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The “Valmont” (prosciutto cotto, soppressata, mortadella, provolone, olives, and giardiniera salad) on freshly baked focaccia.
Mack Ordaya

What to Eat at Bar Boheme, Union Market’s New Sandwich Shop With Old-World Flair

The Northeast food hall’s latest stall comes from Lucky Buns chef Alex McCoy

Tierney Plumb is the editor of Eater DC, covering all things food and drink around the nation's capital.

A European-styled takeout shop inside Union Market is the latest act for well-traveled chef Alex McCoy.

Bar Boheme opened over the weekend with over a dozen paper-wrapped sandwiches packed with nostalgic flavors from England to the Mediterranean. Building blocks made on-site include mozzarella, grilled Thai herbal sausage, and duck confit, plus buttery focaccia, Spanish rustic bread, and multigrain loaves baked fresh every morning. Hours to start are noon to 8 p.m. (1309 5th Street NE).

McCoy says he’s especially proud of the British corned beef he brines in-house. The salted meat stars in the “Brick Lane” alongside spicy English mustard and pickles on a rustic loaf.

“It’s less about being refined and more simple European sandwiches with four or five fresh ingredients that stand out on their own,” McCoy told Eater.

The “Brass Rail” (salt beef, Jarlsberg cheese, dilled remoulade, caraway kraut, and pickles) on caraway rustic bread.
Mack Ordaya
Duck confit delivered on a French baguette with satsuma hoisin, charred red onion, arugula, spicy English mustard, and green onion.
Mack Ordaya

McCoy doubles down on international handhelds at Union Market with the arrival of Bar Boheme. One stall over at Lucky Buns, he continues to pairs hatch green chile-topped patties with sides of curry-flavored fries. The Adams Morgan original will soon be joined by an additional D.C. location at the Wharf.

Future drops at Bar Boheme include a pork-and-beef Swedish meatball sub—McCoy’s cheffed-up answer to Ikea’s cult menu item—dressed with fresh herbs, charred onion cream gravy, lingonberry preserves, and pickled cucumbers.

“We’re having fun with classic European flavors, but done our way and using local produce,” he tells Eater. “I’m a sandwich guy and love a good sub.”

Chef Alex McCoy showcasing the “South Slope” on focaccia (capocollo, soppressata, mortadella, prosciutto, roasted peppers, dressed greens, provolone, onion, dried herbs, pickled chili).
Mack Ordaya
The “Cheese Toasty” with leek and charred red onion, white truffle, gouda, and gruyere on Spanish rustic bread, with the option to add duck confit or blood sausage.
Mack Ordaya

The rotating lineup will also loop in patiently prepared proteins like homemade pork rillettes, freshly carved porchetta, and cured salmon. The 75-square-foot, utilitarian-styled stall carves out room for just six seats, so diners are encouraged to take the party to-go. A cold deli counter plans to showcase items like Portuguese tinned seafood, seasonal salads, and cured lox.

For booze, look for natural biodynamic wines by the bottle or glass, bitter aperitivo cocktails like Negronis on tap, pours of France’s popular anise-flavored spirit Pastis, and Belgium and French beers and Brittany ciders.

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