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Posted at 11:59 AM ET, 12/27/2010

Lunch Room Chatter: D.C. makes the list

By Tim Carman

The latest in food news, ideas and philosophy, just in time for your lunch break.

  • We're No. 8! We're No. 8! Esquire critic John Mariani ranks D.C. No. 8 on his best restaurant cities in America. Interestingly enough, Mariani names Taberna del Alabardero (which he misspells) as the country's best Spanish restaurant. Calling Jose Andres. Calling Jose Andres. We smell a throwdown. (Esquire)

  • Heart-warming story alert: 7-Eleven clerk saves a man from heading to the Big Gulp in the Sky. (Pittsburgh Post-Gazette)

  • The president issues a smoke-free order. For his lungs. (HuffPo)

  • For those who need a wake-up jolt this holiday season when grandma starts telling her "Mickey Rooney story" for the 89th time. (The Atlantic)

  • The New York press may have spurred the Spanish-American war, but a local magazine is ginning up a battle among pho parlors. You must choose sides! (Northern Virginia magazine)

  • So Grant Achatz walks into a bar... (Twitter)

  • You want designer ice? Open your freezer door and pull out a tray. (Chow)

  • Saccharin: It may not kill you after all. (Los Angeles Times)

  • MLB is angry that Anheuser-Busch has found a younger, sexier date. (Crain's)

By Tim Carman  | December 27, 2010; 11:59 AM ET
Categories:  Chefs, Holiday, Media  | Tags:  Lunch Room Chatter, Tim Carman  
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I don't put much stock into John Mariani's reviews after reading this article

In regards to the throw down Jose Andres would win hands down.

Posted by: cjc196 | December 27, 2010 1:03 PM | Report abuse

Would this be the same John Mariani who gets his train fare, hotel room, and meals paid for (by the restaurants) in order to travel to DC and write these reviews?

Wow, and who knew Capri in McLean was so good? I sure didn't! And this, despite the fact that I'd visited this restaurant numerous times over the years. I wish I had Mariani's fine, unbiased palate.

Posted by: DonRockwell | December 28, 2010 4:08 AM | Report abuse

Yeah, that article by Esquire isn't much better than the paid lists of "Top 10 Steakhouses in the World" and "Top 10 Seafood Restaurants in the World" that are in every in-flight magazine and just so happen to feature restaurants located in cities on that airline's route. Gee, imagine that.

Posted by: MStreet1 | December 28, 2010 12:09 PM | Report abuse

"Would this be the same John Mariani who gets his train fare, hotel room, and meals paid for (by the restaurants) in order to travel to DC and write these reviews?" Yes, it is simply terrible that someone should get paid for their work. I guess people who write about restaurants should do it for free and pay their own expenses, too?

Posted by: MiamiDanny | December 28, 2010 9:29 PM | Report abuse

...and to be fair Mariani also mentions Rasika as the country's best Indian restaurant; Bibiana as an outstanding Italian place, and calls Michel Richard a "national treasure". You may not like his style, but he is right as often as our local guys. Guess he also doesn't feel compelled to kiss Jose's ring, like our local guys. So 4 out of 5 (never been to Capri) ain't bad.

Posted by: MiamiDanny | December 28, 2010 11:45 PM | Report abuse

MiamiDanny: No, we aren't expecting John to pay his own way. We're expecting Esquire to pay his way to, at least, give the impression of objectivity.

Posted by: GabeP | December 30, 2010 9:45 AM | Report abuse

Seems like he picked some pretty decent spots, "objective" or not.

Posted by: MiamiDanny | December 30, 2010 8:59 PM | Report abuse

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