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Hungry Lobbyist

Basically all of DC right now… We probably won’t even get any snow anyway. These models totally all say snow. We’re about to get nailed! Did OPM call it yet? DC public schools called it already! WHAT?!? Virginia called it yesterday!!! Did OPM call it yet? “DC Government Half-Day”…da fuq?!? …

Elise Stefanik is many things. The youngest woman ever elected to Congress, extremely humble with a great sense of humor, an outdoor enthusiast, someone passionate about her family and her district, and a total foodie. No, seriously. She not only loves to cook and entertain, but she also knows some …

DC is a special little swamp-town where politics are a 24/7 topic and the next apocalypse is just one vote away. The youths are never too young to get indoctrinated, and here are some things you may find in your little one’s Halloween bag around town. Political Buttons Whether it’s …

The brains behind dishes on rental tips for DC and reveals her go-to spots Jamie Grigg first got her feet wet in this swamp of DC we all know and love in the summer of 2011, she says, after she “made the mistake of committing to my job in public affairs only two weeks after graduation day.” But what she says she didn’t know at the time was that her move to DC, “played a big part in sparking [her] interest in real estate.” That’s likely how you know her today. Jamie is the housing guru behind the popular website, and her real estate chops were cut on experience. “Because my time between school and my job was limited,” she says, “I experienced the apartment scramble that most people dread. As I studied for finals, my mom lined up appointments at several buildings. Her search method? Craigslist. In one day, we saw countless places and signed a lease. It was a whirlwind and I had no idea if I was making the right decision. The second time around, I vowed it would be different. As my lease came to an end, my obsession with Craigslist began. Through my continued obsession with Craigslist and a belief in a better way, Exposed Brick DC was born.” We have searched Craigslist and wished there was a new, more appropriate filter one could apply. For example, it would be so much easier if someone could pick out all the nice places and just put them in one place. If you have never been to Jamie’s site, that’s much of what she loves to do. And apparently it’s working. With over 1 million pageviews in six months, I think she may be on to something. What’s the funniest thing she notices about Craigslist apartment ads I ask? “People using ALL CAPS. It never works,” she replies. I THINK SHE IS RIGHT! Since DC is a town with many renters, I couldn’t let her get away without trying to get some tips. “Get educated and act quickly,” she says. “These two things might not sound like they go together but they do. Sixty days before your lease is up, start doing your homework. Start looking at apartments that fit your criteria and see how much they are going for. This way you won’t end up overpaying. By looking early, you are arm yourself with facts so making a decision is easy. This is where the acting quickly part comes in. When you are ready to commit, go for it. The best deals go fast. If you know it is a good deal, sign the lease.” But let’s talk about food now, shall we? What about living above a restaurant? Are there pros and cons? “Well,” Jamie thinks, “Depends on the restaurant. Le Diplomate is a win. Jumbo Slice is a fail.” I guess she has a point, although if you go out a lot, pretty sure the latter could have some perks too! Hailing from Charlottesville, VA, there are some specific things no perfect apartment can make her forget. “The cobb salad from Keswick Hall, burgers from Riverside, hanger steak from C&O, the chicken, cheddar, and fig panini from Feast, Bodo’s bagel, and Princess cake from Albermarle Bakery.” I ask where in DC she goes where she wants something from home or a good home cooked style meal. “Does this exist?” she quips. Don’t fear for Jamie just yet. She will soon (we hope) be cooking all of her own meals. “I just recently started cooking, she says. “I am a notoriously bad cook. In fact, I found an apartment in an awesome location for minimal rent. The catch was it didn’t have kitchen. I seriously considered it. In hindsight, I am glad I have a place with a nice kitchen. Maybe it inspired me to learn? My skills are limited but I am learning.” Learning is key and everyone can cook something, right? “I recently confused a zucchini and a cucumber. It didn’t turn out well,” she says. Until she can get that whole vegetable thing sorted out, “I have always been a big fan of Ghilbellena,” she adds. “They have the best cheese plate in the city. It’s crazy how hard it is to find a good cheese plate. I am lucky that my office is downtown. I go to a lot of the well-known places like, Zaytina and Graffiato often. Proof is one of my favorites. They have an awesome lunch special. $14 will get you an entree and a glass of wine at the bar.” In a town known for high rent and equally high prices, these deals are one’s no one should overlook. Being a fan of more intimate places, she says, “For dinner, I would much rather go to a quiet hole-in-the-wall than then somewhere new and trendy. My boyfriend and I go to Fainting Goat a lot. They have great cocktails and really laid-back atmosphere.” This U Street haunt does have a great vibe, and I’d also remark, a very good cheese plate. Loving a nice cheese plate doesn’t translate to food snob. “I would [rather] have a fast food burger over a gourmet budget any day. It is hard to beat a Shake Shack Burger,” she says. And after that burger and an equally long day you can find her at Matchbox having one of their cucumber gin and tonics.   Cheers to many more burgers, cocktails, and affordable housing! Moving quickly Jamie conquers the Feasting Famously Fast Five where I say five words and she quickly says the first thing that comes to mind. Craigslist: When I first started EBDC, I got an email from a reader titled “I think you are crazy.” When a complete stranger thinks your Craigslist obsession is nuts, that is saying something. Ramen: When my boyfriend described someone as having “ramen noodle hair.” He meant wet curls. Eggs: During finals week, the dining hall would serve late night breakfast. I was eating a huge plate of scrambled eggs, turned to my friends, and said, “Eggs is brain food.” Clearly I needed to stop writing my final paper. Butter: Got nothing. Worst place in DC: Mad Hatter. I feel like every young twenty-something finds themselves there at one point. You see things that you think are ok at the time. You think, “Oh this just normal city living behavior.” It’s not.   So the next time you’re seeking to uplift your roots and head somewhere else, check out Jamie’s site and let her do the filtering for you. Connect with on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter.

If you watch the news, or have even been in a lobby on K Street waiting for someone long enough, chances are you’ve seen Erin McPike on CNN. Or perhaps you thought it was Jennifer Aniston. Regardless if you’ve seen her or not on television, I can assure she’s as funny and charming as she is intelligent and fierce on the tube. But don’t fret; she undercooks shrimp and chows down on Chef Geoff burgers just like the rest of us. [end clip, cue music]…our own Brian Johnson has the story. Growing up in the Midwest, Ohio to be exact, and attending college at DC’s American University, Erin’s transplanted D.C. roots are like many of ours. While they started somewhere distant, they have taken hold in and truly embraced D.C. I asked Erin where, in her college days, she liked to and hang out, or grab a bite to eat. “Chef Geoff’s,” she immediately said with a smile, “because that’s where I worked for three years and met my good friend Nora O’Donnell.” I thought supermugs of beer and $5 cheeseburgers drew her to their Monday night happy hours, but actually, she said her favorite thing to order there is, “The cashew curry humus. But I am not sure if it’s on the menu anymore. Hopefully it comes and goes.” You heard it here Geoff, bring back the curry humus – the people have spoken.
Don’t fret; she undercooks shrimp and chows down on Chef Geoff burgers just like the rest of us.
We D.C. transplants all find ourselves longing for food that reminds us of home, and our backgrounds. Where does Erin turn when she is craving something from home? She thought for a minute and said, laughing, “Um, I think I would embarrass my parents if I answered that totally truthfully. But I loved going to Don Pablos, there was one around the corner from my house in Ohio. But, I do not try to capture Ohio here in DC, I can say. Well, other than I do love Skyline Chili.” Uh-oh, here comes the crazy chili rant, I think to myself.  She continues, “And I wish everyone would stop knocking it and just try it. And I love also the BBQ sauce from Montgomery Inn, which is world famous and all these Southern boys need to get off their high horses and try some Cincinnati BBQ sauce.” Double-punch! When I remind her that I am Southern, and ask if I should get off my vinegar-based high horse and try it, she responds, “Precisely.” I said I’d take her word for it. To date I have yet to obtain some, however, if said sauce was procured, yours truly would happily make Cincinnati BBQ sauce ribs (Carolina sauce on the side, of course). In an attempt to redeem herself, she continues, “And I’ll tell you one other thing, so Cincinnati is a pretty lard-tastic town. We’re famous for Montgomery Inn, Skyline, and then ice cream. Oprah talks about Graeter’s, but no, Aglamesis Brother’s is the best ice cream in the mid west.” She schools Oprah and coins my new favorite word, “lard-tastic,” all in one sentence.  Redemption granted.
I remind her that I am Southern and ask if I should get off my vinegar-based high horse. She responds, “Precisely.”
Erin is currently attempting to broaden her culinary repertoire. However she admits her strengths on camera well outweigh her expertise in the kitchen. Does she cook? “I try a little bit. I am just beginning to learn. I used to bake when I was in high school, you know, for comfort I guess, but I can barely cook. I try to use the slow cooker. I am really trying to learn, but I am not great.” She handles her kitchen escapes with great humor and patience. She said recently she cooked an amazing meal, and everything was perfect…except the shrimp. “I did a really good job making everything else, it was my first attempt and making dinner, and my boyfriend could not even eat the shrimp. So my mom sent me a baking sheet and a grate and said ‘better luck next time’.” Before you go sending her online gift certificates for The Palm, never fear, she isn’t going hungry. Her boyfriend grills, and is pretty good at it too. “He grills a lot,” she said. “He has a Big Green Egg [hey, so does Amos!] and a Webber and he just made a pork shoulder and he just made a brisket last week. He is really pretty damn good at it I guess!” I decline to mention the benefits of a proper vinegar sauce on pork in the smoker and we move on – because brisket is amazing and I want an invite. Aside from a variety of what sounds like amazing smoked meat options, her culinary preferences are really a bit of a mixed bag – much like DC. So when asked what her favorite type of food to eat is, she replies, “That’s a hard question for me to answer because I basically like everything at diff times. I love Italian food like lasagna, but I also like sausage, egg and cheese biscuits in the morning. And I really like Thai food. ThaiX-ing is one of my favorite places. I also really like Rice as well, over on 14th Street, plus it’s one of the original 14th Street restaurants. So, yeah, I think that’s where I would go first: Italian or Thai.” I think Italian-Thai fusion is the one genre that is not on 14th Street.
Cincinnati is a pretty lard-tastic town. We’re famous for Montgomery Inn, Skyline, and then ice cream. Oprah talks about Graeter’s, but no, Aglamesis Brother’s is the best ice cream in the mid west.
Erin loves the DC food scene and even has a great idea for an Americana-fusion inspired place. On her thoughts on the DC food scene, she said, “I think it’s exploded in the last 5 years. I do think they need to revitalize Dupont Circle and Georgetown because there is so much new on 14th Street now and so much on H Street now, and on 8th Street Southeast in Eastern Market now that I think anyone who is crabbing about that [DC not being as good a food city a New York] now is well in the past.” I agree about Dupont and Georgetown falling a bit behind some of the recent trends. She continued with a vision, “One thing that I would like to see is – and I think this is right place for me to say this publically – you have people in DC from all over America, and maybe this goes on 14th Street, but there should be some sort of restaurant that brings together all the local American cuisine. Like the famous green chilies from New Mexico and buffalo wings from Buffalo, New York. And, this may be my way of getting Cincinnati chili somewhere, but you have staffers on the Hill from every state in the country. So I think we should have something that brings together all parts of America; and DC is the only place you could have it.” Erin could really have something here. Think about it, a different region of the country each week. You could literally go to the same place, once a week, for a month, and have something totally different. You’d never get tired of the menu, and with seasonal ingredients changing; the menu could stay remarkably interesting. “An American bistro is one thing, but they don’t drill down and get local stuff that I would like to see,” she added.
“If I’m going all out,” she said, “I want a cocktail that’s made with whipped eggwhites.”
Until her Americana mecca is conceived, she does have some favorites. “I live near Le Diplomate (however she recently sold her condo to our pal and former Feasting Famously interviewee, Jenna Golden), so I don’t need to give them anymore attention than they have already gotten in the past year. However I do know the best times to walk over and sit at the bar, so that’s good. I really like Hank’s Oyster Bar, the original one. I have not yet tried Rose’s Luxury, sadly. But I really am pretty partial to Chef Geoff’s, but I don’t get to eat there that much anymore. Talk about something that reminds you of home, I think Chef Geoff’s is just a great place like that. The food is good, Geoff is there a lot, it’s a friendly atmosphere, and so if I could only answer one thing it’d be that one.” If you think about it, Chef Geoff’s likely comes closest to the all-American transient place she spoke of creating earlier. They have a bit of everything, representing various cuisines or regions. Maybe Geoff Tracy should look into this regional mega restaurant concept. When hungry, she’s grabbing her dream burger with jalepenos, gouda, bacon, and chipotle mayo (no veggies on this burger for her)! After a bad day, she’s heading for a craft cocktail bar like The Gibson and whipping it up. “If I’m going all out,” she said, “I want a cocktail that’s made with whipped eggwhites.” Good day or bad, everyone likes to play with their food. We’re laughing and I ask if Erin was to get into a food fight with anyone, who would it be. “It would be Matt Dornic from CNN,” she said, laughing, “because it would be the most raucous food fight I could possibly imagine. And I’d want to throw spaghetti covered in tomato cream sauce,” she said – still laughing. She added, “You know, because it sticks!” We ended our interview with what came easily to a seasoned anchorwoman like Erin – the Feasting Famously Fast Five rapid-fire questions. I tossed out five words and she responded with the first thing that came to her mind: Chef Geoffs – Favorite Restaurant Champagne – favorite drink Ohio State – gross K Street – good times MSNBC – uuummmmmmm……just leave it at that If you don’t catch her on CNN, you just may see her waiting in the ever-growing line at Rose’s Luxury soon. As for presents and flowers from fans…I think a few cans of Skyline Chili may be better received. Stay hungry Erin, and keep up the great work!

We talk BBQ, Congressional ribs, Bojangles, the best soul food in DC, and doubling dates with RGIII Being born and raised in the best state in this country, North Carolina, I am partial to all things we have to offer. So when my friend Congressman Richard Hudson, Republican Congressman representing the 8th District of North Carolina agreed to sit down and talk food with me, I jumped at the chance. I am always curious what members of Congress eat, if they cook, and specifically for North Carolina members, what type of BBQ they prefer! While there is no “correct” answer because all pork is delicious, there is a correct answer and it’s Eastern NC vinegar based BBQ – let’s see what the Congressman thinks. First I wanted to know why he decided to run for Congress. As I expected from what I know about him, it’s because he truly believes in not only this country, but fixing it. “I was a Chief of Staff here on the Hill,” he begins, “and never planned to run for Congress. But the growing frustration with the process up here and that Republicans and Democrats don’t talk to each other really impacted me – so I decided, it’s time to step up and play a different role and try to make a difference.” The more people we have who actually want to make a difference, the better, and you can tell from the conviction in his voice, he means it. Okay, we know Rep. Hudson came to DC to try and make a difference and not for the reception food. So there has to be a food he misses from back home. “Probably a Bojangles’ biscuit – a Cajun fillet biscuit,” he says to be exact. “Although there is a Bojangles’ now in Union Station, it’s just kind of hard to get over there,” he remarks as the House is on the other side of the US Capitol and the Bojangles’ is behind the Senate inside the train station. He also says his misses, “Sweet tea because we just can’t get good sweet tea here, I get the bottled stuff, but it’s just not as good,” he adds. I agree. Maybe Bojangles will walk some over to the House side for him! Of course like any good Southerner the Congressman can fish out the best spots to get his fix. I ask him where he goes when he is feelings homesick or wants a real Southern meal in DC. “The best kept secret in DC is Levi’s Port Café, over on 8th Street SE. Johnny runs the place and he uses his momma’s recipe for all the home-cooking and southern vegetables,” recalls the Congressman. “His daddy worked in a famous BBQ place back in Cary, NC so he has the eastern NC BBQ recipe so he does all the BBQ there himself. And he has sweet tea. And he has homemade desserts. He does have an all you can eat lunch buffet, which I haven’t been to in a long time because you have to block off for a three-hour nap after,” he jokes. Easy questions aside, let’s get down to brass tacks – BBQ. No, it’s not a verb, it doesn’t mean to grill (well, it does from the word barbacoa which means to cook over flame), but in the South BBQ means one thing: slow cooked pork over fire. However it is not that straightforward. There’s whole hog or partial; gas, charcoal, or hardwood; pulled or chopped; vinegar, tomato, or mustard based; Eastern or Western. Yes, the BBQ debate is a detailed and divisive one. With that disclaimer out of the way, I ask Congressman Hudson what are his thoughts on BBQ? The second I ask this question I can see thoughtful contemplation occurring. For a Southerner, this is no easy question. “Well I grew up in Eastern North Carolina before I moved to Charlotte,” he begins off to a good start in my book, “So if I had to choose, I’d have to say Eastern style – the vinegar based – is my favorite.” BAM! Personal victory for me, but let’s not kid, all NC BBQ is delicious. He continues by adding, “It’s hard to argue with the Lexington style with the mesquite wood, but I definitely like pulled pork better than chopped if you can get it.” One of the things I like best about Rep. Hudson is his close ties to family, the state of NC, and how he relates almost everything back to this. “You know my granddaddy was a tobacco farmer and raised hogs, so every family get together on my dad’s side my whole life we had a pig roast. If you’ve ever had fresh pork where the men start cooking at 4:30am in the morning, then by early afternoon all the kids would go over and try to sneak a rib off the thing- nothing beats this kind of pulled pork, in my mind.” I ask if the Congressman cooks. His answer is immediate, and that answer is no. “My wife does all the cooking, all of the cooking,” he says with a large smile. Quick to redeem himself he says, “Although I’m really good with the grill, so anything you can grill, I can do. I’m part of a hunting club so we usually have two big weekends where everyone is there, so I usually cook breakfast – oh yeah – I am good at breakfast food – but I’ll usually grill steaks and baked potatoes, and grill some onions wrapped in tin foil. I like to grill, but with our lifestyle unfortunately most of my meals I feel like are eaten in the passenger seat of a suburban running from event to event up here.” It is true I can assure you that Members of Congress do run from event to event, so I completely believe he misses standing behind the grill. Since he likes to grill I ask something I like to ask everyone I talk to, what is the strangest thing in his refrigerator. He smirks and says, “Well, I actually looked last night because I’ve read these and knew you might ask that. The strangest thing in there right now is flax seed, ground flax seed because my wife uses it, but I don’t eat that stuff, I don’t touch it.” He continues again making ties to his family, “But I was thinking about back home, and my Aunt does canning like my grandmother used to do and she has some peppers in a mason jar canned.” We laugh how for Southerners that isn’t really strange. In fact, I have pickled canned asparagus in my fridge as we speak (great in Bloody Marys, mind you). His favorite thing to eat is anything he harvests himself such as “venison, duck, quail, and pheasant. I love cooking wild game,” he says, and he also enjoys Mexican cuisine. He likes La Lomita Dos, and says the tamales at Cantina Marina are the best in DC. He also enjoys a good burger and he knows exactly what his dream ingredients are. “Oh that’s easy pimento cheese, thick crispy blackened bacon, jalapeños, maybe some ketchup,” he says. Rep. Hudson truly believes we need more bipartisanship in Congress and like other members I’ve spoken to, sharing a meal is a good start. For his ideal bipartisan meal, he’d like to share a meal with Congressman Joe Kennedy and Louis Gohmert. “Well it might be Joe Kennedy at the Red Sox stadium eating a lobster roll. Two things; one there is not enough bipartisanship up here and he and I have become good friends. Secondly, during freshman orientation he took a bunch of us to the stadium for a tour and I had my first lobster roll ever and it was delicious. A close second would be Louie Gohmert if he cooked the ribs. He somehow has the recipe for LBJ’s rib rub and he used to cook ribs here in the Cannon building pretty regularly. So if Louie cooked, I’d have to have some ribs with him.” Um yeah … I’ll await my invite to that too! Apart from other Members of Congress, Rep. Hudson says he’d love to have a meal with Redskins quarterback RGIII and his wife. “While I am a Panthers fan,” he says, “I have met RGIII and what a class act. He is a real gentlemen, a real man of character, so I’d like to get to know him better. And his wife is from Boulder and my wife is from Denver and went to school in Boulder, so the two of them have met. And I think a double date with RGIII would be really cool.” We do too Congressman, and FamousDC is going to get on the Twitter machine and try and make your double-date happen! I could talk to the Congressman for hours about BBQ, hunting, and everything in-between, but alas he has to run off to another event so we wrap up with the Feasting Famously Fast-Five rapid fire questions where I say a word and he answers with the first thing that comes to mind. Longworth Café – Freedom fries Tar Heels – Michael Jordan Chicken – Fried (my grandmother’s) Gravy – Biscuits South Carolina – Charleston shrimp and grits There you have it folks. Congressman Richard Hudson from North Carolina is a very honest, very real, down to earth person deeply connected with North Carolina, his roots, and his family. With a love of country as great as a love for sweet tea, here’s to hoping he’s back home soon enjoying the great food of NC.

This Valentine’s Day we asked bloggers, Chefs, and politicos “What do you like to do for Valentine’s Day?” Their responses were varied, although delicious food and House of Cards were a few themes. Thanks to all for contributing and a special thank you to Simon Majumdar, chef, author, and Food Network’s The Next Iron Chef Iron Chef America judge for participating.

Lobbyists, corporate fundraisers, non-profits and consulting firms are always looking for an excuse to throw a party. The concept of corporate formal events (“proms”) in DC is one we all are familiar with (e.g. Tax Foundation’s annual dinner, dubbed “Tax Prom” at the Mayflower Hotel). Here are a few reasons …

Meet Nikki Rappaport: a true foodie trifecta running brand strategies at Cava and eating Cupcakes for Breakfast. From pimping out her food/lifestyle blog Cupcakes for Breakfast, to posting hella cute outfit shots (this assessment coming from a straight man, mind you), Nikki is basically crushing it. Oh, and she’s also the Brand Strategist at Cava Mezze GrillI chatted with Nikki to get some personal deets surrounding her mini-frosting-covered-empire.

We steal her away from running AARP’s online twitter webs to get her take on the best food finds in The District and more! When you think online multimedia campaigns that are just crushing it, and changing the digital landscape, you totally think AARP right? If you don’t, think again. Advocacy is advocacy, and reaching out to mobilize and engage a generation that is not a 20-something is a challenge I’d never want to have. So when I first heard of Tammy Gordon years ago, and found out she has a food blog, clearly she’s someone I needed to talk to. Like so many of us, before running the ten-person social media team at AARP, Tammy was hitting the campaign trail. Thinking her DC stint would be temporary, (yeah, ok), the District sucked her in. Like so many of us, before running the ten-person social media team at AARP, Tammy was hitting the campaign trail. Thinking her DC stint would be temporary, (yeah, ok), the District sucked her in. Speaking of things that suck people in, her food blog Florida Girl in DC was inspired by first joining Twitter, sharing what the farmer’s markets around town offered and crowdsourcing recipes. Starting her blog in 2009 with no real plan, “things amped up in a huge way when I attended my first Food Blogger Happy Hour where I met some of my favorite bloggers,” she says. “I count almost everyone at that happy hour as a personal friend today. Meeting really cool people is one of the best side effects of blogging!” I couldn’t agree more.

Enter Jenna Golden and She cooks, she bakes, she eats, and she writes about all this with poise, and real adjectives! But in all seriousness, Jenna’s blog is down to earth and sincere. Much like Jenna, who assures me she is not a millionaire from the Twitter IPO launch…but we’ll see about that. Jenna is that weird person in DC who is actually from DC, well, the surrounding area at least which is increasingly rare. “I have lived in DC for just about 9 years now,” she says. “I grew up in Maryland and always knew I would come back to the area because of my interest in politics and my love for this city. I have a good feeling I’ll be here for the rest of my life.” Jenna’s like many in this town, and certainly many readers. I like to think it’s the charm of DC, but like stockbrokers in New York, most of us just have to be here to do what we do. It’s a blessed-curse. When she’s not telling you, how “the cheese sauce added the perfect punch to the fluffy frittata” she’s crushing it in Twitter’s DC office on the sales team. I mean, a Twitter employee with a food blog?!? Ugh, you win.

Apparently there were almost 50 new restaurants that opened in DC this past summer. Some are good; others, good luck; and the ones who stand out do so in a big way. However since early 2012, one restaurant has been sustaining crowds, consistently serving the same high-quality food night after night, and has refused to compromise the integrity of their initial mission. The restaurant is Mintwood Place, the Executive Chef and owner is Cedric Maupillier, and the food is consistently well above average. Much of Mintwood’s success, in addition to the great staff, and managers, is Chef Cedric himself. Already starting with a strong background in culinary education, he earned his “DC-wings” so-to-speak under world renowned Chef Michel Richard. Now that he has his own place, and two years later it’s more than surviving – it’s thriving – FamousDC wanted to provide some more insight into Chef Cedric himself. Read more here

The hip-hop loving Congressman Trey Radel talks about rap, his love of Rasika, various mayonnaises, and why the House would beat the Senate in a food fight I didn’t know too much about the Freshman class of the 113th Congress except that we got a bunch of bros from North Carolina (my home state) and that there was a Congressman from Florida who loves hip-hop. His name is Trey Radel, and he’s basically awesome (new bro-crush, move over Paul Ryan). I sat down with Congressman Radel, a fellow early 90s hip-hop connoisseur, to get the scoop on his love for music, and of course, find out he’s eating! The Congressman was more than happy to chat. I’m always curious why Members of Congress decide to run for office. It’s not super glamorous, there are crazy long hours, even crazier long travel hours, and their pay…well, we all have the Google machine. Rep. Radel didn’t run because he had to, he ran because he wanted to.

One of the bitches behind Bitches Who Brunch talks pancakes, dance party brunches, and dishes it back to her haters Brunch. You either love it, or hate it; there really isn’t any room for middle ground. This is especially true for guys as Cori Sue Morris, the co-founder of Bitches Who Brunch, points out as we chat outside Le Diplomate over white wine, razor clams, and British Columbian oysters. If you’ve never heard of the Bitches Who Brunch, you clearly need to reevaluate your weekends. Started in March of 2010 spearheaded by a g-chat conversation (pretty sure that’s how the iPhone came to be too), Cori Sue and her co-founder Becca Clara Love (who was too busy gallivanting and brunching around Europe to join us), their site Bitches Who Brunch has become the go-to place for all things brunch in the District.

The DC-duo running the hottest viral news site NowThis News talks Obama’s food drawer, dream dinning with Joe Biden, and Grumpy Cat’s diet Everyone with a webcam and cat-chat thinks they are the internet’s newest hot sh!t. Generally this happens with much little street cred, or a CV to back them up. Occasionally, a random interview can turn viral (see Antoine Dodson), or some marketing geniuses put together a satirical commercial that goes viral on sheer brilliance (see Somersby Cider spoof on Apple). However for some people, it’s their job to make things go viral – and not just cat-bearding and babies dancing – I’m talking interviews with Grover Norquist talking about Grumpy Cat, and Congressman Trey Radel (R-Fla.) droppin’ dope knowledge about rap. Now making those viral takes skill and talent. Lucky for the interwebs, Ashley Codianni and Julie Eckert are doing just that, and killing it, over at NowThis News.