Words by Kaylee Dugan, Photos by Clarissa Villondo
Congratulations, you now have an actual reason to hang out around the Convention Center. Sure, you probably aren’t looking for one. Anyway, you probably go by it once in awhile already to get a drunk at the Columbia Room or grab a cupcake at Buttercream… But you’re not made of money, this isn’t an everyday occurrence. But you know what is an everyday occurrence? Lunch. And on that count, Top Chef Marjorie Meek-Bradley has your back. Her latest project, Smoked & Stacked, is finally opening on September 9. After months of back and forth, and many delays, it’s finally ready to become your go to lunch spot.
It’s a tiny space, with just enough room if you’d prefer to eat your food there or take it back to the office. While the decorations are sparse and minimal, it’s the giant chalkboards that hang above the counter that grab your attention. From signature combinations, to customized sandwiches, to a bevy of sides and beverages, Smoked & Stacked covers all the bases (carnivores, vegetarians, and the gluten free) while also checking off some boxes we didn’t know existed. Like local beers on tap, cold brew from Vigilante Coffee, cheap Tecate, and enough rosé and prosecco for you to throw a bachelorette party. Get ready for more than one drunken lunch break.
I’ve only had the opportunity to try a small portion of the menu, but I can say with certainty, if you work anywhere near the spot, you’re going to crave it all the time. The sandwiches are huge and half would (probably) be enough to fill a full grown adult. The Stacked, which is Meek-Bradley’s personal favorite, is piled high with pastrami, slaw, and dijon all on delectable milkbread. I could barely fit the entire sandwich in my mouth… not that I didn’t try. Meek-Bradley’s other stand out, The Messy, includes sauerkraut, comte, and Russian dressing, which should fulfill any Reuben cravings.
If you’re looking to have one too many proseccos and want something to ease the buzz, spring for one of the platters. The pastrami is, obviously, a good choice, but I just finished eating my weight in their smoked chicken and I can tell you that it’s just as delicious. Moist, smoky, and incredibly flavorful, it’s a damn good choice. For a side, grab yourself some coleslaw and some tabbouleh salad. The coleslaw is some of the best I’ve had in D.C. (and I’m a fucking snob when it comes to coleslaw). It hits that mark right between tangy and creamy that so many places manage to mess up. The tabbouleh, on the other hand, is fresh and springy. It’ll make you feel a little better about all of the meat you’re about to devour.
While Smoked & Stacked was originally imagined as a lunch joint, Chef Meek-Bradley hasn’t stopped there. Monday throug Friday, starting at 8 a.m. they’ll be serving breakfast, a joy for those of us who regularly wander into work with hangovers. It’s a more simple menu, with four different sandwiches featuring eggs and a variety of meats and greens, but what else could you need? Grab a cold brew, grab a beer, and your ready to take on the day.
Smoked & Stacked is located at 1239 9th St NW. They’ll be open at 8 a.m. Monday – Friday and 10 a.m. on Saturday and Sunday.