Dear New York Times,
We are so happy that our little neck of the woods inspired one of your stories today! Look at the happy patrons dining happily at Ted’s Bulletin! And DC-3! And Matchbox! You even got a picture of the homemade “silly” Pop-Tarts in their case! How does the saying go, that if we make it to the New York Times we can make it anywhere? Well, we couldn’t be happier that you’ve taken notice of our restaurants, really.
Not to insinuate that you have a fabrication or sensationalism problem by any means, but don’t you think the headline is a bit over the top? “Junk Food Purveyors Pop Up Around Capitol Hill” and “Junk Food Storms the Capitol” really makes it sound like nothing but McDonald’s, Wendy’s and Burger Kings are cropping up on every corner from the actual Capitol building down Pennsylvania to the river, does it not? During my last unofficial count, there is only one sad little McDonald’s on that stretch– it feels very lonely since the bulletproof-beglassed KFC across the street closed its doors some five years ago. I’m thinking that reading those headlines alone must have made at least three local NIMBYs faint thinking that the neighborhood has gone to the dogs overnight, and we only have you to blame!
While it is true that we have wonderful new restaurants which are fine purveyors of what really you should endeavor to call Comfort Food instead of that mean-spirited J-word; to say that we’re overrun with junk food and, ahem, “baroque” pizza (ornate? rococo? weird? misshapen?) is a little bit of an exaggeration, don’t you think? A perfunctory look at the menus of most of our newer eateries will reveal the heartier entrees you seem to find so quaint and amusing, alongside healthier fare. The only exception is perhaps DC-3, which is delightfully indefensible because it’s the only true, bona fide junk food experience out of all the restaurants you mention. You don’t really mention the NOT junk foody restaurants that have recently opened (Ba Bay, Mi Vecindad, The Chesapeake Room) either, although I suppose that places that offer deep-fried ANYTHING are to be looked upon suspiciously from the outset, making pretty much every single restaurant in every possible cuisine, in fact, junk food. Which means that you’d better scoff at your own backyard and its penchant for pizzas and hot dogs closely, too because I have this horrible sinking suspicion that JUNK FOOD IS POPPING UP ALL OVER NEW YORK CITY OMG!
Okay, this just came out wrong. All I meant to say was, thank you for the shoutout!