Photograph by Darrow Montgomery
Even a year ago, would you have even bothered pondering the city’s best deli meats? Sure, there were standbys like the meat counters at the Parkway Deli in Silver Spring and Wagshal’s in upper, upper Upper Northwest—plus a handful of restaurants, like Star and Shamrock, that could turn out a passable reuben. But serious pastrami? Finally, we have some options. The briney, unusually thick slices at Dupont’s new DGS Delicatessen are worth repeat visits, but it’s the pastrami at Stachowski Market & Deli—the Georgetown butcher shop opened by sausage-maker and former Restaurant Kolumbia chef Jamie Stachowski last year—whose aroma I sometimes find myself dreaming of during weaker, hungrier moments. Committing to Stachowski’s pastrami sandwich is kind of like lighting up a particularly pungent cigar—that smoke will stick on your fingers for hours. But once you let those salty, marbled slices melt into your tongue, it’s worth it.