Roll Call: Latest News on Capitol Hill, Congress, Politics and Elections
February 2, 2015

Posts in "Restos"

January 30, 2015

Cheese and Thank You, Sona

The little Capitol Hill creamery that could is celebrating its one-year anniversary by doling out surprise cheeseboards to people customers feel are most deserving of some gourmet gratitude.

Cheese and Thank You, Sona

How about a little “Random Act of Cheese?” (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Those interested in taking advantage of Sona Creamery and Wine Bar’s “Random Acts of Cheese” campaign are encouraged to nominate those worthy of a dairy-rich snack. Full story

January 29, 2015

Hospitality Giants Aim to Mobilize Food Fans to Action (Video)

Hospitality Giants Aim to Mobilize Food Fans to Action (Video)

Sips & Suppers co-founders Nathan, Waters and Andres address the Newseum event. (Warren Rojas/CQ Roll Call)

It turns out that huddling with food-conscious Washingtonians and raising millions of dollars for local charities was merely an appetizer for “Sips & Suppers” co-founders José Andrés, Joan Nathan and Alice Waters.

Their next objective: getting the well-fed masses up from their respective tables and into the streets to clamor for change in school-lunch policies. Full story

January 28, 2015

GOP Snowmobile Trek Mirrors Meat Week

Reps. Dan Benishek and Bill Huizenga are hitting the back roads of the Wolverine State Thursday for their 2nd Annual Congressional Snowmobile Ride — a wintry romp punctuated by plenty of meaty pit stops.

The Michigan Republicans ventured out into the snow-covered landscape in 2014.

Full story

January 15, 2015

Commander-in-Chief Helps Raise Charmington’s Profile

A “surprise” visit Thursday from President Barack Obama has helped put an employee-owned, Charm City café on the political map.

Commander in Chief Helps Raise Charmington’s Profile

(Screenshot)

Per a White House pool report, the First Belly rolled into town with Maryland Democrat Barbara A. Mikulski in tow and took the opportunity to chat up three local women about the administration’s paid sick-leave trial balloon. The “unannounced stop” fits the president’s MO of huddling with potential beneficiaries of proposed policy changes. Full story

December 30, 2014

The Gifts That Keep on Giving: HOH’s 2014 Faves

What a year we all just lived through!

There was election night drama, international intrigue and, of course, tearful farewells.

Keeping track of all the mayhem on Capitol Hill once again proved exhausting, thanks in large part to the concerted efforts of the following over achievers.

Rep. Michael G. Grimm, R-N.Y.

The Gifts That Keep on Giving: HOH’s 2014 Faves

(Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

The embattled pol is a one-man gossip mill. Full story

December 10, 2014

Indigo Skirts Major Flare Up

An early Wednesday morning scare could have sent Indigo founder Dinesh Tandon’s hospitality dreams up in smoke. Luckily, things were brought under control before the budding restaurateur was forced to switch careers.

Indigo Skirts Major Flare Up

(Courtesy HOH tipster)

“Yes, sir, a small fire broke out,” Tandon said of the minor skirmish that compelled first responders to swing by his NoMa outpost.

The culprit?

“A washer/dryer that we use for aprons and other rags used in the kitchen,” Tandon explained. Full story

By Warren Rojas Posted at 12:29 p.m.
Food, Restos

December 8, 2014

Feast Your Eyes on Our Inaugural Dining Guide

Pull up a seat, friend. Let me share the tale of how a half-baked scheme to whip up a handy guide to the most interesting places to grab a bite around #ThisTown was kneaded, chopped, seasoned and lovingly molded into the “Nom, Nom, Nom-nibus.”

Feast Your Eyes on Our Inaugural Dining Guide

(Chris Hale/CQ Roll Call Illustration)

As the resident food scribe here at Roll Call, I pride myself on ferreting out local establishments worthy of your hard-earned dining dollars.

Whether that search leads me to a smoke-belching truck idling along some random curbside, or forces me to elbow my way through a throng of high-rollers in order to claim the last bar stool at the latest hot spot matters not.

For my money, it all comes down to what winds up on the plate.

From handcrafted snacks to house-aged steaks, I weigh them all against what I believe our devoted readers would consider a pleasurable experience at a fair price. Which is why I’m as comfortable sending folks out to feast on half-smokes (D.C., represent!) as I am directing traffic toward a Michelin star-worthy outpost.

This forthcoming e-book dining guide — available soon for download at rollcall.com — aims to do just that, shining a light on novel eats from across the culinary spectrum. Some of the recommendations might be perfect for dazzling discerning palates. (Exotic nibbles at The Source! Mouth watering barbecue at DCity Smokehouse!) Others might help advance your career. (Hobnobbing at Johnny’s couldn’t hurt.) A few — such as the Indian carry-out favored by a certain civil rights champ — you may want to keep to yourself.

Need a drink? Sample the sip selections.

Craving comfort foods? Dig into the specials.

Jonesing for sugar? The sweet section runs both hot (doughnuts!) and cold (gelato, yo).

Mind you, this is just the first bite of the apple. There’s plenty more exploratory eating to be done. And I, for one, can’t wait to continue savoring everything the District has to offer.

Bon appétit!

The 114th: CQ Roll Call’s Guide to the New Congress

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December 1, 2014

Medium Rare’s Free Turkey Fry Was Red Hot

Medium Rare fried up more than 175 turkeys and spread holiday joy throughout the Barracks Row community this past holiday weekend.

Underestimating the popularity of the annual fried turkey service Medium Rare founder Mark Bucher has put together since 2008, this HOH contributor and his party quickly realized our poor planning left us needing an alternative way to cook our bird, as turnout was massive.

Medium Rare’s Free Turkey Fry Was Red Hot

(Courtesy Mark Bucher)

Bucher said the line started around 8 a.m. for the culinary assistance scheduled to take place between 11 a.m. and 2 p.m.. When he opened the doors at 9 a.m., a full two hours early, he was met with enthusiastic fans. “We were greeted by an 89-year-old grandmother, who was using a walker, who took a bus 45 minutes to have her turkey deep fried. She had received a free turkey from the Marion Barry turkey giveaway, and had nowhere to cook it,” Bucher said, noting that they tended to 19 Marion Barry turkeys this year.

Many more visitors gathered to have the turkeys fried to a golden brown, including a number of wheelchair-bound veterans. Once there, they mingled with doctors, lawyers, and even some local politicians all while being filmed by a TV crew from ABC7.

Per Bucher, visitors traveled from as far as Leesburg to have their turkeys cooked for them. Once inside, patrons chatted with one another while enjoying complimentary coffee and hot cider.

There were a few mishaps. Bucher said one turkey hit the floor of the restaurant and another was picked up by someone who did not drop one off.  There was no need to worry though, as Bucher had a few extras ready to go.

As always, the event was free to the public, though Bucher was accepting donations for DC’s “Ready, Willing and Working” charity. And for those wondering when they need to line up next year, Thanksgiving in 2015 is Nov. 26.

Related:

Medium Rare Brings Fried Turkey Service to Barracks Row

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November 19, 2014

Mark Pocan Dishes About Kringle

Square meals, schmare meals. Rep. Mark Pocan is more interested in circular arguments.

The Wisconsin Democrat expressed his love for kringle, an oval-shaped sweet, on social media, declaring the regional treat a “staple of any well rounded Wisconsin diet.”

A Scandinavian baking tradition that’s been carried on by Danish transplants to the Badger State, kringle features overlapping layers of flaky pastry dough historically stuffed with fruit or nut fillings. Modern versions include frosted rings run through with everything from caramel-drenched pecans (want) to peppermint-spiked chocolate cake (need).

Pocan told HOH he’s most fond of strawberry flavored kringle, though he’s open to trying new things.

“There are some good seasonal flavors like pumpkin caramel,” he said. Full story

November 13, 2014

From the Drive-Thru to Congress: The Fast-Food Caucus Dishes

Apart from her immediate family — and, perhaps, the hog castrators of the world — no one appears to be prouder of Iowa Republican Joni Ernst than those she used to break bake bread with.

Hence the reason Andy Puzder, CEO of CKE Restaurants, rushed to congratulate the one-time breakfast-rush worker and senator-elect in a splashy ad in the Des Moines Register.

From the Drive Thru to Congress: The Fast Food Caucus Dishes

(Courtesy HOH tipster)

“Thanks, Joni, for reminding us that, in this great country of ours, your job and your life are what you make of them,” the head of the Hardee’s and Carl’s Jr. chains praised in the ad, after Ernst touted her biscuit-making past in her election night victory speech.

Her ascension to Capitol Hill follows a career trajectory familiar to the growing number of lawmakers who dedicated parts of their youth to slinging burgers and fries at various grab-and-go establishments.

Other members of what we’ve dubbed the Fast-Food Caucus include:

Rep. Paul D. Ryan

An aide to the 2012 GOP vice presidential pick confirmed that the Wisconsin Republican briefly worked at McDonald’s during the summer between his sophomore and junior years of high school.

According to his office, the former grill cook — “The manager didn’t think I had the social skills to work the counter,” Ryan told the New Yorker — gleaned plenty from the experience.

“Congressman Ryan learned the value of hard work — a lesson that continues to help him in Congress today,” Team Ryan said. And before being elected to the House, Ryan further honed his hospitality skills working at Tortilla Coast.  Full story

November 6, 2014

Politics and Prose, Busboys and Poets on Same Page About Expanding Readership

The independent D.C bookstore no serious author — lawmakers included — can ignore and the socially conscious meeting place fostered by political activist Andy Shallal are coming together to help venerate the written word.

According to a joint statement, the partnership between literary haunt Politics & Prose and hospitality haven Busboys and Poets will take flight next month, with the debut of the newest B&P location in Brookland.

“Politics and Prose epitomizes the greatness and reach of independent bookstores, and we are thrilled that they will partner with us to continue in our tradition of offering multicultural books that represent the diversity of Washington DC,” Shallal touted in a release.

Bradley Graham and Lissa Muscatine, the husband and wife team behind P&P, are expected to take the lead on the forthcoming restaurant’s companion retail operation, and are scheduled to follow suit by putting their stamp on the bookselling component of the B&P slated to open in Takoma Park this January.

“We’re especially grateful to Busboys and Poets owner Andy Shallal for suggesting this venture and for believing in the power of books to enliven, educate, and enrich our community,” Graham and Muscatine stated online.

P&P currently serves as a second home for lawmakers, past and present, with captivating stories to tell. Once the integration wraps in 2015 — P&P is scheduled to assume control of the pre-existing book nooks at the B&P outposts in Mount Vernon Triangle; Hyattsville, Md.; and Shirlington, Va. — Graham and Muscatine will have a half-dozen spaces at which to welcome wordsmiths with something to say.

According to The Washington Post, the nonprofit Teaching for Change will continue to operate the bookstore at the flagship Busboys and Poets and 14th and V streets NW.

“We see great synergy in this new initiative and believe that working with Busboys will enable P&P to make books and authors more available throughout the metro region,” Graham and Muscatine assured local readers.

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November 3, 2014

Newt, Electing for Some Downtime

With just hours to go until the Election Day buzzsaw officially rips apart half the nation’s hopes and dreams, candidates are hustling to sew up every last possible vote any which way they can.

Louisiana Republican Bill Cassidy, who is hoping to unseat Sen. Mary L. Landrieu, D-La., in what’s likely to be a down-to-the-wire challenge, was pounding the pavement in search of support.

 

 

Full story

Turned On? Tune In! Or Drop Out (Whatevs)

Turned On? Tune In! Or Drop Out (Whatevs)

(Screenshot)

Election night 2014 is looking like it’ll be a nail-biter.

With so many variables in play — Will the Affordable Care Act ultimately prove detrimental to Democrats’ professional health? Who will independent candidates caucus with on Capitol Hill? How long (and how many runoffs) before we divine the next Senate majority leader? — one might be tempted to grab a drink, catch a movie and perhaps wait for “The Daily Show” recap on Wednesday, rather than suffer through umpteen hours of wall-to-wall news coverage.

But that’s not how #ThisTown rolls, is it? Full story

October 29, 2014

Medium Rare Brings Fried Turkey Service to Barracks Row

Medium Rare founder Mark Bucher is importing a holiday tradition to Capitol Hill: staff will fry up — for free — any turkeys folks brought by his new(ish) Barracks Row location on Thanksgiving morning.

Bucher says he instituted the neighborly program back in 2008, and explained he has followed through with the meal-making assistance virtually every year since, though he noted he “took last year off.” His best showing so far: 120 birds dunked in a single day.

“We’re going to save people from burning down their house or going to the emergency room,” Bucher told Fox DC about his self-styled community service. This year’s deep-frying fest is scheduled to take place on Nov. 27 from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m.

Full story

October 14, 2014

Test Class Already Hooked on Line-Skirting Dining Service

The super-secret Usher app has been helping a tight-lipped clique of well-connected bon vivants sidestep the restaurant reservation process for several weeks now. Rumor has it that some of the early adopters may not be able to go back to living without it.

The homegrown hospitality aid launched in “stealth mode” — a closely guarded roll-out extended to “influential” people in D.C., including an undisclosed number of Capitol Hill denizens — in early September.

Test Class Already Hooked on Line Skirting Dining Service

(Screenshot)

“My boss says it’s like the Uber of restaurants,” our tipster shared. “He says that he was initially skeptical, but hasn’t used OpenTable or Yelp since.”

Per the tipster, Usher somehow enables users to “get access to exclusive clubs/restaurants without a reservation.”

Team Usher declined to comment on how many people have enrolled in the stealth cohort or which local restaurants have embraced the line-cutting program. But the clandestine company sounds like it’s almost ready to come out of its shell.

“Service is throughout D.C. with the intention to expand soon after public launch,” an Usher aide shared via email. Full story

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