The Great Sandwich Smackdown: The Italian Store vs. Market Lunch

A battle of the classics.

It’s a tough pick between Market Lunch’s infamous breakfast brick and classics like a crabcake, or the Italian Store’s cold cut subs such as the Milano, pictured above. Photograph via Flickr user williammarlow.

Welcome to the second week of the Sandwich Smackdown! Friday brought a battle between two heavyweights: Ray’s to the Third’s mighty cheesesteaks and the equally oversize subs from Bub and Pop’s. Big Pop took more than 60 percent of the votes, meaning the family-run operation is headed to the quarterfinals.

Today’s round involves two Washington classics. In one corner we have Arlington’s Italian Store, whose subs stuffed with prosciutto and provolone or chicken Parm have drawn loyal fans for 30-plus years. In the other is Market Lunch, the beloved Eastern Market spot whose counter is packed from breakfast through lunch with diners feasting on the infamous morning “brick”—as hefty as it sounds, with potatoes, cheese, eggs, and meats like bacon or scrapple—and creamy crabcake sandwiches. It’s hard to pick between two institutions, but only one can advance.

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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.