Why I Love Taylor Gourmet (A Very Biased Review)

by Borderstan.com January 5, 2012 at 2:00 pm 3,055 1 Comment

"Borderstan" "Taylor"

It’s easy to see why Ashley loves Taylor Gourmet. (Ashley Lusk)

From Ashley Lusk. Check out her blog, Metropoetrylis. Find her on Twitter @arlusk or email her.

Borderstan readers, I want you to know that this review is completely biased. I love Taylor Gourmet sandwiches so much so that I spent my anniversary at their new restaurant, enjoying orange Pellagrino with my significant other. That being said, here are a bunch of reasons why the sandwiches at Taylor Gourmet are worth the $7.10 for the 6-inch or $9.50 for the 12-inch.

The new Taylor Gourmet opened on 14th street on Tuesday and if there was a seeming lack of line, it wasn’t for a lacking of buzz. Owners Casey Patten and David Mazza opened their fourth store of gourmet hoagies just in time to greet customers coming in from the blustery cold with a hot marinara sauce. The hoagies, named after streets in Philadelphia, are homage to their Pennsylvania roots and work to fill a deep-seated desire in the two best friends for a quality sandwich.

What’s a hoagie, you ask? It’s a sub! Wikipedia: “The sandwich originated in several different Italian American communities in the Northeastern United States from the late 19th to mid 20th centuries.”

“We spent a couple of years trying to find something that filled that void. We invested in some property on H Street and… I said, we’re going to build a hoagie shop,” said Patten.

The hoagies are the star here, but you can also get a solid salad and sides, like risotto balls or fried ravioli. Patten’s favorite cold hoagie is the 9th Street Italian — salami, capicola, prosciutto and provolone — but he also recommends the Pattison Avenue (roasted pork and provolone), particularly for the salted broccoli rabe.

Their vegetarian sandwiches are a welcome step away from the typical grilled vegetables seen at many places. My perennial favorite is the Christian Street — goat cheese, arugula, roasted peppers and beefy strips of portabella. Tip: Pay the extra $2.40 for the 12-inch hoagie, keep half and you’ve got lunch the next day!

Taylor Gourmet is meant to be a neighborhood establishment–a place for people to congregate, to meet for lunch or dinner. “It’s a phenomenal neighborhood,” said Patten, a former Borderstan resident, “14th Street has a lot of energy.”

The interior of the new restaurant exudes the kind of enthusiasm Patten describes. With a light installation made of drywall buckets and reclaimed wood throughout the dining area, the restaurant is well situated among the eclectic and original stores along 14th Street.

“I’m a fan of contemporary furnishings — what we’ve done at all the stores is to make it contemporary, with rustic elements. Reclaimed wood, raw steel, a hundred dry wall buckets. It’s comfortable, we want to make people feel at home to a degree,” says Patten.

Patten is pretty complimentary of his new neighbors too — asked about his favorite places in Borderstan he admitted to spending “one too many late nights at Black Jack,” and regularly enjoys Pearl Dive Oyster Palace, Estadio and Mandu. And outside Borderstan? “My go to place, if I have time, is Pasta Mia (in Adams Morgan). It feels like my mom or my grandma’s cooking to me. Good simple, American-Italian food, there is something very comforting about it.”

Get your fix of Taylor Gourmet. If you’re like me, you’ll know the names of the staff making your sandwich soon enough.

Taylor Gourmet: The Details

  • Where Am I Going?1908 14th Street NW, below District Yoga
  • When Am I Going? Sunday to Wednesday 11 am to 10 pm; Thursday, 11 am to 2:30 am; Friday and Saturday, 11 am to 3:30 am.
  • Delivery? Yes, but delivery lines are still being drawn. $2 surcharge and $18 minimum.
  • Paycheck Pain? $7.10 for a 6-inch hoagie, $9.50 for a 12-inch hoagie.
  • Say What? A good beat going over the speakers, but my guess is that once people find out about this place, much louder.
  • What You’ll Be Eating: Philly-style hoagies with fresh ingredients.


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