You’ve been to Potbelly a billion times, and the cashier at Pret A Manger greets you by name. Sound familiar? Lunchtime go-tos are nothing to be ashamed of (the above describes this writer’s midday habits perfectly), but it’s nice to mix it up once in a while. Whether you’re looking for a quick grab to take back to your desk or a meal to linger over, we have eight new lunches for you to try.
Bub and Pop’s
All of the sandwiches are available in half and whole portions at this lower Dupont family-operated eatery, which is a good thing: Halves of an Italian hoagie or braised beef brisket sandwich are as large as most restaurant’s wholes, and full-size means a feast (or leftovers). A variety of salads, pizzas, and soups round out the menu, as do a selection of seasonal pickles.
Carving Room Kitchen & Bar
You can always get a pastrami sandwich to go, but it’s tempting to post up with a beer at this neighborhood deli’s bar and dig into a Reuben with 21-day-cured corned beef or roast lamb on ciabatta with pickled veggies and yogurt sauce. Vegetarians can feast on a variety of Moroccan-style vegetable dishes, egg salad, and a three-cheese melt.
DGS Delicatessen Sandwich Shop
We’ve been waiting for the Dupont deli to open its counter-order service since the sit-down restaurant debuted back in November. As of last week it’s finally taking orders, meaning you can get nosh like thick-cut pastrami on rye, smoked salmon on a Montreal bagel, and matzo-ball soup.
You’ve had that kind of day in the office, and you’re fiending for lunch and happy hour all at once. Lucky for you, the newest addition to the K Street dining scene starts drink discounts at noon (and runs them until 9), meaning you can get a $5 glass of wine and a Brie-topped Kobe burger or bacony pulled chicken club at nearly any time.
We head to this Dupont Russian joint at night to drink vodka martinis while clapping along to a Russian accordionist, but that’s a little ambitious when the sun is shining. Easier to handle: a new lunch service, which starts at 11:30 AM on Monday, March 25. Look for a $19 prix-fixe menu with a choice of salad or soup like Russian country veggies or borscht, followed by a main course such as chicken stroganoff with buckwheat pasta or a vegetarian avocado sandwich.
Smoke BBQ Bethesda
It’s tempting to luxuriate over a pile of hickory-smoked ribs, slaw, and a cold beer, but not everyone has time for that lunch of dreams. Bethesda’s newest barbecue joint encourages diners to call in orders for speedy pickup and takeout (we recommend a pulled pork sandwich if you’re going to eat in the car), so you can have slow and low in a flash.
Chivitos, Cubans, and a variety of tapas are the staple fare at this eatery from former Fast Gourmet chefs Manuel and Juan “Nacho” Olivera. The brothers also debut their first Sunday brunch this week: a $35 menu with bottomless mimosas and sangria, tapas, and entrées like eggs Benny with Serrano ham.
Taylor Gourmet Penn Quarter
Casey Patten and David Mazza open their seventh Philadelphia-style sandwich shop this Thursday in the former Meatballs location. Look for 36 varieties of hoagies, with delivery service in the works. More of a breakfast person? You can snag egg sandwiches on the weekend.