33 Comment

  • orderedchaos

    Haven’t been there yet, though I bought the Groupon they had a few weeks ago. From what I’ve read they’re terrific… but looking forward to POP-reader opinions too. 🙂

  • The sandwhiches are consistently delicious (I’ve never tried the salads, but they look good). The Isfahan is a particular favorite of mine as is the Athens. I also love the bread that is served with the hummus and other dips.

  • I love it too!! I’m vegetarian and the veggie choices are delicious.

  • Only been once, but the sandwiches were really good. Crusty, but not overly hard bread, and pickled vegetables were a nice touch. Glad this place made it. Wish it was there while I still lived in that neighborhood.

    Heard rumors over some years now that the archives building across the alley may one day be sold by the city. Not sure if thats ever gonna happen, but naylor court could be booming in a couple years.

  • Love this place! Better than Fast Gourmet, in my opinion. I’ll second the Isfahan recommendation, and add that their hummus is fantastic and has a permanent spot in our fridge. Frenchie’s does the baking for them (a la Seasonal Pantry), and my roommate is obsessed with the mini apple pies. Sundevich has been a wonderful addition to the neighborhood.

    • Adding on that their consistent best seller seems to be the jerk chicken sandwich (the Kingston). I’m vegetarian, so I’ve never had it, but often hear raves about it.

  • I’ve been here a couple times and have really been impressed. The sandwiches are creative and the quality is top notch. They don’t skimp on the ingredients or portion sizes either. I hope they do well. Please try them if you haven’t already!

  • Been a few times and agree with all comments above. Probably the best sandwiches I’ve tried in the city. Definitely recommend checking it out.

  • I am eating an Athens as I say this post, so obvious I have to respond. This is now my third time trying it, and I am a little more luke warm then earlier posters. The lamb is the athens is very well prepared and tasty, but the rest of the sandwich is fairly bland. Also had the Istanbul and the Kingston, and the Istanbul is by far my favorite. Also, I think their hummus is among the best in DC. Overall, my biggest complaint is the price — $10+ for a fairly small sandwich is a dollar or two beyond what I think it’s worth. I’d take Taylor over these guys any day.

    • I love this place and love the Athens. The point of contention I have with Eastern Mkt is your classification of the sandwich as “fairly small”. On a scale of size where we are using the work “fairly”, I would have to say they are “fairly large”. I am a big guy who can put down a lot. I ate mine and was comfortably full (meaning, I probably shouldn’t have eaten the whole thing). My friend couldn’t finish her sandwich – she made it about 3/4 of the way before she was uncomfortably stuffed. $10 is a lot for a sandwich, but these are not small sandwiches. The prices are about in line with Taylor I would say.

  • I’ll try it out but am very skeptical. Better be a damn good sandwich for that price. Esp with Taylors around.

  • This just got ranked Best in DC on an online poll I saw. Thanks for the photo and covering it. Need to try ASAP.

  • Stumbled upon this place last night and had the Athens. Eh. It was a solid middle of the road. No where near as good as Fast Gourmet IMO. A friend said that the Kingston is the way to go. Love the space and friendly staff will give it another try. It’s not cheap that’s for sure.

  • I’m so confused! I must have gone on an off day. I tried the vegetarian sandwich with mint and pickled vegetables, and I couldn’t finish it. The flavors didn’t meld well and the white bread was only so-so. I was really unimpressed.

    The tzatziki and pita, on the other hand, was tasty and came in a generous portion. I guess I’ll have to try again after reading all the rave reviews… but for now I’ll stick to Taylor’s.

  • claire

    Love it – I make my way there pretty consistently (doesn’t hurt that it’s only about a mile away and I don’t mind the walk). I like going with someone who’s willing to split two sandwiches (they cut them in half so it’s easy to exchange halves) for variety so I’ve tried quite a few: Beirut, Buenos Aires, Istanbul, Kingston, Saigon, and possibly one or two others I’m forgetting. Have also had their hummus, eggplant dip, and lentil salad.

    Agree with other commentors that their sandwiches are a really good size and they don’t skimp with the fillings (I’ll eat between half of one and a whole one, depending on how hungry I am, and always leave full). Every sandwich I’ve had there has been delicious though the Saigon is probably the only one I wouldn’t order again (would rather have an actual banh mi). The sides are tasty but not amazing.

    Has anyone had their salads? My boyfriend loves the place but is trying to do low carb and I’m wondering if one of their salads (perhaps topped with jerk chicken or steak) would be equally delicious…

  • I love this place. The food is excellent. Folks there are terrific. And the sandwiches are large.

    But I echo the comments above. If the sandwiches were two dollars cheaper, I’d go here regularly. I’m not a cheapo when it comes to food, but with the very good new Mexican place in the old Eagle Cafe/Vegetate space, I’m finding myself going there probably 3x as often. (And Veranda’s new menu has me won over, too; plus Red Toque is good.) On several occasions, I have thought — “Do I want to spend $11 for a great sandwich, or $7.50 for 3 great tacos?” 75% of time, the tacos win.

    So if management reads this: I live less than two blocks away. I eat out regularly. But you are losing a substantial part of my business because I think your food is priced a couple dollars too high. A couple dollars isn’t much, but it drives my decision often to go elsewhere.

    If others are like me, you might do better lowering your prices. But, if not, godspeed. (The store often does seem busy). The food is great, and I’ll enjoy it every month or two.

    • claire

      So would you say that new Mexican place is consistently good now? I went once right after they opened and was amazed by the tacos (so delicious and only $2 each) and then went again (with two friends I’d raved to about it) and the tacos were decidedly subpar plus they’d upped the price to $2.50 each… trying to convince myself to try them again.

      • Yes — I’ve been going perhaps once a week or so for the past month or two, and I’ve been pretty happy with it. What they have for toppings on the tacos is somewhat day-dependent, but I’ve always been pleased with the food.

        Now, my girlfriend has ordered out tacos there once and found them slightly soggy after arriving home. We guess it was the wrapping and transport, as everything I’ve had at the restaurant has been very good.

        I think it took some de-bugging at first (and still continuing), but for very, very no thrills, cheap food — I’m rather pleased with their efforts so far.

        So yes, I’d recommend going again.

  • I’d just like to support what everyone else is saying. I’ve been twice and had the Buenos Aires and the Beirut I think. Both were really good. Definitely plan on going back. Also tried their spicy coleslaw. Definitely has a kick to it with the slices of jalapeno in there, but quite good as well.

  • sandwiches good. potato salad bad. all the sides dont look very good actually, but ive only tried the potato salad and its not very good.

  • What are their hours–this info is bizarrely absent from their website.

    • tonyr

      Noon – 9 p.m. Monday to Saturday. If you click on the menu pdf you’ll see it, as well as the phone number (202-319-1086) but I agree it’d be a good idea for it to be more obvious.

  • I’ve had one experience with Sundevich (which is a 15 minute walk from my house) and one with Fast Gourmet (which is four blocks away). My one Sundevich sandwich — which was steak with chimichurri sauce — was exceptional. Excellent bread, excellent fillings, and large. It wasn’t cheap compared to a place like Potbelly, but it seemed to me a good value compared to other gourmet sandwiches I’ve purchased in DC (i.e. Cork Market, Taylor Gourmet). And my spouse was very pleased with his veggie sandwich.

    The one time I went to Fast Gourmet, I had a pulled pork sandwich. The fries accompanying the sandwich were outstanding, but the sandwich itself was merely good — I’ve had much better pork sandwiches from four different DC food trucks.

  • Leaving aside my opinion on the sandwiches themselves, I would like to remind the peanut gallery that when this place was first announced on PoP, the prevailing notion was that the owner was crazy, no one would go to a sandwich shop in an alley, it was gentrification at its worst, etc. etc.

    I’m just thrilled that a) the business seems to be thriving, as there are often very long lines around lunch time; and b) it seems that they’ve won over many PoP readers who perhaps were skeptical at first. Very good for the neighborhood and our fair city that adventurous people can try creative new ideas and find success.

  • Absolutely delicious! Totally fabulous! REALLY GREAT FOOD!

  • Love it & go about once a week. Beef tongue sandwich is amazing!! Ali, the owner is knowledgeable. The pastries are incridble and I also love shopping at Seasonal Pantry just around the corner!

  • I’ve been three times now and I really want to like the place, but I just don’t. Sandwich ingredients don’t mix well. FastGourmet is much better IMO

  • 4 weeks ago I give it a 9, now I give it a 7.

    I think the product they offer is exceptional and worth the price. The double-edged sword of their success is that they are having a hard time controlling inventory (also a double-edged sword). They continually runout of ingredients, including bread, and have to limit their menu or in multiple instances close early.

    Love the balance toward freshness and small-batch preparation, but if business remains high they may need to step up the quantities a smidge.

    All in all I say go. Pay the price. Enjoy the Saigon and the Kingston. If they are closed, go again. If they are out of what you want, get something else and go again.

  • I went for the first time two weeks ago after the groupon offer and got the Beirut. It was an excellent sandwich with an abundance of perfectly cooked steak (around medium). I will definitely be going back. I think they have a better selection than Fast Gourmet, and would probably put them a notch above. But Fast Gourmet is much closer to me, so I will still happily frequent it.

Comments are closed.