"It's a zoo," said the woman as she struggled to place her order, claim it, pay her bill, and find a seat. Lunch at the Bread Line is not a restful experience. Regulars put up with the barely controlled chaos to eat what are arguably the best sandwiches in town. Owner Mark Furstenberg is first of all a baker, and his popular sandwich shop on Pennsylvania Avenue near the White House is devoted to bread and bread-based foods from around the world.
Specials vary from day to day and season to season. A recent Monday brought an unusual and delicious chicken-and-fennel piadina on freshly grilled bread and a spectacular Italian-sausage sandwich with a tangle of grilled onions bound with melted cheese. In tomato season it's worth a trip to the Bread Line for the best BLT in town–ripe tomato and smoky bacon on toasted brioche. There's also a selection of salads, soups, and sweets. The best strategy is to go early or late, but it might be worth a struggle at noontime to get one of those BLTs.