Fast Gourmet

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Fast Gourmet Fast Gourmet near Washington DC's U Street Corridor is a great late-night diner to hit up after a long night of partying. Take a bite out of DC with Party Earth. Washington, DC United States 38.919017 -77.032436
4.27 6
Fast Gourmet - Restaurant in Washington, DC.
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Ratings:
Lucas
Adriana
Jonah
Emma

Party Earth Review Just a couple blocks behind the glorious party madness that is the U Street Corridor, Fast Gourmet seeks to provide exactly what its name implies – quick food with an upscale twist – and does it while sharing space with... ... read full review

  • Metro:

    Green, Yellow Lines: U Street/African-Amer Civil War Memorial/Cardozo

  • Phone:

    202-448-9217

  • Links:

  • Hours:

    M–W 11am–11pm, Th 11am–4am, F–Sa 11am–6am, Su 11am–10pm

  • Recommended as:

    • Night Spot

Party Earth Fast Gourmet Review

The Scene

Fast Gourmet near Washington DC's U Street Corridor is a great late-night diner to hit up after a long night of partying. Take a bite out of DC with Party Earth.

Just a couple blocks behind the glorious party madness that is the U Street Corridor, Fast Gourmet seeks to provide exactly what its name implies – quick food with an upscale twist – and does it while sharing space with a discount gas station.

It all seems pretty normal at first, but just past the attendant surrounded by cigarettes in his bullet-proof box, there’s a spacious green room full of black tables and tall stools, a wall of drink coolers, and a menu of Middle Eastern, South American, and North American classics ready to fuel a diverse crowd of U Street revelers.

Friday and Saturday nights’ late hours bring in all types, much to the dismay of the knowledgeable hipsters who feel that they discovered the place, with the venue hosting everyone from musicians who just caught a show at the 9:30 Club to the rowdy college crowd stumbling in from Local 16.

The counter and cashier are right in front of the kitchen, so everyone can view the prep, while above the counter hangs a colorful chalkboard menu scrawled with items like basic burgers, Cuban sandwiches, and breaded New York strip.

The Chivito – a multi-layered sandwich that includes tenderloin, black forest ham, bacon, and hardboiled eggs – is particularly popular.

An unlikely setting for a creative array of fresh and never-processed food, Fast Gourmet is the perfect place to fill up both the car and the stomach after another great night on U Street.

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Tip from Jonah:

Keep in mind that the ‘fast’ in the name doesn’t always apply to a late night at Fast Gourmet, when folks from all over U Street have a tendency to crowd in at the same time. But the ensuing line usually moves fairly quickly, and the Chivito is worth the wait!

  • Crowd

    Casual crowd of relaxed young professionals, Howard University students, and area residents during the day, and a mixed bag of stumbling sparkle-clad drunk girls, rowdy bros, perturbed hipsters, and groups of friends looking for a place to end the night on Fridays and Saturdays, early 20s+.

  • Entertainment / Music

    Loud staff playlist. TV tuned to whatever’s worth watching.

  • Food / Miscellaneous

    Deli-style menu of Middle Eastern, South American, Latin American, and North American sandwiches and entrées, including hamburgers, chili dogs, empanadas, salads, and the popular Chivito sandwich.

  • Prices

    Sides $2–$4, salads $7–$9, sandwiches and burgers $8–$13+, empanadas $3.

  • What to Wear / Dress Code

    Anything goes.

  • Hot Nights / When to Go

    Friday and Saturday nights when the venue is open until 6am and late-night revelers pack the place with alcohol-fueled munchies.

  • Close By

    The U Street Corridor is a roughly nine-block stretch with some of the most popular music venues in the city, but there’s much more than just live bands to warrant the Corridor’s designation as a major nightlife area, including many bars, culturally diverse restaurants, and landmark theaters.

Fast Gourmet User Reviews

Average rating:
Ignore the Gas Pumps Out Front
Lee W. Apr 3, 2013
"I'm so hungry I could eat a sandwich from a gas station." This quote, uttered by Chevy Chase's Clark Griswold in the classic comedy "Vacation," doesn't exactly serve as a ringing endorsement of gas station cuisine. Most often, gas station sandwiches, in all their tightly wrapped, preserved glory, are consumed as the last resort of road trippers or late-night revelers searching for something, anything to soak up the evening's fun. Luckily for those around 14 & W St. NW, Fast Gourmet is dramatically redefining the type of grub you can grab during a fill-up or in the wee hours of the morning. Yes, Fast Gourmet's placement inside a Valero station is usually one of the first things people mention about it. This is a bit misleading, and does the food a disservice. I prefer to describe Fast Gourmet as a high-quality street food spot that just so happens to also sell gas out front. Think of it more as food truck, minus the wheels. The menu at Fast Gourmet strikes the perfect balance of being robust but not overwhelming. They offer a variety of salads, wraps, empanadas, even whole, half or quarter rotisserie chickens. However, the stars of the show here are the sandwiches, and one shines brighter than all the rest. It's name is Chivito. A monster of a sandwich, the Chivito packs tenderloin, black forest ham, bacon, mozzarella, hard boiled eggs (!), olives, and escabeche on a soft roll. The resulting product is a truly unique sandwich that will have your taste buds struggling to keep up with the medley of flavors. The Cuban is also excellent. While it doesn't sport all the bells and whistles of the Chivito, it does manage to stand out as an example of how to execute a classic sandwich to perfection. Despite only being open since 2011, Fast Gourmet has already made it's mark amongst DC's sandwich and fast casual titans. While Fast Gourmet is unlikely to shed it's label of "sandwich spot inside a gas station" any time soon, it's fresh ingredients, large portions, unique items will continue to covert the skeptics. Even Clark Griswold would be happy to dine here.
Truly Delicious Food
Desi K. Sep 12, 2012
You can only go to Fast Gourmet if you're specifically looking for it, its not the kind of place you just stumble upon on, unless you need to go to a gas station. The restaurant is located inside of a gas station (and you can actually get gas - cash only though). When you walk into this small space you see that there really are gas station type things (gum, lighters) but the majority of the space is occupied by tables and a tiny kitchen. The menu consists of mostly sandwiches, some of which have Latin Americacn influences. I can whole-heartedly recommend the bbq chicken sandwich, the hamburger, steak and cheese, and especially the chivito. The best part? All the sandwiches come with shoe-string fries. Prepare to walk away feeling stuff and wanting a nap. Truly great tasting food in a very casual, but unique, environment.
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