Friday, March 25, 2011

Fast Gourmet, a sandwich shop in a gas station, is awesome

When you think of food at a gas station, it's either hot dogs on the rolling things, questionable stuff in a rotating heater, or Cheetohs and Funyuns. Fast Gourmet, however, is a delicious sandwich shop inside the Lowest Price gas station at 14th and W. And it's not delicious because it's surprising to have decent food in a gas station, it's legitimately good.

While the outside looks like any gas station, the interior could be a sandwich shop anywhere downtown: it's fairly modern and has 6 tables and 15 seats total, including some seats at a counter, plus a flat screen TV showing soccer.

The menu is big too: there are 22 sandwiches and wraps ranging from $8 to $17 (for a fancy Milanesa and Black Forest ham sandwich) but most are at the lower end of the spectrum. Sandwiches all come with thin French fries, which are pretty tasty. There's also rotisserie chicken, salads, sides (the beer-battered egglplant sounds good) and coolers of drinks.

I got the Chivito, the Uruguayan sandwich which the City Paper gave an award to recently. The owners are from Uruguay and they obviously know how to do it right. It was big and delicious. The sandwich has good bread and is pressed like a Cuban sandwich (which is also on the menu), and has tenderloin, ham, mozzarella, bacon, eggs, chopped green olives, lettuce, tomatoes, onions, and escabeche, which is a tasty vinegar-based marinade. The sandwich was $12 but was completely worth it. It's a meal. I've also heard the meatball sandwich is good and there's a lot of others that sound good too.

Because of the unusual location, I asked if they planed to open any other locations, but the guy behind the counter said probably not, but they did plan to do more with the menu. Judging by the crowd, about 10 people there at 7:30 pm, they won't need to move anytime soon.

I highly recommend it. It could make for a good stop on the way home from work and they're open late too, until 11 pm and weekdays and 5 am (!) on Friday and Saturday. If only there were bars near there, it would make for an awesome late night, post-going out spot. And if you don't want to take my word for it, it's got 4.5 stars and glowing reviews on Yelp. Me gusta Fast Gourmet.


  1. I happened to peak in there the other day only to go inside to pay for gas, and I was surprised to see the layout and line at the counter... it looked good -- thanks for the confirmation!

  2. The sandwiches and service are pretty incredible. I wish they'd expand on the two veggie options though. The falafel, while tasty, is super messy; and the portabella sammy isn't that great. However, my fiance is addicted to the Cuban!

  3. "If only there were bars near there, it would make for an awesome late night, post-going out spot."

    Dude what are you talking about? Fast Gourmet is three blocks from U St, where there are like a billion bars.

    Also, they are planning on opening new locations:

  4. Dan, that's true. I was thinking southern Columbia Heights, but yeah.

    And odd to see that about expanding. The guy definitely said they wouldn't be for awhile. I wonder if they changed their mind.

  5. Yeah, maybe the expansion is farther down the line than they'd originally planned.

    This place is awesome, and I hope they do expand. Can't recommend the chivito enough.

  6. Final comment by Fast Gourmet at that link:

    "No plans for expanding any time soon , thank you very much for your support!!!!!"

  7. The fast gourmet seems like it would be a great little stop on the way home from the Standard beer garden (14th and S). Quicker if you're on a bike, but if you're walking up from S, you might as well stop on W, too. Great news about the 5am closing time!


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