What to expect from Restaurant Week

Aug 12, 2020

Washington Post food critic Tom Sietsema entertains your dining questions, rants and raves.

Find all of Tom Sietsema's Washington Post work at washingtonpost.com/tomsietsema.

I know it’s a little early but is there anyway that you may politely nudge along various restaurants to start posting their menus for RW soon? I haven’t been out to eat since this nightmare pandemic started so to say that I’m excited would be an understatement. This isn’t really relevant to RW but if you haven’t tried the birria tacos yet at Little Miner, they are absolutely fantastic and wanted to give them a little love and recognition. Thinking about them right now as I eat dinner ....

Participating restaurants for the two-week dining promotion (Aug. 17-30) can be found on the Restaurant Association of Metropolitan Washington's website. There, you can get a preview from a number of establishments, including the veteran Equinox downtown, the new Baan Siam in Mount Vernon Triangle and Randy's Prime Seafood & Steaks in Vienna. 

 

In addition to extending the promotion another week this year, the organization is featuring family meals to go for $55. Also new during the pandemic: restaurants offering cocktails and wine to go. Lunch and brunch cost $22; dinner is $35. 

 

Thanks for the nudge to check out Little Miner Taco in Brentwood. Md. 

 

Good morning, gang. Tell me what's on your mind today. And ask away. 

Have you noticed how many restaurants and bars play 70s-era music? I'm trying to figure out why this would be, as the music wasn't that great and I cant imagine people have very fond memories of the decade (I certainly don't). We are always told that culture is becoming more millenial-centric but this doesn't seem to fit that trope.

Wait, you don't like Chicago, Hall & Oates and Chaka Khan? Be off with you! And tell me, please, just where I can find the "offending" restaurants and watering holes? 

 

P.S. You can keep "Convoy" and "Disco Duck." But leave the rest of the music from the 70s alone. 

Hi Tom! How do you recommend handling mishaps that happen when you order delivery? I'll give you an example of what happened yesterday: we placed an online order for delivery at 6:30 p.m. directly with the restaurant, they gave a time estimate of an hour for our food to be delivered. At 8:00 p.m. we hadn't heard anything and called the restaurant to inquire about our order, they said it was ready and the delivery person should be reaching us in 20 minutes. After another 40 minutes of silence, we reached back out to the restaurant who then gave us the delivery person's phone number. The food was good but we were disappointed it took over two hours to get our order. I understand these are weird and tough times, but it is still frustrating nonetheless. How would you handle this?

I must be lucky. In all the orders I've placed since March, I have yet to get my food late by even 20 minutes. Earlier this week, in fact, I got a dinner order 90 minutes BEFORE scheduled arrival. 

 

Some questions: Was the courier from the restaurant or from a major delivery service? How did the restaurant explain the delay when you followed up? Did anyone apologize? 

Dear Tom, I love your chats and dining coverage, and I appreciate that you create a space for a variety of opinions that give insight into the wide range of human experience. Last week, a chatter chastised restaurants for acting like "charities" instead of businesses since they have done away with happy hour -- while we're in one of the most slow to recover areas of a global pandemic -- and the chatter saw this as a poor business decision. To which I think, well actually, no, dear chatter. Now, the restaurant industry is charging people what things cost (the cost of a drink isn't just the liquid in the glass, it's the glass, the labor of the person who washes the glass, the labor of the people who take your drink order and seats you and cleans up the bathroom, the rent, the decor, the marketing that got you to go drink there instead of somewhere else...so many other things I'm not even thinking of...), instead of leaving it up to the 'charity' of diners who tip well vs who don't. Things cost money!!! In what other industry do you get to pay whatever you feel like for something??? I think the chatter was enjoying that restaurants were operating as "pseudo-charities" for the well-to-do before, and dislikes the very needed changes that are being made so that hospitality industry workers can have more stable incomes. They are also blaming more restaurants for making "bad business decisions" that may lead to their closure than the complete and total vacuum in presidential leadership and existing lack of a social safety net that led to the situation we are in. Related: I'm very interested in supporting restaurants like Thamee that are making changes to tipping structure (thank you for your coverage!), and are doing Skip the Line or pickup only (no grubhub, ubereats, etc). Where else should I spend my dining dollars? I'm vegetarian. Thanks, I feel better now.

Such a thoughtful post. One of the things the pandemic has done is expose the inequities in the restaurant business, starting with farming (and immigration) and running to the real cost of food (and doing business). Thanks for your mention of Thamee, which is trying to right some of the many wrong in the industry. 

 

For good meatless cooking, check out Happy Gyro, from the team behind the esteemed Komi in Dupont Circle; Unconventional Diner, where the selections include Lebanese fried rice and sweet potato curry; and Padaek for drunken noodles, collard green wraps and a fiery green papaya salad in Falls Church. 

Hi Tom, Looking for recommendations for a nice restaurant offering outdoor dining or limited indoor seating for a wedding anniversary celebration on Labor Day weekend. In recent years, we had celebrated milestones at the Dabney and Rooster & Owl and loved both our meals. Ideally, something in a similar style & price range. Appreciate any ideas for making the most out of our limited options. Thanks!

Kinship, the source of some of my best takeout since March, has partially reopened its dining room near the convention center. If you're up for a drive, try Flamant in Annapolis or Girasole in The Plains, two places that are very much worth the trek and feature peaceful outdoor seating. 

At one Italian upscale grocer/carryout on Capitol Hill, I ordered a cappuccino. When my name was called, another customer picked up the cup, bare hand over mouthpiece of the open cup. When I told her the coffee was hers, she acted like a vicitim, yet very well could have made me one. When Mr. Henry's reopened, the first evening I dined outdoors. The staff was super cautious, but one maskless customer was walking from table to table schmoozing. At Belga Cafe, the manager was outside maskless talking to his friends and staff; when I pointed this out to the hostess, she assured me that inside the staff wore masks. Oh? I stopped at Haagen Das to get a milkshake and had to ask the attendent to put on her mask. Then she used her bare hands and cold water to clean out the shake container between the previous customer and me. Nope. That does it. I am not going back out to dine for months. Do you honestly think that dining out right now during the pandemic is worth the risk? I don't.

I've seen more hyper-vigilance than anything: no-contact ordering, servers standing yards away from tables, double masks and so on. Let your anecdotes be a wake-up call for offenders, though. 

Good morning, Tom - - Friends in Minneapolis are celebrating a big anniversary. Would love to get them a certificate for someplace they can go when life calms down (ha!) . Don't know the scene out there - a lot of places have closed. Any recommendations? They live in the MSP suburbs (NW) , but will generally travel anywhere for good food and love all types of cuisines. Price point not much of an issue. Thanks for all you do!

The attractive, Italian-themed Alma has long been a favorite of mine in the Twin Cities. The six-course tasting menus cost between $70 (vegetarian) and $90 (meat/seafood) with the option of $50 wine flights. The chef, Alex Roberts, won the Best Chef: Midwest award from the James Beard Foundation a decade ago. Alma is tried and true, in other words. 

This is a late response to last week's question on where to get soft shell crabs. We have had them from Bethesda Crab House (platter of 2 with cole slaw and corn on the cob), and The Salt Line (Nashville Red Hot Sauce). The Wharf in Old Town lists them on their online menu. The season started late this year due to cold waters in the Bay but it must be ending soon.

Last week's chatter was looking for soft shell crabs in Northern Virginia, so The Wharf in particular is a welcome tip. 

I would love a fresh lobster cooked with love, and it would be great to find one in season at a bargain price. Clyde's used to run a lobster month in August or September with special prices - are they doing it this year? (When I called I got a "no" but I am not sure I was talking with someone who would really know...) If not, where does one go for lobster in the next month or two? Outdoor dining is a bonus but the lobster is the thing... :) THANK YOU!

Something tells me the grilled lobster stuffed with seafood at Pesce in Dupont Circle might be too lavish for you. The dish is very rich and costs $45, coleslaw included. Let's see what your fellow chatters might come up with within the hour. 

After the chat today (or last week, I guess), I tried RT’s at the recommendation of a chatter. So good! They delivered way faster than the 45 minutes they promised. The fried oysters in my appetizer were still crispy! What sorcery is that?? The horseradish sauce that came with it was so good that I saved the leftovers to use as salad dressing. Everything else lived up to the appetizer’s hype. This will be a regular splurge for me. Thanks, Tom’s chatters!

Readers are a fount of information. Thanks for the field report.

I just wanted to give a shout out to Convivial -- we ordered take out off of their RW menu last night and they did a fantastic job! Everything we ordered was there and delicious and they put cold and hot dishes in separate bags so the cold stayed cold and the hot stayed hot. HIghly recommend.

I, too, am a fan of the (regular) menu at the esteemed French restaurant. Who knew an omelet would travel well? The Moroccan chicken is divine and I appreciate the kitchen's efforts on behalf of those who don't eat meat. 

I recently learned a lesson in ordering. There was a dish that could be ordered as a half or full. I requested a “full” order and confirmed when it was repeated back to me. Upon arrival, my full order was ready, or rather FOUR full orders! Fortunately, we love momo (as did two lucky friends with whom we shared the extras). The bill was a bit high, but I’d rather the extras be eaten rather than the restaurant eating the cost.

One can never have too much momo -- right?

Wow. So your experience is universal, is it? And "We are always told that culture is becoming more millenial-centric" -- doesn't that happen with every generation? I'd be more sympathetic to your point of view if you had worded it something like "I don't like '70s music, it's just not to my taste, and it seems to be everywhere now" rather than assuming that no one likes it. I was in high school and college in the 1970s and I remember it fondly because society was being forced to change. Everything seemed possible. We even got rid of a criminal president.

"Stayin' Alive!" 

 

"Dancing Queen!" 

 

"I'll Be There!" 

 

But I digress. 

Hi, Tom - is the wine pairing at the Inn at Little Washington worth the splurge?

The wine pairing at the luxe dining destination is $195 a person. It depends on your budget, how much you want to interact with the sommelier and, frankly, whether or not you're the chauffeur. If you can afford it, spring for the selections. 

Seems like the times you can sometimes specify on carryout orders are fairly meaningless. For one place I specified 25 minutes later because it’s a 15 minute drive for me. I got a text in less than 10 minutes that it was ready. For a second place, I specified a time preference twice. In both cases I was 5 minutes early and the food was already sitting out.

I hear you. But I think everyone's trying to do the best they can now, and with limited staff. 

People prefer the music that they grew up with. In my era, "Winchester Cathedral" won the 1966 Grammy, beating out "Eleanor Rigby" by the Beatles and "Good Vibrations" by the Beach Boys, not to mention a half-dozen Rolling Stone classics, with its 40-year old Rudy Vallee imitation. Guess how old the Grammy jurors were? https://www.npr.org/2012/04/21/151119580/pop-cultures-40-year-itch

Calling Chris Richards! Paging Chris Richards!

Hi, Tom. We finally did it: We ordered from Coyote Grille last week so we could have one of those Starship robot vehicles deliver the order. Our 4-year-old was very excited about the talk of a robot delivery vehicle, as was my sister-in-law's 3-year-old. We placed the order on the Starship app and waited for delivery. And waited. We received a text that the order was still being prepared. That was OK. My sister-in-law was coming from work, and she was running late. She'd arrive in time, with her son, for the robot food delivery. But just after she arrived, we received another text from Starship informing us that our order was too large for the robot to accommodate, so our food would be delivered in-person. A minute later, the deliveryman arrived. We were appreciative that he got us our food - we were hungry! - but we expressed disappointment at the late notification that our order, which wasn't all THAT large, was too large for one robot delivery vehicle. Why weren't we informed of that earlier, when we might have made changes? The deliveryman just shook his head and gave the impression that he hears such customer stories often. He said something about being short-staffed, but I don't know how that addresses the size-of-order constraints of these robot deliveries. I hope others have had more positive experiences with the Starship vehicles. We've learned the hard way not to bother with the robots for future orders.

I'd hate to have seen the looks on the kids' faces when a human shows up in place of the promised robots. Kind of like when my kid brother and I were told we were getting "cannonball" twin beds and we were thinking REAL CANNONBALLS -- when, in fact, the ends of the bed frames just had small wooden balls on them. (Sad trombone.)

Tom: We are bringing our mother to Washington in October for her 90th birthday. (She wants to visit my dad's grave at Arlington) She won't want to go to a restaurant for her birthday dinner due to Covid, so we'd like to pick a hotel with really fine room service. Can you recommend one?

That's tough, because a number of hotels are either closed or have cut back on services. I think the better strategy is to have great takeout delivered to the hotel. You don't mention a cuisine or budget, but some of the more celebratory food in Washington is from Annabelle (home to former White House chef Frank Ruta); Sfoglina (for Italian from Fabio Trabocchi) and Convivial (for French from Cedric Maupillier).

Was the courier from the restaurant or from a major delivery service? The restaurant uses a third-party for delivery, but they do not specify further information. How did the restaurant explain the delay when you followed up? The restaurant did not explain, they stated a courier was on his way to pick the order up. Did anyone apologize? Yes, the employee on the phone apologized for the inconvenience and stated she would let the manager know.

Thanks for following up. I don't have any advice, other than to pick up your order next time or go with a different restaurant. 

70s is the music of my youth! I feel bad for the poor kids of today who have nothing good to listen to. :-)

Okay, someone is cruisin' for a bruisin' today ...

I wrote a couple months back for ideas on places to take out a big group of friends for my birthday in October. It appears less and less likely that that will be possible, both because my guests are not in the DMV and because that's riskier than I'm comfortable with right now. Do you have any recommendations for a nicer place with outdoor seating for about 8 people? About half the group is vegetarian and the budget is $250/pp.

The seafood-themed Fiola Mare comes close to what you are looking for -- great service, even a view from the patio on the waterfront -- although the vegetarian choices are limited to salads and pastas. But I imagine you could work with the restaurant to come up with a few creative meatless dishes given your budget. (Fingers crossed for you that October is on the warmer side.) And I notice the chic Masseria by Nicholas Steffanelli just reopened for dining on its courtyard in Union Market.

 

A less expensive proposition is the terrace at Zaytinya in Penn Quarter, which showcases a lot of meatless selections from Greece, Turkey, Lebanon and elsewhere. 

Can covid be contracted by eating a salad that has been exposed to the virus? We have avoided take out salads opting for food that can be microwaved at home in case the virus is present

From the Centers for Disease Control:  "The virus that causes COVID-19 cannot grow on food. Although bacteria can grow on food, a virus requires a living host like a person or an animal to multiply." Also: "The risk of getting COVID-19 from food you cook yourself or from handling and consuming food from restaurants and takeout or drive-thru meals is thought to be very low. Currently, there is no evidence that food is associated with spreading the virus that causes COVID-19."


I'm going to be in Newport News for a little while and don't know anything about the restaurants there-- do you have any recommendations for places to check out? (And/or, for the chatters in that area, are there restaurants doing outdoor/covid-safe dining particularly well?) Thanks!

Newport News, anyone? I've yet to eat around there. 

So, I was the one last week who made the constructive comments encouraging restaurants to attract customers back with happy hours and other pro-customer actions. To today's responder above, you and I have the same mission: to get restaurants back up and running. But my point is that normal, average people are not going to be attracted to places that are charging more and doing less. I fully understand the challenges right now, but it's not impossible to still focus on the customer during phase two or three of reopenings. I want restaurants to succeed. And, as one who dines out frequently -- including over the last several months -- I have noticed a massive shift in the industry that sounds way too much like the church I attend. The church I attend is not a business . Restaurants, on the other hand, are a business. And businesses right now need to focus on their customers and what their customers want. If there are customers who would dine out weeknights when there are food and/or drink specials -- as compared to not dining out at all -- then this is a business decision to be made. Heck, I tip very, very well for good service, and have gone as high as 100% with gratuity recently. I am pro-restaurants. But in order for them to succeed they need to transition from March and April verbiage to phase two and three outreach to customers. Some may see this as uncharitable (offering customers reasons to come back, such as happy hour and food specials instead of regular or higher prices). When the restaurant closes completely, though, zero times zero equals zero for the owners and staff.

You raise some fair points (again). The fact this season's Restaurant Week has been extended by a second week, and family deals have been added, indicates some businesses are listening to customers. 

If I wan/need to prepare a cooked meal for a friend not in my “bubble” what precautions should I take to insure that I don’t contaminate it after cooking? Beyond those I normally take preparing a meal for my wife and I. I already wear a mask (in my own kitchen) which I don’t do for just us, And tried to keep it covered while cooling. Plus used clean, freshly washed containers. What else? Reference web sites?

Take your cues from the aforementioned CDC website, which includes information on food safety. One of the most important things you can do is wash your hands with soap and water for at least 2o seconds throughout the process. 

Big ups to the restaurants who are doing carry out for their restaurant week menu. I've been printing a bunch out to study to see what I want to order. That said, restaurant week is in five days, and it seems that more of them don't have a menu posted than those that do. Do they want me to order from them or not?

You are not the only reader to complain about establishments not posting their Restaurant Week menus in advance. (See my intro.) Participants, you snooze, you lose. 

Several times I have attempted to order online for take out to be delivered through Caviar or GrubHub only to get to the check out page and receive a message that "Caviar does not deliver to your zip code" or GrubHub telling me "this restaurant does not deliver to your zip code" - My zip code is in NE DC - not way out somewhere. Then I received an email solicitation from "Skip the Line" which is a delivery service meaning what the name says - if you order take out and do not want to go and stand in line waiting to pick it up, they will pick it up for you. This works well when delivery services do not deliver to your zip code; but also it means that I pay the delivery service directly and the restaurant does not have to pay Caviar or GrubHub. This service is competitively priced and goes by how many miles the restaurant is from where you want the delivery. I have used it now 4 times and the only hitch was one day they had a slight time restriction on what hours they could pick up; but that was a Friday, a very busy day. Also you must book in advance of course - they have a calendar on their website - but I find calling or texting the principal (owner) directly works well. This also means calling the restaurant directly and paying over the phone, because if you order online it will still go through Caviar, even if it is for pick-up and not delivery, and then Caviar gets a cut no matter who picks up the order. I did email Caviar for an explanation of why my zip code is not on their list and received a "we are trying to solve this problem" response and no follow up. Though I did have a GrubHub account I found communication with them non existent. Just a shout out for alternative delivery services.

You're the first chatter to share detailed feedback about Skip the Line, which I think is a smart idea and a great way to keep money with restaurants rather than big delivery services. Thanks for chiming in. 

You made a comment a few weeks ago about American's being spoiled by deflated food prices. I’m not sure I agree. I’m not a jet setter, but I've been to quite a few places in Europe (France, GB, Sweden, Germany) and I've always been stunned at how affordable restaurant food seemed there (especially Sweden); I went to nice restaurants in Sweden and can’t remember an entree I paid more than $25-30 for. It seemed like the restaurants had very comparable prices, but without the tip line. For example, I just looked at two of Gordon Ramsay’s restaurants, one in Baltimore and one in London, and compared the price of their beef Wellington. Once you adjust for sales tax, the one in London is about 11.5% more than the one in the US. From what I remember its customary to tip between 10-15% in London, so the prices of the dishes are fairly comparable since it seems like the US is moving toward the 20% customary tip line. I always wondered how they did it.

You had cheap restaurant food in ... Sweden? I find that hard to believe. In one survey I just saw online, a three-course meal in Sweden is 70 percent more expensive than a comparable one in the US. 

Tom, I appreciate the need to be more sensitivity and to give grace whenever oossible in these challenging times...but we are now five months into the pandemic and the world of dining is likely to continue very much as it is now for many, many months. Isn’t it time to start judging certain things - like the quality of take-out, the timeliness and accurateness of delivery, etc - just as you would any other time. This IS the new normal and we all - including restaurants (and critics) - have to adjust to it.

I go back and forth on the issue. Yes, it's been five months now. Places should have their act together. But keep in mind, not all restaurants reopened at the same time. Some are new to the game. But to your point, I'm more willing than earlier to point out, say, cooking slips than I was in the beginning. Stay tuned.

My husband's and my birthdays are the same week, so in the past we've celebrated with a big dinner - Pineapple and Pearls, Komi, Rooster and Owl, Masseria. Where can we order food from that will feel equally celebratory this year while eating at home (we're not ready to return to in person dining yet)? He's a steak guy, but has been willing to branch out with tasting menus, but I'm a pescetarian so would like a fish entree or at least somewhere that accommodates vegetarians, while still feeling like a special meal.

I think I have the solution for you: takeout from St. Anselm in Union Market. Your husband can choose from among five steaks, you have such finny options as salmon collar and both of you can swoon over the amazing buttermilk biscuits with pimento cheese. Happy birthdays!

Thank you so much for continuing these chats. In a world today where nothing seems routine, "Ask Tom" is a place we can go to find some semblance of normalcy. You, through these weekly discussions, have given us a "safe space" where we can spend an hour forgetting about COVID-19, the Presidential race, social unrest and other distractions to our normal lives. You are providing a great service to your readers, and we appreciate having a place where we can go once a week to have peace and tranquility.

Well, YOU certainly made MY day.

 

Thank you so very much for the kind words. But the truth is, hosting these chats gives me a sense of normalcy, too. So, back at you!

I'm all in for a restaurant playing The Clash, Elvis Costello, Talking Heads, Sex Pistols, Sugarhill Gang, Ramones, and Chuck Brown. That's enough to get me eating inside again.

Music to my ears!

Native New Englander here. Absent a shack at the beach, I prefer to cook lobster at home. You want to steam it, not boil - very easy to prepare. If you are committed to someone else cooking, I've not eaten there but the markets on Maine Avenue used to have a place that cooked fresh seafood and served at picnic tables.

I see that Hank's Oyster Bar, with multiple locations, offers lobster multiple ways. The menu at the Wharf lists a lobster dinner with corn, potatoes and slaw for $39. 

I would like to echo the praise for Skip The Line! And for those who don't know: They'll pick up & deliver food from ANY restaurant that's doing takeout. It's great if you're craving something from a restaurant that doesn't have any official delivery mechanism (or is using one of the apps that have drawn complaints in this chat, and seem to be exploiting both restaurants and delivery couriers). I live outside the delivery zone for Baan Siam, and have had it delivered via Skip The Line a few times. It's fast, the drop-off is safe, the communication with the driver is helpful, and everything has been the appropriate temperature when it arrives!

Take a bow, Skip the Line (and I concur, the takeout from Baan Siam rocks. Not to be missed are the pineapple bites and young coconut and chicken curry.)

Any suggestions? Have not found any worth going back.

Early in the pandemic, I had good Chinese takeout from Peter Chang in Arlington.

Sometime around the turn of the century, J.D. Considine, the pop music critic for the Baltimore Sun wrote a series of articles discussing the music of the 50s, 60s, 70s, 80, and 90s. He reached the conclusion that, in spite of the bunch of schlock that you mentioned, Tom, that the 70s had the best music overall.

Redeemed! LOL

I really find myself baffled by people who can afford to eat out in these terrible times and think restaurants should be offering deals. Those of who like to eat out and can afford it ought to be doing everything we can to support the businesses we like, instead of complaining they aren't doing enough to woo us.

Another way of looking at the matter. Thanks.

Add me to the list, Tom, of those who have very much appreciated the weekly chats -- even through the early stages of the coronvirus shutdowns. What I have very much been enjoying recently is the transition to the new normal, exemplified in today's chat. Personally, I teleworked for all of March and April, but am now back to my D.C. office. Yes, there are a lot of risks by stepping foot outside one's home. But we need to take those risks -- in a smart way. Life goes on. I am glad these chats are looking at the current phase of dining and the next steps for recovery. Let us help eat our way out of this recession, diners!

Thank you kindly and cheers to a recovery for the industry.

Hello, TWO QUESTIONS: 1) FOOD AND DRINK INFECTIONS Can viral particles stick to food and drinks? Is ingesting (eating) the virus OK? I work as a food tour guide and I frequent an indoor/outdoor bar & kitchen. I pick up food and drinks AT THE BAR and then take them outside to eat. I wear a mask when I go inside the bar, but there are people indoors not wearing masks potentially breathing on my food. 2) AL FRESCO DINING Am I safe to assume eating outside and socially distant (6f) is an acceptable way to dine out? I do NOT eat in dining rooms anymore, but look for park benches, outside tables, garden/beach settings... Surely these are better options than indoors. Thanks so much, Gregory Gregory Schaefer Found/Food Guide @BasqueBites San Sebastián, Basque Country, Spain

1) Again, there's no evidence you can contract coronavirus through food or drink. 2) A number of prominent health experts report dining al fresco, provided tables are six feet or more apart and people are wearing masks when not eating. 

 

I envy you, noshing and guiding in San Sebastian, a city my partner fell in love with a few years back. 

 

That's a wrap for today. Thanks for keeping me company -- and on my toes. See you here next week, same time. Be well. 

In This Chat
Tom Sietsema
Tom Sietsema has been the Washington Post food critic since 2000. In leaner years, he worked for the Microsoft Corporation, where he launched sidewalk.com; the Seattle Post-Intelligencer; the San Francisco Chronicle; and the Milwaukee Journal. A graduate of the School of Foreign Service at Georgetown University, he has also written for Food & Wine, Gourmet, GQ, Travel & Leisure and other national publications. In 2016, he received an award from the James Beard Foundation for his series identifying and rating the "10 Best Food Cities in America" the previous year.
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