I was feeling happy-go-lucky one Saturday morning until I got the bill at DGS. I ordered the pastrami, which takes over a week to make and is massaged by hand for three hours a day (ok that last part may be a lie). $13.
I couldn’t pass up the matzo ball soup. $7.
As I was waiting for my to-go order, I overheard the bartender pushing the DGS Bloody Mary on another patron, so my upbeat self said “hey can I have one too?” $10.
Plus tax and tip. $40. Yes, I was generous on the tip and no it wasn’t well deserved. More on that later.
I know these prices don’t seem patently unreasonable. Yet, on closer inspection, the food and the experience weren’t worth the price tag. The sandwich was good, but not that impressive. Plus, whoever layered the strips onto the bread, lined up all the fat on one end. So for half of my sandwich, I was biting into pure gristle. The matzo ball soup was awesome but small. The Bloody Mary was mediocre, in a small glass with ice and celery taking up most of the real estate, AND they don’t do spicy, according to the bartender. What self-respecting Bloody Mary provider does not do spicy. Oh, wait, here’s some house made hot sauce and cracked pepper to spice up your drink. Thanks….
As for the service, the bartender was not good at multi-tasking. I sat at a nearly empty bar for a few minutes before any eye contact or verbal acknowledgment because the bartender was having what can only be called as involved small talk with the only other two patrons at the bar.
The best part of the experience was the lady that walked up to the bar a few minutes after I sat down. She was trying to place a to-go order for her son or husband or some other beloved man in her life. She ordered the pastrami and had a very drawn out conversation with the bartender about what toppings she could get:
Can I get mayo? (No)
He likes his sandwiches smothered in cheese, can we add cheese? (No)
Can I swap out the mustard for cole slaw? (Um, we can hold the mustard and add a side of cole slaw that your prince can physically place on top of the meat with his delicate hands).
Ok, can I add lettuce and tomato? (That’s not really an option, ma’am).
Wait, this sandwich is $13??? It better be really good. I’m used to paying $5 for a sandwich. (Yes, it’s really good. Trust me).
Well, said, lady. By the way, where’s the nearest Subway? Pot Belly? I could go for a six inch, smothered in cheese and topped with lettuce and tomato.
All kidding aside, I’m willing to pay considerably more than $5 for a good sandwich as long as I feel I’ve gotten my money’s worth. I’m not sure DGS has convinced me of that yet, but I may give them another shot.
1317 Connecticut Ave NW
Hours: Mon-Fri: 11:30am-2pm, Sat-Sun: 11am-2:30pm
Sun-Thurs: 5:30 – 10pm