A Box Wine Purse, Meatless McDonald’s, and a 2,014-Pound Burger: Eating & Reading

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

Campbell’s releases Warhol-inspired soup cans. Photograph courtesy of Wikipedia.

Ann Limpert, food and wine editor

• Restaurants’ reservations systems—where codes are put in to ID certain customers—can read like a tween’s text log. LOL makes you a “little old lady,” HSM translates to “heavyset man,” and WW signifies that you’re a big-spending “wine whale.” What Restaurants Know (About You)

• NBC’s Pat Collins takes a break from effusively covering the crime beat to effusively eat mayo-slathered corn at El Chucho in Columbia Heights. Pretty funny: NBC4’s Pat Collins loves El Chucho

• A Minnesota casino served up a 2,014-pound burger last weekend. But 140 pounds of it were veggies!: The Biggest Cheeseburger You Will Never Eat

• Not a bad list, until you get to number 12. 35 Best Pizzas in America 2012

Tanya Pai, deputy managing editor

• For all those extra-classy fans of Slap Bag out there. No More Shame: Boxed Wine Now Comes in a High-End Fashion Purse

• In case you like your processed soup products with a side of culture, Campbell’s has, at long last, started putting its tomato soup in pop-art packaging. Campbell’s Is Finally Selling Andy Warhol Soup Cans

Breaking Bad’s Aaron Paul isn’t just an Emmy-winning actor; he’s also got some wise words to share about food via Twitter. Why do they make really bad-tasting Jelly Bellies? Call me, Aaron! We’ll discuss. Aaron Paul, “Breaking Bad’s” Jesse Pinkman, Is Into Food

Jessica Voelker, online dining editor

• The new Manhattan program at Eleven Madison Park sounds ah-maaaay-zing. When is a DC bar going to do this with our signature drink? No, not the rickey, sillies. The martini. Reinvention, With Card Tricks and a Drink Cart

• Feeding children versus making them obese—school lunch programs remain replete with Sophie’s choices. New York City Puts Public School Students on a Diet, Because the Kids Are Too Damn Fat

•It’s called Feedback Farms, of course. A farm in Brooklyn is growing cyborg tomatoes

Sophie Gilbert, associate arts editor

• I’ve been to McDonald’s branches where you can smoke (Greece—the ashtrays have little Ms on them) and McDonald’s branches where they serve wine (France). But the fast food chain has outdone itself by launching two new vegetarian restaurants in India. You won’t be able to order hamburgers or McNuggets, natch, but you will be able to feast on the “McAloo Tikki” and the “McSpicy Paneer.” Meat-Free McDonald’s: Fast Food Chain To Open Vegetarian Restaurants in India in 2013

• Just when you thought being a chef was kind of sweaty and unglamorous, the LA Times reminds us it’s actually all about traveling the world and eating at Michelin-starred restaurants for “research.” Chefs roam the globe for fun and research

• Comedians are finally putting aside unfunny rape jokes in favor of riffing on food instead. WaPo has the scoop. Patton Oswalt, Funny on Food

Anna Spiegel, assistant food and wine editor

• Wine writer Lettie Teague has some helpful advice for those heading to dinner parties and other wine-bearing occasions this fall: Houseguest Wine: Yes to Albariño, No to Malbec

• And because it’s Thursday, fun with generators! Introducing the Guy Fieri Dish Generator from Eater NY.

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 Logan Circle.

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.