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Sep 29, 2009 08:17 AM

G Street Food Open!

I saw on Daily Candy that the long awaited G Street Food from Marc Furstenberg (Breadline) is open this week! Since it's a little trek for me from Rosslyn, I want to be sure it's worth it. Has anyone been? I'm dying for a banh mi if it's actually good!

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  1. Just got back from G-Street.

    Location - It's about 2 blocks south of the 17th Street exit of Farragut West. (1723? G St NW). It's a stonesthrow from Breadline.

    Time - I got there after 2:30, so I guess this was close to the end of their day.
    Crowd - non-existent
    Outdoor seating - it's there, and will be more welcome when it's warmer.
    Decor - Standard Ikea/Industrial chic.

    Service - it's counter service. Cook was cool and so was the cashier.

    Layout - As many of you know, I'm like to know where I stand when it comes to restaurants. The menu has to be visible and easy to read, the line to order has to be obvious, the waiting area obvious, and the line to pay has to be obvious as well. Many restaurants in the district simply do not have the space necessary to just allow people to willy nilly just mill about. Maybe no one cares about the customer experience, but this customer does.

    In this case, When you walk in, it's not really clear who you ask for food. I just walked up to the cook underneath the main food venue to order. I didn't see an "order here/pick up here sign". I guess since it's so close to the IMF they're just depending on the general intelligence of the customers.

    Drinks - I didn't see a soda fountain and ended up with one of those 8 oz glass bottles of coke for 1.35 (which is about 3 times the price per ounce of a can or 20 oz bottle). I guess they had just put them out, cause it was about room temperature. Like Taylor Street's adoptance of Herr's Chips, G-Street had a bunch of new carbonated beverages from some big maker i've never heard of. That'llbe interesting on subsequent visits.

    The Menu - I picked up a copy, but the only reason I went there was for the Banh Mi.

    My Banh Mi credentials - I lived in Houston for a while, and I'm a big fan of Givral's in Bellaire.

    Closer to the DMV, I go to Eden Center or DC Banh Mi on US-50 or the Ba Le in College Park. I usually order the grilled pork (as opposed to the BBQ pork which is like Chinese Spare Ribs).

    With those expeiences in mind, I'm expecting a french baguette, some mayonnaise, perhaps some Pate, cilantro, julienned carrots, and other goodies along with my hot grilled pork. I wash it down with a Vietnamese Iced Coffee and call it a day. I typically spend 2.50 per sandwich, with the iced coffee being as much as the sandwich topping out @ 5 bucks.

    On to G Street's interpretation - Roast Pork and Pickled Veggies on Vietnamese Baguette (8.75


    - The roll - very crusty - Maybe not make the roof of your mouth bleed crusty, but this ain't no bread for sissies.

    - the meat - The menu informed me that this would be a cold sandwich. I didn't know what to make of that (cause it was between the Banh Mi and the Chicago style hot dog), but I soldiered on.

    The roasted pork was indeed cold.. I've had the typical cold cuts banh mi before, so this didn't phase me. It was very "toothsome". I got a few chunks of cartilage(?) though.

    The pickled vegetables were just that, pickled vegetables. Some actual pickles and other things tasting of vinegar.

    Overall Impression of the banh mi? The folks in Eden Center don't need to worry at all. It was more like a haute cuisine take on Banh Mi than actual Banh Mi (IMO). The fact that it was almost 9 bucks didn't help the matter either.

    The Damage - 11.11

    Would I go back? - the Tartines of the day look intersting and so do the Sausage of the day, but I'm not going back for the Banh Mi. It's decent enough, but not worth the special trip.

    - WIA

    1 Reply
    1. re: WestIndianArchie

      Wow thanks for the long report. Looks like this place isn't too far from my new job (at least if it's nice out and I don't mind taking a walk) , so once I get settled I will try to check it out.

    2. I tried their Thai salad thing during the free sample day. Like the previous poster's description of the Bahn Mi, it wasn't really "authentic" so much as a haute couture take...I wasn't that impressed.

      I tried the Merguez sausage for lunch and that was pretty good. It could have used more pickled veggies, but the bread and sausage were great. A hearty fresh made bun was nice, and the fries that came with it were also the way I like them--crisp and thick cut. I'd like to try the other types, especially kimchi and bratwurst. Sounds cool.

      I have tried almost all of the deserts (mini apple pie, dulce de leche cookie, brownie, raspberry cupcake) and every single one was great. Particularly the dulce de leche cookie. Not too sweet and and a good size.

      I am dying to try the Montreal bagel with veggie yogurt cheese, but every time I go they are sold out...

      The tartines look interesting. My guess is stick with the bread-based options given the pedigree of this place.

      EDIT - However I too am not a fan of the inflated prices. Like Breadline, lunch can set you back over $10!

      6 Replies
      1. re: jennwenn

        So what is this place SUPPOSED to be? I haven't been to a Breadline in quite a while, but I wouldn't go there for a Bahn Mi sandwich, I'd go there for a chicken salad sandwich or maybe corned beef.

        With Mergez sausage, yogurt cheese and Montreal bagels on the menu, I might very well expect that they consider Bahn Mi to be equally exotic and worthy of a $10 price tag. Sounds like it might be a better place for a "conventional" sandwich and dessert.

        I try to avoid $10 lunches myself.

        1. re: MikeR

          It's like Breadline-lite.

          I have no problem spending 20 bucks on lunch, as long as it's really good. (I don't make it a habit though)

          The funny thing is about the Banh Mi, it's so popular because it's so affordable.

        2. re: jennwenn

          I've heard that the sandwiches and Montreal bagel are the real highlights of this place too. Interesting about the desserts (and thanks for trying so many! :). I always hesitate to order anything w/ dulce de leche at a place unless it's an authentic South American resto. Btw, Dolcezza in Gtown has great alfajores (cookies w/ dulce de leche). I also like the ones at El Patio in Rockville.

          Let us (esp. me) know if you get to try the Montreal bagel. Am VERY curious how it is. Thanks!

          1. re: Gigi007

            Those cookies at El Patio are superb. Nothing like a few of htem with some of their strong coffee after late afternoon errand running to put me into a near comatose condition. Blood sausage & dulce de Leche cooking, the lunch of champions!!!

            1. re: deangold

              I know! I don't get out there nearly as much as I'd like to. They also used to sell la havanna alfajores (in individual packages and boxes). And overall, the food is pretty good there. :)

            2. re: Gigi007

              I am intrigued by the Montreal bagel as I have often eaten them from Fairmount and St. Viateur bagel bakeries in Montreal. Now if they have poutine and Spruce beer I will have to make a special trip.

          2. Also went there yesterday at lunch. Long line. Chicago hotdog looked interesting, but at $6.50, no thanks. Add tax and a drink and your almost at $10.00 for a hotdog?! And this continues to be my problem with DC - the lack of truly good blue collar food at blue collar prices. When it's time to spend, DC is a rally good food town, but for a cheap (under 10 bucks total) Tuesday lunch - it's abysmyal.

            1. I've tried a few more things on the menu. I quite like the Montreal bagel. I've never tried them in Montreal, but these were a bit denser, smaller, and chewier than regular bagels. I didn't really taste the sweetness people say these bagels tend to have. The veggie yogurt cream cheese was a nice light accompaniment. I'm not sure what that is, but it seems like chopped veggies whipped into a mixture of yogurt and cream cheese...It was great. I'd love to try making that at home.

              The bread-based breakfast options are also quite good. Panino contains curry cooked veggies with an egg over a hearty slice of toast. They also recently offered biscuits, which are probably my favorite things on the menu right now. Light, buttery, and airy. Just perfect. About $1.25 a piece though I think.

              They have a few new items they seem to be trying out, like Korean bibimbop. (I did not try it.)

              After about three or so visits, I'd say this place is still working out the pace of things and the structure of the pernament menu. The winners are the bread-based options, particularly sandwiches.

              1 Reply
              1. re: jennwenn

                I tried a Montreal bagel for the first time at G Street Food. I have no basis for comparison. They are a big, thin loop. You could wear them like a foodie bracelet.

                I enjoyed the difference between this and a regular bagel. They have a lot of crust per ounce. I'm not going to make a regular habit of it, but it was fun to eat.

              2. I wish they had a working website.