Hungry? Heroes rush to the rescue

Tucked away in the basements of the Rayburn and Cannon House office buildings, Rayburn Deli and Cannon Carryout bring six new options to Capitol Hill staffers in search of a quick and affordable bite. They’re called Heroes on the Hill: pre-made, cold-served, eight-inch subs at $4.95 apiece.

Among the new items, the Chicken Pesto Hero is one of the most popular. Thick, tender hunks of well-seasoned breast meat enclosed in a crispy-on-the-outside, soft-on-the-inside French roll compensate for lettuce and sauteed red peppers slightly soggy from time in the display case.

The Roast Beef and Cheddar Hero is another hot item. While dense mounds of meat and slabs of cheddar cheese help fill you up, this sandwich, topped with mostly crunch-less lettuce, tomatoes and sauteed onions, lacks flavor. But the sandwiches can be grilled on request, and there are several tasty condiments available: balsamic vinegar, Italian dressing, Creole mustard, chipotle mayonnaise and olive tapenade, to name a few. Bacon can be added for $0.75 and extra cheese for $0.65, too.

Both locations offer a wide variety of side dishes and accompaniments. Fruit cups, tuna salad, egg salad, yogurt, chips, salads, bean dishes, pastries, soft-serve frozen yogurt and candy bars are available and range from $.90 to $3.95 each. To wash it all down, there’s coffee, sodas, fruit drinks, milk and bottled water, costing between $1.50 and $2.75.

Other heroes include the Mozzarella, Tomato, Roasted Peppers and Basil; the Turkey Bacon Club; the Italian Cold Cut; the Dagwood; and a rotation of hot subs, such as a meatball, marinara and provolone combination. Each is served with a pickle.

Both spots can get busy and cramped during peak hours, but you’re not likely to spend more than 10 minutes there if you know what you want. In the hallways directly outside, chairs and tables are available if you’re not in a hurry to get back to the office.