Following in his American counterpart Barack Obama's footsteps, French President Nicolas Sarkozy and his wife, Carla Bruni, lunched on half-smokes at Ben's Chili Bowl Tuesday. While lots of media outlets had different reports of the couple's meal, Tim Carman of the Washington City Paper found out exactly what they ordered: He ate a chili burger and she ate a hot dog, and Sarkozy's two sons had two half-smokes and two cheeseburgers. While watching a film about the history of Ben's, however, the French First Couple decided they wanted to try a half-smoke—without the bun, of course. (See Why French Women Don't Get Fat.)
Speaking of Ben's, DCist reports that DC United fans can now find half-smokes and chili dogs at RFK Stadium. Other new food options include Ledo Pizza (pepperoni and cheese pizza only), and Fat Face Bar-B-Que (among other options, there'll be pulled brisket and North Carolina-style pulled pork).
Todd Thrasher, the master mixologist at Restaurant Eve, the Majestic, and PX, took home the gold in the Olympics of cocktail shaking in a competition in New Zealand. Last weekend, he and two other American drink aficionados, known as Team USA in the 42Below Cocktail World Cup, beat out 21 other bartenders from six countries for the win. Thrasher's cocktail, called "I have too much thyme on my hands right now at this point in my life," included 42Below vodka, apple bitters, lime-and-thyme syrup, and an artichoke aperitif.
The Washington Post's Tom Sietsema reported on Twitter Wednesday that the sous chef at Ardeo, Diana Davila, will fill the vacant head-chef job at Jackie's in Silver Spring. Most recently, Frank Morales held the position for just a few months.
On April 15, DC's Dupont Circle will get an outpost of the Argentine gelateria Dolcezza. The shop will be 800 square feet and feature communal tables as well as an antique coffee bar from Buenos Aires. According to a press release that Tim Carman put online, the owners are using the third location to expand their coffee program.