10 Great Excuses to Keep Eating Meat

Red, processed, delicious meat.

The brigade of delicious hot dogs from Haute Dogs & Fries. Photograph by Scott Suchman

Let’s start with the bad news: the World Health Organization recently released a report classifying red and processed meats as Group 1 carcinogens, alongside cigarettes and alcohol. On the sunnier side, many creditable organizations—including the WHO itself—accurately pointed out that hot dogs are not the new cancer sticks, and that eating a moderate amount of animal protein will not cause the same damage as puffing a pack of Camels.

Yes, it’s confusing, but all the more reason not to go vegetarian overnight. Here are 10 great excuses, in case you need more.

Haute Dogs & Fries

610 Montgomery St., Alexandria; 609 E. Main St., Purcellville

We’ll take one of Haute Dogs snappy hot dogs any day over a limp veggie burger. Crisp-skinned, all-beef sausages are tucked into buttery buns, and arrived with a global variety of toppings. We love the classic Chicago and Duck Duck Dog, an ode to peking duck with hoisin sauce, cucumbers, and scallions.

Head to Kogiya for all-you-can-eat Korean barbecue. Photograph by Scott Suchman.

All-you-can-eat Kogiya

Hit any Korean barbecue in Annandale and you’re in for a carnivorous feast. Kogiya takes indulging to the next level with their all-you-can-eat lunch ($21 per person) and dinner menus ($23 to $29). Get your fill of spicy pork belly, fatty brisket, fiery chicken, and more, plus all of the wonderful banchan (sides) for feeling a little healthy.

The Earl at BlackJack is all about the bacon. Photograph by Erik Uecke

The Earl at BlackJack

1612 14th St., NW

While health activists recommend using meat as a garnish, the bread plays second fiddle in this sandwich, filled with stacks and stacks of crispy bacon. For anyone who likes their BLT with a ton of the B-word—plus a fat slice of tomato and cayenne aioli—this is the one for you.

The Italian hero at G can be ordered in individual or mammoth party form. Photograph by Greg Powers.

Italian Subs

The best Italian subs are typically stuffed with at least three kinds of cured (i.e. processed) meats–essentially the Camel Crush Bolds of the sandwich world. Unfortunately we can’t stop craving the Italian hero at G, layered with three meats and pickled eggplant; Stachowski’s massive 4 Meat Grinder, stacked high with salami, coppa, mortadella, and soppressata; and basically any sub at Vace, Mangialardo’s, or the Italian Store.

Ray’s the Steaks owner Michael Landrum dry-ages certain cuts for up to 60 days. Photograph by Scott Suchman.

Michael Landrum

If there’s any one person who’s fueled our red meat addiction over the years, it’s Ray’s empire-builder Michael Landrum. The man knows his meats—thick, beefy patties at Ray’s Hell Burger, succulent cuts of dry-aged beef at Ray’s the Steaks, and unbeatable cheesesteaks stacked with dry-aged tri-tip.

No shame in a double Shackburger once in awhile. Photograph by Jeff Elkins.


Beef and cheese is on par with cocktails and cigarettes in the eyes of the health community—dangerous pairings that also happen to be deeply satisfying. Go ahead and browse our list of favorites around Washington.

The addictive pastrami sandwich from DGS Delicatessen. Photograph by Scott Suchman.

DGS Delicatessen
’s pastrami and corned beef

The picture says it all. DGS cures its pastrami and corns its beef in-house, resulting in meltingly tender slabs with just the right amount of spice. We could eat them plain, or better yet, piled high on chewy rye with fresh mustard.

We’d like to have all the barbecue, please. Photograph by Scott Suchman.


Washington has become a great town for barbecue, and we’re not going to stop eating sausage and ribs now. We’ve compiled a list of favorites, with everything from chopped pork in DC to sublime brisket in Frederick, Maryland. One recent discovery: Smokehouse Live in Leesburg, Virginia, some of the best drive-worthy ‘cue around

We can’t say no to an chili half-smoke from Meats & Foods. Photograph by Scott Suchman.

Places with names like Beef ’n Bread or Meats & Foods

Can you really hear “Beef ’n Bread” without wanting just that? These unabashed temples to meat-dom trigger our most basic, caveman cravings. We’ll happily eat a hefty roasted beef sandwich or snappy chili half-smoke without giving it a second thought to modern medicine.

The Union Market branch of Red Apron, which likes the others serves a mix of meats, sausages, and made-to-order sandwiches. Photograph by Scott Suchman.

Red Apron Butcher

Chef Nate Anda set out years ago to bring local butcheries to Washington, and he’s succeeding in the task—so far there’re three branches of his buthcer/sandwich shops, plus a 3,500 commissary for processing whole animals. Try one his many salamis or pates, or go pure caveman with a bone-in tomahawk ribeye.

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.