A few days after I returned from two weeks in Italy, I had a hankering for a kind of sandwich you see everywhere there but almost nowhere in this country. The bread is thick and hearty in texture, the meats are vividly fresh, the lettuce, tomatoes and other vegetables are crisp and refreshing, and the sauces and dressings don't take over. And then my colleague Steve St. John--the best voice in our radio facility--handed me half a sandwich made of thickly sliced, recently-roasted turkey, some very good kind of white cheese, ripe tomatoes and very leafy lettuce. All of this was enclosed in pretzel bread (imagine a soft pretzel made to block the holes, and without the salt). My first reaction upon taking a bite was, "this is in the same spirit as those sandwiches I was eating in Italy." Steve said it came from Between The Bread, two blocks from the radio studios. Well. I will try that again.
Between The Bread is a small maker of mostly American sandwiches, serving the people who work in the many law and other offices in the vicinity of Lafayette Square. The place also serves an abbreviated breakfast menu. Historically, such restaurants in that neighborhood, designed as they are for quick service, have rarely been edible, let alone good. But the food here is good enough that some customers come from some remove to eat here.
Between the Bread tapped into the energy of the underserved post-Katrina downtown sandwich market, and became popular almost immediately. Its owners also operate a half-dozen other eateries around town, all different and all good.
This is mostly a take-out shop, with frequent orders for an office full of people coming from the kitchen. The dining room is bright and pleasant with a hushed air and what looks like a predominance of female customers.
The homemade soups are very good. One of them is always offbeat. I wish they were open a little later, but that's my problem.