I have a love-hate relationship with Taylor Gourmet. I live at 5th and K, so when the second Taylor location opened up there, I was ecstatic.
I nearly tripled my caloric intake with a steady combination diet of salads (no, the salads are not healthy) and subs. I ate there at least 3 times per week. You can’t beat the home-cooked pork, the breaded chicken cutlets, the sharp provolone and, of course, the amazing bread that was driven in fresh from Sarcones in Philly every morning. And, you have to note the disclaimer on the menu that states that they do not make their sandwiches with mayonnaise or mustard. Olive oil and vinegar blend only. I dig that.
But then something went horribly wrong last Fall. The sandwich quality went downhill. Something was different about those huge, fluffy sesame-seed-sub-rolls-of-goodness. So I did what always do when I don’t know the answer to something. I ask Google.
Google told me that they stopped bringing the bread in from Philly (story here). After the initial shock settled in, I decided I couldn’t exactly blame Taylor for doing this. The reason – to reduce their carbon footprint and reliability of supply. I recall numerous times that they had to shut down at 2 or 3 in the afternoon, because they would run out of bread. Aside from that, though, the quality of the sandwiches has dipped (at least at 5th and K). I think they are unable to meet the demand at that location. It’s always jammed, and I think they are overwhelmed by the amount of traffic. I would rather them concentrate on getting back to what made them so great in the first place – a mom and pop-style sub shop. Now, they operate more like a Subway.
Back to Love
That said, the sandwiches are still some of the best in the city (not too much competition here), and I would still recommend them to anyone. My go-to at any sub shop is usually some variation of the classic Italian. But not here. At Taylor, you want to go with the pulled pork (I like the Girard Avenue – pork, provolone, onions and peppers) or a chicken cutlet sandwich (Art Museum – roasted red pepper and provolone). If I’m feeling a salad, I usually get the Lanier Park (I substitute the goat cheese with provolone and add chicken).
I’ll still always be a fan of Taylor Gourmet. But please find a different bread supplier. Let’s bring back the love, shall we?
|Neighborhood:||Mt. Vernon Triangle|
|Address:||485 K St., NW Washington, DC 20001|
|Metro:||Gallery Place/Chinatown and Mt. Vernon Square/Convention Center|
|Serves:||Everyday (11 AM-9 PM)|
|Go for:||9th Street Italian; Arch Street; Girard Avenue; Lanier Park Salad|