8 New Lunches to Perk Up Your Day

Sandwiches, barbecue, and even happy-hour-priced libations for your day-drinking enjoyment.

Get slow and low on the go at Smoke BBQ Bethesda. Photograph by Andrew Propp.

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

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

Mari Vanna

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
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.

Food Editor

Anna Spiegel covers the dining and drinking scene in her native DC. Prior to joining Washingtonian in 2010, she attended the French Culinary Institute and Columbia University’s MFA program in New York, and held various cooking and writing positions in NYC and in St. John, US Virgin Islands.