Potomac gets a taste of the Big Apple at Brooklyn's Deli & Catering, where caraway seed-spangled rye bread bookends stacks of pastrami, corned beef, and brisket. All of this meat is slow-cooked on-site and sliced paper-thin—owner Guy Brandt won't have it done any other way. His sandwiches range from standbys like tuna melts and Philly cheesesteaks to specialty items, such as the Esther's Delight: pastrami, cole slaw, and Russian dressing on pumpernickel.
The deli delivers more than just sandwiches, though. There's matzoh ball soup and stuffed cabbage, plus Dr. Brown's soda for washing it all down. Rugelach and hamentaschen also sit enticingly on the counter, awaiting the universal signal for dessert: three belly-pats in quick succession.
The scents of made-to-order sandwiches first started wafting from the doors of The Woodside Deli in 1947, when it began meeting the lunching, snacking, and catering needs of the residents of Silver Spring. Decades of success saw the business overgrow its original location and expand to one in Rockville, where a restaurant menu offers up chewy bagels, meaty diner fare, and philly cheesesteaks dripping with melted provolone cheese. High Holiday and Passover menus offer kosher treats, and catering services can fill bellies at bar or bat mitzvahs, corporate events, and baby’s-first-tax-return parties.
If your event is in the morning, The Bean Bag offers a breakfast and brunch catering solution. Packages range from $4.49 per person for the bagel platter to $15.95 per person for the complete breakfast buffet. Or you can spoil partygoers with cappuccino and smoothie service, complete with a server and a variety of choices for up to 300 people and beyond. Provide lunch or dinner featuring sandwiches or one giant 5-foot ultimate sub ($99.95) that will drop jaws and fill them with layers of bread, deli meat, and fixins. Check the catering section on The Bean Bag's site for more of its established offerings, though these ever-accommodating caterers are always happy to discuss customized solutions.
Although homemade prepared meals are the main business at Vignola Gourmet, the chefs also roll out Italian arancini rice balls stuffed with cheese and peas, stack hearty sub sandwiches, and twirl pasta with tomato sauce and parmesan cheese. The hand-lettered chalkboard sign keeps track of the kitchen's other recipes, such as classic caprese subs with mozzarella and tomato, as well as tortellini salad and meatballs served à la carte.
Surprising as it sounds, tasty, fresh-baked bagels are hard to come by in Washington, DC. Thank goodness for Pumpernickels Bagelry & Delicatessen, located in the city’s Chevy Chase neighborhood. Sure, the place serves pizza, sandwiches and cold side salads, but the star of the show is the bagel – toasted, served with a schmear, or as the basis for a breakfast sandwich. Pumpernickels offers the usual suspects, including poppy, cheddar cheese, onion and rye, but also creates fresh blueberry bagels, sun-dried tomato bagels and, of course, pumpernickel bagels. They serve some kosher meats, and vegetarian options include a breakfast scramble made with tofu. Further guilt-free options extend into lunch, with meatless versions of meatball and parmesan subs and a vegan BLT. Grab one of the few outdoor tables or plan on taking your meal to go; this is a tiny operation, light on amenities and short on space.
The iced rounds are made with the same careful devotion that Bundles of Cookies' sweet-savvy staff put into their decorated cookies. They're hand-rolled, cut, and carefully iced one at a time. Bundles of Cookies' owner, Sarah Kerchner, believes that cookies cause smiles, and a dozen smiles cause the clouds to form delightful shapes.