Cheap Eats 2007: Breadline

Bread-baking guru Mark Furstenburg sold his stake in this downtown bakery and lunch spot to a bigger company, but the quality of the sandwiches remains largely unchanged, and the place runs more efficiently now that a take-away counter lets you avoid the often out-the-door line for sandwiches, many of which are preassembled anyway. Yes, the place now sells Coke, which Furstenburg wouldn’t do, but there’s still a lineup of Fizzy Lizzy and other artisan sodas and Virginia-made Route 11 potato chips.

Standouts on the menu include a buttered baguette with cooked French ham and Swiss cheese, an egg-salad sandwich with sun-dried tomato, freshly roasted turkey on ciabatta, Persian chicken salad, and sweetly seasoned ground-beef empanadas.

While daily specials can be hit (Niman Ranch pastrami with coleslaw) or miss (could there be a blander Philly cheese­steak?), if it’s Thursday don’t miss the oyster po’boy, a brioche loaded with crispy oysters and splashed with Tabasco. And summer Fridays are made for the soft-shell crab sandwich and a house-made lemonade.

Open weekdays for breakfast and lunch.

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Ann Limpert
Executive Food Editor/Critic

Ann Limpert joined Washingtonian in late 2003. She was previously an editorial assistant at Entertainment Weekly and a cook in New York restaurant kitchens, and she is a graduate of the Institute of Culinary Education. She lives in Logan Circle.