Monday, June 3, 2013

Loeb's NY Deli Food Review

1/3 lb. Hamburger with French Fries

Folks swear by Loeb's NY Deli at 1712 I Street, NW; but I've been here three times in the past week and a half, and have yet to be blown away (or even slightly impressed.) Today's test? The American burger and fries. Fingers crossed, I went in hoping that the third time is indeed the charm.

First the good news: I'm already starting to recognize some of the staff here, and it's safe to say they're the best thing about the place. Unfortunately, no level of customer service can make up for subpar food. It's New York deli in name only: Most of the ingredients are frozen, most likely from Sysco or some other food service. It's also deceptively pricey. A 1/3 burger is just $4.69; but when you add in fries ($2.69) and a drink, you're over 10 bucks. And for what?

The burger is run of the mill and overcooked. It screams old-fashioned diner food (hastily prepared on a tight grill.) By the same token, there's something uniquely comforting about the taste (not necessarily good, but familiar.) As for the fries... They're greasy, and there aren't many of 'em. At least the dining area is bright, clean and comfortable; but try to avoid the lunch rush, when the order area/cashiers gets chaotic and congested. Me? I've done my time, and probably won't be back for fourths.

Atmosphere: B (It's a nice place to eat, with plenty of seats and a lively buzz.)
Burger: D (It's not cafeteria food, but it's close.)
Fries: D (Greasy and expensive.)
Service: B (Always busy, but still friendly.)
Value: D-
Overall: C- (I can see the appeal for some... but not for me.)