Acacia Gourmet

$$$$ ($15-$24)
Please note: Acacia Gourmet is no longer a part of the Going Out Guide

Editorial Review

Acacia Gourmet has closed.

Acacia Gourmet in Capitol Hill
By Andrea Adleman
Wednesday, December 5, 2012

There you go again.

You headed out for fresh air to get a quick lunch, only to find crowds at all the brand-name spots around the 300 block of Pennsylvania Avenue SE.

Maybe you’re even feeling virtuous because you resisted the temptation to order the new We, the Pizza lunch special: two slices and a soda, delivered to nearby congressional offices.

Time’s a-ticking and there are lines as far as the eye can see.

What the eye can’t readily see is Acacia Gourmet, a seven-table Mediterranean deli at the far end of the 300 block. East of the Pour House and the liquor store, an orange “Smoothies” banner is your stop sign.

If the venue feels vaguely familiar, you may recall it as the former Wellness Cafe, which owner Uzi Turker converted into Acacia Gourmet this past spring.

The deli is a sibling of Acacia Bistro on Connecticut Avenue NW, Turker’s Van Ness restaurant that earned two stars from Post food critic Tom Sietsema.

Sandwiches, panini, wraps, salads and soups are platforms for the house-roasted beef, turkey and chicken.

“We make our food in-house and from scratch with fresh ingredients, sourced locally when possible,” Turker said.

Customer favorites include a wild-caught Alaskan salmon burger ($7.99). Ground by hand and subtly accented with rosemary, parsley and shallots, the signature patty is served on a bun or atop the Herbed Salmon Salad ($11.99).

Other burger offerings are turkey ($7.49), bison ($7.99) and a vegetarian kale burger ($7.49) that fuses fresh kale, yams, cannellini beans and barley.

House-made soup ($3.50 for small, $4.31 for large) with a grilled panino ($7.29 to $7.99) or sausage sandwich ($6.49 to $6.99 ) will tastefully banish any winter chills. Bratwurst, ­kielbasa and sweet Italian sausage are served in a wheat or multigrain bun.

Turker added Reubens to the menu after visiting the famed Katz’s Delicatessen in New York. “I thought, ‘Why can’t we do this on Capitol Hill?’ So we came up with a recipe, and our Reubens are doing well,” he said.

The house Reuben is a five-ounce serving of corned beef, pastrami ($8.79 each) or turkey ($8.49) with Swiss cheese, sauerkraut and Russian dressing on marbled rye. It may begin with familiar ingredients, but it ends up quizzically different and wholly appetizing.

The DC Club Salad ($10.99) is a meaty rainbow of Virginia ham, turkey, roast beef, Swiss cheese, egg, avocado and tomato on romaine.

Gluten-free almond or rice bread is available.

The smoothies ($5 to $6) are a holdover from Wellness Cafe, a retail shop that carried health foods, nutritional supplements and personal care items. (You can still pick up essential oils, protein powder or a new toothbrush with your lunch.) The drinks are vegan blends of fresh fruit and apple juice, except for the milky peanut butter and banana smoothie.