Need to fuel up before an early morning meeting at the White House? New eatery wtf — short for Woodward Takeout Food — offers great on-the-go options, from flaky ham-and-cheese scones to brawny chicken biscuits to signature quiches with perfectly flaky crusts.
The double-take-worthy eatery wtf was birthed by restaurateurs Jeffrey and Sallie Buben, the husband-and-wife team behind the Fully-Baked Restaurant Group.
Wtf — short for Woodward Takeout Food — joins its fine-dining counterpart, Woodward Table, at 1430 H St. NW as the latest addition to a family that includes the award-winning Bistro Bis (15 E St. NW) and Vidalia (1990 M St. NW).
According to Sallie Buben, adding a grab-and-go option to their portfolio was a no- brainer once they moved into the old Potenza space. The previous tenants had operated a companion bakery in the adjoining annex, so locals were already used to popping by for travel-ready treats.
Carving out this new identity became a team effort, a challenge embraced by wtf’s culinary brain trust: founder Jeffrey Buben, executive sous chef Andrew Cleverdon (a Vidalia alumnus), chef de cuisine Joe Harran (Bistro Bis) and pastry chef Beverly Bates (Vidalia).
“The goal was to create unique sandwiches and flatbreads that you would not find in the typical sandwich shop,” Sallie Buben said.
The results are a far cry from anything slapped together at commercial hoagie dens.
Looking to fuel up before an a.m. huddle with “44”? Carb lovers can indulge in flaky ham-and-cheese scones, streusel-topped muffins or cakey slices of chocolate-banana bread embellished with a bonus shot of sticky marshmallow fluff.
Signature quiches showcase nature’s bounty. One memorable medley masterfully folded together sauteed spinach, tender mushrooms, caramelized shallots, custardy eggs and mellowing fontina within a crinkly brown crust.
Biting into the brawny chicken biscuit transported us to breakfast on the farm. The hearty repast ties together a host of country favorites, beginning with exceptional fried bird (succulent breast meat, zesty herb-studded skin) smothered in gooey cheddar, sizable strips of thick-cut smoky, crunchy bacon and warm buttermilk biscuits sweetened by generous swipes of honey butter.
The boastful Cure delivered on every promise. A juicy chorizo patty stoked each bite with spice-fueled heat while the roasted peppers, grilled onions and chipotle-sauced ciabatta piggybacked on the piquancy of the meat.
A reinterpretation of eggs Benedict — fashioned from cooked-to-order eggs (soft or hard), shaved pork loin and house-made tarragon aioli — seemed overhyped at first but slowly grew on us. During the initial experience, the only standouts were the perfectly toasted bread and over-easy eggs (lacey around the edges, brimming with silky warmth in the middle). A second tasting pulled it all together, thanks in no small part to the nutty accents imparted by the gruyere, the salty tang of the thinly sliced ham and tangy sauce that bests the messy, Sunday-best-ruining hollandaise by reducing it down to its finest elements (lemony tarragon packs citrus punch; doctored mayo luxuriates the palate).
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