Before I moved to Washington DC, I didn’t think too highly of the city. I thought it would be crowded, cut-throat, and full of crime and corruption. While all of these things are actually true, I found so many other reasons to embrace our nation’s capital. One of these is exploring DC’s different neighborhoods, usually through food.
On one recent trek, my husband suggested a sandwich shop he’d heard great things about. Like I said, my exploration drive responds greatly to award-winning sandwiches. This resulted in our exploring the Shaw Neighborhood, in the area of Howard University.
The neighborhood is serviced by the Shaw-Howard University Metro Station on the Yellow and Green Line. So pick a good weather day to take the Metro and have a nice walk around the neighborhood. There’s a map at the bottom of this post to help you!
We started the day with the primary mission of finding these sandwiches. SUNdeVICH describes itself as being on an alley in a garage. As we walked down 9th Street, the large painted building with directions provided us the proper encouragement to the sandwich shop in the alley garage.
As would be expected by a small sandwich shop in a alley garage, the place was packed. Customers making decisions, hungry patrons waiting for purchases, and a lively staff working hard and fast.
When we entered we were greeted by the large chalkboard displaying a simple menu. Each sandwich is themed to a world city with flavors and ingredient reminiscent of that locale. As we stood in line, we realized it would be hard to narrow it down to just one choice for each of us. After much negotiating, hubby and I settled on the HAVANA and BERLIN.
Our selections arrived about 10 minutes after order. Quite frankly, I thought this was pretty quick considering the large crowd, and the kitchen staff making each 12-inch sandwich as ordered. Let me tell you, the SUNdeVICH team was working hard.
The HAVANA sandwich was packed with shredded roasted pork, Gruyere cheese, and finished with pickles and dijonnaise. And the BERLIN was a pretty proper German pork bratwurst, with just enough sauerkraut and mustard to keep it authentic, but not too much to overpower.
Both sandwiches were on a fantastic French bread. Let me say, I like my baguette like I like my men…..crusty and chewy 🙂 And I got to have lunch with both that day.
Besides sandwiches, SUNdeVICH also had a good looking selection of salads and spreads and sides. I’m sure I will taste them on another visit, but I still have 14 other sandwiches to try! The alley garage sandwich shop will seeing me again soon.
After a filling lunch, most girls are in the mood for walking and shopping. I am no exception. We had seen flyers there was a local market near Logan Circle, so we took the short trek in that direction. After circling the Circle, and a few backtracks, we finally “stumbled’ on the DC Meet Market.
The DC Meet Market is a small, outdoor, community market held in the parking lot of St. Luke’s Episcopal Church. It open the first Saturday of each month, Spring thru Fall. This is a more intimate setting than the more well-known Eastern Market, but it offers more comfort to chat with the vendors and artisans. Each open date they have bands and DJs to entertain the crowd, which kept us in a fun, post-lunch mood.
My random purchase of the day was a super-cute hors d’oeuvre tray with multi-colored dachshunds. For $5 I think this was a steal. I suppose it will be wrong to serve cocktail wieners on it…………
After the market, the deadly eat-shop-eat cycle continued….and onto dessert! At this point, the day was getting hot and we both started thinking ice cream. And then it happened, we walked right under a sign for gelato.
I had been to Pitango Gelato before near Eastern Market. On that trip, the staff member allowed my to sample EVERY flavor after telling him I wrote a food blog. Yes, its shameless, but I don’t forgot the kindness of free gelato.
Pitango offers a wide range of flavors, featuring lots of fresh and local ingredients. One in particular that caught my taste buds off guard was the Cantaloupe. I personally don’t care for that fruit, but this flavor of gelato was sweet, creamy, tangy, and has made me a convert. I also highly recommend the Local Raspberry, Pistachio, and Chocolate Noir.
I hope you decide to stroll through Shaw Neighborhood during a next visit into the city. Its a less traveled area than the tourist spots around the National Mall or Georgetown. But, Shaw offers great culinary options, and an established neighborhood full of trees, small shops, and outdoor happenings.