Gourmet Pet Food and a Heart Attack at the Heart Attack Grill: Eating & Reading

Every week, we'll let you know what the Washingtonian food staff is reading in the blogosphere and off the bookshelves.

Kibble just won’t cut it anymore. Pet food is going gourmet.

Todd Kliman, food and wine editor

• Author AJ Jacobs is known for stunt books, the kind that always last a year and always teach the writer . . . something. His latest quest? To be the healthiest person alive. Two months in, and it’s killing him: “The siren call of processed foods is just too strong.” His solution? Mixing broccoli with Cheetos. Verdict: “Better than eating no broccoli at all.” Healthy Eating Tips From AJ Jacobs

• Now all these Brooklyn toddlers need is to sit with their Sunday New York Times sprawled out and NPR droning in the background, and they can be just as annoying as their pretend-liberal parents. Tots in Park Slope Brooklyn are loving their fake cappuccinos

• Annie Hall all over again: A New York comedy writer moves to La-La Land and learns to love—or tolerate—fake meat. Going Whole Faux Hog in Hollywood 

 Ann Limpert, food and wine editor

• For when your “renewed” $40 Sonic Youth tee from Urban Outfitters is in the laundry: $28 Ben’s Chili Bowl shirts are now available at Bloomie’s. DC’s Half-Smoke is Now a Fashion Statement

• Just how conflicted a sandwich is the s’more? You’d be surprised. McSweeney’s sandwich columnist (best job ever?) is on the case. More, More, More

• In an excerpt from her book The American Way of Eating, writer Tracie McMillan talks about life as an expediter in an Applebee’s kitchen, bagged Alfredo sauce and all. The American Way of Eating

Jessica Voelker, online dining editor

• Has anyone else noticed that it’s always the sprouts? Jimmy John’s E. Coli: Sandwich Chain’s Clover Sprouts Sicken People in 5 States

• Alan Richman is back with his ten best new restaurants, 2012 edition. Number one on the list? Ink, the Los Angeles restaurant from that other Voltaggio brother. The 10 Best New Restaurants in America

• Meanwhile, in Vegas, the universe reminds us that it has a sense of humor, albeit a sick one. Heart Attack Grill Customer Suffers Heart Attack While Dining On “Triple Bypass Burger”  

Sophie Gilbert, associate arts editor

• If you needed confirmation that the Great Recession is officially over, here it is: Retailers are capitalizing on a growing demand for gourmet pet food. As in, lobster and foie gras pet food. Beef Bourguignon Again?

• Yikes. Researchers have found inordinately high levels of arsenic in organic baby formula and energy bars. Yes, There’s Arsenic in Your Rice. But Is That Bad?

• Just in time for Mardi Gras, the LA Times has a beginner’s guide to king cake. King cakes are a great way to indulge before Lent

• Controversy in foodland! A pastry chef has been fired from the Food Network for allegedly plagiarizing recipes from Ina Garten and Martha Stewart, among others. Anne Thornton “Dessert First” Star, Reportedly Fired From Food Network for Recipe Plagiarism 

Anna Spiegel, assistant food and wine editor

• The theme of this week’s reading assignment is restaurant tomfoolery, and what fun you can have! First up, a gentleman named Logan A. Warren uses his Starbucks ewards card to order The Most Expensive Starbucks Drink in the World, Ever—$23.60. 

• Across the pond, a British “TripAdvisor troll” publicly admits to smearing the reputation of a vegetarian restaurant with charges of hairy quiche, despite the fact she’d never been there. For shame, troll. “There were hairs in my quiche”: TripAdvisor troll admits smearing reputation of award-winning vegetarian restaurant she hadn’t even visited 

• In New York, Deadspin does something purely genius, calling up popular restaurants under the guise of VIPs to see who’ll accommodate a last-minute party of six during a prime dining time. Are New York’s Most Exclusive Restaurants More Eager to Seat Jeremy Lin or Eli Manning?

• Oh, and people are eating Chia Pets. For shame, people. Spencer’s Gifts Is Now a Health Food Store

Ann Limpert
Executive Food Editor/Critic

Ann Limpert joined Washingtonian in late 2003. She was previously an editorial assistant at Entertainment Weekly and a cook in New York restaurant kitchens, and she is a graduate of the Institute of Culinary Education. She lives in Petworth.

Food Editor

Anna Spiegel covers the dining and drinking scene in her native DC. Prior to joining Washingtonian in 2010, she attended the French Culinary Institute and Columbia University’s MFA program in New York, and held various cooking and writing positions in NYC and in St. John, US Virgin Islands.