May 3, 2012

Devon & Blakely

Location: Multiple, but I went to 1331 F St NW (Metro Center Red/Blue/Orange)
Cost: $10
Devon & Blakely (Dc) on Urbanspoon

Today was a day of accomplishment.  For starters, I passed my required urine tox screen for employment.  I know...phew, close one.  After making sure I would actually have gainful employment for the next 12 months, I pulled the trigger and signed the lease on a new apartment after 3 arduous days of hunting across the city.  Not bad for a day's work, am I right?

Having knocked out two of life's criteria for becoming a real-life adult (the third being knowing how to iron your own clothes...and actually doing it), I decided to spend the rest of the day doing what my people are best known for: gawking at tourist attractions and taking lots of pictures.  But more on that later; first, I had to address the fire in my belly.  No, I'm not talking about the ridiculously spicy chinese food my relatives took me out to the night before.  It was 3pm and I hadn't had lunch yet - I was famished.

I decided to head toward the National Mall and grab something to eat on the way.  Unbeknownst to me, I found myself walking toward the White House without any signs or guideposts.  It's a natural instinct inherent in every American - try it out the next time you're in the area!

Close to 1600 Pennsylvania Ave, I stumbled across Devon & Blakely and decided to walk in.  Very delicatessen-meets-cherrywood laminate feel, but it sure was classy.  As I walked around, eyes darting from their sandwiches to salads to soups, the sammy guy from behind the counter struck up conversation.  Apparently, Devon & Blakely is a new-ish deli chain trying to make a name for itself in the DC area.  Less apparently, they offer free delivery at lunchtime; time to make good on my vow to order delivery while stuck in Beltway traffic?

After scoping the place out, I decided that only a sandwich would provide enough calories to carry me through all the gawking and picture taking ahead of me.  One of their sandwich signs caught my eye - Crab Cake.  That's right!  I've been in Maryland for the better part of a week and still have yet to have any crab.  Shameful!  Buuuuuuut Sammy said they ran out of that sandwich hours ago.  Two lessons: come early if you want their popular specialty sandwiches, and always make crab your first meal in the state of Maryland.  Don't make the same mistakes I did!

With my first choice out of the way, I made Blackened Chicken my silver medal.  They throw that bad boy on the panini grill to warm it up and give it that extra crispy taste that I absolutely love.  Wrapped it up in aluminum foil and tossed into a bag a la Potbelly's.  You actually pay at the cash register before you eat, a phenomenon I was made painfully aware of after I had sat down and opened my sandwich.

Nevertheless, the sandwich hit the spot, and in all the right places.  Structurally, it's a pretty simple thing - blackened seasoned chicken, tomatoes, and Creole mayonnaise on French bread - but it came together oh so beautifully.  The Creole mayonnaise was the key, the glue that held the sandwich together, gave it a nice kick, and rounded out the flavor profile of the sandwich.  Tomatoes provided an important contribution as well: moisture.

As for being a good tourist and taking pictures of the Mall from every possible angle, I gotta say I was pretty impressed with myself.  I happened to walk by the White House just in time to see the Presidential Motorcade driving Barack Obama 2 blocks down the street to a fundraiser at the Hotel Washington.  Proof, you say?

(Well, they didn't let me stand that close to the President)

For giving me the energy to bear the torch of my monument-loving forefathers, Devon & Blakely earns 4 Cherries.


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