The Occasional Joke

Nurse: Patient's name?

Centurion: Marcus Licinius Crassus

Nurse: And his date of birth?

Centurion: 115 BC.

Nurse: All right. And what is he here for?

Centurion: Cataphract surgery.

Monday, January 12, 2009

Foodie / political news from DC

A report from our Washington correspondent:

We spent our Saturday doing a bit of DC foodie tourism:

First, a trip to the Eastern Market (kinda like Reading Terminal in Philly, but much smaller), where we snagged a few goodies to bring home, along with killer crabcake and fried oyster sandwiches.

Then we stopped by the 'American History' chunk of the Smithsonian to see Julia Child's kitchen. It was moved lock, stock, and barrel from her Cambridge house when she retired to California. I'd seen it so many times on TV, but it was cool to see the actual physical distances and layout of the place.

Finally, since we were closing in on dinner time, we zipped up to the U Street corridor to grab a dog at Ben's Chili Bowl. We decided we needed to try it after seeing Bourdain go on his "No Reservations" show. This place is a DC institution that goes back 50 years, owned by the same family. It's so respected that during the 60's riots, it went untouched even as stuff around it burned. In addition to a damn tasty chili dog (a half-smoke, actually), we also had political near miss: a couple of hours before we got there, Obama had been in to grab a dog with Mayor Fenty. The place already had a sign up on at the table next to us ("Obama sat here"), and one behind the counter that read, "People who eat free at Ben's Chili Bowl: Bill Cosby, President Obama." But they had to cross out Obama because he insisted on paying. My favorite exchange in the local coverage of this non-event went something like:

REPORTER: "Is your coming to Ben's with Mayor Fenty a signal of the relationship you'd like to have with the city government?"
OBAMA: "It signals that I'm a getting a chili dog."

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