A very warm Loop welcome to Mark Sanford, the scandal-scarred former South Carolina governor, who will be returning to our fair city as a bonafide member of Congress.
Sanford, who won a special election Tuesday, might be familiar with Washington, since he served in the House from 1995-2001. But things have changed since then — for both Sanford and Washington — so we offer him this handy guide to the city.
Argentinian food — Sanford famously jaunted off to Argentina to consort with his mistress (now fiancee) while he was governor, and so we can assume he and his bride-to-be might like to sample the cuisine of her homeland. In D.C. proper, there are few true Argentinian joints, though we have some fine pan- Latin American restaurants, including Ceiba (try the cerviche congressman!). And for the real deal, he might head out to the Maryland ‘burbs to try El Patio, which is said to serve some of the most authentic grilled steaks around.
Sports bars — Sanford got into a spot of trouble during his congressional campaign when it came out that his ex-wife had slapped him with a trespassing charge. The irrepressible Sanford claimed that he was only visiting her home to see his son and watch the Super Bowl on TV with him.
But he need not resort to lawbreaking to catch the big game in Washington. There are many local sports bars with big screens and good brews, including the Pour House, which is only steps from House office buildings.
Nancy Pelosi, in the flesh! — One of the weirder moments of Sanford’s campaign was when he debated a cardboard cutout of House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.). But now that he’ll be her colleague, he can perhaps visit her office in the Capitol (second floor, not far from the House floor) and actually converse with her in person!
Hiking trails — Perhaps Sanford’s most memorable stumble was when he claimed to be hiking the Appalachian Trail when he was, in fact, visiting his Argentinian mistress. Since Sanford is a lover of the outdoors, he’s in luck. Our area is rife with lovely hiking trails. Rock Creek Park is a great place to start.
And, hey, we’re not far from... the Appalachian Trail.