The PJ Tatler

The Last Bastion of Greasy Spoon in Government

Most have heard this story by now: A preschooler had her lunch taken away at a North Carolina elementary school recently because a state inspector, who was peeking through the tots’ lunches, deemed her turkey and cheese sandwich, potato chips, banana and apple juice to not be nutritious enough. Instead, the school replaced her meal with chicken nuggets, a swap that would make any fellow Trader Joe’s aficionado blanch.

Schoolkids and legislators may not be on the same nutrition playing field in terms of government food-policing, but it’s still fun to note that those working on the Hill get all the greasy-spoon grub they desire just blocks from a “Let’s Move!” White House.

Last week, I was waiting to meet a source at the American Grill in the Dirksen Senate office building. Well after lunchtime and nearing quitting time, staffers were coming and going with French fries, frozen yogurt, grilled cheese sandwiches and other goodies. The smell of freshly popped, buttery popcorn from the snack shop next door filled the air.

On the wall was an advertisement for The Senate Burger: two patties, cheese, bacon, grilled onions, grilled mushrooms, jalapeños. Just $6, and add fries and a 16-ounce soda for two bucks more.

What about salads? Enter the Senate Chef Salad: topped with turkey, ham, swiss, cheddar, bacon and tomato, for $5.75.

Gives a glimpse of insight into how heartburn may be affecting Senate action. Not that we’re advocating a raid by the food police — so stand down, Michelle.