Have a fashionable lunch with Lincoln

There’s something kind of inappropriate about the fact that a luxury vehicle is named after one of the most unpretentious men to ever occupy the White House.

There’s something equally inappropriate about the fact that a painfully hip, upscale eatery in Washington, D.C. is named after him.

Wikimedia Commons

“The lunch menu focuses on traditionally sized entrees, such as broiled golden mac ‘n’ cheese sassed up with smoked ham ($12) and the juicy Lincoln burger served on a slightly sweet brioche bun and topped with creamy goat cheese, a homemade tomato jam and a speckling of watercress shoots ($14). At dinnertime, the menu switches to small plates, with more than 30 selections. Enjoy a French twist on a seaside sensation with the lobster beignets ($12), or get a kick out of the coffee-rubbed duck breast accompanied by a plum, walnut and farro grain salad ($14).”

According to the proprietor, Lincoln’s era “evokes the simplicity of food itself.” That’s probably what people thought back in that age of the Market Revolution. “This evokes the simplicity of food itself,” they must have said to each other, as they sent their manufactured products and commercial crops along all those canals and railways they were building.

Speaking of simplicity, they serve the lemonade in a mason jar.  You can sit there and sip your lemonade out of a jar and feel all folksy, while you gaze at the Pop Art images on the walls and await your fourteen-dollar “Lincoln burger” on a brioche bun.

Can you imagine Lincoln ambling into a place like this, with his hair characteristically unkempt and his pants too short, and folding his angular frame into a booth?  “Well, I reckon I’ll have the coffee-rubbed duck breast with the plum, walnut and farro grain salad.”

The whole thing reminds me of Cornelius Van Santvoord’s story about a petitioner who came to the White House asking for a presidential endorsement to help promote a business scheme.  Lincoln told him, “I’ll have nothing to do with this business, nor with any man who comes to me with such degrading propositions.…You have come to the wrong place, and for you and everyone who comes for such purposes, there is the door!”

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8 Comments

Filed under Abraham Lincoln, History and Memory

8 responses to “Have a fashionable lunch with Lincoln

  1. You’re slipping, Michael. How did you miss this gem:

    A liberating libation for larger parties is the Emancipation Punch ($42). Recommended for six tipplers, the oversized beverage mixes gin, cachaça (a strong Brazilian spirit), chamomile, lemon and clove.

    Heh.

  2. Tagging things with American history seems to sell – or at least, retailers and businessmen believe it will. I’ve just come back from Philadelphia, where there are Liberty Bell eateries, shoesmiths, and taxi companies; considering the high regard in which Liberty Bell is held (I’m a Brit, so don’t fully understand it!) I was surprised that it had been depreciated in such a way. And then there was the City Tavern (“America’s most historic Inn”, in a 1970s rebuild) offering meals that early settlers supposedly ate, alongside recipes used by Martha Washington herself!

    • Michael Lynch

      What’s really weird is that there’s a good chance very few of the people who patronize the businesses employing the Liberty Bell could tell you exactly what it is or why it matters.

      –ML

  3. “. . . served on a slightly sweet brioche bun and topped with creamy goat cheese, a homemade tomato jam and a speckling of watercress shoots.”

    Abe would’ve laughed at these preposterous hipsterism of this place — but Mary would’ve loved it.

  4. Pingback: Lincoln lotto spot | Past in the Present

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