Taylor Gourmet - Mount Vernon Triangle
Reviewed By Rina Rapuano
Comments () | Published October 23, 2009
Taylor Gourmet - Mount Vernon Triangle
Address: 485 K St., NW, Washington, DC 20001
Phone: 202-289-8001
Neighborhood: Penn Quarter/Chinatown, Downtown
Cuisines: Italian, Deli/Quick Bites
Opening Hours: Open daily 11 to 9.
Nearby Metro Stops: Mt. Vernon Square/7th St.-Convention Center, Gallery Place-Chinatown
Price Range: Inexpensive
Dress: Informal
Noise Level: Chatty
Reservations: Not Accepted
Best Dishes Ninth Street Italian hoagie; fried ravioli; arancini.
Price Details: Sandwiches, $6.50 to $9.50.

This review is of Taylor Gourmet's Northeast DC location.

Philadelphia natives and high-school friends Casey Patten and David Mazza saw Washington as the place to settle after college. “I’ve always loved the energy here,” says Mazza. “Philly was a little too close to home, and New York was a little too unachievable for what I wanted to do, which was flip houses.”

Flip houses he did—until he and Patten decided to try replicating a taste of home. While they loved DC’s energy, they found no hoagie to satisfy their longings. So they opened Taylor Gourmet in Northeast DC’s burgeoning Atlas District.

The deli’s sesame-seed rolls are couriered daily from Sarcone’s in Philadelphia. Crusty on the outside, soft within, they have that unmistakable fresh-baked aroma. You taste it immediately with the standout Ninth Street Italian hoagie ($6.90 for a six-inch sub, $8.90 for a foot-long), stuffed with prosciutto, capicola, salami, and aged provolone cheese. You don’t have to be a Philly transplant to appreciate the marriage of the spicy, sweet cured meats and the sharp, creamy cheese.

Also satisfying are the well-seasoned and perfectly fried risotto balls, or arancini, and the fried ravioli—an order of each costs $4.50. Both are pleasantly salty, flecked with dried herbs, crusty, and hiding cheesy centers. And each is enhanced by the house-made marinara sauce that comes with them.

Salads are composed of arugula tossed with pastina—tiny pasta similar to couscous—and are named after Philadelphia parks. The Roosevelt Park salad with mushrooms ($7) is filling enough for a lunch on its own, or you can add grilled chicken ($2). The pan-fried chicken-cutlet sandwiches ($6.70 to $9.50), cooked to order, are good, but sometimes the bread dwarfs the filling.

The H Street neighborhood is being redeveloped, and it can be jarring to enter the spanking-new Taylor with its industrially inspired design and clubby music. But Mazza says the deli has been embraced by old-timers and newcomers. And Taylor delivers to most areas of DC for a $2 surcharge.

It sure beats a road trip to Philly.

Subscribe to Washingtonian
Posted at 12:00 AM/ET, 10/23/2009 RSS | Print | Permalink | Washingtonian.com Restaurant Reviews