Image: Margaret Bourke-White for a piece entitled “Rustic Cloth goes to Night Clubs.”
This week’s review actually covers two weeks because we took of Christmas weekend. There are lots of interesting stories in the food world, but there was little activity on our site. But be patient dear reader! There are new places getting added soon to our list of recommended restaurants for D.C., and it is almost time for us to scrub the site as we come up on the three-year anniversary at the end of the month. But first, on to the news recap!
D.C. Dining News
The biggest news in the dining world continues to be Covid. Restaurants have been closing, re-opening, and scaling back, all in attempts to make it through the current wave. Under the Mayor’s newest rules, proof of vaccination will be required. Barred in DC, who has been covering these issues closely sees this as an interim step to loop in boosters as the new baseline.
Rick Eats DC does a year-end wrap up of his favorite dishes of the year on his site.
Tim Carman does a wrap-up of his favorite casual places in the Post.
Eat DC reports Andy’s Pizza is taking over the &pizza spot in Adams Morgan. Despite the pandemic the regeneration of Adams Morgan continues. That is a bigger story to follow.
The Washington Post Metro Section had an in-depth story about a sandwich shop in Williamsburg struggling to meet demand and choosing to shut down instead.
Dave McIntyre sneaks an important food industry story into the Post Food Section via the wine column. A temperamental customer threw a fit over a 2% charge to offset benefits for employees at Apéro – after spending $300 on food and drink. Owner Elli Benchimol posted the note left behind. Setting aside the poor behavior, many asked why not just raise prices? This question has been considered over and over for the last couple years. There are studies that show add-on fees go down better than larger base prices. For Benchimol it is also important to be transparent about where the money goes and highlight that it goes to staff. Too bad there is not a service charge for bad customers.
Priya Krishna has a fascinating and touching story about the cooking habits of long-haul truckers. For many (including nearly anyone reading this) the connection between food and holidays is strong, but what do you do if you live on the road?
Laura Reiley does a deep dive in the Post on new labeling for genetically modified food, which will now be called bioengineered. The piece is not in the Food Section. USDA is creating a national standard that suspiciously looks like a favor to Big Ag to make it more difficult to understand what is in our food and drops GMO as a label term. They even came up with a natural looking label to reassure people.
Ruth Reichl took a trip down memory lane posting a review of Michael’s in Los Angeles from 1979. The menu is classic French but everything else was American. It is a good reminder just how much changed in the last 40 years.
Less elevated cuisine is covered in a NY Times visit to Eminem’s new spaghetti spot in Detroit, which sounds meh: “The greasy slop of the pasta, the sugary tang of the red sauce; it’s the spaghetti that emerges from your pantry on the last night before a grocery trip.” It should be noted that the writer actually liked the place.
That’s it for this week – and 2021. Happy New Year to all.
If you are looking for a place to eat in D.C., our dining guide has 300 recommended restaurants that you can sort by cuisine, neighborhood, and current operating status (dine-in and/or take-out, etc. – though things are in flux currently so check before you go!) in either LIST or MAP format.
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Be safe. Tip big. Don’t be the bad customer.