Every Sunday at Ripple, chef Marjorie Meek-Bradley makes pastrami. Only half of it goes into a potato hash with eggs served at brunch; the rest gets devoured by the staff.
Meek-Bradley's pastrami will be the focus of a new fast-casual restaurant called Smoked & Stacked, coming next spring to 1239 9th St. NW. The shop is among a handful of restaurants and bars that will open at the Washington Convention Center, Events DC announced today.
"It's not really a sandwich shop so much as a pastrami shop," says Meek-Bradley, who will be a contestant on the next season of Top Chef.
She clarifies that the restaurant is not a deli, and the pastrami sandwich won't be the New York-style classic. The sandwiches will be served on milk bread, although Meek-Bradley is experimenting with a rye bread recipe as well. The menu won't be much bigger than that: Meek-Bradley also plans to serve smoked chicken, portobello mushrooms, and breakfast sandwiches. Customers can choose a signature sandwich or build their own sandwich or salad. There will also be beer and wine.
"I love being able to make things in their simplest form," she says. "Sometimes something just fresh out of the oven is absolutely the best. And if you're only doing a few things, you can do everything really, really fresh every day."
The restaurant is the first where Meek-Bradley will be taking an ownership role, alongside Geoff Dawson (a partner in Ripple) and Peter Bayne of the The Tin Shop. Even with the new venture, she says she will continue to preside over the kitchens at Ripple and Roofers Union.
"People ask me what my hobbies are," she says, "and I guess this is it."