Food

Get Creative Carryout From These Chef-Driven Pandemic Pop-Ups

New options for barbecue, fried chicken, and so many delicious-looking sandwiches.

An egg sandwich from breakfast pop up Butter Me Up. Photo courtesy of Butter Me Up.

Chefs, suddenly without sit-down diners and bustling dining rooms, are getting creative with pandemic-era pop-ups and new collaborations. You don’t need to stake out a spot in line to try these limited-time menus from DC-area chefs, but you may find yourself camping out in front of the computer to snag takeout and delivery.

Butter Me Up 
651 Florida Ave., NW
Sure, you can order fancy cocktails and whole-duck feasts to your door. But breakfast sandwiches—served all-day, everyday—are a more reliable craving. Enter this egg sandwich pop-up from Shaw sausage joint HalfSmoke. The menu also features appearances from other local businesses, including caffeine from  Buna Coffeehouse and bloody Mary’s with Gordy’s pickle juice. Takeout and delivery. 

Doña Dona 
1280 4th St., NE
Tropical flavors like guava and coconut meet decadent caramel and chocolate at the Latin American doughnut shop, a collaboration between Colada Shop and Serenata founder Daniella Senior and Kith and Kin pastry chef Paola Velez. The doughnut are available on Sundays at La Cosecha (Union Market’s Latin food hall), and a portion of proceeds are donated to Ayuda, an organization providing legal, social, and language services to immigrants in the DC-area. Takeout only. 

Fedwich 
1517 Connecticut Ave., NW 
Barbecue meets best-selling authors at Federalist Pig‘s pop-up inside Kramerbooks. Pair pulled pork sandwiches, smash burgers, cheesesteaks, and fries with a recommended read from the Dupont Circle book shop—both are available for delivery. Some Federalist Pig specials make a reappearance on the menu such as the blue cheese-buffalo chicken sandwich. Takeout and delivery.

A Federalist Pig barbecue sandwich. Versions now available (with books!) at Kramerbooks. Photograph by Scott Suchman

Get A Hero Be A Hero
124 Blagden Aly., NW
Snagging a mortadella and mozzarella sub from the Columbia Room pop-up means more than just a hearty lunch. For each sandwich ordered, the Shaw cocktail bar donates a sandwich to medical workers in DC-area hospitals. Beverage manager Paul Taylor is playing DJ, matching each sandwich with a recommended song. We think the Space Jam theme song pairs perfectly with a salted butter and ham sandwich with fruity jam. Takeout and delivery. 

Larry’s Chicken and Cheeseburgers
3000 12th St., NE
Brookland bistro Primrose is temporarily trading in French onion soup for Frank’s buffalo wings, melty cheeseburgers, and buckets of fried chicken. True to it’s wine bar roots, you can still order one of Sebastian Zutant‘s natural bottles to drink with your fries. Takeout only. 

Nina Mayo 
1337 11th St., NW 
Shaw’s locavore restaurant Nina May is offering a Mexican special every Tuesday. It’s not just tacos—though it’s tough to pass up pineapple al pastor. The menu also boasts short rib flautas and spicy margaritas. Order the $60 chef’s menu to sample a spread of moles, tamales, queso, and more (serves two). Takeout and delivery. 

Matt Crowley’s Sandwich Shop
3234 11th St., NW
Spoken English chef Matt Crowley set up a sandwich shop in cocktail bar Room 11. There’re meaty options like a Cubano  and meatless ones (we have our eye on the eggplant muffaletta). Even ice cream sandwiches get spruced up with roasted strawberries folded into the chilly layers. Crowley is also cooking a rotating dinner for two available Friday through Sunday with optional wine pairings. Takeout only. 

Muchas Gracias
5029 Connecticut Ave., NW
The Chevy Chase market offers groceries and prepared Mexican feasts as a collaboration between former Oyamel chef Christian Irabién and the team behind Buck’s Fishing and Camping and Comet Ping Pong. Stock up on pantry essentials like canned tomatoes and homemade tortillas alongside family-style taco kits, a la carte items like guacamole and “masa ball” soup, and spicy margaritas. Delivery and takeout. 

Scrappy’s Bagels pops up at Estadio on weekends. Photograph courtesy of Scrappy’s

Scrappy’s Bagel Bar
1520 14th St., NW 
Head to Estadio on Saturday and Sunday for bagels with seasonal schmears from Oyster Oyster chef Rob Rubba. Options get creative—think French toast butter or za’atar bagels—though you can always go classic with a lox sandwich. Make it a boozy brunch and add on mimosas and bloody Mary’s. Takeout only. 

Seven Reasons 
2208 14th St., NW 
The modern Latin restaurant on 14th Street hosts a rotating series of pop-ups from employees, giving staff a time to shine. Currently the restaurant is home to Cakes by Gene Flores and Soleado, a chicken-burger concept with yuca fries and fried plantains. Takeout only. 

Subbies 
540 Penn St., NE 
Island-themed Coconut Club is a tropical oasis near Union Market, but the restaurant’s pop-up sub shop pays homage to New England-style grinders. Pick between several styles of chips and sandwiches on Lyon Bakery rolls like Italian cold cuts or a sausage and pepper grinder. Match them with $2 beers, shots, or make it a combo with both.Takeout and delivery. 

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Assistant Editor

Daniella Byck joined Washingtonian in August 2018. She is a graduate of the University of Wisconsin-Madison where she studied journalism and digital culture. Originally from Rockville, she lives in Logan Circle.