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Mar 1, 2006 10:30 AM

Best Corned Beef in D.C.

  • m

Yup, Cafe Deli is what it was cracked up to be. Best corned beef I've had in this area -- by a long shot. This is of the melt-in-your-mouth, luscious variety. They make it on-site. Their pastrami is from Chicago -- I believe he said from Vienna Beef; so I imagine it's pretty good, but perhaps not different from what you can find elsewhere if you look hard enough.

The corned beef, though: Well, it may not be to everyone's liking -- these things are awfully idiosyncratic, depending on where your holy grail of deli meats might be -- but I'm fairly sure you won't find anything quite like it 'round these parts.

Hat tip to Mark Slater over on the Rockwell site -- and to the customer who brought CD to his attention.

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  1. More info (from a thread below) for those who might not know what this post is about:

    Deli City Restaurant, 2200 Bladensburg Rd NE, Washington, DC 202-526-1800 -- best corned beef ever, says Mark Slater (sommelier at Citronelle, I believe).

    Also touted in Tyler Cowen's new guide, the Washingtonian, and comments on Rockwell.

    BTW, what are the hours?

    4 Replies
    1. re: Rosco

      I called to ask the hours, but since I first asked if there were any weekend hours, the guy hung up after saying they were closed weekends so I didn't get the Mon-Fri hours.



      1. re: KOK

        They open for breakfast at 6am. They are open for dinner, but I don't know how late.

        1. re: johnb

          I called again and the guy said 5:30 - 5:00, Monday thru Friday.



          1. re: KOK

            Bummer. I metro into DC m-f. It looks like the only option is a 2-way taxi at lunch: 3-4 times what the sandwich would cost!

    2. On the subject of "best corned beef"...

      Majestic Cafe at Brunch - the corned beef hash is incredible!! the corned beef is probably the best I have ever had - very flavorful and still juicy. (not to mention - perfectly poached eggs w/toast on the same dish all for a great price)

      2 Replies
      1. re: MLP

        Where's the Majestic? CBH is my breakfast weakness.

        1. re: Dennis S

          The Majestic is at 911 King Street, and was, at least until the arrival of Restaurant Eve, Alexandria's only real haute cuisine hope.

          I'm a big fan of their weekend lunch and brunch menus, which is the only time that their menu is really affordable. Even then, we've dropped like $65 at least once on an especially gluttonous brunch. But you can usually do some heavy damage with $35 to $40 including tax and tip.

          Like the other poster, I'm a big fan of their house made corned beef hash. The eggs are perfectly poached, the corned beef is juicy and flavorful, and it comes with a slightly sweet stew of tomatoes and onions, and three or four perfectly toasted pieces of white bread for impromptu sandwich making (at least that's what I do). It's a bit non-traditional, but excellent all the same.

          I'm also a big fan of their sausage, biscuits, and gravy.

          You also have to have a glass of sparkling blood orange juice (it's not housemade, but it's the nectar of the gods), and you always have to try whatever homemade soup is on offer (it's usually enough for two to share).


      2. I've organized a chow lunch there tomorrow (Thursday) at 12:30. If anyone would like to join us, you would be more than welcome--just show up.

        12:30 Thursday Mar 2

        2200 Bladensburg Road NE

        It's near the National Arboretum. On Bladensburg Rd., two blocks north of NY Ave., on the left.

        1. Got there today with a small group of 'hounds. Place was jumping. Steady flow of dine-ins and carryouts throughout the lunch hour.

          We managed a table for five and, unfortunately, our visit was marred by the newbie waitress assigned to us. She omitted a few items, and the wait to order and for food was much, much too long. No condiments, side orders never came, no soda refill, etc. Other tables served by the "old-salt" waitresses did not seem to suffer at all.

          The meat was delicious and piled high. We had two Ruebens (sp?) at $6.50 ea and three Corned Beef Sandwichs at $5.95. The meat is warm but not hot, juicy but not wet, soft but not disintegrating, tasty but not sharp. Very, very comforting. The Rueben is lightly "dressed" and lightly grilled. I think I could ask for better rye bread though. I know Potomac Deli has a better loaf with a thicker crust and a tangier Rye taste.

          Others can chime in re: pickles and cole slaw which I did not taste.

          Most of the regulars, it should be noted, seemed to be eating the Specials. Today was Short Ribs, Beef over Rice, Crab Cakes and Fried Fish I think. Each came with two vegetables and cost between $7.95 and 9.95.

          1. Jeez, I haven't been to that place in at least 25 years. Never tried the corned beef, but they had a mean chili half-smoke and hefty scrapple and egg sandwiches. An elderly Jewish couple owned the place. Are they still alive?