The pastrami sandwich on pumpernickel at Stachowski's Market in Washington, D.C.
Stachowski's pastrami sandwich Credit: Crystal Jones

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Stachowskis Market, a family-owned deli, grocery, and butcher shop in Georgetown, launched in 2008 as a charcuterie business. Three years later, owner Jamie Stachowski expanded the company to include the market.

You’ll find Stachowski’s at the corner of 28th and P street NW. There’s street parking in the neighborhood, or catch the G2 Metrobus that stops outside the store. Look for the red brick row house with the name above the white-trimmed bay window. Step into the market to find shelves full of canned goods, tables lined with fresh produce and hot soup, and refrigerators stocked with housemade sausages and bottled drinks. There is a large display case of cured meats, fresh seafood, and large cuts of steaks, all butchered and prepared in house.

While plenty of customers visit for the market aspect of Stachowski’s, the delicatessen is very popular. A pig-shaped chalkboard listing their sandwich menu is posted next to the meat counter. No customized sandwiches here—they’ve had the same menu since they’ve opened. “The sandwiches came as an afterthought, a few days before we opened. My son said it made sense to sell it, since we had the product to do it,” Stachowski says. These days, they often sell close to 300 sandwiches on a weekend.

The sandwich menu at Stachowski's Market in Washington, D.C.
Stachowski’s sandwich menu Credit: Crystal Jones

They stick with 11 classics for their sandwich menu. The turkey club is made with smoked bacon, Swiss cheese, and sliced avocados. The hot Italian sausage sub is topped with sauteed peppers and onions. Get a meatball sub with marinara and melty provolone. 

Pastrami has always been a big thing for the Stachowski family, natives of Buffalo, New York, and it’s their market’s best-selling sandwich. To prepare it, chefs brine brisket with salt, sugar, and spices for several hours. It’s then coated in lots of black pepper, mustard seeds, and coriander, giving the pastrami a charred appearance. Once it’s smoked, thick slices of hot pastrami are placed between toasted pumpernickel with a schmear of deli mustard. The assembly is very simple, but the flavor was outstanding.

The pastrami wasn’t overly salty, and there wasn’t too much seasoning on the outside. You could see some marbling throughout the slices, as well as that juicy fat cap. There was just enough mustard and it didn’t overpower the meat. The sandwich includes three slices of bread, which are needed to support the pound of pastrami it’s holding together. You will need to stretch your mouth to get a good bite of this one. (Pro tip: pretend you’re yawning.)

The Braunschweiger sandwich at Stachowski's Market in Washington, D.C.
The Braunschweiger sandwich at Stachowski’s Credit: Crystal Jones

The Braunschweiger, made of liverwurst, is the market’s most unique sandwich offering. Liverwurst, a sausage made of pork and beef liver, plus seasonings to enhance the flavor, is traditionally served cold. “You’ll either love it or you’ll hate it,” says Stachowski. The sausage is sliced into thick coins, layered with sweet pickles, mustard, and thinly sliced red onions, and sandwiched between rye bread. I did not know what to expect with this one, and had to remind myself that I’ve consumed some food that sounds much less appetizing than a cold liver sandwich. It’s definitely an acquired taste that I ended up enjoying. The liverwurst flavor was mild with a soft texture, so its toppings balanced it all out.

Stachowski’s offers one or two dinner specials daily, selling up to 50 each evening. Just like their deli sandwiches, the dinners are also kept simple, sticking to hearty and comforting meals. Norvin, the store manager, makes the special based on what proteins are aging, so nothing is being wasted. The daily dinners are meant to feed two, so you’re getting more value for what’s being spent.

Every Sunday, they have half or whole roasted chicken paired with mashed potatoes and gravy. There’s a Friday prime rib dinner, served with Yorkshire pudding, potatoes, and veggies. The rest of the week, they stick to two entrees that oppose each other, like a meat and a seafood, or a salad and a homemade pasta. Their most popular dinner is the baked salmon. It’s seasoned with lemon pepper, then paired with white rice, steamed broccoli, and hollandaise sauce. “We do really simple but well executed dishes,” says Stachowski.

Daily specials are posted on the market’s website, where customers can opt for an email blast to get menu updates. Phone orders get first priority, but walk-in orders are welcome. If there are meals left at the end of the day, they’re packaged and labeled “TV Dinners,” then sold in their market at a discounted price.

Aside from the grocery and butcher side, a hearty and comforting meal is what you’ll get from Stachowski’s. I do not recommend going during lunch, since the hefty sandwiches will make you unproductive for the rest of the day. For me, a long nap is necessary after grabbing food from here.

Stachowski’s Market is open 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. Mondays through Saturdays, and 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. on Sundays. Orders can be placed online, by phone, or in person. Sandwich and dinner special prices range from $9 to $27. 

The interior of Stachowski's Market in Washington, D.C.
Credit: Crystal Jones

1425 28th St. NW,