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Taylor Gourmet?

One of my co-workers mentioned that he'd seen a new market on H Street NE, called Taylor Gourmet. Is it worth the trek from the Virginia suburbs? He thought it might compete with The Italian Store in Arlington.

L.

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  1. I've heard fantastic things about their hoagies and arancini, but I haven't been able to get there myself. Supposedly they get their hoagie rolls from Sarconi's in Philly!

    1. If you're in the area Taylor's is definitely worth a stop. They are great sandwiches. Nice variety and the prices for the large are very reasonable. That being said, they are no Italian Store.

      If you feel like taking a trip into DC for good Italian Deli Literri's off of Florida is a better trip.

      1. Taylor's is attractive and I've heard that their food is good. I've been in to check it out and their groceries, dry goods, etc. are very limited.
        Taylor is no competition for The Italian Store but then the Italian Store isn't any competition for Litteri's, IMHO.
        Litteri's is a direct importer and their prices are hard to beat on most items including wine, pasta and olive oil; they make their own sausage; and they've got a broader selection of price points on most things than any other place in town.

        So you might want to head to Capital Hill to check out the variety.
        Within about one mile or two of each other:
        Mangialardo's is open weekdays until 3 PM.
        Canales in Eastern Market has bresaola which is kind of hard to find, as well as excellent fresh pasta, ravioli and gnocchi. There are two cheese shops with some unusual cheeses.
        Eastern Market is also a good source for rabbit, duck, capon, other types of game, branzino, and other goodies for your Italian cooking.
        Litteri's is a treasure trove.
        And then Taylor of course.
        If you go on Saturday morning, Catania Italian Bakery sells to retail customers - Sat. AM only - from their bakery on North Capitol Street. They supply many of the Italian restaurants in town. They do croissant on Sat. because the current owners are French.

        1. These guys really do a nice job, and sometimes I find myself craving their 9th st. It is the best bread that I have found in DC worth a trip.

          1 Reply
          1. re: Bigcitywine

            I didn't try their sandwiches. Truthfully, nothing really grabbed me - maybe since I'm not a Philly girl. I'm more likely to head up to Horace and Dickie's since I'm an old neighborhood type. I do love Philadelphia Water Ice's cheesesteaks (Amoroso's rolls) so maybe that's a gateway sandwich. I do intend to go back.
            The place is so attractive and a wonderful addition to H Street. The weather was great and having the entire front of the store open to the street is terrific.
            But as far as comparing to The Italian Store or Litteri's? Nah. Taylor has a very limited selection of groceries and wine.
            The bread isn't for sale like at other stores. Only used in sandwiches as far as I could see.
            I'll try the 9th Street on your rec.

          2. apparently they deliver around the Hill - they have at least one devoted customer working at a store on 8th and E SE (Chat's) with a delivery menu on the counter who was quite in favor the other day. (I haven't tried yet myself).

            1. I've eaten the best in Philly (Chickie's, Sarcone's Deli, etc.) and while Taylor Gourmet may not quite measure up to that high, high standard, it is definitely in the zone. The sesame-seeded roll is from Sarcone's & that would be enuf to seal the deal even if the other ingredients weren't first rate (which they pretty much are). Haven't eaten at Italian Store or Litteri's, but it would be a shocker if they were this good.

              1 Reply
              1. re: dan f.

                Update: Ate at Litteri's. Pretty good but not as good as Taylor Gourmet. Also no place to sit (unless you want to eat in your car or rest yourself on an upturned plastic bottle carton on the street). Taylor is more commodious, better food.

              2. I went here last night before the RnR Hotel and really enjoyed it. I will definitely be craving it and make a trip from Arlngton for these sandwiches! I had The Wharton Street which was fresh mozzerella with roasted red peppers, pesto and shredded lettuce tomate and onion. It had a great vinagrette and oregano on a sesame seed sub roll. They have great fountain sodas too - cream, black cherry, orange, root beer. And Herr's chips.

                Highly recommend!

                3 Replies
                1. re: jodik

                  Since I posted back in February, I've eaten at Taylor and it's great. Gotta be really careful because this is the kind of food I could come to crave, especially since they deliver and are open until 3:30 AM on weekends. Too damned tempting.
                  I had the Broad Street, a freshly sauteed chicken cutlet with broccoli rabe and provolone on great bread. Wonderful. Perfect balance. Had samples of some others too. All first class.
                  These are far from same-old, same-old sandwiches.
                  Worth the trip and even worth putting up with the construction on H Street.

                  1. re: MakingSense

                    330am on weekends? Can someone else confirm this? Their website says they close at 9pm every day and 8pm on Sundays. A good late-night sammich place would be killer.

                    1. re: sweth

                      From their blog link:

                      New Hours of Operation
                      Mon-Wed : 11:30AM -9:00PM
                      Thus-Sat: 11:30AM – 3:30AM
                      Sun: 11:30AM-8:00PM

                2. Got the sausage and peppers sandwich.
                  Good stuff, will go back again.

                  It's just inconvenient if you don't live in the area.

                  14 Replies
                  1. re: WestIndianArchie

                    They do a huge lunch business from the nearby office buildings. The new ATF and SEC buildings, DC offices all along North Capitol Street, Congressional staff, Supreme Court, Federal and DC Courts, Library of Congress, all the new development in NOMA...

                    Taylor is more than convenient. The locals are there in the evening and they pick up a lot of the crowd from the music venues in the H Street Atlas District late at night. They're open until 3:30 AM weekend nights and wouldn't be doing that if they weren't very convenient for a lot of folks. They also deliver.

                    1. re: MakingSense

                      Is there any development along H St that isn't related to food? like, is there a reason to go during the day? We don't drink (and dislike being around drunk people), so I'm wondering if there's a daytime draw like interesting stores along H st so we can drive there, eat, get coffee, and window shop? or....just drinking as I seem to read on various blogs about the bars?

                      I want to go, but for more than food while visiting food establishments too, if that makes any sense!

                      1. re: Jeserf

                        No! I've lived in the neighborhood for 20 years before moving to Virginia last year. There is no reason to go to H street besides food or rock concerts. The neighborhood deserves better.

                        1. re: ChewFun

                          Ok, thanks.
                          I live in north Dupont before U Street, and I know the restaurants over there are supposed to be awesome, but - yes, I agree - it's not convenient.

                          I was thinking if there was another reason to go, like great galleries, I'd go.

                          I think there are a lot of places to stroll/window shop in DC besides GTown, which better food.

                          City Vista also isn't that convenient to me, but will have a big lunch business - lack of good sandwiches in that area (used to work at 12th and K, baaaad quick lunch food!)

                        2. re: Jeserf

                          "is there a reason to go during the day?"

                          This is a huge urban planning problem that is much bigger than H St. NE. DC really only has 1 day time destination for locals, imo, and that's Georgetown.

                          1. re: Jeserf

                            The Conner Contempory Art gallery is in the 1300 block of Florida av, NE, and the Atlas performing Arts Center often hosts performances on the weekend in one of their four theaters.

                            1. re: Jeserf

                              No, not "development." The retail on H is largely neighborhood-serving, much as G'town was before the chain stores moved in, although obviously lower on the economic scale because it's existed for a long time and reflects the diverse community.
                              Retail is a second wave of revitalization after restaurants and bars, which are usually the first able to move into seriously deteriorated commercial strips such as H Street.

                              The Atlas Theatre has been a terrific magnet with first rate performances. I don't think they've gotten a poor review yet. There's at least two galleries.
                              Most of the newer businesses are service oriented, such as yoga and exercise studios, floral design, probably the best tattoo artists in the Metro area, some quality non-profits, graphics design firms, etc, none of which are good for browsing.
                              There are drug stores, dollar stores, a good hardware store, uniform store, athletic clothing stores, shoe stores, banks etc. - which as I said are all neighborhood-serving.

                              I don't drink either but spend time in the good coffee shops and in the other places with friends who do. Except for the indie band music places b/c that's not exactly my thing....
                              The food is good to great and I'm generally out of there by the time people start getting sloshed and obnoxious.
                              Like last night, we went to the newly opened Little Miss Whiskey's for awhile and then tried the new menu at Granville Moore's. Had a great time and I was home by 10 PM. Fine for a Monday night. The places were crowded but there weren't a bunch of drunks.

                            2. re: MakingSense

                              I work and live in NW. I have to drive or take the bus over there.
                              It's not convenient at all.

                              1. re: WestIndianArchie

                                No neighborhood is convenient for everyone. If you live in downtown, you have to drive to destinations in NW and taking the bus is often not even an option because things are spread out.
                                When you live in the city, you get used to walking, biking, using public transportation, or cabbing. That makes it very convenient to get around.

                                1. re: MakingSense

                                  but if one wants to go to H St, it's a bit of an extra schlep - which is why I was wondering if there were an extra draw besides food.
                                  I wouldn't go there to sit in a coffee shop, but if there were funky shops, etc, I would probably go.

                                  We aren't knocking your neighborhood, but being 'inconvenienced' can easily be overlooked by a fantastic set of small shops and galleries - I think 14th St is a good example of this, even if I don't shop at many of those stores on a regular basis, it's a great stretch to walk - and the shops are dog friendly, a nice bonus.

                                  Hopefully H Street will get to that type of independent store front to match its restaurants to bring people out during the day, before the drunks move in. The city CAN be convenient to get around (unless you've been on Metro in the last, oh, 5 weeks?) but more than 2 modes of transportation to go to lunch seems a bit much for just lunch.

                                  The street festival, if there's interesting stuff, is just the type of thing to get people to go during the day and explore.

                                  1. re: Jeserf

                                    You're right and it's something that residents and the business community bemoan. New retail is the last to develop. You need daytime foot traffic for it be worthwhile for entrepreneurs to sink bucks in and then you need a critical mass - sort of all at once. One or two shops open and then - Katie bar the door!

                                    The new offices have provided good lunchtime traffic, and now that Taylor is doing well, as are a few other places, many of the restaurants are thinking of opening for lunch. It's going to be a gamble and probably slow at first, but as soon as it takes off, the retail will be right behind it.
                                    That day can't come soon enough.

                                    The people ARE there during the day, and they aren't drunks. The ban on single sales of alcohol has made a major difference on H Street.
                                    They just need enough investors to recognize that there IS a market there for retail.
                                    This is a tough economy so that's not helping, neither is the DC gov't. DC is the most expensive place in the US to operate a business because of the tax and regulatory burdens, especially on small locally-owned businesses. They can't catch a break.

                                    BTW, the local lunch crowd for H Street works in the neighborhood, and many of them have parking at their jobs or walk. They're within a few blocks and don't have to jump thru hoops to get there.
                                    They're not as far away as you are. Getting to U St. or Dupont would be a haul and a real pain for them. All relative.

                                    1. re: MakingSense

                                      This is all getting pretty off-topic for Chowhound. We'd ask that people keep the focus on where to get great chow, rather than the general development of neighborhoods.

                                      1. re: MakingSense

                                        yes - it's all relative, which is why saying it's an inconvenient journey for a sandwich is not unreasonable depending on your point of view.

                                        I'd probably drive to 2 Amys, though...mmmm

                                2. re: MakingSense

                                  Taylor is also opening at location in NW, at City Vista in the coming months (I've read various articles with dates ranging from Fall 2009 through early 2010).
                                  http://mvtriangle.blogspot.com/2009/0...
                                  http://mvtriangle.blogspot.com/2009/0...
                                  Definitely worth the trip to H NE if you have the craving. The smoked provolone on their sandwiches is out of this world. The fried items (I've tried the mozerella and risotto balls) are tasty but have a bit of a kick to them.
                                  Can't wait until they come to City Vista--all I'll have to do is run downstairs! It will be dangerous on my waistline but delicious in my mouth!