Photos By Clarissa Villondo, Words By Maddie Clybourn
World renowned Spanish-American Chef, José Andrés, is a big deal but if small plates and Tapas are your thing, you already knew that. So it’s obvious that his recent D.C. venture, Beefsteak, should be on your radar. Located in Foggy Bottom, you can now enjoy meticulously sourced vegetable bowls, salads and sandwiches on the cheap seven days a week.
The concept is simple: customers can create infinite combinations of flawlessly blanched veggie bowls layered with a choice grain, seed toppings, fresh sauces and protein of choice. If that process is too overwhelming, Andrés crafted four bowl combinations customers can order off the menu. Just to be clear, this is not Chiopotle. The ingredients in every Beefsteak bowl have been carefully curated by Andrés and selected from the highest quality produce in the region, making their slogan “Vegetables unleashed” pretty accurate.
On the summer menu, I sampled the seasonal Gazpacho made daily from a delicately balanced blend of tomatoes, cucumber, red bell peppers and spices. Sold in a convenient to-go bottle, this stuff is basically the nectar of the gods.
Next up was the highly anticipated Beefsteak sandwich. Stacked with a thick slice of tomato, guacamole, pickled red shallots, alfalfa sprouts and caper-herb dijon aioli, my mom will be sad to learn that her tomato sandwich has placed a distant second.
Another addition to the summer menu, the seasonal salad offers a lighter option featuring a vibrant mix of romaine, cherry tomatoes, radish salad, cucumber salad, seaweed salad, scallions, toasted seaweed, and sprouts, and lemon honey dressing.
For their year round offerings, I was able to try the pre-designed Kimchi-wa bowl that features a medley of veggies topped with white rice, yogurt sauce, poached egg, soy ginger dressing, sesame seeds and corn nuts. An employee reaffirmed my choice, “José knows what’s up.” A filling blend of full-bodied Asian flavors and crunchy textures, this will surely become a staple on my lunch break.
Wash that all down with daily squeezed lavender infused lemonade or the perfectly balanced apple ginger beet juice; neither too sweet, both refreshing elixirs for the DC summer heat.
Andrés has really solidified the concept of accessible artisanal food. With everything under $10, this is go-to summer lunch spot for anyone with champagne tastes on a Bud Light budget.