Roll Call: Latest News on Capitol Hill, Congress, Politics and Elections
September 19, 2014

Posts in "Food"

June 16, 2014

Exit Interview: Justin Harding

He may be back home in his beloved Beehive State now, but veteran GOP aide Justin Harding tells HOH he will absolutely miss the hustle and bustle — and occasional solitude — of life on Capitol Hill.

The seasoned House aide is following in his latest boss’ footsteps, leaving the side of Rep. Jason Chaffetz, R-Utah, to serve as chief of staff to Utah Gov. Gary R. Herbert. Chaffetz did time as chief of staff to then-Utah Gov. John Huntsman before striking out on his own.

Harding started his new gig Monday. Full story

June 14, 2014

Congressional Hits and Misses: Week of June 9 (Video)

Even with Majority Leader Eric Cantor stealing the spotlight for much of the week, members managed to focus their attention on beef jerky, hamburgers, pools and Ewoks.

June 11, 2014

How Eric Cantor’s Loss Is Like Taste of America

Do you believe in miracles?

It’s been a long time since Al Michaels famously yelled that question after the U.S. hockey team beat the Soviets in 1980 at the Lake Placid Winter Olympics. No one thought the U.S. could beat the Soviet Union, at least in hockey. No one thought economics professor Dave Brat could beat House Majority Leader Eric Cantor in Tuesday’s Republican primary in Virginia. Does anyone thinks that, say, Oregon blackberry pie can topple such culinary behemoths as Maine’s lobster roll or Maryland’s crab cakes in the annual Roll Call Taste of America contest.

So, underdog foods, do you believe in miracles?

By Jason Dick Posted at 4:41 p.m.
Food

Plotting Cantor’s Last 24 Hours as Leader

He’s still a ways away from needing to haul a moving van to cart his legislative mementos back to Henrico County, Va. But it’s now painfully obvious that Rep. Eric Cantor is living on borrowed time in Congress.

Plotting Cantor’s Last 24 Hours as Leader

(Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

The Virginia Republican saw his career cut short Tuesday after suffering a stunning loss to relatively unknown economics professor Dave Brat in a history-making electoral upset.

We suspect he’s already replaying in his head every single thing he could have done differently. One can only hope he’s sparing himself the indignity of compartmentalizing each crushing blow into a slowly unspooling shame spiral — though that might finally make for an interesting installment of the long-since abandoned “Snapshot of the Leader” series.

Team Cantor briefly experimented with a torturous examination of the House majority leader’s daily activities, but appears to have given up on the documenting process after just 120 mind-numbing minutes.

Hour One

Hour Two

Confidence is low they’ll revive the video diary for his last official day here on Capitol Hill. But we can’t help but wonder just what that might look like. Full story

June 10, 2014

Minnesota Democrats Stump for #VoteDuluth

It’s coming down to the wire in Outside’s fourth annual “Best Towns Tournament,” and Minnesota Democrats are doing their darnedest to ensure that nobody, but nobody — that means you, Beehive Staters — comes between Duluth and sweet, sweet victory.

Minnesota Democrats Stump for #VoteDuluth

(Screenshot)

The monthlong competition has seen its share of ups and downs, with the two top contenders battling hard for national recognition.

Along the way, Duluth handily disposed of Columbia, Mo. (enjoying a nearly 5-to-1 advantage in the first round); then trumped Athens, Ohio (second round); La Crosse, Wis. (third round); neighboring Minneapolis (fourth round) and Asheville, N.C. (fifth round), to reach the finals.

Provo bested Jackson, Wyo. (first round); Taos, N.M. (second round); Missoula, Mont. (third round); Anchorage, Alaska (fourth round), and then just barely squeaked by Ithaca, N.Y. (receiving just 51 percent of the votes in the fifth round), in its bid to achieve destination travel dominance.

With municipal bragging rights up for grabs through Sunday (voting closes just before the stroke of midnight June 15), the Minnesota delegation is letting the trash talk fly.

 

Full story

June 9, 2014

Drink In the Granite State’s Awesomeness on Wednesday

The New Hampshire delegation will welcome scores of home-state businesses — including a baker’s dozen of booze makers — to the Capitol Wednesday for the fifth annual “Experience New Hampshire” reception.

Drink In the Granite State’s Awesomeness on Wednesday

(Warren Rojas/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Democrats Jeanne Shaheen, Carol Shea-Porter and Ann McLane Kuster and their Republican counterpart, Sen. Kelly Ayotte, are poised to once again co-host the epicurean love fest.

The invite-only taste-around is scheduled to take place Wednesday from 5 p.m. to 7 p.m. in the Kennedy Caucus Room (Russell 325).

Per Shaheen’s office, first-timers Ali Baba’s Wholefoods Festival and Treasures, Michele’s Sweet Shoppe, gourmet chocolatier Lindt and New Hampshire Mushroom Company are all expected to inject new life into the noshing side. Shaheen favorites Granite State Candy Shoppe and L.A. Burdick are safely back in the rotation.

Meanwhile, newly recruited beer slingers Great Rhythm Brewing Company, The Prodigal Brewery and Throwback Brewery will join the ranks of an already impressive tippling line-up scheduled to include:

We’re feeling punchy (hic!) just thinking about all the guzzling — ahem, responsible sipping — that lies ahead.

Taste of America Elite Eight Is Set

The final round of this year’s Taste of America competition is off and running, with the Elite Eight facing off for the title of America’s favorite food.

Will the sweet or the savory win top honors? Will the debate over whether Maine or Maryland has superior seafood finally be put to rest? Time will tell as the final round of voting ends on June 20.

The final round contains Utah’s cherry cobbler, Oregon’s blackberry pie, Iowa bacon, Illinois deep dish pizza, Maine’s lobster roll, Maryland crab cakes, Kentucky fried chicken and North Carolina barbecue.

Oregon’s blackberry pie was the top vote-getter in the third round, but the dish made it into the final round by a mere 84 votes, besting Montana steak. Maine’s lobster roll won its spot in the final round by the highest margin, beating Delaware’s boardwalk fries by more than 4,000 votes.

The winner of the competition will be announced on June 25 at a reception during the 53rd Annual Roll Call Congressional Baseball Game.

So the choice is yours, America. Don’t forget to exercise your right and vote.

 

June 5, 2014

Rock Lobster! Maine Crustacean Cruising in Taste of America

The Maine lobster roll continues to claw its way to the top of the Taste of America 3rd Round vote totals, steamrolling (so far) Delaware’s boardwalk fries in a regional seafaring fight.

In other Round 3 action, Montana steak is pounding Oregon blackberry pie in a contest attracting many thousands of votes, and New York buffalo wings are taking flight against another Eastern bottom-dwelling protein, Maryland crab cakes. Round 3 might be one of the crueler brackets, as it makes difficult choices imminent. Who really wants to choose between Iowa bacon and Wisconsin macaroni and cheese? Don’t they go together so well?

Round 3 voting ends Friday, so make sure your vote counts.

By Jason Dick Posted at 11:54 a.m.
Food

June 4, 2014

NoVa Residents Primed to Walk All Over Gerry Connolly

Rep. Gerald E. Connolly will be immortalized as a bike trail this Saturday, effectively cementing his place in regional history for a good long while.

NoVa Residents Primed to Walk All Over Gerry Connolly

(CQ Roll Call File Photo)

The Virginia Democrat is poised to see his name added to the Cross County Trail on Saturday at 10 a.m., during a ceremony at Laurel Hill Park in Lorton, Va.

The official renaming comes some 15 years after local leaders first dreamed of piecing together the 40-mile stretch of recreational roadway, a project that Connolly, during his tenure as chairman of the Fairfax County Board of Supervisors, helped make a reality.

NoVa Residents Primed to Walk All Over Gerry Connolly

(Courtesy Fairfax County Park Authority)

“He already is informally considered by many to be the ‘father’ of the CCT, and this trail naming is a well-deserved tribute to Mr. Connolly for his dedication and support of the Fairfax County Park Authority,” board members wrote last summer, in a report endorsing the name swap.

This cycling enthusiast is very familiar with the rolling terrain destined to bear Connolly’s brand into perpetuity; I even plotted a few choice spots to grab a bite along the way a few years back.

By Warren Rojas Posted at 11:57 a.m.
Food, Reps

June 3, 2014

Senate’s Common Sense Coalition Convenes at nopa

A tripartisan group of Senate lawmakers retreated to the relative safety of Penn Quarter Monday night, gathering around the table for a working dinner at nopa Kitchen + Bar.

Out tipster counted 10 participants in all, a roster that included: Common Sense Coalition organizers Mark Warner, D-Va., and Susan Collins, R-Maine, along with Sens. Bob Corker, R-Tenn.; Joe Manchin III, D-W.Va.; Kelly Ayotte, R-N.H.; Heidi Heitkamp, D-N.D.; Angus King, I-Maine; Lisa Murkowski, R-Alaska; Jeanne Shaheen, D-N.H.; and Joe Donnelly, D-Ind.

Did they need to clear the air about the administration’s proposed crackdown on carbon emissions?

Were they giving each other friendly odds on which leader might crack first during today’s campaign finance rumble?

Or was last night all about consoling Manchin after seeing his beloved pepperoni rolls bounced from the Taste of America brackets? Full story

By Warren Rojas Posted at 2:51 p.m.
DC, Food, Restos, Sens

June 2, 2014

Taste of America Defending Champ Eliminated, Field Is Wide Open

Taste of America Defending Champ Eliminated, Field Is Wide Open

What’s an apigigi? As pictured here in 2011, it’s a Taste of America winner that went on to be stifled the next year. Competition is fierce. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call File Photo.)

With last year’s champion out of the Taste of America competition, the field is wide open for a new dish to be crowned the best food in America.

So which state’s specialty will be this year’s Cinderella story? That remains to be seen as round 3 is currently underway and is set to end Friday.

The bracket-style tournament occurs alongside the 53rd Annual Congressional Baseball Game and pits state delicacies against one another, giving voters the opportunity to choose which dish will come out on top. Full story

May 29, 2014

Hospitality Vet Handicaps Taste of America Tourney

Journeyman toque Colin Abernethy was simply beside himself when he learned about what is going on in the regional grudge match that is Roll Call’s annual Taste of America showdown.

“I’m sorry, but no love for WV and its pepperoni rolls or Tudor’s biscuits? This vote is a sham!” the seasoned chef scolded the TOAverse after discovering that the much beloved West Virginia pepperoni roll was alive, but apparently not doing as well as the dominating lobster roll, in this year’s gustatory gauntlet.

Hospitality Vet Handicaps Taste of America Tourney

(CQ Roll Call Photo Illustration)

The bracket-style challenge began on May 12 and features four rounds of public voting, through June 20. The winner will be crowned on June 25 at a reception during the 53rd Annual Roll Call Congressional Baseball Game.

Instead of bellyaching about the current state of affairs, Abernethy vowed to get politically active.

“There’s still hope for the pepperoni roll as I just notified a bunch of Facebook friends about it lagging behind,” the naturally competitive chef assured us of his campaigning efforts.

More importantly, he agreed to put on his thinking cap and plot out the culinary carnage looming just ahead: Full story

May 28, 2014

Bacon or Ice Cream? Taste of America, Round Deux, Will Decide

Round Two of this year’s Roll Call Taste of America is underway, with last year’s champ, West Virginia’s Pepperoni Roll, after polishing off Boston Cream Pie in Round One, facing off against Delaware Boardwalk Fries.

The West Virginia-Delaware matchup isn’t the only Mid-Atlantic throwdown. Maryland Crab Cakes and D.C. Half-Smokes are also going mano a mano in the Round of 32 for bragging rights.

In intriguing comfort food contests, it’s hard to beat the beef bragging rights at, ahem, stake, in the Montana Steak versus Idaho Steak Fingers fight. And how can one resolve the Missouri Ice Cream Cone and Iowa Bacon question?

Vote early, vote often, as the purveyors of Chicago politics (and deep dish pizza!) might say.

By Jason Dick Posted at 5:17 p.m.
Food, Nationwide

May 27, 2014

The Balls Are in Your Court, Testy Festers

All you Big Sky gourmands can once again feast on the unique flavors of home during the Montana State Society’s 10th annual Rocky Mountain Oyster-packed jamboree on Saturday.

The Balls Are in Your Court, Testy Festers

(Courtesy Montana State Society)

The “Nuttin’ Better” event is scheduled to fill expectant bellies with all the deep-fried bull balls, blended Canadian whiskey and cold domestic beer any red-blooded American could want Saturday from 6-10 p.m.

Tickets to the all-you-can-eat-and-drink shindig, which is returning to American Legion Post 139 (3445 N. Washington Blvd., Arlington, Va.), are available online for $25 (through Friday) or $30 at the door.

One event organizer assured HOH that everyone would be privy to as much liquid courage as they like/need, whether it be administered by the cup (Crown Royal will purportedly be served straight up or mixed with soda) or the gallon (featured suds include: Budweiser, Bud Light, Coors Light, Miller Lite and Pabst Blue Ribbon). Full story

By Warren Rojas Posted at 4:54 p.m.
Booze, Food, Nationwide

May 21, 2014

Time Running Out to Vote in Taste of America’s First Round

Time is running out to vote for your favorite food in the first round of this year’s Taste of America competition.  Voting ends Friday, when the first batch of some states’ tasty concoctions will be tossed out.

Taste of America is an annual competition that happens alongside the Roll Call Congressional Baseball Game and pits signature dishes from each state against one another.

Last year’s winner, West Virginia’s pepperoni roll, is poised to advance to the next round with five times the votes of its competition, Boston Cream Pie.

One matchup to watch is the fried fruit face off, which is the closest contest of the first round. Only a few dozen votes separate Puerto Rico’s fried plantains and Alabama’s fried green tomatoes.

You can check out this year’s dishes and make sure that your state’s food will prevail at rollcalltasteofamerica.com/brackets.cfm. You can also learn more about some of the unique dishes vying for first place. Ever wonder what goes into Nevada’s chuckwagon buffet, Minnesota’s hotdish casserole or Nebraska’s handheld meat pie?  Now’s your chance to find out.

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