Tim Kaine, Stranded on I-95 for 27 Hours, Finally Gets a Bowl of Pasta

And not just any pasta: Red Hen's famous sausage rigatoni.

Senator Tim Kaine reaches his office after being snowbound for 27 hours. Photograph courtesy of Katie Stuntz

It sounds like a fun hypothetical—say you’re stuck in a snowstorm for over 24 hours with nothing to eat or drink. Which DC restaurant do you treat yourself to first?  

For Virginia Senator Tim Kaine, that real-life answer is: the Red Hen.

The former Vice Presidential candidate was trapped, along with thousands of other commuters, for over 24 hours on I-95 between Fredericksburg and the Beltway after a snowstorm caused multiple accidents and created a virtual parking lot on the busy thoroughfare. Kaine had left his Richmond home on Monday afternoon to attend a pressing voting rights meeting, according to the Washington Post, but what’s typically a two hour journey stretched to longer than a day. Despite having no food or water—and according to the Post, not having eaten a meal since Sunday night—Kaine remained in stunningly good spirits for the 27 hour ordeal. 

“The only nourishment I had — if you count it as nourishment — is two cups of coffee and a Dr Pepper,” Kaine told the Post. “I’ll deal with hunger rather than eat a lot of food and have to worry about bathrooms.”

Once back in toilet territory, Kaine went straight to work on Capitol Hill (!). And then got back in a vehicle (!!!). He and wife Anne Holton celebrated their son’s birthday at popular Italian restaurant the Red Hen in Bloomingdale. Kaine ordered the most (justly) famous dish on the menu: a bowl of spicy sausage rigatoni. It’s one of our all-time favorite survival treats, too. And the bathrooms are lovely. 



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.