Words and photos: Stephanie Breijo
There are few things more rewarding than a stop at Red Apron; whether you’re looking for a hot meatball sub, some handmade charcuterie or fresh cuts from whole-animal butchery, Nathan Anda has you covered. The Neighborhood Restaurant Group butcher has you covered on all fronts, in fact, once his Red Apron Penn Quarter location opens tomorrow.
Starting at 7:30am this Wednesday longtime fans and newcomers to The Cult of Anda can enjoy his trademark meat selections, made-to-order deli sandwiches, gourmet sides, blue plate specials, artisanal spreads, sandwiches to go, and, most importantly, breakfast every day of the week.
Anda, who opened both his Union Market and Mosaic District locations roughly one year ago, has been playing with breakfast items for even longer. Now in the heart of downtown D.C. he and Chef Ed Witt can cater to locals and nine-to-fivers alike with items like the Buenos Dias (egg, chorizo, cheddar, pickled onion, sour cream on toasted tigelle), the Morning Meatball (breakfast meatball, red eye gravy on toasted tigelle), the Southern Comfort (tasso ham, egg, spicy pimento cheese on toasted tigelle) and the Honey Ricotta (smoked pine nuts, gala apple on toasted tigelle).
If you read through that last paragraph stumped by the reoccurring tigelle, we don’t blame you. The English Muffin-shaped disc native to Italy is incredibly hard to find, outdated even. Its consistency–more akin to crumpet than muffin–serves as a great avenue for the charcuterie, breakfast sandwiches, spreads, etc. It’s an item Anda’s been perfecting since before he opened the first Red Apron; a flatbread dough which ferments about 36 hours and whose iron molds had to be tracked down in Italy and shipped all the way back to the DMV.
For lunch they’ll serve all the Red Apron favorites like the Porkstrami (Pastrami-style pork, mustard aioli, bacon-braised sauerkraut, baguette), the Meatball (pork meatballs, tomato sauce, salsa verde, grana padano, baguette), the Red Apron Original Burger (beef burger, cheddar, shredded iceberg, island sauce, onion, pickles, tomato, kaiser roll ), as well as a play on their Beef and Cheddar sandwich (rare roast beef, atomic cheese wiz, ranch aioli, kaiser roll), which now includes hot pepper oil.
Tiffany MacIsaac, another Neighborhood Restaurant Group star, is baking all the bread for Red Apron’s lunch sandwiches as well as making and pudding cups ready to go. In fact, the to-go case will be stocked with puddings, marinated artichokes, gallons of fresh milk, cartons of eggs, carryout sides, bolognese, sloppy joe filling and more.
Add to that the blue plate specials and daily rotisserie options–whole chickens and shawarma, anyone?–and the walls of gourmet condiments, Anda’s own in-house rubs and spices, jams and jellies, and you’ve got a perfect meal in-house or in your own.
Red Apron is located at 709 D Street NW, open Monday – Friday from 7:30am to 8:00pm, on Saturday from 9:00am to 8:00pm, and on Sunday from 9:00am to 5:00pm.