Emily Heil

Flashback: Jason Chaffetz Eats a Burger

Amid “burgeoning” burger options on Capitol Hill in early 2010, HOH set off to investigate how a new vending machine burger compared to all the rest.

“To test it out, we enlisted Rep. Jason Chaffetz, R-Utah, a self-proclaimed burger aficionado, for a blind taste test,” reporters Emily Heil and Elizabeth Brotherton wrote in the original story. “Chaffetz has serious beefy bona fides: He’s made a study of the town’s best burgers, proclaiming his favorite to be from Five Guys, and often tweets about his burger runs.”

An Ending and a Beginning for 9/11 Firefighter

This week, as the nation prepares to observe the 10th anniversary of 9/11, Roll Call looks back at how Capitol Hill responded to the attacks and how that day's events changed — and didn't change — life in Washington.

For most of his life, this was the suit Ken Haskell donned for work: a pair of tall boots and heavy flame-proof pants and jacket.

Restaurant Week Kicks Off in D.C.

It’s no coincidence that Restaurant Week comes along just as Washington’s pace is slowing from a dead sprint to an ambling mosey.

The weeklong event, in which local restaurants offer a three-course lunch for $20.11 and for dinner $35.11, is aimed at boosting traffic in area eateries at times when tables would otherwise sit empty.

Bachmann: Debt Ceiling Stance Helped Propel Ames Win

Updated: 11:58 a.m.

Rep. Michele Bachmann partly credited her opposition to raising the debt ceiling, a position that put the Minnesota Republican at odds with the majority of her own party in Congress, for her success in the Ames straw poll Saturday.

Eatery Brings True Big Easy Taste to H Street

H Street Northeast might be developing a reputation as the liveliest stretch of nightlife in the city, but it’s no Bourbon Street. 

Standing on the corner of Fourth and H streets, though, you could be forgiven for thinking, for a moment, that you had been transported to the famous Big Easy entertainment district. Tru Orleans, the new Cajun-flavored bar and restaurant anchoring the western end of the street, is ringed in two stories of ornate wrought iron railings. 

Novel Examines Navy’s Deal With the ‘Devil’

One might think that as the head of high-stakes communications firm Dezenhall Resources, Eric Dezenhall would have enough real-life drama. But helping celebrities, politicians and major corporations out of serious jams (don’t ask which ones; he isn’t saying) apparently doesn’t provide sufficient thrills — hence Dezenhall’s other job, that of novelist. 

In his sixth novel, “The Devil Himself,” Dezenhall explores how the U.S. Navy sought help during World War II from an unlikely source: the mafia. In the collaboration, dubbed “Operation Underworld,” mobsters such as Charles “Lucky” Luciano and Meyer Lansky aided the Allies in one of the war’s stranger and lesser known chapters.

Unhealthy Hill: Stress, Schedules Take Toll

When Republican leaders trucked in a stack of pizza boxes Thursday night as Speaker John Boehner (Ohio) attempted to cajole GOP freshmen into voting for his deficit reduction plan, it was par for the course.

Not only had such arm-twisting become routine, so had dining on greasy takeout.

Don’t Fret Your Debt

No matter what the negotiators working on the deficit deal say, you know the cold financial truth: You’re about to hit your own personal debt limit. 

But light-in-the-wallet syndrome doesn’t mean a sentence of ramen noodles and “Law & Order” reruns. Fret not, young cheapskate, we’ve got you covered with fun, food and libation on Capitol Hill at prices that even the stingiest deficit hawk could love. 

Hill Physician Pulled Into 2012 Politics

Congress' physician, Dr. Brian Monahan, treats conservatives and liberals. He sees Senators with sniffles and tourists with heatstroke. Like justice, the Office of the Attending Physician that Monahan oversees is blind — to politics, at least.

But with Monahan's note last week declaring Rep. Michele Bachmann in "overall good health" and saying that the Minnesota Republican's migraines are controlled with medication, the nonpartisan and normally under-the-radar office was thrust into a highly charged debate.

A Show of Arms
Female Politicians Exercising Their Right to Bare Arms By Adopting Slightly-More-Casual Sleeveless Look

During a Republican press conference urging Senate leaders to cancel the chamber’s July Fourth recess to work on debt issues, Sen. Kelly Ayotte struck a can-do attitude.

“We’re ready to roll up our sleeves,” the New Hampshire Republican announced.

When One Meeting Matters, and You Are Not in It

In a week of closed-door negotiations, the door separates a small A-list from the vast rest of the crowd.

On a sunny afternoon last week, Reps. Joe Barton (R-Texas), Mike Doyle (D-Pa.) and Richard Hanna (R-N.Y.) stood together, their backs to the Capitol. The three were holding a press conference to introduce a new coin honoring the Baseball Hall of Fame in Cooperstown, N.Y.

When Cuisine Runs in the Genes

Stephen Cheung is replacing an electrical switch plate on the wall of Lavagna, his new restaurant on Barracks Row, just hours before the Italian eatery is set to serve its very first guests. 

Cheung is a baby-faced 27-year-old, and Lavagna is the first restaurant that he has ever opened, but he’s calmly attending to all the details, even as the minutes until the grand opening tick by.

Few Staffers Willing to Spill the Beans on Their Bosses

By last year, some staffers for Rep. Laura Richardson had had enough.

Frustrated by what they said was the California Democrat’s barrage of demands that they give up their free time to volunteer for her campaign, they did what most Hill staff are loath to do: They complained about the boss — to the press and to the Ethics Committee.

Be Careful What You Call Your Boss

Roll Call Challenge Breadcrumb

Call it the Congressional name game.

Fire Sparks Tune Inn Memories

Like so many memories gathered from atop barstools, some of the best nights at the Tune Inn are lost to the ages and to the Pennsylvania Avenue bar's famed pitchers of cheap domestic brew.

But those stories that persist seemed more precious Wednesday morning, as a grease fire ripped through the kitchen of the watering hole, a hangout of a weird tribe of firefighters and police officers, Members of Congress and interns, lobbyists, veterans, retirees, journalists, and waitstaff from other neighborhood bars.

Dawn of a Delicacy
The Sweet Lobby Labors to Make Perfect Pastry

Washingtonians typically greet the opening of a new lobbying shop with all the enthusiasm they might muster for a new podiatrist or a dry cleaner.

But the Sweet Lobby is another kind of enterprise entirely. The owners of the jewel-box-sized shop, just opened on Barracks Row, are sweetening deals in a way that even the best K Streeter might envy, offering confections such as shortbreads, cupcakes and madeleines.

Weiner Photos Draw Eyes to Little-Known House Gym

If Congress is a boys' club, the House Members-only gym might be its inner sanctum.

It's where you'll find lawmakers, usually so confident and guarded, at their most vulnerable: red-faced, short of breath and often naked.

H Street Merchants Hope Construction Completion Will Bring Business

On a recent sweltering afternoon, the construction crew working along the 1300 block of H Street Northeast seems oblivious to the heat.

The men in white construction hats are pouring concrete for what will someday be the platform of the much-anticipated streetcar line, smoothing the surface that the owners of businesses lining the street hope will teem with people, thirsty for a beer at a pub or looking to take in a play.

Reality and Hope Collide on Giffords

Supporters of Rep. Gabrielle Giffords are getting mixed messages about the Arizona Democrat’s political future.

Just a day after Giffords’ chief of staff offered a blunt assessment of the Congresswoman’s recovery from being shot in the head Jan. 8, Democratic National Committee Chairwoman Debbie Wasserman Schultz painted a far rosier picture.

On Brag Walls, Politicians Get Framed
Photos Show Off Establishments’ Political Ties

Yellowing, with curled corners, or fresh and glossy, pictures of politicians stand watch from the walls of barbecue joints, shoe shines and delis all over Washington, D.C.

Collections of these photos, called brag walls or walls of power, are sometimes curated by first- or second-generation immigrants, for whom they are a totem of success in their adopted country and a celebration of its possibilities.