Duncan Hunter Allegedly Blew $352 in Campaign Money on Dinner at Matchbox. Our Question: How?

The Republican Congressman spent exorbitant amounts at cheap DC restaurants. Here's what he might have ordered.

Mini-burgers at Matchbox—Hunter could have ordered 117 of them! Photograph courtesy of Matchbox.

According to an epic federal indictment yesterday, California congressman Duncan Hunter, and his wife, Margaret, have a proclivity for lavish spending (See: $600 in airline fees for flying their pet rabbit) and living well beyond their means (See: 1,100 overdrafts to their bank account during a seven year period). But sharp-eyed Washingtonians might have noticed some familiar establishments listed in prosecutors’ catalog of how the Hunters allegedly misused $250,000 of campaign funds. A $560 charge at Del Frisco’s Double Eagle (for dinner with his mom) we could see. But what about that eye-popping  $462.46 charge at Adams Morgan Salvadoran joint El Tamarindo: How did he manage that at an eatery best known for $3 pupusas? The indictment helpfully lays it out—30 tequila shots and a single steak.

And what about some of Duncan Hunter’s other restaurant charges? The indictment doesn’t specify, but please allow us to speculate (We left room for a tip, because even if he’s bad, he can’t be that bad).:

$352.60—for “a nice family evening” at Matchbox—buys…

-37 orders of three-cheese fritters ($296)


-90 miniburgers ($230) and six banana-pepper-and-pepperoni pizzas ($100)


-Every pizza on the menu ($190) and every cocktail on the menu ($110)


-Two large orders of spicy tuna tartare tacos ($38), one of the most expensive appetizers on the menu, two orders of braised short ribs ($52), the most expensive entree on the menu, and five bottles of California chardonnay ($200)

$202.70—for a “personal dinner” at Atlas District game bar H Street Country Club—buys…

-20 baja fish tacos ($80) and nine vodka-ritas  ($99)


-Two baja fish tacos ($8) and 16 vodka-ritas ($176)


-30 orders of churro doughnut holes ($180)


-20 orders of guac’ and chips ($180)

$127.56—for food and drinks with his brother at Logan Circle bar Stoney’s—buys…

-An order of wings ($13), two super grilled cheeses ($24), and 10 Dogfish Head IPAs ($70)


-An order of wings ($13), two super grilled cheeses ($24), and 17 Bud Lights ($68)

or—Power move!

-25 Bud Lights  ($100)

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.