Five Guys is a burger chain that originated in Washington, D.C. They have a jillion different toppings you can have on your hamburger (the usual condiments, as well as grilled onions and mushrooms, jalapeños, A-1 Sauce, BBQ sauce, etc.), and two sizes of burgers: big and small. (The big ones, it turns out, are the same size as the small, but with two patties.)
We carried our order to the table, and passed out the goods.
One of the bags was full of fries, and they were indeed great. (But we couldn’t finish them all, so we gave them to a homeless person, who immediately started feeding them to the pigeons).
The burgers were good, but too dry for my taste. I was afraid of this, as while ordering I had noticed a sign saying: “We cook all our burgers juicy and well done.” This is a contradiction in my book, because it is impossible for a well done burger to be juicy. I prefer mine medium-rare.
Fast-forward to yesterday. I’m back in D.C., sitting on the metro reading the Washington Post. On page A4 is a story about Obama entitled “Another Burger Run.” Turns out that last Friday he too (along with his usual entourage of aides, security folk, and the media pool, as well as Brian Williams and an NBC camera crew “that just happened to be trailing him for a ‘day in the life’ documentary”) stopped by a Five Guys restaurant in D.C. for some burgers.
The president reportedly shelled out over $80 in cash to buy lunch for everyone, and ordered a cheeseburger with jalapeños, lettuce, mustard and tomatoes for himself.
You may remember that several weeks ago Obama and Biden had burgers at Ray’s Hell Burger in Arlington, VA, and that the prez ordered his medium rare, which prompted an outcry over the danger of his ingesting E. coli. No such problem at Five Guys.
Speaking of burgers, we went to the Supreme Court on Friday afternoon to visit Justice Ginsburg in her chambers.
What does this have to do with burgers? you may well be asking. Well, in addition to the cheap joke about Chief Justice Burger that forms the title of this post, there is another connection. Read on.
We visited the National Archives right before our meeting with RBG, as I thought it would be appropriate to pay homage to the U.S. Constitution—which, along with the Declaration of Independence and the Bill of Rights, is on display there—before meeting with the justice.
Afterwards, as we were walking down Pennsylvania Ave. from the Archives to the Supreme Court, the sky opened up and it started to pour. We didn’t have time to stop and wait out the shower (which only lasted about 10 minutes), so, although we each had an umbrella, by the time we got to the Court our pant legs were soaking wet.
(notice the wet pant legs)
We had been instructed to go to the marshals’ office upon arrival at the Court, to announce our presence. When we walked in, the first thing we saw was two women sitting behind desks wearing these T shirts:
“Huh?” we asked them. “What the heck is that?” It just so happens that that very day at lunch time there had been an end-of-term barbeque for the Supreme Court staff, attorneys, and justices, and these two had been on the cooking team. Justice Scalia was flipping burgers for the event, they told us.
So, on the very same day that Obama is lunching on a burger at Five Guys, Scalia is cookin’ up a pile of burgers for the Supreme Court employees. I guess the hamburger really is the Great American Meal.
I know you’re dying to hear: Yes, we did visit with Justice Ginsburg (who did not appear to notice our wet, disheveled state), but only briefly, as she is currently swamped with end-of-term opinions and dissents that need drafting. sing. While waiting to meet with the justice, we chatted with one of her law clerks, a charming young man who is also an accomplished tenor and pianist (which no doubt helped him score this prestigious gig clerking for the opera-loving RBG).
with whom we stayed during the first leg of our D.C. trip