Washington D.C.

To-Go TakesWashington D.C.

Andrew Dana of Mercy Me Shares His Favorite DC Takeout (and Pizza) Haunts


To-Go Takes is Resy’s regular feature wherein we quiz the folks behind some of our favorite restaurants about all things related to takeout. 

In this edition, we speak to Andrew Dana, half of the restaurateur powerhouse duo he forms with chef (and his fiancée) Daniela Moreira that’s behind Mercy Me, Timber Pizza Company, and Call Your Mother Deli. Below, he shares some of his favorite takeout tips, tricks, cocktails, and regular stops.  

The Grand Villa bagel from Call Your Mother Deli. Photo by Tim Casey, courtesy of Call Your Mother Deli


Restaurant: Mercy Me
Name + Title: Andrew Dana, Co-Owner

Resy: What are your absolute favorite dishes at each of your restaurants?

Dana: If I’m building a feast, I’m starting with breakfast at Call Your Mother and I’m going to start with the Grand Villa — it’s our cinnamon raison bagel with Big Spoon peanut butter and raspberry guava jam. If I’m feeling spicy, I’ll put granola on for a crunch. Love starting the say with peanut butter, nothing better than that. For lunch, the Green Monster pesto based pie from Timber Pizza with fresh mozzarella — feels just healthy enough. And then for Mercy Me, I would go for the pot pie for dinner. It is delicious, comforting, and it’s a twist on a classic.
The Green Monster pie from Timber Pizza. Photo Credit by Tim Casey, courtesy of Timber Pizza Co.

Where are you getting takeout from and what are you ordering?

Indigo: It’s an Indian restaurant and I’ve been getting the carryout paradise platter with cauliflower potatoes and a pepper dish, cut up with potatoes as well, with a vegetable samosa to start.

Cielo Rojo (Takoma Park): The fish tacos. They are delicious and they make everything from the tortillas to the beans from scratch. It’s delicious, light, and craveable.

Sababa: We’ve been ordering a lot of takeout from Sababa. They have a salmon dish that is to die for. I think it’s on a charcoal grill, pomegranate marinade, it comes with rice, the salmon is cooked perfectly, you don’t need a knife, it falls apart. It’s a must-try.

Cane: I like to order the whole fried fish from Cane. I don’t know how they do it, but it gets delivered still crispy. It hits the spot all the time. Ridiculously good.

Best condiment to amp up your takeout?

By far, the spicy pineapple from ‘Chups, a local ketchup company. It’s a pineapple-y hot sauce and it adds a little kick and sweetness to everything — pizza, bagels, fancy food.

Where are you grabbing cocktails to go?

This is cheating, but I have to say Mercy Me. I don’t really like drinking, but Micah [Wilder], our bar director, makes unbelievable drinks, like the Cool Chameleon, with pomegranate, Cynar, mint, soda, and he’s packing them all up cutie patootie. Only place I’ll drink is Mercy Me.

Mercy Me’s pot pie dinner. Photo courtesy of Andrew Dana

What single restaurant dish would you walk miles for?

You know what I would walk miles for? Vace’s pizza. And I know I own Timber, but Vace has the crispiest bottoms of all time, a nice sweet sauce on top, and I actually have walked miles for it, so it’s a true story.

What was your first meal back once restaurants reopened?

Albi. It was my first meal back when restaurants reopened and I will go back once restaurants are able to reopen like they used to. It’s that incredible. Everything is centered around this live fire, and everything has such attention to detail and precision to it. It’s comforting, reliable, and perfectly executed, which is hard to do. I think we ordered the whole menu: embered mushroom hummus, pitas [that] came out from the oven — it got eaten so fast, it was scary — a whole grilled fish with a potato stew underneath with some crispy rice on the side. It was amazing.

What do you miss the most about restaurants? 

Just like the energy. There’s an energy in a full restaurant that you can’t replicate anywhere else. You can eat the great food at home but it will never be the same until a restaurant is buzzing, people are sharing food and eating. That’s why it’s a restaurant in the first place.

Mercy Me is open for indoor and outdoor dining seven days a week. Order takeout and delivery here.