Allie: What inspired you to open Call Your Mother Jewish deli?
Andrew: I grew up in Mt Pleasant, and my dad is a lawyer but always said to me “I like my career, but I should have opened a deli.” As I was growing up and started working, I stole his tagline, but switched it up to wanting to open up a pizza restaurant. Timber Pizza had been open for a year, and opening up a deli became a way I could expand and do this thing my dad had talked about for years. Out of that was born Call Your Mother.
Allie: Where does the name come from?
Andrew: The place came before the name. I knew I wanted the deli to look very light and playful. My grandparents lived in Boca Raton while I was growing up, and I wanted it to look like Boca meets Brooklyn. We went through a lot of bad names, and we were thinking about something funny your Jewish grandmother would yell at you, and my friend’s sister yelled out “call your mother!” Everyone was laughing and I said, lock it in.
Allie: Do you call your mom enough?
Andrew: Every day. Or she calls me.
Allie: What’s your favorite thing on the menu?
Andrew: The Craig D., named after Craig David, a famous British singer who is like 5% Jewish, perfect. It’s a homemade peach jam, cream cheese with jalapenos, bacon, and we put chips on there. I usually recommend the Amar’e to someone who is coming in here for the first time. It’s on a za’atar bagel which is different, and made with candied salmon cream cheese, which is like your favorite salmon cream cheese on steroids.
Allie: How did you come up with the recipe for these bagels?
Andrew: Dani (the chef and partner) and I don’t really have lives or friends, so all we talk about are restaurant things and getting inspiration for food. Dani is the bomb dot com.
Allie: What’s a piece of wisdom you bring to your work at Call Your Mother?
Andrew: Dani and I often say to each other “bring fun back to food”. So much of fine dining is stuffy and serious. At the end of the day we are making warm carbs so people are happier and fuller – we don’t take ourselves too seriously.
Allie: What is your favorite Jewish food?
Andrew: Latkes, I cannot be trusted in a room with latkes.
Allie: It’s not bagels?
Andrew: Eh. It’s latkes.
Allie: What do you like on your latkes?
Andrew: Applesauce, I hate sour cream with a passion. I also kind of like gefilte fish. Growing up for most Jewish holidays, we used to go to my next door neighbor’s house who was a big time hippie, medium sized Jew, and we would have enchiladas. So while enchiladas are not actually a Jewish food, they are also in my top three of favorite Jewish foods.
Allie: What about your favorite Jewish holiday?
Andrew: How could it not be Hanukkah? It’s 8 days of presents.
Allie: How do you relax at the end of a long work week?
Andrew: I go to Yoga Heights, big fan. I also like a nice jog through Rock Creek Park. And I play basketball to get my rage out.
Allie: What’s your perfect day in DC?
Andrew: Wake up, chill out, bike through Rock Creek Park and head to Little Red Fox. I’d get their breakfast sandwich The Sherwin, add avocado, and get a hot cup of coffee. Delicious. From there, I’d go to Rose Park in Georgetown, play some hoops. Then, take a stroll and meander to Baked and Wired, I’d get some tea and a duffin, which is a mix of a donut and muffin, and then go down to the waterfront and take it all in. I’m a big nature guy if you can’t tell. I’d teleport over to Indigo. Bomb Indian food. Delicious. After that, I’d go catch a movie at the Uptown Theater. Classic theater, big screen, iconic. When I get out, I can go to my favorite pizza place that isn’t Timber called Vace, get some slices. From there, I’d walk down Porter Street to where my parents live, pick up my parents, walk up to Mount Pleasant Street and end with ice cream at Mount Desert Island.
Allie: Final question. Complete this sentence: When Jews of DC gather…
Andrew: They eat bagels at Call Your Mother.
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