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.

Candidates for Mayor of D.C.

If Eat a Sandwich were in the business of issuing endorsements—and we positively are not—outgoing Ward 6 councilmember Tommy Wells would get our nod. In fact, we’d have no other choice. Wells was the only of the four major candidates for mayor who fielded our question, and in long-standing Italian market A. Litteri’s, he made a fantastic choice.


Candidates for D.C. City Council

Safe, safe, safe. Multiple candidates mentioned Taylor Gourmet, a savvy though thoroughly unsexy pick. A proven crowd-pleaser, the local chain is consistently named among the city’s best sandwiches in various reader polls (i.e. popularity contests). Charles Allen, former chief of staff for mayoral candidate Wells and candidate for Wells’s old Ward 6 seat, shrewdly named both the sleek and modern Shawafel, on the hip and youthful H Street corridor, and the venerable Canales Quality Meats in historic Eastern Market. Meanwhile, potential Ward 1 general election rivals Nadeau and Weaver successful named half the sandwich shops in their ward without overlapping. At-large incumbent Bonds makes her sandwiches at home, as clarified in a follow-up to the tweet displayed here.


Sitting Members of D.C. City Council

Honorary Mayor for Life and current Ward 8 councilmember Marion Barry, who is not up for reelection, provided what was objectively this exercise’s most colorful response. His barely veiled dig at Union Market (i.e. the “fake” Florida Avenue market) is vintage Barry, and his choice of sandwiches—neither of which, its worth noting, are from his home ward—are old-school D.C. classics. (Also worth noting: An estimated 95% of the tweets emanating from his prolific official handle are authored by staffers.)

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March 28, 2014