|The Kingston at SUNdeVICH // Photo by Kim Maxwell Vu|
Owner and chef Ali Bagheri describes it as "Street food in a brick and mortar shop." The menu features have eleven sandwiches, all named after places that inspire/represent the flavors of the sandwich. (They also have salads. But who wants a boring salad?) They have some familiar offerings: the Capri is tomatoes, mozzarella, pesto; the Berlin is bratwurst, sauerkraut, and mustard, of course. Other options are more exotic: the Beirut is skirt steak, hummus, brined veg and fresh herbs, and the Madrid pairs chorizo with chimichurri. Everything but the bread is made in-house--from the mayo to the pickles to the meat rubs to (I assume) the sausage. (Read more about the shop and it's founding here.)
Kim and I got the Kingston and the Istanbul. The Kingston (above) was good--slow cooked jerk chicken with a home made green slaw and a yellow tomato salsa. I was (only) a little disappointed with the flavor of the jerk spice (one of my favorite kinds of heat)--it seemed to be only hot, not full and smoky. But the slaw was incredible, and the perfect counterpoint to the chicken. There was just enough garlic mayo--not big globs, but a thin paste of creamy wonderfullness on each side of the roll. Kim loved this sandwich through and through.
The Istanbul, to me, was perfection. A patty of ground lamb and beef grilled to perfection (and not at all greasy like a burger), with tomatoes, herbs, roasted onions with sumac and a tangy yogurt sauce. Every flavor and texture balanced the others, and it was so well constructed that not a bit dropped out while I was eating it. I have since begged 4 people to come back with me (no takers, yet), and though the rest of the menu looks good, I cannot guarantee that I won't buy the Istanbul again. It is perfect.
1314 9th Street NW
(in Naylor Court)
|The Istanbul at SUNdeVICH // Photo by Kim Maxwell Vu|