G Sandwich is catty-corner from Fast Gourmet, D.C.'s reigning king of chivitos. Their decadent version of the meaty Uruguayan sandwich has won accolades from food lovers around the city, including this paper. So G's decision to add a chivito to the menu, albeit temporarily, could only mean one thing: a 14th Street chivito throwdown. We did a side-by-side taste test and we're prepared to declare a victor.
Official ingredients: Bacon, beef tenderloin, ham, mozzarella, escabeche (vinegary mushrooms and peppers), hard-boiled egg, green olives, lettuce, tomato and mayo. Served with shoestring fries.
Tasting notes: The ingredients in this chivito meld together the best, our three tasters noted. No one element overwhelms your senses, though the tang from the escabeche lends the sandwich some earthiness at the conclusion of every mouthful. Credit the bread for being sturdy enough to keep this beast together. You get more for your money with this sandwich, which is nearly twice the size of the sandwich at G.
Official ingredients: Seared ribeye, mortadella, ham, olives, heart of palm, lettuce, onion, provolone and a fried egg.
Tasting notes: The runny yolk of the fried egg, while ultimately turning the bread to mush, was a major flavor enhancer, and the glue that kept this towering sandwich together. The meat in this chivito was much more individually flavorful, too. Whereas each ingredient in Fast Gourmet's offering is on full-blast like a middle school orchestra, it was easier to pick out individual flavors -- particularly the smoky steak -- in G's offering.
WINNER: We liked Albisu's take on the sandwich at G more. As one taster said: "I put down the Fast Gourmet sandwich to pick up the G for one bite -- and then I didn't want to put it down again." It was the meat that won us over. May G Sandwich's temporary ascension to the 14th Street Chivito Throne be a peaceful one.