Sandwiches continue to be one of few reasons to crack a smile during the pandemic. The past year has brought boundless creativity between bread to the District as chefs looked to make their menus both crowd-pleasing and portable. We told you what to order in the fall and winter to get you through the cold and ice. Now that picnic season is upon us, we have eight new options worth seeking out.
Mee Goreng Dog at Makan ($9)
3400 11th St. NW, (202) 730-2295, makanrestaurantdc.com
It’s unlikely that a Martin’s potato roll has ever cradled mee goreng until now. Chef James Wozniuk drew inspiration from Japan’s yakisoba dog in creating his carb-stuffed brunch sandwich. He fills the buttery bun slathered with Duke’s mayo with wok-fried egg noodles and glass noodles popular in Malaysia and Indonesia. They’re mixed with yu choy, bean sprouts, bits of chicken, sweet soy sauce, scallions, and white pepper. For a final touch, Wozniuk tacks on pickled serrano peppers for some heat and tang. The Columbia Heights Malaysian restaurant serves the mee goreng dog at brunch on Saturdays and Sundays from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m.
Paid Vacation at ABC Pony ($12)
2 I St. SE, (202) 913-8155, abcpony.com
Chef Armani Johnson keeps this fried seafood sandwich as simple as a day at the beach. Golden fried calamari is paired with a funky preserved lemon remoulade, shredded lettuce, and a splash of ABC Pony’s house-made “pressure” hot sauce. “Pressure because it kicks,” he says. “You can feel it in your soul.” The calamari coins can spill out of the bun, so be sure to have utensils and napkins at the ready. Find the Paid Vacation on the ABC Burger & Fries menu available for takeout and delivery Tuesdays through Saturdays from 11 a.m. to 10 p.m.
The King’s Point at Call Your Mother ($9.50)
Multiple locations, callyourmotherdeli.com
Live out your nachos-for-breakfast fantasy at Call Your Mother by ordering The King’s Point. D.C.’s bagel darling recently whipped up nacho jalapeño cream cheese that’s a close cousin to pimento cheese, but with a kick. The bagel sandwich also contains thick pieces of bacon and crispy shallots. As if there wasn’t enough cheese already, it comes on a cheddar bagel. The Park View, Georgetown, and Capitol Hill locations are open daily from 8 a.m. to 2 p.m. for pick-up. Order ahead online.
Baltimore Pit Beef Sandwich at Ampersandwich ($15)
Shilling Canning Company, 360 Water St. SE, (202) 554-7474, ampersandwichdc.com
Saturdays were special for Baltimore native Chef Reid Shilling. His father would pick up pit beef sandwiches from roadside stands on his way home for work. He also remembers seeing fans waiting in line for them at Orioles games. Now Shilling runs a sandwich pop-up out of his Navy Yard restaurant. “There’s a lot of people from Baltimore and Annapolis here that wish they had some things from home,” he says.
Shilling seasons bottom round and grills it over either wood or charcoal. A full seven ounces of the beef makes its way onto the sandwich along with horseradish, barbecue sauce, and onions. Ampersandwich bakes the squishy benne seed buns in house. “I love large sandwiches,” Shilling continues. “They should fill your hands.”
Ampersandwich is available for pick-up and delivery Wednesdays and Thursdays from 10:30 a.m. to 6 p.m. and Fridays, Saturdays, and Sundays from 10:30 a.m. to 2 p.m. You can also order the sandwiches at Shilling Canning Company’s happy hour on Wednesdays and Thursdays from 4 p.m. to 6 p.m.
Fried Shouk’n at Shouk ($11.50)
Multiple locations, shouk.com
Shouk co-founder Ran Nussbacher says the Fried Shouk’n sandwich at his plant-based Israeli restaurant is one of the most popular menu items because it “scratches a particular itch.” The enormous oyster mushrooms that stand in for chicken have a meaty mouthfeel. Shouk coats them in panko breadcrumbs. The larger flakes lead to a crispier end result. The sturdy pita sandwich that travels well also contains green cabbage, pickles, and spicy harissa mayo. Try one with a side of sweet potato fries. Shouk has locations in Mount Vernon Triangle and near Union Market that are open from 11 a.m. to 8 p.m. daily. You can also order Shouk for delivery through third-party apps.
FEDPIG Melt at Fedwich ($14)
Kramers, 1517 Connecticut Ave. NW, kramers.com/fedwich
Pitmaster Rob Sonderman doesn’t want Washingtonians wavering between a grilled cheese and pulled pork. He combines the best of both sandwiches with his FEDPIG Melt stuffed with pulled pork smoked over a mix of red and white oak, melted cheddar and jack cheeses, and mild barbecue sauce on Texas toast. He’s never been able to serve such a sandwich before because his Adams Morgan restaurant, Federalist Pig, doesn’t have a flat top grill. His Fedwich spinoff, which operates out of Kramers, has the right equipment to bring this indulgent sandwich to fruition. Order Fedwich sandwiches and pouched cocktails for pick-up or delivery Sundays through Thursdays from 11 a.m. to 9 p.m. and Fridays and Saturdays from 11 a.m. to 10 p.m.
Honey Butter Fried Chicken at Roaming Rooster ($9)
Multiple locations, roamingroosterdc.com
Fans of chicken and waffles should score this sandwich as soon as possible. The frothy honey butter lather gives it the same sweet and savory quality as the iconic brunch dish. The idea though, started with pancakes. “The idea came from my brother,” co-owner Michael Habtemariam explains. “We were reading a lot of food magazines and watched a lot of shows on Food Network and we saw this honey butter recipe for pancakes. Why don’t we try this?”
Roaming Rooster’s fried chicken sandwiches stand out because they use free-range, grain-fed chicken and nail the fry every time. The honey butter sandwich comes with cheddar cheese, honey butter, and a buttermilk-brined chicken breast. Customers can choose to add heat from mild to medium to hot. “If you put some heat in it, it compliments with the honey butter and gives you a different kind of flavor,” Habtemariam says.
Roaming Rooster currently has three D.C. locations: U Street (1301 U St. NW), Woodridge (3176 Bladensburg Road NE), and Tenleytown (4600 Wisconsin Ave. NW). More are on the way. They’re all open from 11 a.m. to 10 p.m. daily. Tenleytown closes two hours early on Sundays. Delivery is available through third-party apps.
Pan Con Chicharrón at Peruvian Brothers ($10)
La Cosecha, 1280 4th St. NE, (703)-625-6473, peruvianbrothers.com
Peruvian Brothers’ signature dish stands out because each bite marries earthy sweet potatoes with the saltiness of the slow-roasted pork. Potatoes are Peru’s forte, and this monster sandwich proves spuds belong between bread. “The sweet potatoes are from Peru and the pigs came with the Spanish in one of their first trips to the New World,” co-owner Giuseppe Lanzone explains. They finish the sandwich off with a biting salsa criolla on a French roll. Peruvian Brothers started as a food truck and now has a brick-and-mortar restaurant inside Latin marketplace La Cosecha. It’s open for takeout, delivery, and dine-in Tuesdays through Thursdays from 10 a.m. to 8 p.m., Fridays and Saturdays from 10 a.m. to 9 p.m., and Sundays from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m.