Hungry for Politics: Tommy Wells
Tommy Wells has been Ward 6 councilmember since 2007.
Favorite Ward Haunts: "It really depends on the occasion. If my wife and I are beleaguered and had a rough week and we want comfort food, we go to La Loma. Sam Fuentes and his family take care of us....When you want to go to someplace nice, we like Trattoria Alberto [on Barracks Row, 8th Street SE]....For special occasions, we'll go to Montmartre. We love the French food and good wine....When we're [feeling casual], I'll go to the Argonaut for sweet potato fries and a Dogfish Head 90-minute IPA, and nine times out of 10, the fish tacos."
Home Cooking: "Marinated salmon on the grill, wild rice from Minnesota, usually with mushrooms and raisins in it, and asparagus." Actually, make that mushrooms and Craisins.
Fave Wine Region: Côtes du Rhône
Power Lunch Locale: "I have been mourning the loss of Les Halles. It was reasonably priced and I liked the dishes....I generally don't go to Chef Geoff's because they vehemently opposed sick leave, so I'm going to Bluepoint [Grill] for a real change. The good news there is the bad news: The food is not great, but I never have to wait for a table"—meaning it's easier to have a private conversation. Recently, though, he's spotted more colleagues on the premises seeking seclusion.
Quick Bite: "Same place every time," he says—a Japanese spot in the Ronald Reagan Building food court. "It's called 'Kabuki' something," he says, and he always gets the sushi deluxe with an orange juice. "And the weirdest thing is, it often costs different amounts." Wells recently returned from a European vacation, and apparently the sushi stand missed him. "I went back two days ago, and they added other sushi pieces. they let me know they were doing that as a gift."
Bag It: His sushi trips provided valuable intel on a pet piece of legislation. Wells, of course, is currently pushing a bill to charge five cents for paper and plastic bags. "The other odd thing is, sometimes they put it in a plastic bag, sometimes they put it in a paper bag. That indicated to me there's no economic difference between the two." Wells, of course, usually refuses the bag. But not always. If there's a long line of tourists behind him and the counterperson sticks his lunch in a bag, he'll take it. "I don't want to be too weird," he says.
Kaffeeklatsch: "I routinely meet with people in the back part of Firehook. I can have a fairly private conversation without constantly being interrupted by constituents. When it doesn't matter, I go to Port City." There was recently a coffee scandal of sorts in Ward 6, when the Murky coffeeshop on 7th Street SE was revealed not to have paid its taxes. Wells, however, had already avoided the joint, after owners painted over a intricate mural inside depicting an Eastern Market street scene. "I quit going there," he says. "I boycotted the affront to community art."
No Reservations: One place in Ward 6 Wells hasn't been: Dr. Granville Moore's on H Street NE. "I can't get a table!" he protests. "I'm the councilmember! What's that say about [owner] Joe Englert?"