20 May

There are a few places in the District that I visit with almost ridiculous frequency. The kind of place whose name pops up on my credit card statement every week. The kind of place where I’m pretty sure I cover their water bill on a monthly basis. One of these very select few is Taylor Gourmet Deli. I love me some Taylor’s. If you have never been to one of their two delis (there is one in the Atlas District and one in Chinatown), go.

Top Sandwich

Taylor’s was founded by two Philadelphia natives who were tired of the lack of hoagie options in the District, so they decided to make a go of hoagie production themselves. They bring the bread in from Philadelphia and source all their meats and cheeses from Italy. This is a sandwich shop that takes its hoagies mighty seriously.  Just to make me love them more they also take being green seriously. EVERYTHING in their restaurant is repurposed, from the 5-gallon bucket light fixtures, to the garage door that serves as the front of the space, allowing them to open it up when the weather cooperates. Hoagies with principles, I like that.

So Tasty Right Now

I have never tried a sandwich that I disliked at Taylor’s (and they have a lot of them) but I do play favorites and one of them is the Columbus Boulevard. It features salty prosciutto, roasted red peppers and mozzarella. The saltiness of the prosciutto is cut by the fresh mozzarella, which is far from the tasteless rubbery stuff so many places use, and the brine from the peppers is all soaked up by that famous soft bread. Win. This winter I discovered their hot roast pork hoagies and have been ordering the Pattison Avenue ever since. Shaved roast pork, topped with spicy broccoli rabe and sharp provolone that is aged long enough to legally drink… to that I say, Yes and Please.

Baby Pasta

Taylor’s doesn’t stop tempting you there. As the weather gets warmer I’ve gravitated toward their pastina salads with heaps of arugula with teeny tiny pasta in a simple vinaigrette. My favorite, the Fairmount Park, adds gorgonzola, sundried tomatoes and red onion. Top it with grilled chicken for $2 extra and you’ve got a salad big enough for two meals (though to be honest I never make it quite that far). Their fritto menu of fried treats is also worth a look: fried risotto, mozzarella and ravioli, they are quite tasty especially after a night of one drink too many.

Just to cap all that off they also have an Italian market place where they sell beer, wine, gelato and the like. To me the reason Taylor’s does so well is that they keep it simple, really good sandwiches, a few good salads and some extras; and a local institution that stands behind a simple (yet very tasty product) is defiantly a win in my book.



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