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Fearless Critic restaurant review
French, Sandwiches
Counter service

Mon–Fri 7:00am–4:30pm

Features Delivery, kid-friendly, outdoor dining, veg-friendly
Bar None
Credit cards Visa, MC

2001 M St. NW
Washington, DC
(202) 293-3265
La Baguette
DC’s lonely, laboring lunchers, rejoice: this sandwich joint’s for you

People in DC are always looking for the perfect, easy lunch. It is the modest dream of a working town: a decent, affordable sandwich that you can grab in that crucial half-hour lunch break. The working lunch is a familiar piece of American atomization—a woman sits alone, her cell phone on the table in front of her, a sandwich in her hand, a blank look on her face, and a cup of coffee growing cold beside her. Few cities embrace the lonely, busy work-a-day lunch with the gusto that DC does.

Unfortunately, the city does not offer many hug-worthy lunch establishments. But La Baguette de Paris in Dupont Circle comes close, delivering some of the best sandwiches in town at great prices. The pretty little shop, simple but always clean, has a few outdoor tables to complement its small interior. The sidewalk-café effect adds a touch of the Old World to an essentially New-World concept: made-to-order sandwiches that come in combo meals. But the majority of the clientele grabs its sandwiches, baked goods, salads, and soups to go. If you’re lucky enough to not work during the week, a La Baguette sandwich, rounded out with a drink and chips or something baked, can turn into a wonderful picnic meal. The staff here is friendly, helpful, and attentive to requests (hold the onion, extra avocado, and so on).

Given that the menu features more than 30 sandwiches on your choice of bread (French, croissant, bagel, pita, rye, whole wheat, or seven-grain—we recommend French), it’s often hard to decide what to get. But given that all the sandwiches are priced under $6, it’s almost worth sampling a few. The turkey reuben on rye is wonderfully packed with moist sauerkraut, Swiss cheese, and a smear of Russian dressing, then pressed until warm and melty on the inside and crisp on the outside. The “Primavera,” a lighter vegetarian sandwich is surprisingly flavorful given its bland-sounding mix of peppers, sprouts, hard-boiled eggs, and mayonnaise, mostly because of the tangy, herby vinaigrette that brings it all together. Other favorites are the beef gyro and the ”Supreme” (smoked chicken breast with roasted red peppers).

La Baguette fills DC’s emptiness like hot coffee in a paper cup. If only all our working lunches were so pleasing.

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