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DC Newsrooms’ Debate-Night Food, Ranked

Congratulations to the Washington Post and CBS. Photograph by Flickr user m01229.

Monday’s presidential debate was a bonanza for broadcasters, but it also appears to have provided a minor bump to Washington’s takeout joints as journalists engaged in the sacred ritual of eating free food when they worked late. As he did during the primaries on election and debate nights, Wall Street Journal reporter Byron Tau asked Washington-based (and some New York-based, and one Seattle-based) newsrooms what they planned to gulp down between sober recaps, hot takes, and hilarious tweets.

I asked Washingtonian‘s food team for their thoughts on these restaurants. Our food critic, Ann Limpert, said the best choices she saw were Cava, Moby Dick’s, Flippin Pizza, District Taco, and Miller Genuine Draft–“Because I love shitty beer.” Food editor Anna Spiegel said that like the Intercept, she too, had recently enjoyed a Domino’s pizza–the thin crust, “superior to the cardboard-like regular crust.” (Unlike the Intercept, however, Spiegel is not funded by an eBay billionaire.)

Spiegel’s picks: 1) Moby Dick House of Kabob, which she notes regulars call “Dick House”;  2) Cava; 3) Great Wall (she and Limpert both say you have to take care what you order here); 4) District Taco; 5) Lebanese Taverna; 6)Dominos.

Food editor Jessica Sidman says the best restaurants on that list are Cava, District Taco, and Great Wall. Sidman expressed some sympathy for the CNBC staff in NYC eating Cosi (“definitely the worst”), while Spiegel says she used to order from Dafni Greek Taverna when she lived in New York and thinks the New York Times did pretty well by getting eats from there.

All three told me the Wall Street Journal screwed the pooch by ordering from G Street Foods. Tau says he likes G Street and suggests we agree to disagree on that one.

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Andrew Beaujon joined Washingtonian in late 2014. He was previously with the Poynter Institute, TBD.com, and Washington City Paper. His book A Bigger Field Awaits Us: The Scottish Soccer Team That Fought the Great War was published in 2018. He lives in Del Ray.