Capitol Hill Likes Burgers, NYT Likes Writing About It

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D.C.'s love affair with comfort food is long-established among area foodies. Ben's Chili Bowl makes headlines all the time with its famous visitors, while Obama's Five Guys trip was also well-publicized. But the New York Times may have gone a bit too far highlighting this with a trend story and slide-show accompaniment with the headlines "Junk Food Storms the Capitol" and "Junk Food Is a Source of Comfort on Capitol Hill."

In the article, Jennifer Steinhauer notes a spread of "Everyman Eating" on the Hill, with restaurants like the DC-3, the Liberty Tree, Good Stuff Eatery and many others (not to mention those old-standbys, the food trucks) cropping up as the area becomes a residential neighborhood. The Hill, in the writer's estimation, is now "awash in milkshakes, grilled cheese sandwiches and mildly baroque pizza" and embracing the national passion of "affordable, nostalgic and deeply accessible" comfort food.

While a few Senators (the ones literally sleeping in their office's, no doubt) might appreciate the unpretentious evaluation of the Hill's food scene, at least one blogger doesn't. Why not just go the extra mile and say that "New York Also Thinks DC Looks Fat In Those Pants"? In this satirical open letter of this title, Capitol Hill blogger Maria Helena Carey notes that the Times article makes it sound as if McDonald's, Wendy's and Burger Kings are "cropping up on every corner" when, in fact, there's only one "sad little McDonald's on that stretch."

And as far as the boutique restaurants capitalizing on the Hill's apparent love affair with all the greasy Americana staples? It's a "bit of an exaggeration," because even a quick glance at the menus of the restaurants in question reveals healthier fare along with the hearty items, she reckons. And--as The Atlantic Wire also wonders--what is this "baroque" pizza that the Times describes? Carey takes a few guesses: is it "ornate? rococo? weird? misshapen?"

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