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Sandwich slinger Bub & Pops has been slinging mud at Washingtonian since last month. The unrelenting yet gentle shade stems from the fact that the deli didn’t make the magazine’s coveted “100 Very Best Restaurants” issue. Hence Bub & Pop’s new hashtag: #101.
First they posted a billboard outside of their shop on Feb. 22. Then they posted pictures of a copy of Washingtonian with a sticky note on it informing customers that they were restaurant #101.
But things heated up yesterday when partner Allen Ring authored an e-blast that went out to all Bub & Pops subscribers. It’s so entertaining, we’ll share it here in its entirety:
Well fans, the big glossy ‘Tonian magazine that carries our city’s name just came out with the list of top 100 restaurants. Bub and Pop’s did not make it. We are very confused. No doubt we are #101 – maybe they just ran out of space.
After all, we have a 4 1/2 star rating on Yelp, (same on Trip Advisor), with a whopping 658 Yelp reviews. That should put us in the top 10 list. Alas, we all know that actual facts don’t seem to count for much anymore in our Great City. And all those Yelp sales calls we get come out of New York – and look what came to D.C. from New York 15 months ago, so we understand.
We have also been on Diners, Drive-ins and Dives, and Guy Fieri’s Grocery Show, a very rarified accomplishment. We won the DC Restaurant Association’s RAMMY, the equivalent of the Oscar for the Best Fast Casual Dining restaurant of 2016. And that very same magazine has given us the Best Cheap Eats award three years in a row.
Maybe we have been in business too long. We count 14 other restaurants within a few blocks of us that have gone out of business since we opened. Maybe we are too small, or don’t have a trendy air chilled Asian fusion squid-tripe marmalade drizzled over a seared pigs ear, garnished with fresh-caught carp scales and pond algae compote offering?
We think that the problem is that those fine food judges just can’t get to our charming establishment because we close too early, 4:00 pm every day. No doubt they are diligently working really, really late every night reviewing the numerous bars and drinking establishments of our fine city. Mornings can be tough.
So folks when you are ranked #101 out of all the great eating places in DC you just have to try harder. We don’t know how we can improve our food – or service – so we are happy to announce that we will be extending our hours from 4:00 to 8:00 pm on Thursdays and Fridays, starting this week (March 9 &10). Our fans can now come in for a later lunch, or catch us for dinner. And now – maybe – those food judges can actually stop by and give us a try – here comes top 100 2018 – whoo-hoo!
There was one sandwich shop on the “100 Very Best Restaurants” list this year—G by Mike Isabella. But Washingtonian food critic Ann Limpert explains why it’s different than Bub & Pops. “It does a really good breakfast, serves cocktails, and offers nice pastas throughout the day,” she says. “They’re doing more and they’re open longer.”
To that, Bub & Pop’s could counter that they put on a supper club where Chef Jon Taub is known to feature a molecular gastronomy cheesesteak. Limpert says her team of food editors have sampled the supper club in the past, but it was held too sporadically to be included.
“I love Bub & Pops,” Limpert says. “It’s two blocks away from my office. If I’m craving a sandwich, that’s where I”ll go. But ‘100 Best’ is a really tight list, especially this year.” She says to make the list you have to have knockout food and a certain level of service. “It’s a much much higher bar.”
Limpert plans to reach out to Bub & Pops owners to hash things out. “First I thought it was funny and then I was like, they’re relentless.”
So is Bub & Pops sucking on sour grapes or are they just joking around?
“The #101 campaign is very tongue-in-cheek,” Ring says. “We like the Washingtonian.” He counts off numerous occasions when the magazine has tossed them some limelight including making their Bulgarian Feta sandwich one of the best sandwiches in the metropolitan area.
“We are trying to develop a full campaign around the idea that we are only #101 and so we have to try harder,” Ring continues. “Or, we are only #101 because those in power are missing the obvious.”
Bub & Pops, 1815 M St. NW; (202) 457-1111; bubandpops.com