Every big city has at least one great, local bagel place. For whatever reason, this has been missing from the District for as far as I can remember. In the past couple of years, a couple of bagel slingers have filled that void. One of them is Call Your Mother Deli, which has a corner spot on Georgia Avenue and Lamont Street in the Park View neighborhood. It has earned buzz and a growing fanbase locally, helped by its presence at seven farmer’s markets throughout the week. It has even garnered praise nationally, with Eater recently calling Call Your Mother Deli one of America’s Best New Restaurants.

Andrew Dana, Founder and “Chief Dough Boy” is the reason why the eatery calls itself a “Jew-ish” establishment. Simply, his father is Jewish, while his mother is not. This dichotomy manifests through ambience and the menu. The place prepares bagels in a traditional way and offers tastes you’d expect out of a top-notch bagel shop, so you can’t knock it on authenticity. It is the way they combine these traditional components that differentiate their products from others.

They offer plain, sesame, or everything bagels as expected, but they also offer bagels made out of chocolate and za’atar – a Mediterranean spice mixture that typically includes ground dried thyme, oregano, marjoram, toasted sesame seeds, and salt. Their bagel sandwiches are cleverly named, drawing from a wide spectrum of pop culture references. The Rihanna-Flex, Efron, Mila, and Andre are obvious to me, but other sandwich names are more obscure. Is the Amar’e named after the borderline NBA star forward Amar’e Stoudemire (Suns and Knicks), and is the Shyne named after the once-promising Bad Boy rapper imprisoned for assault in the early 2000s? Those who recognize the root of their sandwich’s name from the jump have another reason to eat with a smile, while others will be revving up the Google machine.

The Shop

Call Your Mother is a quaint shop that has an old school diner feel. By “old school,” I specifically mean the 1980s, with pastel blues, yellows, and pinks adorning its outside facade and interior decor. If you’re feeling antisocial, you can sit along a bar with a window view of Georgia Avenue; if you are feeling extra friendly, choose a seat at one of the communal style tables; or, when it is busy (which I hear is often), just take whatever seat you can get. Fortunately, I arrived at a sweet spot when an early rush of diners just left and before the neighborhood parents with kids arrived. The order taker/cashier was super friendly and talked me through a few items on the menu after I revealed it was my first time. Once you pay for your food, they give you a number to place on your table, and someone brings your food out when ready.

The Food

I ordered the Shyne bagel sandwich, which was an everything bagel containing pastrami, bodega-style egg, American cheese, cheddar cheese, and spicy honey. The pastrami and spicy honey made the sandwich unique and drove the sweet/salty-dominant taste. While I enjoyed and fully appreciated what was inside the sandwich, the highlight was the bagel itself. It came out freshly toasted from their wood-fire oven, enhancing the flavor of the sesame seeds and poppy seeds. The bagels are legit and I can confidently say they are the best I’ve ever had in the D.C. Metro Area. I am eager to try more of the cleverly named concoctions in future visits. I’m looking at you, Efron!

One thing that I desperately wanted to like but could not get on board with was the Jew-ish taco with the pastrami. I spent my childhood on the West Coast, grew up into a full-grown taco snob, and nowadays, only sublime taco offerings register with me. That being said, I give Call Your Mother major props for innovation and taking a chance. The cashier told me it is her favorite item on the menu.

One more thing to note is they serve coffee from Lost Sock Roasters, based in Brightwood Park in D.C. I ordered the iced latte, and it was a smooth drink with nutty notes. 

Conclusion and Rating

To my fellow Free Range Kings visiting DC, I urge you to go to Call Your Mother Deli for your bagel fix. If your business is catering for a morning meeting, skip that wack Panera dozen that you can get at every city in America, support the local economy, and most importantly, support your local belly that needs a good bagel every once in a blue moon!

CALL YOUR MOTHER INFORMATION

Want to Visit Call Your Mother Deli?

Call Your Mother Deli

3301 Georgia Ave, NW

Washington, D.C. 20010

www.callyourmotherdeli.com

 

MORE WASHINGTON, D.C. CONTENT

Beginner’s Guide to Cannabis in Washington, D.C.

Free Range Kings Begginer’s Guide to legal recreational cannabis in Washington, D.C., which has some of the most unique laws in the U.S., e.g., “gifting”

Call Your Mother Deli: Legit Bagels & Obscure Pop References

Call Your Mother Deli Fills Washington, D.C.’s Good Bagel Void with their Jew-ish Menu Full of Obscure Pop References

FRK Exclusive Interview: Enzo Algarme of Pupatella

Freerangekings (FRK): What drove you start Pupatella? Enzo Algarme (Enzo): I always knew deep inside I wanted to be entrepreneur, and creativity and inventing are at my core. The combination of my love for family, my love for food, always being around food in Naples...

Pupatella is Most Authentic Neapolitan Pizza in the DC Metro Area

Not many chefs serving Naples-style pizza can say they spent their entire pre-adult life walking Napoli streets, including the ancient via dei Tribunali, stepping through the intoxicating smells of freshly baked pizza wafting from the windows of the most legendary...

Bad Saint has Badass Spin on Filipino Cuisine that is Next Level

Bad Saint has been on my D.C. must-visit list for a couple years, and it was time to make it happen. This Columbia Heights neighborhood restaurant generated buzz shortly after opening in 2015, ranking No. 2 in Bon Appetit’s 2016 list of America’s Best New...

Street Lawyer Services Sets the Bar for District Cannabis Shops

Street Lawyer Services sells products of actual value, has top-notch customer service, and gifts some of the highest quality cannabis strains in Washington, D.C.

Green Kings DC Puts the “High” in High-Res Photography

Green Kings DC sells high-resolution photography of cannabis and gives customers the option to receive cannabis gifts