Saturday, September 29, 2012

Washington, DC Goes Wild With Obama And Romney Foodie Homage--And Polls, Too

Vote with your fork: The Nation's Capitol has a smorgasbord of delights created for the Candidates, from cupcakes to tortilla bowls...
The eateries in the Nation's Capitol are always thrilled about any economic boost related to Presidential elections, and this year plenty have unveiled food and beverage homage to President Obama and GOP rival Mitt Romney.  A number are offering foodie political polls, with the purchases of the candidates' items being tallied on a weekly basis.  From the ObamaMac and RomneyMac macaroons and cupcakes at Capitol Hill bakeshop The Sweet Lobby to the entrees at California Tortilla, which is featuring the Obama Chicken Teriyaki Luau Bowl and Romney's Mexican Mitt-Loaf Bowl, political gourmands can literally eat the candidates for lunch--and dinner.  (Above: The Sweet Lobby bills itself as "Your Political pastry Polling Headquarters)

DC bars have also created Obama and Romney cocktails, so patrons can drown their boredom with the endless campaign season political squabbling with special beverages.  Romney's are alcohol free, of course.   The good folks at marketing firm Destination DC have compiled a list of thirteen of their clients' offerings; some venues are offering specials themed to Vice President Joe Biden and GOP rival Paul Ryan, too.  A number of the eateries are posting weekly poll tallies on Twitter.

The list....

Art Bar at Art & Soul:
The cocktail list at Art Bar, Art Smith's watering hole inside his eponymous restaurant at the Liaison Hotel Capitol Hill have "Swing States" cocktail menu highlighting eight of the states (Colorado, Iowa, New Hampshire, Nevada, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Virginia and Wisconsin) known to rock the vote. These range from the classically inspired Six Borders (Pennsylvania) made with vodka to the outre like The Cheese Head (Wisconsin) made with gin and cheese. In the spirit of crossing the aisle, patrons wearing an "I Voted" sticker on Election Day (Tuesday, Nov. 6) who buy a cocktail from the Swing States menu will be gifted with a complimentary libation for a friend, regardless of how they cast their vote.

Burger, Tap and Shake: Milkshakes paying homage to each presidential candidate's birthplace will be showcased on the menu: for Obama, the Hawaiian Pineapple Shake, and for Michigan-native Romney, the Michigan Cherry Shake.

California Tortilla: The Tex-Mex chain has composed two competing burrito bowls: The Obama's Chicken Teriyaki Luau Bowl (Mexican rice, grilled chicken, Teriyaki sauce, stir-fry vegetables and grilled pineapple) and Romney's Mexican Mitt-Loaf bowl (grilled Mexican meatloaf, mashed potatoes, sauteed vegetables, corn and a sweet and savory sauce). Both are $7.29 and available until voting culminates on Saturday, November 3, 2012.

Georgetown Cupcake:
The cupcake shop made famous on "DC Cupcake" offers Democrat or Republican Dozens: three Red Velvet cupcakes; three Chocolate & Buttercream cupcakes; three Vanilla & Buttercream cupcakes; and three Lava Fudge cupcakes decorated with election-themed Democrat donkey or Republican elephant and 2012 fondant ($29). These can be shipped nationally. 

1331 Bar & Lounge at JW Marriott: The lounge where the Rickey was invented offers cocktails and nibbles inspired by the election every Tuesday through November 6.  Specialty drinks include the Mint Romney (Chambord, Frangelico, cream and fresh mint) and Barockin' Mai Tai (Bacardi Orange rum, fresh pineapple and lemon juice, lime soda and blue Curacao float). Back from the previous election cycle and ready for a rematch are the Left Wings and Right Wings. The 2012 versions are Hawaiian-glazed Left Wings with fresh pineapple and Boston honey glazed Right Wings served with a mini pot of Boston-style baked beans. Other sharable plates include Hawaiian Peppered Ahi Tuna and Boston Cod sliders. A miniature chocolate White House filled with chocolate truffles completes the weekly menu. 

Good Stuff Eatery:
This fast-casual eatery offers a burger ballot with a twist: rather than pitting the popular Obama burger against a Romney creation, the Spike Mendelsohn restaurant has created burgers in honor of "America's favorite political duo" James Carville and Mary Matalin. Carville's burger comes toasted with roasted creole onion, southern fried pickles, cheddar cheese and a Ragin' Cajun barbeque sauce, while Matalin's sandwich is topped with grilled Portobello mushrooms, goat cheese, tomato, arugula and peppadew pepper mayo. Polls are updated daily and close on Election Day.

Legal Seafood:
Between Oct. 27 and Nov. 5, four DC-area locations of this popular seafood chain will offer Blue and Red plate specials, each inspired by the candidates. Inspired by President Obama, the Blue Plate special is Macadamia and Coconut Crusted Mahi-Mahi with roasted Brussels sprouts in a lime butter sauce.  The Red Plate special is Pan Seared Cod with steamed spaghetti squash in a bourbon lobster cream sauce.

Lincoln Restaurant:
Presidential cocktails face off at this bar inspired by the spirit of the 16th president. Contenders include the Republican-inspired Elephant (rhubarb-infused whiskey, homemade strawberry liquor, lime juice and bitters) and Democratic Donkey (blackberry-infused gin, ginger syrup, lime juice and soda). The restau-bar tabulates votes on a blackboard near the front door and every Friday on social media: @LincolnWDC.

Lobby Bar at The Madison Hotel:
Beverage Manager Rob Yealu is appealing to the Facebook fans of the recently refurbished hotel to create and name a cocktail in honor of the 2013 Inauguration. The bar will offer two additional inauguration-inspired cocktails: Massachusetts Mule (Raspberry- Chocolate Mint Infused Vodka, Lemon, Lime and Ginger-Ale) and The Great Debate (Small Batch Bourbon, Blended Vermouth, Green Chartreuse, Orange Peel), at the Lobby Bar from January 18-22, 2013. Each hand-crafted cocktail will cost $14.00 and the winner of The Madison's Political Cocktail Party contest will receive a weekend stay at The Madison. 

The Lounge at the Park Hyatt:
Lisa Hviding, the hotel's resident cheese expert, has selected two blue cheeses (including Barick Obama from Vermont) to support Democrat and two red-rinded cheeses for Republican Mitt Romney in the Park Hyatt's restaurant. These are available nightly from 5:30-10:30 p.m., priced at $6 per ounce. The Park Hyatt will keep a tally in the lounge, a scale with one token representing each order (blue or red) and displaying the results of cheese popularity by the tilt of the scale through Election Day. The winner of the national election, aka "The Big Cheese," will lend his name to the 35-lb wheel of cheese currently on display in the lounge.

Occidental Grill:
Bake-off with the cookie recipes that First Lady Michelle Obama and Ann Romney submitted to Family Circle magazine. Obama's cookies are made with white chocolate chips, milk chocolate chips and mint chocolate chips, while Romney's are oatmeal with peanut butter, chocolate chips and M&Ms. Fans follow the results on Twitter: @theoccidental.

Ritz Carlton Hotel Washington DC:
The hotel's bar is offering a thematic cocktail menu. For the country's GOP supporters, there is the Grand Old Fashioned cocktail. It is made with bourbon, muddled strawberries and oranges, Peychauds Bitters and club soda. Meanwhile, the Blue Bourbon Baracks is made with bourbon, crystallized ginger, blueberries, angostura bitters and ginger ale to honor President Obama. Each cocktail is $12. There is also a running mate beer-and-sliders pairing sourced from each vice presidential candidate's respective hometown. The menu features Leinenkugel "Leinie's" IPA beer and Beer Bratwurst sliders with caraway sauerkraut, pickled red onion, whole grain mustard and beer dip to honor Republican vice presidential candidate Paul Ryan's Wisconsin upbringing. Dogfish Head Raison D'Etre beer and Delaware Rockfish Sliders with arugula and pickled fennel and old bay remoulade honor Vice President Joe Biden. The themed beers are $6.50 and the sliders are $7.50 separately, and each pairing is $12 together.

The Sweet Lobby:
This Capitol Hill bakery has dubbed itself the "Official Pastry Polling Headquarters" for this year's election and, as such, has created cupcakes and macarons decorated in honor of both Obama and Romney. They're keeping track of the purchases and will be keeping folks updated on Twitter @TheSweetLobby.

Topaz Bar at Topaz, a Kimpton Hotel:
Known for its craft cocktails, the bar has a dedicated "Political Campaign" menu featuring the Romney Float (non-alcoholic blend of Old Dominion Root Beer finished with whipped cream and a "Salted Lake" caramel drizzle) and the Obama Home Sweet Home (a twist on DC's official cocktail, the Rickey, this elixir blends Bulleit Bourbon, lime juice, club soda and a splash of pineapple juice). Topaz Bar's presidential roots date back to the early 1900s when Theodore Roosevelt lived where the hotel now stands. Roosevelt occupied the house during his tenure as vice president to President McKinley, and also for a short while before he moved into the White House when elected in 1901. For this reason, 1733 N Street NW was sometimes referred to as the "Little White House."

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*Photo from The Sweet Lobby