North by Northwest

Finding a little bit of Brooklyn in the U District.


4522 Brooklyn, 632-51329 9 a.m.-6 p.m. Mon.-Fri.; 11 a.m.-4 p.m. Sat. Sure, it's on Brooklyn Avenue, but considering its namesake's reputation for being just a little bolder, brasher, and spicier than the rest of New York's flavor-packed boroughs, this newly arrived U District deli's moniker is perhaps slightly off the mark. That's not necessarily a knock—The Brooklyn Grinder is a top-notch sandwich joint. Prices are reasonable (nothing over $5.50) and ingredients are high quality and fresh, particularly the bread and meat (and aren't they what a sandwich is really all about?). Just don't expect to have any juices running down your arm—even the Rueben ($5.25) was tidy—or any of those bittersweet bouts of indigestion a couple of hours later. The timidity is a bit of a liability in some instances, though—the Cajun Turkey with Pepper Jack ($5.25) is a fine turkey sandwich, but there's nothing especially bold about the sauce; the aforementioned Rueben is plenty tangy, but its Russian dressing a bit too mayonnaise-y. The presence of cucumber on the BLT ($4.95) also set off something of a fierce (relatively) debate around the office. Cucumber on a BLT is a little odd (those letters do stand for something, after all), but no one had any issue with the taste. If you don't mind a little Northwest love in your sandwiches, come to the Brooklyn—just don't expect to be transported eastward. Yo!

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