The Hot Dogs of Our Lives: Personal Histories

MaineDogsEvery other summer of my childhood, my parents piled my brother, my sister, and me into the back of our 1986 Dodge Caravan and drove us 15 hours from Akron to Mount Desert Island, Maine. I wasn’t interested in lobster or clam chowder until I was nearly a teenager, so a healthy majority of my early family vacation meals involved the crunchy, bright red franks that can be had in New England but are unlike any other hot dogs I’d seen before or since. Served exclusively on the customary butter-drenched split-top buns, this was plenty exotic for me. Mount Desert Island is still one of my favorite places in the world, and, though I now partake fully of the bounty of the sea, I still have at least one “red snapper” every time I’m there. Continue reading

#PARTISANDWICHES: The Favorite Sandwiches of DC’s Politicos Revealed

The Classic Italian from A. Litteri’s, “the real Florida Ave market,” according to hizzoner Marion Barry.

In every corner of the world, Washington, D.C., is synonymous with politics. But as those of us who call the District home know all too well, the political drama and general dysfunction of 1600 Pennsylvania Ave. and the Capitol dome pale in comparison to those of our own city council and mayor’s office. Next week’s all-important primary elections will determine some of the individuals responsible for helping overcome critical challenges facing our largely prosperous city.

Imagine our outrage then that none of the reporters or moderators granted access to the candidates in the run-up to the election posed the one question each of these wannabes should, in our opinion, be forced to answer: What is your favorite sandwich in D.C.?

In a heroic effort to to provide the electorate the information it needs to make the right decisions in the voting booth, I spent the last few months intermittently harassing the candidates and incumbent councilmembers with this query via Twitter. The responses of those with the courage to reply are included here. Needless to say, the silence of the others speaks volumes. Continue reading

Handicapping Washingtonian Magazine’s “Great Sandwich Smackdown”

SmackdownLogoBetween Washington City Paper‘s weekly “‘Wiching Hour” feature, Washingtonian‘s Ultimate Sandwich Guide, and the Washington Post Going Out Guide’s sandwich-saturated 40 Essential Dishes of 2014 list, local big media have done an admirable job in the recent past giving the D.C. sandwich scene the attention it deserves. What’s better, the extensive coverage is more than warranted by the ever-increasing diversity and quality on offer in the nation’s capital.

With the Great Sandwich Smackdown, which begins March 17, Washingtonian is taking the sandwich love to a new level. Each March, the magazine selects 16 of the area’s most popular purveyors of a popular foodstuff and pits them against each other in a tournament-style, elimination contest in which readers decide the winner of each head-to-head round until a champion is declared. This year, sandwiches take center stage, and Eat a Sandwich is the place for expert tournament analysis and prognostication. Consider us your Dickie V. Continue reading

Chain Reactions: The McDonald’s Filet-O-Fish


40 days of fish filets.

Lent is upon us, and to my heathen mind, that means one thing: Shamrock Shake season at McDonald’s. What’s better, these annual few trips to McDonald’s bring relief from the lower-quality fish sandwiches I generally muddle through the rest of the year (snark). My earliest memories of the fish sandwich came with the Filet-O-Fish, and, in many ways, it’s still the gold standard. I’m not being entirely sarcastic either; who’s to say that, in the right context, a Filet-O-Fish washed down with a green mint shake isn’t the equal of a Grouper Reuben with a Florida Avenue Ale? Continue reading

Where to Eat in D.C.: The EAS Sandwich Map

View the full map here.

There are few better places to be a hungry sandwich lover right now than Washington, D.C. The trickle-down from the city’s burgeoning fine dining scene has brought with it a demand for better, fresher ingredients and more daring combinations of texture and flavor. Thanks to the district’s international diversity, a stunning range of ethnic variations are within easy reach. Although the relics of our less evolved age persist — downtown, for example, remains peppered with characterless chain shops — sandwich lovers in our nation’s capital are increasingly spoiled for choice. Continue reading