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Posted at 10:15 AM ET, 11/30/2009

G Street Food, Furstenberg part ways

By Tom Sietsema

No longer on the menu at G Street Food: Baker Mark Furstenberg. The muse behind the fledgling establishment serving street snacks from around the world (and egg salad, too) submitted his resignation to restaurateur David Choi over the weekend.

"The owners of G Street Food and I had different views of the business," says Furstenberg. Under the terms of his contract with Choi and his business partners, the consultant planned to stay at the eatery full-time until May, then continue part-time for two years.

"I'm very disappointed. Customers are going to be disappointed," says Furstenberg, who's been a daily presence behind the food counter at G Street Food (and, it should be noted, a long-time friend of mine). One reason he's leaving so soon after the September launch is a reduction in staff that eliminated two of his best cooks. He says quality control was another issue. "It's important to my ego to serve stuff I'm proud of," says Furstenberg, 71.

While hailing Furstenberg as "a talented chef and baker," Choi says there were problems with consistency and menu variety that needed to be addressed. Moving forward, he plans to broaden the menu and lower some prices but retain G Street Food's theme. "It's not as if my employees and I haven't had street food around the world," says Choi, who was born in South Korea. Staff and other cuts were necessary because customer traffic was lower than expected, he adds.

The creator of Marvelous Market and the Breadline is considering returning to his roots. "Well, if I had my wish, I will do a really good bakery in the city," says Furstenberg, who has scouted locations in Dupont and Logan Circles, neighborhoods with lots of foot traffic.

Equally intriguing is his more immediate idea of selling his handiwork from a roving truck, perhaps corned beef, pastrami and other sandwiches. Says Furstenberg, "Taking food to people is even more appealing to me than asking people to come to me."

-- Tom Sietsema

By Tom Sietsema  | November 30, 2009; 10:15 AM ET
Categories:  Restaurants  | Tags:  Tom Sietsema  
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I tried this place twice and both times, I left underwhelmed. Street food is usually inexpensive, so a $9 bahn mi better be revelatory. Theirs was more pain-causing with too crusty bread and a decided lack of that bahn-mi magic of savory & sweet meats balanced by pickled vegetables.

I also tried the pizza, which was meh. I should have known better because the pizzas are on display, and they always look like they have been sitting out for hours. They don't even warm up a slice for you when you order it!

I did engage with the cooks about tweaking their food, and I was impressed with their candor and willingness to experiment. Hopefully they'll work out the kinks.

Posted by: A-lo | November 30, 2009 3:59 PM | Report abuse

Well, stop closing at 3-4pm and places like this would GET more foot traffic. I don't work in downtown DC and can't try it unless I'm off from work, which is rare...very frustrating!

Posted by: sigmagrrl | December 1, 2009 1:50 PM | Report abuse

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