At Jerusalem Restaurant, cooks take a thoughtful approach to Mediterranean and Middle Eastern cuisine. "The kitchen works with a light touch?a must when it comes to such hearty fare as braised lamb shanks and lamb makluba," wrote a contributor for Washingtonian, which featured the spot as a "Cheap Eats" pick in 2012 and 2013. That light touch carries through to dishes such as Moroccan carrot salad, vegetarian kabobs, and shawarma sandwiches served on fresh, pillowy pita bread. Jerusalem Restaurant also pours a selection of fruit juices and sweetens meals with Lebanese confections such as sweet baklava, creamy om ali, and phyllo dough replicas of the Dead Sea Scrolls.
When the minds behind All About Wings needed to christen their business, they decided not to bury the lede. Chicken wings?whether baked, grilled, or fried?comprise the entirety of the catering company?s menu. That being said, All About Wings? namesake product isn?t limited to a single flavor. Far from it, in fact?the cooks toss wings in more than 35 sauces, from Habanero Orange Zest to Garlic Pepper Boom to nine different incarnations of the buffalo-style sauce alone. All About Wings groups its grub into catering packages to be distributed at various events, including tailgates, weddings, birthday parties, and celebrations of National Guzzle Down 18 Pitchers of Water Day.
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 menu at Austin Grill represents more than 20 years worth of authentic, time-tested Tex-Mex favorites seasoned with 15 different homemade salsas, sauces, and dressings. A belly-filling roadhouse burrito wraps a fresh flour tortilla around seasoned ground beef and beans, all topped with a drizzle of chili con queso and served with a side of rice ($11.99 at lunch, $11.49 at dinner). Put off cumbersome decision-making and sample the country western flavors of the Joe Ely Big Combo, a medley of a grilled chicken taco, a beef barbacoa enchilada with ancho chili sauce, and a hand-rolled chicken tamale topped with Texas chili ($14.99). A multi-colored Bevo Salad blends house greens, cotija cheese, black beans, guacamole, pico de gallo, corn relish, and crispy tortilla strips in tangy cilantro-lime vinaigrette ($7.99 at lunch, $9.99 at dinner). Mosey in on the weekends to lasso southern brunch specials such as the Austin eggs benedict ($11.49) and cornmeal pancakes with eggs and bacon ($9.59). Diners with more particular palates can direct their eyes toward the lengthy gluten-free menu.
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.