So, it's a little incongruous that the current restaurant-in-residence at the National Museum of Women in the Arts, Dirty South Deli, has a menu of sandwiches named tongue-in-cheek after men. And not just any men: fictional men portrayed by some of the most meme-worthy actors of all time, like Nicolas Cage, Keanu Reeves and Will Smith. And then there's the idea of a highbrow setting -- a grand, ornate balcony in a fine art museum -- dedicating space to serving Southern barbecue, which is lowbrow in the best possible way. The contradictions are what make DS Deli at the NMWA a great pop-up: You get the best of the food truck, but with a table, knife, fork, and beautiful lunchbreak view.
We tried the Mr. Hams, a shredded pork sandwich with burnt ends, slaw, corn chips, and bread-and-butter jalapenos, and decided that the latter should become a mandatory ingredient on, well, pretty much everything.
The Shane Falco, packed with velvety brisket, is doused in a mysteriously delicious "everything sauce." And we wish we had gotten a chance to try the Castor Troy, DS's take on a Big Mac with two all beef patties, pimento cheese, house cured pickles and those bread-and-butter jalapenos.
All sandwiches -- many devised for Dirty South's food truck, some with a side, such as mac and cheese or grits -- are $11. There's also more traditional museum cafe fare, like soup-and-salad combos. Sitting in view of the artwork, you'll want to come back to explore the NMWA's collection, and maybe watch a Nic Cage movie, too.
You can take a look at the daily menu here.
DS Deli at the National Museum of Women in the Arts, 1250 New York Ave. NW. 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. Monday-Friday. (Metro: Metro Center).