First visit to Bub and Pop’s on M St near 18th NW. I was really looking forward to the sandwich known as “The Real Obama” which is “Italian Beef Chicago Style, Slow braised beef brisket, giardinera, and aged provolone”. I had my first Italian beef sandwich in Chicago earlier this year and I loved it, wanted to try to recreate that experience (despite this shop’s culinary origins of South Philly).
Bottom line: it’s a good sandwich, I might get it again but wouldn’t rush back, and it didn’t recreate my Chicago experience. The sandwiches I had in Chicago were much wetter, had much more aggressive spice flavors with celery/garlic, more emphasis on sweet (or hot) peppers, and melted cheese. Bub and Pop’s “Real Obama” had more subtle/muted flavor, emphasis on the giardiniera, and large shavings of uncooked sharp provolone cheese on top. I did need a fork for part of the sandwich spilling out of the bread a bit, which I think is just fine. I thought the bread itself was fine. I enjoyed it but not the same as the Chicago experience.
I’ll probably go back based on the sandwich I had and what I saw -- it seems to be a good place overall -- but I’ll try a different sandwich next time.