Young and Hungry

The ‘G-Man’ at Mangialardo and Sons: D.C.’s Quintessential Sandwich

The good folks at GOOD asked Young & Hungry to nominate one sandwich that best represents D.C. for the magazine's forthcoming map of the best creations on bread, state by state. Y&H put the question to readers. You guys overwhelmingly endorsed the "G-man" (pictured) at Mangialardo and Sons on Capitol Hill. A solid nomination. This souped-up Italian sub, piled with ham, salami, mortadella, pepperoni, provolone, fontina and hot peppers, meets all the criteria: demonstrating historical or cultural significance, composed of local ingredients, and supportive of local independent businesses.

How's this for historically and culturally significant? The sub is sort of emblematic of how federal Washington dictates the way local D.C. does business. The legend of the sandwich, according to WaPo, goes something like this: Two FBI agents en route to a Redskins game in the 1970s stop into the mom-and-pops shop on Pennsylvania Avenue SE and demand that owner Antonio Mangialardo whip up something special. This heap of meaty deliciousness is what they get. Word later spreads throughout the Justice Department about the tantalizing creation and soon the tiny deli is crawling with feds requesting that G-man sub. The bread is locally made: hard rolls baked in the District by Catania Bakery; soft rolls come from H&S Bakery in neighboring Baltimore. And the still popular subs keep the family-owned deli rolling along into its 58th year in business.

Check out the nationwide results here.

Photos by Chris Shott

  • RT

    Great nomination.

    I'd say Five Guys burger is metro DC's quintessential sandwich. As much as many might bristle, Alexandria is right across the river from DC and let's not get high and mighty about our tiny geographical boundaries. In most cities the limits stretch dozens of miles to incorporate what would be suburbs.

  • Alex

    This is a great's just too bad the place is only open 7a-3p Monday through Friday, which is the exact hours many of us who live in the neighborhood AREN'T there! But when I have a rare weekday day off, and I'm not sick, I always go over to get one.

  • meanteeth

    @RT-- I think of burgers as burgers, rather than sandwiches.

    LOVE Mangialardo's. I do a lot of construction-related work and one of the things that I rely on to help cooperative relations work is volunteering to do a Mangialardo's run. The restaurant is great with handling call-aheads for large orders, and the whole family-run vibe is so nice.

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  • dave b

    For fans of the G-Man, I recommend the Classic Italian at Litteri's. Same hard roll, but I think it is a little better. It might just be the different dressing and hot peppers though (sometimes banana peppers, sometime hot cherry peppers). I think Mangialardo's hot peppers is just that diced red pepper salsa-like thing, which is good, but I went through a phase where I ate that alot and now am kinda over it. Just my personal preference. Litter's is also open on Saturday til 3pm, so I go there. I'd give Mangialardo's another whirl if I passed by when they are open. Hard sub roll at both places is the key though. The soft roll is like reformed Wonder bread

  • Viss1

    Looks like a good sandwich, but what is unique about it? It's an Italian sub/hoagie/grinder that you can find anywhere in the US.