The 2014 midterm elections are finally here, and it's important to have a nice big lunch before settling in to watch returns. For those tending to the capital fires in the District, here is a highly subjective list of some of Washington's best Election Day lunch options.
The Monocle at 107 D St. NE offers a reminder that no matter how your side comes out, there's another election around the corner. All you have to do is look at The Monocle's wall of power broker portraits, a selection of once-powerful, kinda obscure and entirely forgotten. The white table cloths, sturdy fare and formal service harkens back to a different era, a time when even Lyndon B. Johnson couldn't get a table, as legend has it.
Johnny's Half Shell at 400 N. Capitol St. NW is certainly where many campaigns get financed. Ann Cashion and John Fulchino's establishment offers lawmakers an array of private rooms for convenient fundraisers right across from the Capitol. Election Day lunch would close the loop on many of those ventures, accompanied by perhaps an oyster pan roast and washed down with an Anchor Steam.
The Tune Inn at 331 Pennsylvania Ave. SE has survived kitchen fires, members of Congress taking up part-time residence and staffers drowning their sorrows after wrenching primary losses . Sometimes for a meal, one needs deer-posterior decor rather than table linen, and a server with a ratty Red Sox hat instead of a waistcoat.
Martin's Tavern at 1264 Wisconsin Ave. NW , has anchored the political drinking class in Georgetown since 1933, and dishes hearty fare such as the Martin's Delight — its version of the Kentucky Hot Brown — as well as brunch until 4 p.m. Presidents from Harry S. Truman to George W. Bush have made it a habit to hang out here.
Old Ebbitt Grill at 675 15th St. NW attracts its fair share of tourists. Its pre-Civil War lineage, adjacency to the White House complex and plentiful oyster bar help make it one of the capital's iconic gathering spots. It's a place good for locals though, too, a living link to rowdy antebellum Washington to go along with plentiful brews and traditional noshes.
Ben's Chili Bowl at 1213 U St. NW has withstood riots, gentrification and Nicolas Sarkozy. More than any other dish, the Chili Half-Smoke "all the way" is Washington's official food. More than any other establishment, perhaps, Ben's is Washington's headliner restaurant.
Related Stories: The Monocle Drips Nostalgia Team Cantor Self-Medicates at Tune Inn Digging In to the Kentucky Hot Brown Ben's Chili Bowl Celebrates 55 Years Roll Call Election Map: Race Ratings for Every Seat Get breaking news alerts and more from Roll Call in your inbox or on your iPhone