Hot dogs from a vending machine?

Washington, D.C.

Photo by Marc Zawel for Express

The venerable vending machine has come a long way from its days as a dispenser of caffeinated beverages and sugary snacks to D.C’s office workers. First, there was the arrival of high-tech machines at Dulles International Airport that allowed flight-boarding commuters and travelers to purchase Apple iPods and accessories with the swipe of a credit card.

Now, Alexandria-based LHD Vending Systems has its eyes set on a new and unusual, product: freshly grilled hot dogs.

Love ’em? Hate ’em? My taste test verdict in today’s Express.

Where urban luxury meets suburban blandness

Washington, D.C.


Eric Ripert’s WestEnd Bistro, located inside the Ritz-Carlton hotel at M and 22nd street NW, has had all the makings of a D.C. hot spot since opening last November. There’s a celebrity chef, trendy $13 cocktails, locally sourced dishes — and views of an Exxon gas station?

Check out the latest in today’s Express.

D.C. bars prep for Super Tuesday gatherings

Washington, D.C.


The turnout on Super Tuesday is expected to be large — and not just at polling places. As anticipation builds over how voters in 22 states will cast their presidential primary ballots, restaurants and bars in the nation’s capital are preparing to accommodate those who will be coming in to watch the results over patriotic potables.

The best places in the nation’s capital to watch the results — in today’s Express.

After battle with church, Shaw restaurant thrives

Washington, D.C.


On a recent evening, a pair of diners sat in the window seat at Queen of Sheba on 9th Street NW in Shaw. Between them, they shared traditional Ethiopian vegetarian plates, like Atkilt, a stew made with carrots, potatoes, cabbage, red pepper and onions. They glanced directly across the street, at the Shiloh Baptist Church, raised their Heineken beers and took a swig.

It was a somewhat ordinary scene — but, after a nearly two-year battle for a liquor license, it’s one that owner Embzam Misgina now takes comfort in.

Read more about it in my other Express piece out today.

Metro riders get a no-pants Saturday surprise

Washington, D.C.

Metro has plenty of rules. Wearing pants, I’ve learned, is apparently not one of them. About a 100 pranksters dropped trou and hit the subway this weekend. It’s all detailed in my latest story for the Express. And no, this intrepid reporter did not participate.

You have to draw the line somewhere, right?

Photo by The Post’s Ricky Carioti

P Street is back in business

Washington, D.C.


Nearly one year after the work began, the massive reconstruction and refurbishing of P Street NW between Dupont Circle and 22nd Street is almost complete. But what has the impact been on local businesses — and was the whole project worth the costs?

My latest Express piece is out today.

Heating up as winter sets in

Washington, D.C.


As temperatures in the nation’s capital plummet, restaurants and bars are rolling out heat lamps and radiant heaters to keep patios and roofdecks toasty. Read more in my latest story for the Washington Post Express.

Photo by Michael Temchine for The Washington Post

Chop’t to add additional locations

Washington, D.C.


Here’s another piece of mine that ran today on the Express blog, Free Ride. It’s about the expansion plans of Chop’t, the make-your-own-salad Gallery Place lunch-spot with 60+ toppings to choose from.

Good news: it’ll be in Dupont soon.

Got a light?

Washington, D.C.


I’ve started contributing to Free Ride, the blog for the Washington Post Express. My piece out yesterday is the first in a series leading up to the one year anniversary of the D.C. smoking ban. Read it on the Express site — or, if you’d rather stay here, I’ve also got it posted on

And, if you ever need any matchbooks, let me know. I’ve got a couple to spare after reporting this out.

Photo illustrations courtesy of Chris Combs/Express