Saturday, August 16, 2014

Jetties (Washington, DC)

So as my consistent readers know, I have primarily written about western Massachusetts, the Boston area, and the Portland, Maine area over the life of this page.  Now, however, I have moved, as I decided to go back to school, and thus find myself for at least the next two years a resident of Arlington, VA.  This will give me a huge amount of new opportunities to try restaurants and beers, though seeing as I am now a grad student and no longer gainfully employed (for the time, at least) my options will be limited.  That said, I can't wait to try all sorts of new places, and I am incredibly excited to review them for you!

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Jetties is a small, four location local chain of sandwich shops in and around DC, with locations on Foxhall Rd, Macomb St, in downtown on Eye St, and in Bethesda on Fairmont Ave.  I had lunch today at the Foxhall location, and despite arriving at the tail end of the lunch hour, the place was absolutely packed; good sign.  With ample outdoor seating, a clear dog-friendly policy (several people had their dogs there, and they clearly did not mind if someone filled up a dog bowl with water), and a nice location near Georgetown University, the French Embassy, and American University, this is a great place for college kids, tourists, and locals alike.  Everything seems to run like a top, as their system of ordering is quite simple: you grab a pre-printed "menu" for either sandwiches, salads, or kids sandwiches; write your name on it; and either select from their list or design your own.  You then hand it to the check-out person, pay, and await your sandwich. 

I selected the Surfside (the whole place actually is "surf-inspired"), with roasted turkey, Havarti, bacon, avocado, and whole grain mustard, on sourdough.  I was instantly impressed when I saw the roasted turkey breast sitting on a butcher's block, and someone slicing off large hunks of it for sandwiches.  This was clearly no ordinary compressed deli "meat," but obviously roasted in house, and it looked absolutely delicious, as did all the other ingredients, most assuredly fresh as well.  The giant hotel pan of bacon was not a bad sign either.

When I got my sandwich (after a wait of about five minutes, I would say; not bad, considering the number of people still ordering a little after 1:00pm), and grabbed a seat, it was all I could do not to just destroy the sandwich.  Thankfully I was not alone, and thus forced to savor it, and boy am I glad I did.  The turkey was perfect, not entirely overcooked like most poultry (though I would have cooked it a little less, but that is true of almost everything, and would make serving it to the majority of people difficult) so it was not too dry, though being white meat it was not exactly moist either.  The bacon was crisp but not crunchy, perfect for a sandwich where you do not want to risk it disintegrating on the first bite, while the avocado added a smooth, creamy texture and fattiness that was just fantastic.  While Havarti is among my favorite sandwich cheeses, it was a little lost here; something more prominent, like very sharp cheddar (Cabot Seriously Sharp, anyone?) or even a (gasp!) Swiss would have been better choices in my mind.

Bread being a key ingredient of any sandwich, I should mention that the sourdough used in this sandwich was really good, very fresh tasting, with just a hint of that classic sour flavor.  It held up well to the sandwich, not falling apart of becoming soggy in the least, and it had a nice crust that provided just the right amount of bite.  Less successful, though not for any real reason other than getting lost (in much the same way as the cheese), was the mustard; I barely tasted it, and while it was not needed necessarily, a good spiciness would have been a good addition.  I suspect it was simply an issue of not having enough applied because many people would not want a huge amount of it, but for me, it lacked the mustard flavor.

All in all, I had a great sandwich, which could have used some minor alterations, but nothing earth shattering, and the menu looks like there are several more I should be trying, not the least of which is the "Nobadeer," a Thanksgiving themed sandwich with roast turkey, stuffing, cranberry sauce and mayo on sourdough.  There are also several vegetarian items and a lobster roll, though having lived part time in Maine for most of my life I have an issue ordering them south of Kittery.  There are more than enough options between salads and sandwiches to make just about anyone happy, and I highly recommend checking it out.

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