Caroline Jones

The Sandwich: Wagyu Pastrami Reuben

Where: On Rye, 740 6th St. NW

Price: $14

Stuffings: Pastrami made from Wagyu beef, kraut, Swiss cheese, Russian dressing

Bread: Pressed marble rye

Thickness: 3.5 inches

Pros: The fatty Wagyu beef piled plentifully on this sandwich becomes even more luscious when cured and rubbed with a peppery crust. While some reubens feature kraut that’s aggressively sour, On Rye’s more mild cabbage plays well with the rich brisket. Tart and sweet Russian dressing completes the full spectrum of flavors.

Cons: Evenly toasting a messy sandwich can be a challenge, and this reuben is no exception. While one half of the sandwich was perfectly crisp, with toast that crunched, the other half wasn’t as warm and tasted a bit stale in comparison. The cheese also melted into a messy glob that didn’t add much to the sandwich.

Sloppiness level (1 to 5): 3. Pressing this sandwich keeps most of the components smushed between two slices of bread, but bits of sauerkraut and dribbles of dressing will still end up on your plate and on your hands. Unless you take even bites, you’ll probably have more bread than meat remaining before you finish eating.

Overall score (1 to 5): 3. This is a good reuben with flavorful accompaniments, which can be hard to find in D.C. But the high price seems unjustified given that the uneven griddling yields a sandwich that isn’t warm throughout. Downsizing might help. 

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