After reading about Taylor Gourmet in Tim Carman’s annual Washington City Paper Dining Guide, I knew I had to try one of their famed roast pork hoagies before I left DC (note: I’m in Los Angeles for the next couple weeks!). To make the sandwich, Taylor Gourmet co-founder Casey Patten marinates Niman Ranch pork shoulders overnight with salt, thyme, rosemary, and garlic and then slow-roasts it for about four hours until they’re juicy and tender. He finishes the pork with a homemade pork stock for extra moisture and intense flavor.
The meat isn’t the only ingredient getting star treatment at this sandwich shop. Breads are also taken very seriously–so seriously, in fact, that owners Casey Patten and David Mazza have their rolls driven in everyday from Sarcone’s, an Italian bakery in Philadelphia that’s been in business since 1918.
Taylor’s commitment to top-notch ingredients certainly shined through in the Market Street ($7.20 for a 6″) sandwich I ordered. Every component was fresh as can be: warm sliced pork topped with sprightly green arugula, sweet roasted red peppers, and bite-sized chunks of fresh mozzarella, all packed into one of those famous Sarcone’s sub rolls. The roll was crusty enough to hold together, even with the generous amount of fillings, and anchored the sub nicely.
Based on my first experience at Taylor, I’d love to come back and try some of their other subs–like the South Street made with tomato, pesto, goat cheese, and your choice of breaded or grilled chicken. Or their newest creation, the Cherry Street, slow-roasted slices of rosy-pink beef topped with double-cream brie, roasted garlic spread, and a handful of arugula served on that unforgettable Sarcone’s roll. All of Taylor’s subs are named after streets in Philadephia, paying homage to the owners’ hometown. And best of all, nothing on the menu tops $10–a steal for sandwiches made from such high-quality ingredients.
The aesthetic at Taylor Gourmet is just as pleasing as the food: spare and modern, with exposed brick walls, wood tables, and black industrial light fixtures hanging from the ceiling. I’m not sure if this is the case at the H St. location, but the K St. location opens up to the street, letting in lots of fresh air and sunlight during the day. The only problem is that plenty of heat and humidity are let in as well, making for a somewhat uncomfortable dining experience temperature-wise. If it’s like this all the time, especially during in the summer, I’d probably go for take-out instead.
485 K St. NW
Washington, DC 20001
1116 H St. NE
Washington, DC 20002