Overnight Success

February 21, 2013

The chivito sandwich is served until 5 a.m. on weekends at TakEatEasy.

Recently, a close friend from New York City came for a visit. We were planning our Saturday night out when she asked where we’d be able to eat a great meal in the early a.m. hours.

“Home?” I replied. She unsuccessfully tried to hide her shock. Truth is, there’s not much good food available super-late in D.C. — besides jumbo-slice pizza, of course. (We wound up making an advance junk-food run.)

But just days after my friend left, I learned about a new option: TakEatEasy (1990 M St. NW; 202-290-2440), a Dupont Circle bistro serving tapas and sandwiches with European, Latin and American influences until 5 a.m. on weekends.

Owned by brothers Manuel and Juan Olivera — formerly of U Street’s Fast Gourmet — TakEatEasy sells its own riff on Fast Gourmet’s popular, beefy Uruguayan “chivito” sandwich; the Oliveras’ ($14) has pancetta instead of bacon, with zesty garlic mayo.

Another standout is the “churrasco de achun” (grilled tuna steak) sandwich ($13). It has a wonderfully rich, creamy taste thanks to smoked gouda that, somehow, doesn’t overpower the tuna’s mild flavor.

I don’t know how well I’d appreciate the subtleties of TakEatEasy’s food at the end of a long night out (nope, I haven’t rejoined the night-owl scene since my friend left!). But these flavorful sandwiches surely beat anything I could find at a pizzeria — or in my kitchen — in the middle of the night.

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