The Silver Spork is one of those little gems with real character. A local, independent deli right across from the Eastern Market in the vibrant Capitol Hill neighborhood, it is a great spot for people watching and good food that won't break the bank. Apart from ready-made sandwiches, salads, soups and bites such as empanadas, the store offers locally roasted Mayorga coffee, gourmet food items to take home, craft beers and wines, and a large selection of bakery / pastry items that made me squeal with joy.
I stumbled upon this place by coincidence as a friend was eager to introduce me to the second-hand book store next door, Capitol Hill Books (which is really cool and full of narrow passageways, curious titles and that old-book smell... my friend almost lost me in there!). After unsuccessfully browsing its shelves for half an hour, I was ready for a snack at the market, but the Silver Spork's name and logo caught my attention. And in we went.
I really just wanted to have a look around, but a very sweet lady changed our minds. She might have been the owner, because she approached us as soon as she saw us wandering around inspecting the displays, and asked whether it was our first time in the store. What followed was a very passionate introduction to "All things Silver Spork" that included the endorsement of a bacon-and-nutella sandwich. Not only could I not say no to such a weird combination, but we were also charmed by the excitement and positivity she radiated.
I took some pictures of the pies and cakes they had on offer, but was sold on "that sandwich". The majority of sandwiches at the Silver Spork are made by Broodjes and Bier, a "Dutch inspired" start-up that has only been around since February, when it was funded via Kickstarter. Their mission is to deliver high-quality, fresh broodjes (Dutch for bread, or sandwich) to the Capitol Hill neighborhood and eventually open their own shop.
The first step is a menu of four specialty sandwiches that are sold under the name Broodje Co. at the Silver Spork 6 days a week (don't go on a Tuesday if you want to try them). I can only really talk about the "Paradiso", which consists of salted bacon, nutella, and freshly sliced strawberries on brioche, however the ingredients used in the other sandwiches also sound delicious and very gourmet.
The "Paradiso" was good. It didn't really live up to its name, but I enjoyed it and would have it again. I guess the fact that I could prepare this at home takes away some of the appeal. Still, having it at the Silver Spork is special because of its location, the staff and the great number of distractions that present themselves while you sit back and relax. It is really busy around that area, especially on weekends, which makes it fun to stick around for a while and maybe sit outside with a glass of wine.
Back to the sandwich. The three ingredients blend well together, - the saltiness of the bacon, sweetness of the strawberries, and creamy, rich texture of the Nutella. The brioche is soft and fluffy and doesn't weigh you down, making it great for a snack or light lunch. The strawberries play the biggest role here, rendering this sandwich juicy and fresh, and allowing you to tell yourself that you ate something remotely "healthy". As I said: Enjoyable. Interesting. But not outstanding.
Brownie Points for the "Paradiso" sandwich: 1 out of 3