Oh man. The DC blogosphere has been positively giddy about the new branch of H Street’s Taylor Gourmet deli. The new location at 5th & K opened this morning. Since I happened to have the day off today, I went over there for lunch to try out what everyone was talking about.
First of all, I love the aesthetic of the place . It’s not easy to pull off a look that is industrial, yet warm and inviting at the same time. Using reclaimed wood on some of the walls and to make the big communal table, for instance, fits with the warehouse-y look and yet also softens the concrete and exposed ducts elsewhere in the room. Even the lighting reflects this aesthetic balance. The hanging lights have lampshades made of either overturned white plastic buckets (which glow softly) or overturned black oil drums whose interiors have been painted a warm red.
But enough about the look. What about the food? I ordered a six-inch Spruce Street sub, which consisted of Taylor home roasted turkey, proscuitto, roasted red peppers, sharp provolone, lettuce, and a light dressing. The turkey was fantastic and flavorful, and the thin, buttery prosciutto was definitely high quality.
Maybe the best part of the sandwich, though, was the bread. Apparently they truck their bread in from Philly every morning, and while normally I’d roll my eyes at something like that, I’m happy to make an exception in this case. One of the main reasons I don’t eat subs all that much is that I hate the big, pillowy, flavorless flour bombs that seem to be the standard bread for such sandwiches. Taylor’s bread had a fantastic crust: thin, almost oily-crisp, with a sprinkling of flavorful sesame seeds on top. The bread underneath the crust was soft and light, with just the right amount of chew.
So now I get what everyone’s been talking about. This is a damn fine sandwich shop. I can only hope that one day Dupont Circle will be lucky enough to get its own branch.