Mike Berman’s Washington Watch

December 3, 2010 8:52 PM

Food: Wagshal’s Delicatessen and Wagshal’s Market

Wagshal’s Delicatessen

4855 Mass Avenue NW
Washington, DC
Open 8 a.m – 8 p.m. M-F
9:00 a.m. – 8:00 p.m. Saturday
9:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m. Sunday

Wagshal’s Market

4845 Mass Avenue NW
Washington, DC
Open 10 a.m. – 8 p.m. M-F
10:00 a.m. – 7:00 p.m. Saturday
10:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m. Sunday
These two stores are under common ownership and general management and in the same small shopping center.

The deli has many fresh salads. My favorites are the shrimp salad, the tomato and onion salad, and the stuffed half potato. There is an array of sandwiches, numbering in the dozens. If you are a beef eater you owe it to yourself to try the brisket sandwich. Various deli meats, cut to order, are also sold by the pound, etc.

The roast chickens (whole or half) are the best in town. The dressing that comes with them is excellent. There are also a number of meat and vegetable pies. There are pre-cooked and chilled meals, a decent cheese section, and a selection of smoked fish. There are dairy products and a variety of soft drinks. It is the only place where I can regularly find Dr. Brown’s Diet Cream Soda. The bakery and pastry section is quite good. There is a substantial wine selection.

If you are a devotee of old style dill pickles and tomatoes, this is the place to go. There is a large barrel next to the deli counter loaded with both. If you would like to get more than one or two pieces (as I do) bring along your own larger size Ziploc bag. The bags provided with the pickles are just too small.

The downside at the deli is that around the noon hour, and sometimes early evening, it is very crowded. The line to order a sandwich, etc. is right next to the line for the cash registers and the two get a bit mixed up. (You can call in an order which will usually be ready when you arrive.)

The "market" is centered by terrific fresh meat and fish counters. The selections might not be as broad as you will find at Whole Foods or Safeway, but the cuts are first rate. There is a great array of homemade sausages. And standing around watching how the store operates, I am struck by the fact that not only can you get terrific food, but you can get simple instructions about how to cook it.

There is a selection of fresh vegetables and fruits. At least the vegetables appear to come from local growers.

During the summer months there is often a garden fresh produce stand just outside the door to the market, and each year a tent is erected and there are cooking demonstrations done in the open air.

Between 10:30 a.m. and 2:30 p.m. each day you can order, and get freshly made, the best turkey burger in town, as well as a hamburger, a veggie burger, and a quarter pound hotdog.

There is also a small salad bar, and a limited supply of soft drinks and juices, and a few small bouquets of flowers.

It is never crowded.

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