy.  Enough about the soup.  The real surprise- the soup came with two perfect, little, warm and buttery Parker House rolls.  WTF!?!?, WTF! How have you been keeping these from us for so long? 

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I've found the special sandwiches and salads here to be hit or miss, but the roasted lamb and pita at WTF I had yesterday was the best sandwich I've had in a long, long time.  Robust yet balanced flavors, with nice heat.  And, bonus points, the pita was well-engineered and didn't fall apart into a delicious mess, as they sometimes do here.  WTF, can you please add this to the regular menu?

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Today in an effort to live dangerously, I switched it up from my normal salad and tried one of the soups.  The squash soup came with pepitas and sour cream, onions, and cheddar cheese on the side. The pint of soup was a generous portion for $6.50. The soup was complex and savory (I hate sweet squash soup), with a nice texture that wasn't reliant on cream to be creamy.  Enough about the soup.  The real surprise- the soup came with two perfect, little, warm and buttery Parker House rolls.  WTF!?!?, WTF! How have you been keeping these from us for so long? 

No kidding, those parker house rolls are delicious.  They came with my chili, which was so-so and a fairly small portion for $6.50.  It was worth it for the rolls, though.

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Question -- I waited about 25 minutes for a sandwich there today.  It was a really good sandwich (the Merguez) so I'm not complaining.  But it never occurred to me that getting a sandwich from a takeout shop would take that long.  So is this par for the course, did I come at a bad time (11:35, it didn't seem to be very busy but did seem to be transitioning from breakfast to lunch), is it a place where you should order on line in advance of showing up (when I picked up my sandwich I saw a long line of sandwich bags being filled -- way more than the number of people in WTF at the time)? 

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Question -- I waited about 25 minutes for a sandwich there today.  It was a really good sandwich (the Merguez) so I'm not complaining.  But it never occurred to me that getting a sandwich from a takeout shop would take that long.  So is this par for the course, did I come at a bad time (11:35, it didn't seem to be very busy but did seem to be transitioning from breakfast to lunch), is it a place where you should order on line in advance of showing up (when I picked up my sandwich I saw a long line of sandwich bags being filled -- way more than the number of people in WTF at the time)? 

You were in the grab-n-go part, right? If so, this is abnormal. I hope the restaurant sees this and contacts you - not so they can "compensate you," but so that they can figure out what went wrong. Notes like yours (fact-based, informative, good-natured) really *do* help restaurants, and they often read and act on them.

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Thanks -- good to know (and, yes, I was in the grab and go part).  The people who ordered just after I did (family of European tourists) seemed to have an even longer wait for their sandwiches but one of their kids ordered the fried chicken.  The woman at the counter was friendly, helpful, and efficient.  I think that the back-up must have been kitchen-related.

The hand pies (kale and feta for veggie daughter; cherry for DH) were big hits at home, so I'll certainly be back, but I didn't know whether I was going to have to treat it as a bakery rather than a lunch place.

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Question -- I waited about 25 minutes for a sandwich there today.  It was a really good sandwich (the Merguez) so I'm not complaining.  But it never occurred to me that getting a sandwich from a takeout shop would take that long.  So is this par for the course, did I come at a bad time (11:35, it didn't seem to be very busy but did seem to be transitioning from breakfast to lunch), is it a place where you should order on line in advance of showing up (when I picked up my sandwich I saw a long line of sandwich bags being filled -- way more than the number of people in WTF at the time)? 

I eat there 2-3 times a week and never wait more than 10 minutes, if that. Something was amiss

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I was in the neighborhood and decided to stop by and grab a sandwich to take with me back to the office as it is pretty slim pickings where I work. I really wanted to try one of the flatbreads or the hot sandwiches but since I had to take the metro and head back to my office right away in subfreezing temperatures, I ended up ordering the Fowl Play to take back with me.

The sandwich was packed with turkey, chicken liver, turkey bacon, duck cracklings, pickled red onions, and arugula. The bread wasn't quite thick enough to hold everything together but I enjoyed the sandwich nonetheless. I wish there were more places like this around the city.

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A shameful admission.

I've been to Woodward Table a few times. Usually for business lunches. Have always enjoyed it. Have always noticed the sandwich shop next door but, and here's the bad part, haven't ever tried WTF and, until now, hadn't before noticed this thread.

Will rectify this soon but curious to ask, given all the great raves above, how WTF compares to Breadline during the latter's heydays with Mark Furstenberg back in the early 00s?

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Can answer my own question now having been twice since the above.

Answer: different but pretty damn well.

Torn between a special and going basic, we did both and shared a duck pastrami and the chick chick. Both excellent. The chicken in the chick chick had the two attributes so many renditions of fried chicken lack. The breaking was lighter, crispy but didn't overwhelm the chicken and crumble all over the bloomin' place when crunched! And, seasoning! The dang thing had real flavor even before the other great ingredients made the sandwich special. Oh, and we shared a large burgundy spice donut, only finishing half of it between us. Very good.

I'm honestly not sure because I think there are a couple of contenders I haven't yet tried. That qualifier out, this and Duke's are my two best sandwich spots in the area (yep, above Earls). Maybe that's crazy talk?

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