Eating Around Town – Stachowski’s Market

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This edition of Eating Around Town was written by Abbey Becker. Abbey previously wrote about Menomale in Brookland and she lives near Eastern Market.

Let me tell you about the best sandwich I’ve had in DC. It’s in Georgetown, but I’m not talking about the Nobadeer at Jetties. Stachowski’s Market (1425 28th St NW) makes the tastiest (and largest) Italian cold cut sub I’ve ever had.

When I visited for the first time and saw that the 4 Meat Grinder cost $11.99, I thought, this sandwich better be the most incredible creation on the planet. A few minutes later, I was handed a hefting, butcher paper-wrapped sandwich that must have weighed at least three pounds. This thing was bigger than both of my hands. I opted to eat at home, though there’s a table at the front of the shop that seats about five people.

Sometimes when you get an Italian sub, it’s either dripping with grease, is messily assembled, has limp and underripe veggies, or is made with bland supermarket deli meats. Not this one. The grinder is layered with flavorful salami, coppa, mortadella, and sopressata, provolone, lettuce, tomatoes, red onions, hot peppers, and a good dousing of house vinaigrette on an entire ciabatta loaf. Each vegetable is crisp and fresh, the hot peppers still have a bit of crunch, and the vinaigrette is well balanced and isn’t too heavily applied. In short, everything on this sandwich has great flavor on its own, and every ingredient is necessary. I ate this sandwich for four meals.

On my second trip, I took two friends. I had the meatball sub ($9.99), which isn’t overly complicated. Good bread, solid homemade meatballs, tangy tomato sauce, and plenty of melted provolone. One friend got the Butcher Shop Dip ($11.99), with warm roast beef, provolone, and hot peppers on a baguette with a side of jus. It’s smaller than the other sandwiches, but it’s still piled with juicy roast beef. You can finish this is one sitting, but plan on that being your meal for the day. My other friend got the 4 Meat Grinder, and I kind of wish I had too.

The Pastrami ($11.99) is a favorite of many regulars. It’s on the fatty side for some, and the meat isn’t always sliced to the same thickness. But I’ve been told by many pastrami aficionados that this is one of the best pastrami sandwiches in DC.

Continues after the jump.

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Stachowski’s is also a full-service deli that sells various sausages (kielbasa, smoked lamb, boudin blanc, linguica, weisswurst, etc.), pancetta, slab bacon, pates, terrines, prosciutto from three different animals, and just about any cut of meat you could want, including Berkshire pork. The right wall has a large selection of products from McCutcheon’s out of Frederick, and the self-serve refrigerated case is stocked with cage-free eggs, local milk and yogurt, bacon fat, duck fat, and more. They also sell fruits and vegetables, though you’re looking at $1.99 a pound for Russet potatoes.

I would be remiss if I didn’t mention the exceptionally friendly staff. You’re always greeted the minute you walk in by the girl at the register and the men behind the meat counter in button-down shirts and ties. What’s unique about this is they genuinely seem to love working there. They almost made me want to quit my full-time day job so I could slice deli meats and recommend cooking techniques for the bacon-wrapped, pate-stuffed quails they sell.

As a side note, I wanted to mention that I’ve had the G-Man at Mangialardo & Sons in Southeast DC. I know people love this sandwich, and I’m not saying I didn’t enjoy it, but Stachowski’s is far and away the best. Friends have said that the Italian at A. Litteri over by Union Market is about half the price of Stachowski’s and good, too. Without having had it, I can’t say with complete authority Stachowski’s is the best Italian sandwich in the city, but I have a hunch I’m on the right track.

41 Comment

  • their braunschweiger sandwich is amazing

  • It is the best. Their turkey sandwich is also a beautiful monstrosity of turkey, bacon and avocado on some sour dough.

    Stachowski’s also sells these little bags of cookies by some small bakery in NOVA, and I am addicted to the double chocolate sea salt variety.

    I’ve had most of their sausages – the kielbasa and cajun andouille are the standouts, and I also had a smoked lamb sausage that was quite tasty. Pates are all great, as well.

    I second the mention of great, friendly service. I only wish they were closer to my house, although a long walk or bike ride is in order after eating one of their sandwiches.

  • Got a pastrami sandwich there and honestly – I hated it.

    • I had lunch in there the other day and the guy sitting next to me was complaining about his pastrami sandwich, too. Not their best offering, perhaps?

      But I’ll echo the braunschweiger recommendation above: it is outstanding.

      • I understand that people love this place because they pile the meat on. But it really makes for a horrible sandwich. The bread was falling apart, the meat is cut very thick and spills out all over the place. It is just an all around mess.

        • This is all accurate. Thick vs thin cut is all part of the great pastrami debate.

          I personally prefer thick cut, so the 18 ozs of thick cut pastrami they pile on here is much appreciated. I don’t mind when delicious pastrami and mustard destroy the integrity of the rye break incapable of containing it awesomeness.

          I guess what I’m saying is try the pastrami and judge for yourself. I would recommend sharing with a friend, or making two meals out of it.

          • “I don’t mind when delicious pastrami and mustard destroy the integrity of the rye break incapable of containing it awesomeness.” – quote of the day

            And yes. Stachowski’s is incredibly awesome.

          • The pastrami was one of the worst on record. Very fatty and tough. Thick does not have to equal tough. I liked the mustard, though.

    • Completely agree. The pastrami was weirdly tough – I couldn’t bite through the pastrami, so a whole slice would come out with each bite. And there was enormous chunks of fat on it. The only good thing was how big the sandwich was – for $12.99 I got enough meat for 4-5 sandwiches, probably two pounds. I’ve only been once, and heard so many good things about the pastrami that I might give it another try. The pickle that came with the sandwich was pretty good.

      I was also unimpressed with the turkey breast. I found it dry and flavorless. And I think that it spoiled very quickly.

      Everyone working there was so nice (and the chocolate salt cookies were amazing) that I will probably still go back.

  • squish

    Is it a traditional deli where you can walk up and order a cold cut sandwich on X type of bread with Y dressing? Or are you pretty much limited to the pre-set sandwich menu?

  • Awful service high prices… They stink, I’ll never go again.

  • A. Litteri is really good and about half the price, but Stachowski’s is the best, no question.

  • is there anything here for vegetarians or should i not even bother?

    • It’s a butcher case/deli.

      You can eat the cookies…

      I date a vegetarian, and I can say with certainty that there is not a whole lot to offer you here.

      • i see that the place is called a “market” and it serves subs. how was the leap made to call this a butcher shop?

        • Are you seriously litigating this? Look at their Twitter account. They call themselves a full-service butcher. And if you go, you will recognize the butcher aspect of the place.

          • “Litigating”??

            Did you mean “argue”? Doesn’t sound like the other PoPville poster was suing anyone.

          • No, they’re just being an obnoxious pedant. Does that make you happier?

          • anon 3:41,
            i was being an obnoxious pedant because i asked why a market was being called a butcher?

            it was a simple question, to which i simply wanted a civil response. i havent been there. the original post and the name of the place does not remotely indicate a butcher shop.
            please try to be more civil with less name calling.

        • It’s really a butcher shop that happens to make sandwiches (and dinners for take away). They also sell a lot of meats by the pound and house-made sausages.

    • No veg sandwiches, but some of the dinners they make are. And of course, you can buy their fresh produce or dairy products.

    • I don’t think so. But it’s a butcher shop, so if you’re not coming for the meat, I don’t really know why you’d go there.

    • thanks for the replies. just to note, i know this is a butcher shop, but man i wish more people made hearty, delicious sandwiches for vegetarians. i work a few blocks away and would often patronize for a good eggplant sub :)

      • It is a butcher – the vegetarian option is not going there.
        I’m sorry but I’m in the Ron Swanson school of thought on this. Certain places shouldn’t have to accommodate opposing ideas.
        Just as I wouldn’t go into a vegan restaurant and demand a steak, vegetarians should expect a butcher to serve vegetarian items.

        • no one demanded anything except some information. and people think vegetarians are the defensive ones.

  • Their sandwiches are the BEST I’ve ever had- anywhere. Especially for the price. You’re getting 3 sandwiches basically. I’d imagine it’s nearly a breakeven proposition to them.

  • Stachowski’s is my favorite sandwich shop in DC, hands down.

    The butcher is also awesome. He’s gotten me weird cuts of meat that you can’t typically find elsewhere.

  • My sister picked up some sandwiches here when she came to visit me in the city recently. I had not heard of this place (though she is the suburbanite!), but she is childhood friends with the owner’s wife. They were definitely some of the best sandwiches I have ever had. Highly recommend going.

    • that’s my hand in the picture, and i will tell you i’ve been eating this delicious sandwich for three days. FOUR MEALS. now that’s a bargain.

  • I haven’t been to the store yet, because I kind of dread trying to find parking in the area, but I’m a fan of the sausages. They sell them at the CH farmer’s market, and they have a ton of different good ones.

    • It’s far enough from the M St crush that parking isn’t so bad. If you’re willing to walk a block or two, there’s almost always space on 28 above Q.

  • I’ve taken the G2 (which stops right by) several times. You can call in your order and pick them up if you’re driving and should be ok.

  • Hey guys, any good vegan options here? I should also admit that I’m on a gluten-free diet, I don’t eat fish, and anything that’s been exposed to the slightest trace of nut molecules will send me into an anaphylactic shock.

    If they don’t have anything for me, I’m going to write a mean Yelp review (I’m Elite).

    Thx!

  • Love this deli! and I’ll definitely try the sandwiches. The italian sandwiches at Litteri’s by Gallaudet are ok. They stand out probably cuz there’s nothing else available around there–or if there is, nobody knows about it yet. Not to badmouth Litteri’s, though. I worked at Gally for the better part of 20 years altogether, and Litteri’s was heaven.

  • Grab a tub of the Pastrami hash too! Makes for a hearty, delicious breakfast with eggs!

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