Cheap Eats 2008: Deli City

Why go: North and South converge at this combination New York deli and soul-food café, where white collar meets blue collar and black mingles with white. Rarely can you find a pastrami sandwich this good south of the Mason-Dixon Line—or one that can be served with a side of grits.

What to get: Pastrami—rich and moist—on rye; mildly spiced corned-beef sandwich; thick-cut roast-beef sandwich, the house-roasted meat still warm from the oven if you get there early enough.

Best for: Transplanted New Yorkers in need of a pastrami fix and anyone who loves people-watching. Customers include hat-wearing matrons, Bluetooth-bearing professionals, paint-spattered construction workers—all likely drawn by the warm smiles of the ladies behind the counter as well as by the food.

Insider tip: Three decades on, this old-school deli still doesn’t take credit cards.

Open weekdays for breakfast and lunch.

See all 2008 Cheap Eats restaurants

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 Petworth.