News & Politics

Washingtonian Today: The Best Hamberder in DC

Photograph by Evy Mages

About Washingtonian Today

Washingtonian Today is not just another political news roundup. Instead, this daily morning brief provides local context on national news, catches you up on what’s happening at Washingtonian, points you toward super duper awesome things to do around town, and lets you in on some special events going on in-house. Sign up here to receive Washingtonian Today in your inbox every morning.

Welcome to Tuesday and Day 25 of the partial government shutdown. Dulles is the latest airport to shut TSA screening lanes, as agents missed their first paychecks. (Atlanta airport is telling customers to budget three hours to clear security.) Feel for the furloughed employees? Buy them a beer voucher online.

 A Frosty by any other name would taste as tweet: Last night, the White House provided a delicate sampling of hundreds of Wendy’s, McDonald’s, Burger King, and Domino’s delights for the visiting Clemson football team. Trump claimed that because of the partial shutdown, he had to provide catering out of his own pocket. It’s unclear just how many “hamberders” there were (Trump bounced around from 300 to 1,000) but the self-funded catering caused a kerfuffle online, some arguing that the President should have organized transportation to his very own hotel up the street to feed the team at BLT Prime. Look, it’s always been a personal dream to consume a McFlurry in the Oval Office, so I’m not here to place a value judgement on the food choice. Okay, I am: everything—barring Burger King—seemed like a delight. What fast food would you serve during your shutdown banquet if you were President? Wendy’s would be up there for me, but I’d try to throw in some Red Lobster cheddar bay biscuits, if possible.

Hello, I’m your West Wing Wendy’s Baconator, Brittany ShepherdEmail me with comments or questions and follow me on Twitter. Sign up for this newsletter here.

It’s Winter Restaurant Week. Here are some of the best new restaurants to check out, as well as the best brunches. And from 2015, but still relevant, here are Anna Spiegel‘s tips for getting the most out of Restaurant Week. I went to Fuyu, the Japanese pop-up inside Whaleys, last night and scored an amazing deal. Get the cheesecake!

In case you missed it: Revered by his most ardent Opus Dei supporters, the “Catholic Church’s K Street lobbyist” the Reverend C. John McCloskey disappeared from the limelight in 2003. The reason for his sudden disappearance, the Washington Post reports, was that Opus Dei settled a sexual misconduct lawsuit filed against McCloskey in 2005.

What we have cooking at Washingtonian:

Our pick for things to do around town:

DISCUSSION Politics and Prose is hosting a panel discussion about race in America. The discussion will be moderated by author April Ryan, Washington bureau chief for American Urban Radio Networks, and will feature Donna Brazile (Democratic political strategist, TV commentator, and author), Wesley Lowery (Pulitzer-winning correspondent for The Washington Post), and Wall Street Journal editorial board member Jason Riley. Free, 7 PM.

Good reads:

We’re going to wish the shutdown was “only” this bad in a month, Christopher Flavelle, Jennifer A Dlouhy, and Ryan Beene write. Why’s that? “Shutdowns don’t get bad linearly; they get bad exponentially.” Uh-oh.

Big events from Washingtonian

You’re engaged?! Celebrate with us at Love Unveiled, the ultimate wedding showcase for all couples on January 27 at Mandarin Oriental, Washington DC. Visit for tickets before it sells out!


Staff Writer

Brittany Shepherd covers the societal and cultural scene in political Washington. Before joining Washingtonian as a staff writer in 2018, Brittany was a White House Correspondent for Independent Journal Review. While she has lived in DC for a number of years now, she still yearns for the fresh Long Island bagels of home. Find her on Twitter, often prattling on about Frasier.