Photos By Melissa Groth, Words By Brandon Wetherbee
In a not-at-all shocking statement, the new summer menu items at Taylor Gourmet are good!
It’s somewhat easy to forget about Taylor. It was a relatively big deal when they opened on H Street over 6 years ago. Now they have 10 locations, including one in Reagan. Until yesterday, I had never considered eating at the 14th St NW location. And I like Taylor. It’s easy to forget.
It was a brutally hot day in D.C. yesterday. When we stopped by Taylor it was over 90 degrees and felt like why am I outside? The two summer menu items that stood out were the cucumber side salad (cucumber, Greek feta, red onion, fresh mint, tangy yogurt vinaigrette) and the Orchard hoagie (house herb roasted turkey, firecracker sauce, brie, peach and jalapeno salad). The cucumber salad is an obvious choice on a hot day and the Orchard is so good you don’t mind that it’s 90 degrees outside. This sandwich has to be seasonal due to the peaches so get it as often as possible.
That’s how we ranked our Taylor hoagies. When there isn’t a bad item, it’s more about what goes best with the weather. And the company.
The seasonal risotto balls (roasted corn, chives, smokey bacon, mozzarella served with Parmesan black pepper sauce) are good if you’re with a table of three or more. If you’re getting them and a hoagie, you’re ordering too much. They’re for sharing. Share your balls.
The Randolph (breaded chicken cutlet, sweet chili glaze, cherry pepper mayo, fresh summer slaw, spiced almonds) should not be a summer menu item. It’s meant for cold weather. If it was 50 rather than 90, it would have been perfect. It’s a satisfying mess.
The State (pulled pork, lock & key BBQ sauce, house pickles, nape cabbage slaw) is great if you want to BBQ but it’s going to rain. The slaw keeps it from being a saucy mess and helps give it a bánh mì flavor.
There’s no reason to knock any of these sandwiches. They’re fantastic. It’s just about your setting. If it’s hot, chilly or you want BBQ, you’re set. If you’re craving a hoagie and it’s not one of those three things, just go with a classic like the Pattison or the Broad. Just don’t forget about Taylor. And kudos to Taylor Gourmet for not naming a sandwich after Taylor Swift.