Taste-testing Mike Isabella’s G sandwich pop-up at Graffiato

Update: The G pop-up has been extended through May 24, according to a spokesperson, with a new menu replacing the sandwiches sampled here.

We have seen the future, and it works. The first taste of Mike Isabella's new sandwich shop, G, has arrived, and we've tried all four of the Italian sandwiches that will be available at this week's lunchtime pop-up at Graffiato (we know; tough job). G is scheduled to open early this summer at 2201 14th Street NW. And guess what, vegetarians? The meatless sandwich was the unanimous favorite of all three of our taste-testers.

 

It's a spicy mushroom panino ($10, top), and it oozes -- oozes! -- with Taleggio cheese. "Panino" title aside, it is a grilled cheese sandwich that could rank among the city's best. Cherry pepper relish and ramp pesto add spice and color.

Also worth the trip to Graffiato this week: The roasted suckling pig sub ($10, left), with broccoli rabe, provolone and cherry pepper. Our testers praised the balance of ingredients, with the bitterness of the broccoli rabe playing off the succulent roast pork perfectly. Only con: It's a little greasy.

You know what else goes with roast pork? Cauliflower with pecorino and mint ($7). Other sides include marinated olives, peperonata and three simple salads: Caesar, Greek and petite lettuce with shaved vegetables.

The other two sandwiches are pretty standard Italian classics, made with good ingredients. The Italian hero ($10) benefits from the addition of eggplant. And the chicken parm with Thai basil ($10) has a great sauce. But we have to ask: When will there be a sandwich that utilizes Isabella's delicious pepperoni sauce? A blogger can dream.

 

Maura Judkis covers culture, food, and the arts for the Weekend section and Going Out Guide.

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