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Monday, August 18, 2008

Thing 121: Mangialardo's

Where oh where has DC365 gone? Don't worry, I haven't packed up and moved to some exotic locale and started LA365 or Boston365 or (sadly) Paris365. And no, I'm not lying dead in a gutter somewhere, but thanks for worrying, Mom. It's just that it's summertime, and when I'm not at work, I'm by the pool or gardening, and frankly, I don't even feel sorry about it.

However, to make up for my prolonged absence, loyal reader, I will be posting a new Thing every day this week. It'll be like NaBloPoMo, except that I won't want to kill myself at the end.

And now, for the first Thing of the week, I'd like to present to you my sandwich that I ate for lunch today. Readers, meet Sandwich:

Mangialardo Sub
Yes today, I finally made it over to the fabled sandwich shop Mangialardo's. Though still technically on the Hill, it is just far enough from my office that it is off the radar from places I'd normally go at lunch time. It's a little further up from Pacific Cafe, but not quite as far Trusty's. But today, I had to go to the hardware store at lunch, and while I was up there I found it hard to resist the magnetic pull of Italian cold cuts. So I just kept walking until I reached the small store front.

Mangialardo's is nothing to look at. On a nondescript, slightly run down block, and old faded sign announcing Mangialardo & Sons ITALIAN DELI. Inside, decorations are minimal and seating is nonexistent. Drink coolers run along one wall of the narrow space, and a scattering of Italian canned goods line the shelves of the other wall. At the back, two women take sandwich orders, and behind them, hidden behind a wall, these magical sandwiches are made.

Magical because...well, look at it again:

Mangialardo Italian Cold Cut Sub

This is the Italian Cold Cut, their most basic sub. Thick layers of Italian cured pork, a slice of cheese, hot peppers, onions, tomatoes and lettuce on a soft roll. Salty and porky and spicy and sweet, my mouth is still a bit fiery from those canned hot peppers and the black peppercorns from one of the cold cuts.

The clientele knows it's in for a delicious meal -- none of the usual suspects from Congressional offices have made their way this east. Instead, it's a mix of hospital workers and construction workers, teachers and nurses. The cashier, a Mangialardo grandson, seems to know most of them by name, as does the woman taking the sandwich orders. This is an addictive sort of place, that makes for loyal customers.

This place falls just short of the Italian Store, and isn't as good as Salumi (but that isn't fair because Salumi makes the best sandwiches, well, ever). But it's one of the best sandwiches in the District of Columbia, and it's certainly the best within walking distance of my office. If you find yourself nearby, you simply must stop in for lunch.

I love a good sandwich, leave a comment about your favorite sandwich place that I simply must try!

Coming up: Labor Day weekend is fast approaching. See my plan for a Perfect 3 Day weekend.