Retro Sandwiches Hidden in a Chevy Chase Department Store

By: Cynthia Hacinli

Photograph by Stacy Zarin-Goldberg

Honey, they’ve supersized the tea sandwiches at Lord & Taylor in Chevy Chase. Used to be you’d get a triangle each of egg, tuna, and chicken salad plus a gooey wedge of date nut bread with cream cheese, roughly adding up to a whole sandwich. Now that New York chef Larry Forgione has taken over the restaurants now know as the Lord & Taylor Signature Cafes, the sandwiches have doubled in size. So knock off the whole plate — easy to do since they’re delicious in a retro sort of way — and you’ve scarfed down two sandwiches. And though the price has gone up a couple of dollars, happily the '50s-style,  Junior League-ish fillers haven’t been messed around with — i.e. no capers in the tuna or curry in the chicken salad.
    The tea sandwiches have been a staple at L&T  since I was a child and the restaurant was known as the Bird Cage. Then the triangles were served alongside tall elegant glasses of rainbow-colored sherbet or a very grown up salad bowl heaped with chicory (avant garde for the iceberg-obsessed '60s), moundlets of shredded carrots and beets, and slivered radishes    
    These days the tea sandwiches show up with a bowl of cut up melon (unless you request a green salad), a dab of Waldorf salad, and a swirl of tart frozen yogurt that tastes like a leaner version of the yogurt gelato you find in Italy. And though I have to admit I liked things the old way, one plus of the new supersized version is that it’s much easier to share.

Lord & Taylor Signature Cafe, 5255 Western Ave., NW; 202-362-9600