Young and Hungry

Barack Obama Coming to Adams Morgan’s Mintwood Place?

Is Adams Morgan's Mintwood Place about to get the Barack Obama seal of approval recently enjoyed by Taylor Gourmet? A crowd outside the restaurant right now thinks so, and the tent in front of the restaurant's entrance and the heavy police presence suggest that something's going on.

Eater D.C. notes that the blog Obama Foodorama reports that the president's schedule has him enjoying a "date night" with Michelle Obama and the three winners of the "Dinner with Barack" contest at 6:15 p.m. at "a local restaurant."

Police officers on the scene at 1813 Columbia Road NW declined to say what the hubbub was about, and calls to Mintwood Place and owner Saied Azali's other restaurant, Perry's, were not answered.

An Obama visit would be a boon for Mintwood Place, a top contender in Adams Morgan's mostly lacking fancy-dining market.

Photo and reporting by Jessica Sidman

  • Betsy Donahoe

    Yes Obama is here in Adams-Morgan and the Parking Dept. has taken this opportunity to tow cars on Biltmore St. I asked a policeman were they going to return the cars. He said, "Oh no, they've been taken to another location." There is not one No Parking sign posted to let these innocent people know not to park there. I watched a new Kia with North Carolina plates get towed away for what seemed like no reason at all. It will be days and days before the owners get their cars back, and they'll no doubt have to pay to get them. Ugly.

  • Billy Reasonable

    What you've said in quotes: "Oh no, they've been taken to another location." resonates in my head with your voice. I don't think cars getting towed away for no reason at all is no reason at all, other than to your attitude. You should try watching clips of 24 on YouTube. If I "watched" a new Kia with North Carolina plates get towed away for "what seemed like no reason at all" I would assume that there would be a sign posted or the management of nearby restaurants will be notified of new location of their cars. I doubt it'll be days before they get their cars back, and I doubt even more that they would have to pay for them. Ugly, yes it was.

  • Kristen Dirschel-Dawson

    That was my Kia Soul from NC that got towed. I didnt mind actually. Coincidentally, I was on 18th Street/Calvert St. when I saw it go by. Initially I was upset b/c I thought it was going to be a hassle to track it down and I also thought I would have to pay some fee or something. I asked a police office how I could track it down, and he was totally helpful. He just radio'd his colleagues and they informed me where they re-located it. It was one street over in a valid parking space. I was quite impressed with the efficient securing of the area for such a high level visit while also being able to communicate to me via radio the new location of my car. Impressive coordination. I also felt a sense of civic duty to support the President so I didnt mind my car being moved out of the way for his safety.

  • nate

    Kristen Dirschel-Dawson is kind of awesome when she writes "I didn't mind, actually" about her car getting towed in the name of Presidential safety. You have to love the positive attitude. Must be something in the NC water that makes friendly, down to earth people...
    As for the dig in the article about "mostly lacking fancy dining" in Adams Morgan, things are slowly moving in that direction with some of the more recent ventures...but once that happens, will you lament the lack of affordable restaurants? Right now Adams Morgan has something for everyone. Enjoy it.

  • Josh Gibson

    So sick of knee-jerk journalists copping stereotypes of neighborhoods.

    Our "mostly lacking fancy-dining market" includes high-end, highly-rated, fancy-date-worthy Mintwood, Perry's, Cashion's, and Little Fountain Cafe. Broaden out that definition just a bit and you then include Napoleon, Las Canteras, Casa Oaxaca, and La Fourchette if not others.

    We hold our own on the "fancy-dining" front, equaling or bettering 14th Street, U Street, H Street, Georgetown, the Hill, or Penn Quarter.

    So, drop the "Adams Morgan is not a dining destination" cliche and write about neighborhoods as they are and not just as you remember them being years ago, or as you once heard someone make fun of them for being.

  • J

    Mintwood really is a wonderful restaurant and I usually hesitate to give kudos to businesses because consistency can stink in this town. Unlike some places that dislike restaurant week patrons - they were so welcoming and friendly and the meal I had was superb. I agree that Adams Morgan has gotten a bad rap for too long. Its a beautiful neighborhood any evening of the week except after 9 on fridays and saturdays.

  • suzanne

    It's lucky for that woman from NC that she happened to see her car being towed. Wonder how easy it was for others to get their cars back.

    Re Mintwood, it looks nice, except they could survive quite nicely without having frogs legs for sale on their menu, as they do now. Here's a nice article from the Guardian http://www.guardian.co.uk/lifeandstyle/2009/aug/07/frogs-legs-extinction

    and here's an excerpt from the article:

    Scientists have long been aware that while human activity is causing a steady loss of the world's biodeversity, amphibians seem to be suffering far more severely than any other animal group. It is thought their two-stage lifecycle, aquatic and terrestrial, makes them twice as vulnerable to environmental and climate change, and their permeable skins may be more susceptible to toxins than other animals. In recent years, a devastating fungal condition, chytridiomycosis, has caused catastrophic population declines in Australia and the Americas.

    "Amphibians are the most threatened animal group; about one third of all amphibian species are now listed as threatened, against 23% of mammals and 12% of birds," says Corey Bradshaw, an associate professor at the Environment Institute of the University of Adelaide and a member of the team that carried out the research into human frog consumption that was published earlier this year in the journal Conservation Biology. "The principle drivers of extinction, we always assumed, were habitat loss and disease. Human harvesting, we thought, was minor. Then we started digging, and we realised there's this massive global trade that no one really knows much about. It's staggering. So as well as destroying where they live, we're now eating them to death."

    A few years ago National Geographic had a great exhibit with hundreds of frogs from around the world. They play a major role in our ecosystem, and we really don't need to destroy any more of it than we have already. That's the message I got from the Geographic. And from the National Zoo. Here's what they have to say:

    http://nationalzoo.si.edu/SCBI/SpeciesSurvival/AmphibianConservation/default.cfm

    People can enjoy great dining--without contributing to the extinction of frogs.

...