The first time I ever walked past DGS, I looked into the window and saw a large group of college-aged friends enjoying a meal together. The guy at the head of the table noticed that my gaze was on their food so he pointed to his corned beef sandwich, gave it a thumbs up and made a beckoning motion towards me, letting me know that the food was good.
I didn’t have to stop in then, but when my aunt was in town, I took her to DGS to see if this approving customer was correct with his assessment.
Located barely a block away from Dupont Circle, DGS is a sit-down version of a classic deli. The “modern Jewish cookery” features dishes like pastrami sandwiches and matzo ball soup in a modern yet homey venue.
I went on a Sunday when they were serving “brunch.” Their brunch menu is basically a condensed version of their everyday menu with some egg dishes. I didn’t know they were serving brunch so I ended up choosing less brunchy and more lunchy menu items.
My aunt and I started with the House Salad ($8). It came with chickpeas, carrots, wheat berries and caraway vin on mixed greens. The salad was very fresh and each bite had new flavor and texture. The carrots were prepared in a way that reminded me of sweet potatoes; I liked the sweetness they added to the salad.
Next I had the Corned Beef Sandwich($13), which was served with their house mustard on double baked rye and with a pickle. The sandwich was tasty, but I was expecting it to be much bigger and the meat to be less lean (I had a gargantuan corned beef sandwich at a cheap diner in Montréal, so this was my point of comparison). The seeds on the crust of the bread kind of ruined the flavor of the meat for me, but the crust-less middle areas were good.
Since the sandwiches don’t really come with a side (which kind of bothered me because it cost enough for there to be one), my aunt and I shared the Patatas Bravas a la Judea ($5). They were home fries covered with sour cream and Harissa, which is a hot chili sauce. I really liked how the sour cream cooled the spiciness of the red sauce. The potatoes would have been bland without the toppings.
For dessert, I wanted to try GBD doughnuts, which had supposedly opened next door. It was closed, but fortunately for us, we got a doughnut dessert at DGS. We ordered the Teiglach ($7), Hungarian doughnuts with hazelnut brittle. They were like beignets – puffy, fried balls of dough – drizzled with honey and topped with toffeed sliced hazelnuts. The teiglach were served served hot and fresh in a cast iron skillet. I thought the doughnuts were missing something though, like a creamy center or dipping sauce. They were too plain.
Despite the seemingly small portions at DGS, I was full pretty quickly. I wasn’t too impressed with the food I ordered (namely the sandwich), but I’d go back and try something else off the menu like the matzo ball soup or the bread pudding.
1317 Connecticut Ave NW (Dupont Circle)
Washington, DC 20036