Herndon mayor Steve DeBenedittis loves the camaraderie at Jimmy’s Old Town Tavern (697 Spring St., Herndon; 703-435-5467), where he goes for juicy burgers and spicy wings. For quick lunch meetings, he heads to Amphora’s Diner Deluxe (1151 Elden St., Herndon; 703-925-0900), but if he’s looking to impress a fellow mayor, he goes to Zeffirelli’s (728 Pine St., Herndon; 703-318-7000), where he orders the chicken Marsala.
Bladensburg town clerk Patricia McAuley favors the Italian Inn (6221 Annapolis Rd., Hyattsville; 301-772-2100) for drinks after work, well-done pasta and salads, and the best calamari she’s had. For a cheap and delicious lunch, she likes Peruvian Super Chicken (4323 Kenilworth Ave., Bladensburg; 301-277-3522)—the quarter and half rotisserie chickens with beans and rice are “the best deals in town.” The Annapolis native also loves Tsunami (51 West St., Annapolis; 410-990-9868) for metropolitan rolls and Galway Bay (63 Maryland Ave., Annapolis, 410-263-8333) for corned beef and shepherd’s pie.
Maryland attorney general Doug Gansler likes Meiwah (4457 Willard Ave., Chevy Chase; 301-652-9882) for family meals and what might be his favorite dish of all time: the squid-with-spiced-salt appetizer. Another good family spot: Tia Queta (4839 Del Ray Ave., Bethesda; 301-654-4443) for “perfect sizzling fajitas and seafood.”
Chicago native Evan Glazer, principal of Alexandria’s Thomas Jefferson High School, may be biased, but his comfort food of choice is the crispy-crusted deep-dish pizza at Armand’s Chicago Pizzeria (multiple area locations). At Zaytinya (701 Ninth St., NW; 202-638-0800), a favorite in his neighborhood of Penn Quarter in DC, the goat-cheese mezze is his top pick. In Virginia, he’s a fan of Huong Que (6769 Wilson Blvd., Arlington; 703-538-6717), where the five-spice beef is “probably the best dish I’ve ever had.”