Furstenberg’s Departure from G Street: What Does It Say About D.C.?
We all know how hard it is to get a good, gourmet sandwich in this town. Well, it got a lot harder yesterday with the news, via WaPo's Tom Sietsema, that master baker Mark Furstenberg has decided to leave G Street Food, the once-and-former street food operation that turns out an excellent banh mi.
Y&H caught up with Furstenberg yesterday morning to ask him if selling street food from a brick-and-mortar building was a concept doomed to fail from the start — or if Washingtonians just aren't into street food. My question is based on an unavoidable fact: not enough people are eating at G Street, which has forced the owners to start looking for ways to cut costs, a situation that did not always sit well with a perfectionist like Furstenberg.
"I just think that at G Street, we needed more time to get this established," the Bread Line founder told Y&H. "I don't know if there's any reason that this can't be moved inside."
Furstenberg has an alternative theory as to why G Street Food hasn't attracted the numbers it had originally envisioned: People don't want to think about food during lunch.
"I think I underestimated the degree to which people want comfort food for lunch," Furstenberg says. "They don't want to be distracted by food."
People, in other words, don't necessarily want to ponder (or luxuriate in) their meal during lunch time. They want something familiar and something quick.
Furstenberg may be onto something here. What do you think, Y&H Nation? Do you want to stretch the limits of your palate during lunch, during a potentially stressful work day, or do you just want comfort foods? E-mail me and let me know your thoughts.
Photo by Darrow Montgomery