The last time reservations were open for Chef Taub’s Supper at Bub’s, it garnered high praise from food critics, food blogs and fine dining magazines. One of the dishes, “Seasonal Transition of Burgundy of Snails,” was featured on the cover of “Plate” magazine. The magazine called the dish “The French Evolution”, as a nod to Chef Taub’s modern twist on classic French cuisine.
Laura Hayes of the Washington City Paper and “Plate” Magazine are not alone in their praise of Chef Taub. A recent dinner guest and Bub and Pop’s regular, Jackie Heilman, had this to say about Chef Taub and Supper at Bub’s, “Supper at Bub’s is one of my favorite dining experiences. The atmosphere is comfortable, laid back, and quiet (only six guests per dinner), and the focus is; appropriately, on the food. The sequence of dishes, the pairings, and the pace of the courses are spot on. Chef Jon introduces each dish with enough information for guests to appreciate the food, but not so much as to take away from the mystery and excitement of eating something new that has been so expertly prepared. Each plate is a work of art, made so by Chef Jon’s mastery of a multitude of cooking techniques, and his manner of plating – Chef Jon is a deft sculptor of foods.”
Heilman finishes up by saying,” Somehow though, the food is so exceptional, that it manages not to be upstaged by the plating. Chef also makes thoughtful use of herbs and flowers to add complementary but curious flavors to dishes, and beautiful color to both dishes and pairings.” Heilman has attended Supper at Bub’s four times and has even attended with her husband and 4-year old son, who loves Chef Jon’s food.
Chef Jon is offering his multi course, prix fixe menu with wine, liquor and additional beverage pairings. To reserve your seat, or you would like more information, email us at: firstname.lastname@example.org and give us your name and telephone number. We will call back to confirm within 48 hours. Reservations are to be paid in full at the time of booking as we do not process credit cards at the Supper - sorry, no refunds for cancellations.
Chef Jonathan Taub is a graduate of The Restaurant School at Walnut Hill College in Philadelphia. He apprenticed at The Ritz-Carlton Philadelphia under Chefs Kai Lermen, John Hamme and Mark Arnao. Chef Taub worked with Michelin-starred Chefs Jean Marie Lacroix and Alain Ducasse. Chef Taub’s staged experiences include Morimoto, and Tru with Tramonto in Chicago. He brings his 20 plus years in fine dining to Bub and Pop’s and Supper at Bub’s.
Bub and Pop’s: All the comforts of home, plus a chef in the kitchen
Bub and Pop’s
1815 M St. NW (202) 457-1111 bubandpops.com
It’s hard to believe that this downtown sandwich shop is only a little more than a year old, because it looks more like 50. I mean that in the best of ways. It feels like it has history (perhaps thanks to the home photos on the walls), with the kind of character that so many restaurants hopelessly try to manufacture. Channeling a Philly vibe is co-owner Arlene Wagner, who’s more like your mom than an anonymous face behind a cash register.
She is, in fact, the mother of Chef Jonathan Taub, who brings a serious resume, including stints at Art & Soul and now-closed Adour, to the sandwich shop. His experience shows in the tender slices of slow roasted porchetta, which overflow from a sandwich with hazelnut Gremolata, aged provolone, (optional) broccoli rabe, and pork jus. Just as marvelously messy is Pop’s braised beef brisket with apple horseradish cream, five-year-aged Gouda, veal jus, and a fried egg (for a dollar extra). Make sure to grab extra napkins. —Jessica Sidman
Daily Menu, Breakfast Menu and Catering Form
SUPPER AT BUB'S
Friends and The Restaurant
How can a vegetarian graze on D.C.’s essential dishes? Glad you asked.
By Lavanya Ramanathan
Bub and Pop's Bub's Italian Hoagie might be one of the best sandwiches in town, but it has competition from the four-cheese hoagie, presented exactly like its counterpart -- sans the capicola, prosciutto, pepperoni and salami.
"The four-cheese hoagie has everything in it that the Italian does," explains Arlene Wagner, the cheery co-owner of Bub and Pop's. "You've got that nice sloppy sandwich."
Vegetarians know it wasn't always this easy to dine out. But a veggie sandwich became one of Bub & Pop's bestsellers late last year, Wagner tells me. Our appetites are changing.
9 DC Sandwiches You Need to Try Right Now
By Rina Rapuano
Pop’s Beef Brisket at Bub and Pop's
Crafted by a trained chef as an homage to his grandparents' deli, this is fast becoming one of Washington's favorite sandwiches. Slow-braised beef brisket with apple-horseradish cream, shaved five-year-aged
Gouda and veal jus make for a sloppy yet magical combo that's a bit pricey for a sandwich - but totally worth it.
By Tim Carman, Published: March 27 E-mail the writer
It’s not even noon, and customers are already descending the steps into the subterranean solace of Bub and Pop’s. Some are alone and harried, eager to return to their cubicles with a fully loaded sandwich, likely the only comfort in an otherwise grinding day. Others arrive in pairs or packs of four, looking to score a table inside this tiny, strikingly colorful space on M Street NW.
All of them, I suspect, are attracted by the nurturing, no-nonsense quality of the place. At once personable and professional, Bub and Pop’s is the genuine articulation of a concept that so many cafes and so-called “casual” restaurants try to create via cold calculation: an eatery that offers high-quality, scratch cooking in a setting that feels unaffected, perhaps even homey. Often, I just want to take a lazy, Sunday-afternoon nap after eating here, full and content as a lap dog. Your introduction to Bub and Pop’s can be rough if you stumble onto the place during prime lunch hours. The line backs up fast, forcing you to hover over customers already seated at a table in the middle of the cramped dining room. The ice/water machine and condiments are on the opposite side of the same table, which creates traffic jams in two lanes. A kitchen runner will regularly attempt to navigate through this congestion to deliver a sandwich. It’s Metro Center at rush hour, in miniature.
All will be well, however, when you reach the counter. There, you’ll meet Arlene Wagner, co-owner, order-taker and the official anti-depressant of Bub and Pop’s. She greets everyone as if they’ve just returned from war. She says thank you for every tip, no matter how miserly it is. She, her husband and her son, Jonathan Taub, opened this sandwich shop last year and dubbed it Bub and Pop’s in honor of Wagner’s parents, who once ran a grocery and deli in West Philadelphia. A formally trained chef, Taub has higher goals than slinging subs. His resume, dotted with stints at Alain Ducasse’s now-shuttered Adour and Art Smith’s Art and Soul,hints at his ambitions. But like any Philly native, Taub loves cheesesteaks, Italian hoagies and roast pork sandwiches as if they were blood relatives.
After a day in the kitchen, “I don’t want to eat sweetbreads,” Taub says. “I want a cheesesteak.”
For now, the chef is channeling his drive into Bub and Pop’s, a classical painter biding his time with poster art. Taub braises his own briskets, roasts his own porchetta, forms his own meatballs, whips up his own mayonnaise, fries his own addictive chips (complete with custom-made French onion dip, which I would lick off the sidewalk if necessary), pickles his own vegetables (the terrific kiwi with Napa cabbage faces East for inspiration) and bakes his own desserts. For bread, he worked with Lyon Bakery to develop a roll that delivers more flavor than your
standard squishy Philly loaf. Taub’s lone weakness may be his generosity, a lavish impulse no doubt derived from his central approach to life: “I love to eat,” the chef told me repeatedly during an interview. His lusty appetite might explain why he packs his sandwiches so densely (available in half or full-roll portions), which can create minor, but
noticeable, issues. Example 1: The Real Obama, his take on Chicago Italian beef, boasted such a thick tangle of meat that it dominated the giardiniera and aged provolone. Example 2: The heavy application of mayo-based “special” sauce in his cheesesteak caused the roll to disintegrate. I should note: I still wolfed down that perfectly seasoned cheesesteak as if a pack of hungry Eagles fans was closing in. This was a recurring theme: I found tiny defects, but none that diminished my enjoyment of any one sandwich. I would have bowed before Pop’s beef brisket, topped with translucent chips of aged Gouda, if the apple-horseradish cream had been spread evenly,
allowing a more fully integrated bite. The Bolognese-parmesan grinder, an ambitious meatball/pork belly/brisket amalgam pulled together with a tomato ragu, was a 10-napkin mountain of meaty pleasure, save for a jiggly piece of belly that was, approximately, 99 percent fat. The roast pork, stuffed with that house-made porchetta, exploded with flavor — and salt. Unequivocal hits were unearthed on the extreme ends of the spectrum. The Bulgarian-feta sandwich layers vegetables of varying preparation (caramelized onions, grilled zucchini and fennel, roasted tomatoes, eggplant-garlic confit puree) with two cheeses,to delirious effect. The meat-centric Bub’s Italian hoagie perhaps took liberties with the classic Philly preparation, including a final, furious shaving of pecorino Romano, which looked like a fright wig of cheese. But I could not care less as I devoured the thing and considered a second.
I might have even heaped praise on the lopsided Obama sandwich had it been dipped in jus, a standard option in the Second City. Taub later told me dipping is available to those who ask. So several days later, I sampled the Real Obama again, this time soaked in veal jus. The liquid tamed that overbearing block of beef and taught it to respect its partners. The other ingredients suddenly had room to express themselves, and they were operatic in their low-rumbling and high-coloratura notes.
Once finished, I noticed the tabletop was drenched in jus, which I promptly mopped up with napkins. You might have every right to leave a mess at a restaurant, but within the homespun confines of Bob and Pop’s, such behavior only proves one thing: You need to learn some manners from Arlene Wagner.
Competition for your lunchtime dollar is heating up between Farragut North and Dupont Circle. TakEatEasy, Boloco and Taylor Gourmet have arrived on the scene in recent months, but they’ve already got serious competition from a little basement deli called Bub and Pop’s. Open for just over a month, the homey little restaurant specializes in overstuffed Italian hoagies and braised brisket sandwiches. Chef Jonathan Taub, formerly of Adour and Pound the Hill, was inspired by his grandparents “Bub” and “Pop” Wagner, who opened a deli in Philadelphia after World War II. The standout on the menu right now has nothing to do with the City of Brotherly Love, though. The Real Obama, pictured above, is a take on a classic Chicago-style brisket sandwich: rich and juicy braised brisket topped with shaved pieces of sharp aged provolone and a spicy house-made giardinera. The giant “whole” size is almost too much for one meal, especially when paired with a paper bag of the house-cooked kettle-style potato chips, which are seasoned with black pepper and sea salt. (A whole sandwich runs $12; a half is $8. Competitive eaters in training can double the meat for $5.) Next time I’m at Bub and Pop’s, I might get a half sandwich, so I can enjoy more of the house-made pickles. The $4 special of the day was a plastic container full of white and green asparagus and egg with blood orange juice and white truffle oil, which delivered a citrusy tang. Paired with an exotic selection of sodas – who else in D.C. has Sioux City Birch Beer and Sarsaparilla? – you’re not looking at cheap lunch. Sandwich, chips, pickle and soda set me back $23 with tax. But it’s one you’ll be talking about for days.
By ~~Jessica Voelker
~Blood orange Italian ice at Bub and Pop’s “Aggressive” is not a word I typically associate with Italian water ice, often one of summer’s mellower confections. But the blood orange ice at downtown sub shop Bub and Pop’s wallops you with tart citrus while coating your mouth with lush sweetness. It’s so intense, it could almost serve as a condiment—and do for your run-of-the-mill lemon ice what Sriracha does for a basic bowl of pho. Unlike most liquefied fruit, the blood orange retains that essential fecundity of food that grows on trees—it’s almost a dirty taste, and it’s so much more interesting than straight-up sweet juice. The Raj gin and tonic (with orange and thyme) at Estadio has that same hint of earth, and got me thinking that this slush-on-steroids could form the basis of an awesome sgroppino, an Italian cocktail typically made with vodka and lemon sorbet.
By Anna Spiegel Forget the Golden Triangle
~we’re renaming the neighborhood between the White House and Dupont Circle the “sandwich triangle.” Within the past year we’ve seen the opening of the New Orleans Po Boy Shop; branches of Taylor Gourmet, Jetties, and the Portuguese chain Sweet Diablo; and, most recently, TakEatEasy, an Argentinian-Uruguayan joint from the former co-owners of Fast Gourmet. Now it’s time to welcome Bub and Pop’s—a Philly-style eatery that just debuted at 1815 M Street, Northwest. Just below sidewalk level, the no-frills spot isn’t too far of a cry from the place it’s modeled after: a West Philly grocery/deli belonging to Mae and Irv Wagner, the original “Bub” and “Pop.” You’ll find their descendants hard at work. Daughter and co-owner Arlene Wagner works the register and chats with customers, while grandson and chef Jon Taub creates an array of sandwiches and pizzas in the kitchen. It doesn’t say “chef-driven” anywhere on the chalkboard menus (thank goodness), but you can see it in many touches, such as the house-made pickles proudly on display. Taub, a Philadelphia native, worked his way around Washington kitchens over the past five years, including stints at Adour, Art and Soul, Pound the Hill’s dinner pop-up, and the Ritz-Carlton. Sandwiches are a hybrid of hometown loyalty and fine-dining experience: You’ll need a heap of napkins to take down the braised beef brisket sandwich dripping in its own juices, the result of slow-cooking the meat in house-made veal stock and red wine. It’s topped with apple-studded horseradish cream—once served alongside the Ritz’s beef Wellington—and slivers of aged Gouda. The desk-bound office crowd may gravitate to half-sandwiches, available on every option and plenty hearty, especially the meatier finds like roasted porchetta (bacon-wrapped pork) with hazelnut gremolata and pork jus. Salads and soups, such as chicken with slow-cooked matzo balls, are among the lighter options, as are the thin-crust pizzas topped with grilled vegetables or garlicky shucked clams. With only 30 seats and no liquor license, Bub’s is a good pit stop or takeout option before hitting the many area bars and clubs—and certainly a destination for late-night funnel cakes and summertime water ices (sorry, no cheesesteaks as of now; Bub’s isn’t trying to be Pat’s or Geno’s). On Friday and Saturday, Taub cooks well-past a bub or pop’s bedtime, serving until 3 AM.
The Bulgarian Feta: Sheep’s milk feta, arugula, eggplant caponata, oven-roasted tomato, caramelized onion, caramelized mushroom, grilled zucchini, grilled fennel, balsamic vin cotto, hazelnut gremolata and pecorino
romana on a sub roll.
Among meatless sandwiches, there are those that are simply free of animal proteins, and there are those that — SHOCK — highlight actual vegetables. It’s the latter I’ve attempted to celebrate during our month-long
exploration of vegetarian sandwiches. One of the most popular varieties within this category is what I’ll call the vegetable mixed grill, in which a mélange of veggies is seasoned, seared and stacked atop a crusty hoagie roll or
baguette. Woodward Table’s Provençale, the first sandwich we featured for Meatless September, is an excellent example. The vegetable sandwich at Cork Market is similarly constructed and similarly delicious. At their best, these sandwiches are characterized by a seamless integration of sometimes contrasting ingredients. The vegetables are prepared more or less uniformly, and each bite brings a consistent and reliable blend of texture and flavor.
The Bulgarian Feta from the Philly-style hoagie joint Bub and Pop’s, recently named among D.C.’s best sandwiches by Washingtonian,eschews this principle. On paper, the ingredient list is long and descriptive: sheep’s milk feta, arugula, eggplant caponata, oven-roasted tomato, caramelized onion, caramelized mushroom, grilled zucchini, grilled fennel, balsamic vin cotto, hazelnut gremolata and pecorino romana. In person, the sandwich is
imposing, looking more like a salad piled on a sub roll than an actual sandwich. A heap of arugula and pecorino completely obscures the weightier innards. As a result it’s impossible to know what you’ll come up with (other
than a face full of tangy balsamic, which is all but assured).
Unlike other sandwiches of its ilk, the Bulgarian Feta is exceptional not because its many pieces fit together snugly, but precisely because they don’t. Every bite is a new adventure, and the vegetable components, unlike the aforementioned others, cry out unapologetically for attention. Whole mushrooms. Big, meaty chucks of roasted tomato. Crunchy eggplant. Although the combination of balsamic and gremolata provides some
semblance of cohesion, there’s a certain disarray that I was surprised to find myself enjoying. Although I almost always prefer a tidier sandwich, Bub and Pop’s Bulgarian Feta is well worth getting your hands dirty