Roll Call: Latest News on Capitol Hill, Congress, Politics and Elections
December 21, 2014

Capitol Hill Comfort Food for a Cold Day

So, yeah, it’s cold. The Arctic vortex has yet to return to the North Pole, leaving us with shivery conditions. In these cases, perhaps the best course of action is retreat and eat.

Here’s a short list of comfort foods on Capitol Hill to help you through the cold.

  • Chili cheese fries — The Tune Inn, 331 Pennsylvania Ave. SE

This is the kind of chili dreams are made of: thick, with kidney beans and beef and layered on top of potatoes that have been thoroughly fried and then blasted in an oven. The cold doesn’t stand a chance against this dish.

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The Tune Inn is ready to serve chili cheese fries. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

  • Onion soup “au gratin” — Bearnaise, 315 Pennsylvania Ave. SE

Chef Spike Mendelsohn’s French-Canadian roots come in handy when prepping food for the weather weary. Anyone been to Montreal in the winter? It’s a long stretch of cold, and it helps to eat the right food. Start with a bowl of this cheesy, greasy goodness.

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Mendelsohn, center, knows cold winters. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

From Julia Child to Anthony Bourdain, anyone with any French culinary training knows how to make one of the simplest, yet most delicious and calorie-laden peasant dishes in the Gallic arsenal.

In Louisiana, red beans and rice are a staple on Mondays and for comfort food purposes everywhere. At Johnny’s, where owner Ann Cashion worships at the New Orleans food altar, they serve a mean rendition with spicy sausage that’s worth its weight in good feelings. Plus, you can hum along to the Booker T and the MGs song while you eat.

Chef Brad Walker knows how Slavic souls (including this writer) stay warm in Balkan and Balkan-like winters: starch and dairy products. The tangy sourness of quark makes the buttery goodness of the pierogi shell a welcome addition to the belly on days such as these.

Eat responsibly.

  • Delores Tieszen Tanglen

    The Quark and black pepper pierogi sound wonderful, wish I was there to try them. Growing up in the German/Russian Mennonite tradition, we called them verenike, and filled them with what we called cottage cheese, homemade from raw skim milk.

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