Prelude to Panel Crashing
Before becoming the official mouthpiece of the deadbeat’s lunch circuit, Mr. “Panel Crasher” made a living for himself on Capitol Hill.
And he has some fond memories of life under the Dome.
The recently ousted wage-slave and mind behind panelcrashing.blogspot.com told HOH he blew into town several years ago with nothing but a fascination with international affairs and national security at his back and an uncharted future ahead of him. Fortune smiled upon the 20-something Northeasterner, leading him to an internship in the House that eventually turned into a paying gig as a committee staffer.
And while he didn’t mention missing the likes of endless markups or late-night study sessions of last-minute amendments, PC was sad about no longer getting to hang with one of the liveliest lawmakers he ever encountered: Illinois Democrat Rep. Mike Quigley.
“He is the man. Super friendly and jovial all the time — and no filter,” PC gushed. He added that the backslapping, f-bomb-dropping pol — “Mouth like a sailor … even when he was at a hearing,” PC shared — worked hard (always asked “really good questions” in committee) but also played hard.
“I remember when the Blackhawks won the Stanley Cup and he brought it to the Capitol and let all the staff come take pictures. That was an awesome thing to do and probably the only time I’ll touch the cup. He was also like legitimately more excited than any player has ever been to win it. Like a little kid. An extremely successful, powerful and cool little kid,” PC told HOH.
He also helped corroborate his think-tank-event-critiquing credentials by making a case for the best eats in and around Congress.
On campus, PC would often split his time between the Longworth and Rayburn cafeterias. “It’s been a while, but I recall the BBQ station being pretty awesome, and a lifesaver on Fridays when I was hung over,” PC said of the pull of Longworth, whereas trips to Rayburn were more premeditated. “Their Asian noodle game is honestly world class … especially when they have Singapore noodles,” he said.
Eating off campus often involved treks to Le Bon Café (“great side selection”), Gandel’s Liquors (“the deli … is the hidden gem of Hill eateries”) or Talay Thai (“if you want to class it up and go ethnic”).
He’d prefer, however, to say good riddance to cheflebrity Spike Mendelsohn’s burgertorium. “Good Stuff is totally overrated and a pain in the ass,” PC said.