Corned Beef King to Debut Picnic-Style Pop-Up in Bethesda

Reubens and plenty of pastrami at a former gas station lot.

The King piles pastrami and kraut on fresh-baked rye for classic deli sandwiches. Photograph courtesy of the Corned Beef King.

The days of tracking the Corned Beef King food truck around Montgomery County for a pastrami fix are near over. Owner
Jon Rossler tells us that starting Tuesday, July 30, you’ll find him serving sandwiches at a
temporary operation he’s set up in the former BP station lot at 7725 Old Georgetown
Road, just blocks from the Bethesda Metro stop. A large development is eventually
slated for the address, but in the meantime, you’ll find picnic tables, music, and
hefty corned beef sandwiches.

We first encountered the King’s coach when it started cruising around Maryland in
2011. Since then Rossler—whose family owned Celebrity Delly in Rockville and Cabin
John*—has also started serving his oversize sandwiches out of a Georgia Avenue Exxon station in Olney*. The upcoming location will be a mix of the truck and brick-and-mortar
operations; plans for Bethesda are more like a pop-up picnic party. Rossler says he’ll
hang outdoor lights around the lot, play music, and equip the area with large picnic
tables for about 18 guests. The truck, parked on the premises, will run its regular
menu of sandwiches: think classic corned beef and pastrami piled high, Reubens (veggie
or meat), plus specials such as fresh roast turkey
au jus and brisket steak and cheese with sautéed onions, peppers, and spicy Thousand Island.

The operation is set to run Tuesday through Sunday 11 to 9. The King is also planning
on delegating food runners to bring carryout orders to nearby homes and businesses
(with a $25 order minimum). Rossler is unsure of the next step after the outdoor location
closes, but is ready to open another shop should the opportunity become available.
Meat-loving investors, get your wallets ready.

*This post has been updated from a previous version. 

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.