Whether it's the neatly shelved gourmet goods section, a freezer housing spinach tortellini, or the meat counter displaying slabs of fresh turkey and red roast beef, this unpretentious half-delicatessen, half-liquor store presents dependable-looking food.
And for the most part, it is dependable. Chicken salad was made with square chunks of white meat coated with a lemony dressing. Shrimp salad had large crunchy shrimp and celery in a semi-watery sauce that could be drained to allow the shrimp more attention. Home-blended cream cheese was creamy and rich. Some salads lacked oomph; a German potato tasted fresh but bland, macaroni salad was flabby and flavorless and our sample of chopped liver tasted sour.
Sandwiches are popular here among the take-out lunch crowd, and a lean corned beef on rye with roquefort cream cheese was good by Washington standards, passable by New York.
Breads and pastries are shipped in from everywhere, "whoever does it the best," as the woman behind the counter claimed. Breads come from four different area bakeries and smell oven-fresh; pastries like hamantaschen or cream puffs are so-so. "Maybe by a lady," the madeleines, shells of lemony butter cake, didn't even make it out of the parking lot. Open 10 a.m. to 8:46 p.m. Mon, through Sat.; 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Sun. Moderate to expensive.