Judging Restaurants – Kalorama Deli & Grocery


Here’s another spot that I’ve always been curious about – Kalorama Deli & Grocery located at 1682 Kalorama Rd, NW. Here’s a sample of the menu:


I know I can probably just look this up but what’s scrapple? Some sort of pork dish? So, any fans of this spot?

48 Comment

  • Scrapple is the leftovers of the pig… when you take out the sausage, bacon etc… its N A S T Y, but some southerns love it.

  • Scrapple is just traif. Forget about it.

  • PoP–It’s embarassing that you’ve lived in D.C. all this time and do not know what scrapple is.

  • Yeah, it’s basically bacon in a patty form without the meat compnent of bacon.

  • Scrapple is not Southern! It is good old Pennsylvania Dutch fare- the best parts of the pig, mixed with cornmeal and shaped into an economical lump of pure goodness and flavor- just enjoy and don’t think about what you are actually eating!

  • Scrapple is predominately corn meal mixed with shredded pork (head, liver, scraps), boiled with sage, thyme, pepper, poured into a loaf pan and cooled. Different regions have different flavored scrapples: the scrapple in New Jersey tends to be more baked-hammy and creamy; Pennsylvania Dutch version is more cornmealy; deeper in the south it gets more liver mushy. The composition is essentially the same as Welsh “white puddings” except it isn’t made with oats and isn’t stuffed into a sausage casing. If Commonwealth gave it a snooty name like “Amish forcemeat charcuterie” food snobs would be lining up around the block to pay $8 a slab.

  • Scrapple is all of the above, leftovers and never used parts of animals, grill scrapings. Its like near-sausage. I would recommend a field trip to the Waffle house across from fords theatre downtown. Surly 200 year old waitress, serving 10 year old scrapple at a cheap price. So yeah, its good stuff. Your basic hangover food.

  • Scrapple is best when cooked long and slow on a warm griddle so the outside is potato chip crisp but the inside is smooth, warm, and creamy. It’s the same pleasure/pain mouth feel when you bite into a halfsmoke; the “snap” of the skin followed by the searing hot fat of the interior. It’s almost sexual. No. It is sexual. There. I said it. Scrapple is sexy.

  • It’s pretty much just Amish Forcemeat Charcuterie

  • PoP – Don’t ask questions you don’t want to know the answer to!

  • Scrapple is a relic from agrarian days when, if you wanted meat, you had to slaughter it yourself, and you used every scrap of meat on the animal. The only thing you didn’t eat was the oink. After butchering the hog, most of the meat would be preserved in salt or brine (where we get corned beef and salt pork), or pickled (“pickle meat” is an essential element in some gumbos), preserved in butter (potted meat), the bacon cured or smoked, the head scraped and boiled (for headcheese or scrapple), and the organs turned into either soup cooked as chitlins. Scrapple should be a reminder that we didn’t always have it so good; something a lot of us seem to have forgotten.

  • Scrapple is good stuff! Get it cooked crispy and it rivals bacon, but if you get it soggy and overly fatty, it is like chewing gum.

  • Definitely fried hard or GTFO. Undercooked scrapple is like a bacon-flavored cross between tub caulk and spackle.

  • Some late 19th-century Pennsylvania Dutch actually ate the oink with great difficulty, but its gamey flavor and lack of nutritional value sent it quickly to the dustbin of history.

  • Okay, so the scrapple question is answered. Now has anyone ever gotten a sandwich at Kalorama Deli & Grocery? Prices look waaaaay cheap.

  • First off, Scrapple is not Southern at all. It’s a mid-Atlantic thing. PA/DE/MD/VA. Grant it that three of those are South of the Mason Dixon line, but otherwise you won’t find it in the South.

    All sausages are made out of animal scraps. I don’t understand why people are so insistent upon scrabble being made from them. All sausages are. Otherwise they would be served as a cut of meat, such as steaks or pork chops.

    Scrapple is like taking what you would have made into a sausage and cutting it with grain. It’s somewhat similar to haggis.

    And both of them are delicious.

  • The only thing I’ve had at Kalorama Deli are the wings, and they were pretty good.

  • OK, now that we’ve had a thorough history lesson on Scrapple—which I’ve never actually had, but am dying to try—can we get to the other question as to whether or not anyone has eaten here. I live a few blocks away and have walked by it several times. I’m curious about the Scrapple, egg, and cheese or the half smoke, egg, and cheese. Although neither seem like they would be the best choices to start off a day. So, can anyone vouch for the food?

    And thank you monkeyerotica. Any dig at Commonwealth is deserving of praise in my book.

    Non sequitur alert: I live in the neighborhood, but I am neither a hipster nor a douche who gets quoted in Express for wearing polos and driving an SUV.

  • And the place across from Ford’s Theater is Lincoln’s Waffle Shop. It is NOT a Waffle House.

  • I have never seen anyone in that place. Given that no one has put a business into the empty space below the Harris Teeter, I have trouble seeing how anyone would be able to make money there.

  • Imagine my delight to return from lunch to read about Scrapple! Scrapple, the other gray meat. It’s delicious. Get it about 1/2 to 3/4 inch thick. Crispy outside, creamy inside. Pure heaven. Eat it until your face begins to sweat, then have one more piece. Syrup is a nice topper. Rapa brand scrapple is good and you can find it just about everywhere. I once bought a loaf at the farmers market in Mt. P. Very good quality but I felt like I was betraying my white trash roots.

  • Scrapple is amazing! After Mass on Sunday mom would make it along with pancakes and eggs. I’d eat the scraple after dipping it into the pancake syrup. Yum.

    (If I knew what was in it when I was a kid I probably wouldn’t have eaten it).

  • Scrapple is the poor man’s foie gras.

  • Scrapple is all of the parts of the pig that you would never fathom eating. But it’s delicious!

  • The first time I came across scrapple was in a diner in New Jersey. It’s Goombah for “everything else and then some.”

  • Just for this conversation’s sake…the southern version of scrapple is liver mush…looks like it sounds (rectangle patty of meat “parts”) equally as revolting as scrapple in my opinion.

  • I am also curious as to whether Kalorama Deli’s scrapple-induced diarrhea is violently explosive or just the usual splashy-splash.

  • Most of us thought Teeter would put this place out of business, as its hours and selection are kind of limited. They are still holding on, though. The prices you see there are for breakfast sandwiches on bagels, my former housemate ate about 4 of them a week for several years and he’s not dead yet.

    The place is pretty much a typical bodega, it’s the wing joint serving the area from Petty Crime Central at Kalorama and Champlain over to 16th and up to the Columbia/16th intersection. They’re good neighbors, never a loitering/public consumption problem and they keep their trash rat-free. I don’t think it’s a front, it stays locked up pretty hard after hours and the proprietors are an older Asian couple, but it doesn’t seem to do much business other than lunch – I walk by it in the evening and it doesn’t smell like food, which at a wing place means nothing has happened for a while. They must either own the space or have a long, cheap lease.

  • Foodies – think of scrapple as just pork-flavored fried polenta.

  • Drew: You are correct, dont know why i was thinking Waffle House and not waffle shop. Shouldve skipped Ebbitt and gone for Waffles today.

  • This place is right by my office. They had a sign on the front of their building that said “HOT WING” for the longest time. It temped me and I went in to get a dozen once, they were HOTTT!! They had a nice little selection of kettle chips and had some foofy tea bottles in the fridge. The people behind the counter couldn’t have been any nicer. All together, its a pretty nice little neighborhood snack stop.

  • I’ve been a defender of anything related to Philadelphia on these blogs, but I can’t defend scrapple – pork offal scraps in loaf form that is sliced and fried or scrambled with eggs. Whoever said it rivals bacon earlier needs professional help. Or just more bacon.

  • RG, I hope you didn’t take the Waffle House comment to be a personal attack. It’s just that I hear a lot of people say Waffle House and every time that I hear that my heart gets all a flutter. To hear such things risks me having to take another drive up to Frederick to quench my WH craving. I like Lincoln’s Waffle Shop (though detesting Lincoln) and Sue always gives great service. But it’s no Waffle House.

    And please, never mistakingly say White Castles. Then I will die.

  • Well of course Philly scrapple is terrible. Philly scrapple is worse than Hitler. The best scrapple was made by Parks Sausages in Baltimore (“More Parks Sausages mom….please?”) but they were banned by the Geneva Convention. Also, Philly cheesesteaks are just nasty. There’s no mayo or lettuce or tomato. And Philly women smell like boiled cabbage.

  • Andy: What space below the Harris Teeter? I thought it was all parking.

  • When I was a kid we’d spend weekends in Shadyside on my dad’s boat. I also loved Rapa scrapple with eggs over easy and maple syrup.

  • I thought scrapple was a NY thing.

  • The space below Harris Teeter is the ground floor space on the NE corner of 17th and Kalorama — if you’re in the produce section at HT you’re standing on top of it. It’s got for lease signs all over it, not sure what has ever been there before but it’s probably not plumbed/HVAC’d for a restaurant kitchen and it would be a pain to operate there under the kind of voluntary agreement you’d end up being under. It would be a great space for the kind of community art centers that are in the spaces on the other side of 17th, though more realistically I think something like a dry cleaner that could piggy back off of the HT traffic would be the most likely tenant — I say this as someone who lives 2 blocks away and has never been in the art centers but would definitely take my dry cleaning there.

  • Scrapple is crapple.

  • I should be shocked that you don’t know what scrapple is, but then again it isn’t an architectural fixture, so I guess all bets are off.

    I’d like to add to the above expressed obviousness that scrapple is not at all a New York thing. It wouldn’t be available at Wawa if it were.

  • monkey likes scrapple.

  • You have a point about the space at 17th & K not being ready to go. It looks like it’s just glassed-in concrete walls. And I could see how the place across the street could stay open though I never saw it get business if it had a good weekday lunch crowd.

  • Scrapple is awesome. thin cut, fried to a crisp on the outside, with ketchup on top

  • I’d eat it on a dare, but only with Monkeyerotica.

  • I work around the corner from this little deli and it is still getting a lot of business despite the Harris Teeter. The prices can’t be beat, and neither can their delicious, greasy breakfast sandwiches. The couple is an older Korean couple, and they also have some Korean items on the menu. Pretty good bulgogi, mandu, and kim chee. I’ve actually seen quite a few Harris Teeter employees in here ordering sandwiches, so they must be doing something right that HT can’t.

  • My definition of scrapple is that it’s all the parts leftover AFTER the SPAM is made.

    The old school way to get scrapple is call someone in Berks County PA to run out to a farm and buy some from a farmer. It’s like $10 for a 1lb brick of it. One of my friends has her pop buy it and then she totes it to our camping trips. It’s a real treat for us since we use it to entice other people to try SPAM. (We give them a choice of the two. ‘Well if you aren’t going to try the scrapple, at least try the SPAM.’)

    Monkeyerotica is spot on, you have to have it slowly cooked till the outside is crispy. The slabs cannot be too thick because it’s gluey otherwise. Then put on white toast with maple syrup.

    I have never eaten Baltimore-sourced scrapple as usually mine is off the farm or else Dietz & Watson’s or Hatfield brand, either of which you can find down here. (No, I don’t buy it when I see it because I’d rather have bacon which is the other side of the same case. But I don’t turn my nose up at it either. It’s weird treat for me because I only have it once a year or so.)

    And no, I don’t smell like boiled cabbage. I smell like pickled cabbage, ie kimchi, thank you very much.

  • I love cabbage.

  • For a quick lunch, Kal Deli serves up better sandwiches than the Harris Teeter across the street. Costs less, too.

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