Monday, March 02, 2009

Obama Restaurant Watch

We all know that Obama went out with DC Mayor Adrian Fenty for lunch at DC institution Ben's Chili Bowl:

What's a hot dog between buddies on a Saturday afternoon of hanging out in Washington? A lot, if the guy buying is President Obama and the restaurant is the heart and soul of the city's U Street Corridor.

Sales nearly doubled at Ben's Chili Bowl after Mr. Obama and Mayor Adrian M. Fenty stopped in on Jan. 10 for one of the establishment's legendary "half-smoke" hot dogs.

Though the U Street neighborhood has long been the center of the city's black culture and among the most prosperous over the past couple of decades, the rise of Mr. Obama, the country's first black president, has created a wave of energy and prosperity that has rippled through the community.

"It's the cultural heart of the city," said Obama spokesman Ben LaBolt. "The scene isn't driven by politics or money, so it's a good opportunity to escape the D.C. bubble and meet a diverse set of people. . . . Sales of the signature half-smoke - a half-pork, half-beef smoked sausage on a bun with spicy chili sauce - went to 5,000 that week from the normal number of roughly 2,750. And the restaurant went through roughly 550 gallons of chili, compared with the typical 250 gallons a week.

And we all know that the menu at the recent WH dinner was tres elegant, local, seasonal, good: Chesapeake crab agnolottis (stuffed pasta), wagyu beef, Nantucket scallops, and huckleberry cobbler for dessert.

What you may not have heard is that, apparently, the Leader of the Free World likes carbs: [Michelle Obama reveals that]: "There are some mean waffles and grits that are made in the morning that have become a regular staple for some of us," . . . . But she didn't reveal exactly for who[m] that breakfast pairing has become a morning favorite. Though she was quick to add that she's not the one who eats waffles every day.

Dear Mr. Obama:

The best grits and waffles and grits in DC aren't in DC, they're in Falls Church, Virginia. And you know you owe it all to Virginia; come show us some love. Go to the Original Pancake House and get a side of their cheese grits and an order of: Bacon Waffle: Our golden brown waffle baked with real bits of bacon. Served with whipped butter and hot syrup. Or, if it's too late in the day for breakfast, Vidalia makes some of the best shrimp and grits in the city: Yellow grits, andouille sausage, pearl onions, and spicy shellfish cream and you can wash it down with their rosemary lemonade. Have their homemade cookies for dessert, and then walk the girls over to the Ritz for a swim in the pool or walk all the way to Georgetown to burn off the calories.
More good grits recommendations here.

Or, if you ever want to have dinner with w a witch, I make a pretty mean grits casserole:

3 c. quick grits - cooked according to directions
2 sticks butter
9 eggs, whipped with a whisk
1 c. cream
1 1/2 lbs. grated sharp cheddar cheese
1 C chopped onion and pepper sauteed in olive oil
1 C chopped up or mini shrimp, seasoned with Old Bay seasoning
Tabasco as desired

Mix together and bake 1 hour in pan sprayed with Pam in 350 degree oven.

Serve w bloody mary.

Where do you go for good grits?

Photo found here.


Maritzia said...

Oh, dear, I'm seriously going to have to try that grits casserole recipe.

But Quick Grits? MMMMMMM...we're gonna have to revoke your Southern credentials for that!

Elizabeth Weaver Engel, CAE said...

Johnny's Half Shell for BBQ shrimp on cheese grits, preferably accompanied by a glass of bubbly.

Or Jimmy T's on East Capitol Street, for a real greasy spoon grits-n-eggs breakfast, served by an authentically surly waiter.

And B.Ob. can go to Marvin on 14th Street if he's craving some fried chicken and waffles.

I love that the Obamas have been out in DC more in 6 weeks than the Bushes were in 8 years.

There's "Washington" where the federal government does its thing, and then there's "DC" where people actually live. Glad our new Prez understands that and has decided to get to know DC.