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Posted at 12:45 PM ET, 06/08/2011

Lunchline: Shaking a bad reputation isn't easy

Last night I went to the opening event for Tackle Box in Cleveland Park. The food wasn't bad, though the raw bar was closed by the time I got there. The reggae band didn't hurt the cause either. That space has come a long way since it was the Mickey D's where I spent every afternoon after school, with the sketchiest "playground" upstairs.

Monday was one of the more depressing days in a while for D.C. residents. With the mayorand a council
Sulaimon Brown testifies before the DC council. (Linda Davidson)
member in the spotlight for alleged unethical behavior on the same day, it was a grim reminder of how ugly politics can be when people put their personal interests ahead of the public's. Also yesterday, a former top council staffer was in court for a sentencing hearing after he admitted to taking money from a man looking to influence legislation beneficial to the taxicab industry. The Post's Marc Fisher reports that for some, the perception is that "the city is run by people with an ethical blind spot."

There was a state dinner last night at the White House and it went off without a hitch. No gate-crashers, no goofy guests and, apparently, no real fun. Not surprising, considering the guest
US President Barack Obama toasts German Chancellor Angela Merkel during a State Dinner in the Rose Garden at the White House. (SAUL LOEB - AFP/GETTY IMAGES)
of honor was German Chancellor Angela Merkel, who's not exactly known for being the life of any party. President Obama did award Merkel the Presidential Medal of Freedom at the first official visit by a European leader in his administration. The Post's Roxanne Roberts and Dan Zak report on the tame evening.

Raise your hand if you've ever owned a pair of rollerblades. Don't look now, but the hallmark of '90s suburban cul-de-sac hockey games might be making a comeback via hipsters on city streets these days. Sidenote: There is actually a professional inline skating hockey league, started right here in Alexandria in 1998. The skates are apparently showing up everywhere from fashion magazines to British pop music. Slate's Julia Felsenthal investigates the trend that is slowly taking over Manhattan.

When it comes to cooking, I operate in a pretty precise manner. I tend to research what I want, make a list, find it at the grocery store and buy it. Some people understandably don't have the time or inclination for this, and Whole Foods Market is here to help them. The high-end grocery chain has enlisted the services of Michael Kiss, a 35-year-old trained chef, who simply hangs around the store and talks about food. The Post's Bonnie Benwick explains why this guy might be worth taking the time to listen to, rather than your neighbor who claims have the best risotto recipe ever.

The U.S. men's soccer team might have gotten smoked by the world champions over the weekend, but that game didn't count for anything. In a game that actually makes a difference, Bob Bradley's squad showed up and got the job done. They conquered Canada, 2-0, in the first round of the Gold Cup on Tuesday in Detroit. Also, if you need a pigskin fix, The Insider is running old game storiesfrom Redskins lore.

Extra Bites

• Visiting wineries is a fun way to get away and have a good time without going too far from home or blowing too much cash. If you happen to take a trip to a Virginia vineyard, you should check out Virginia Wine in My Pocket, an iPhone app that offers all sorts of info for all things wine-related in the commonwealth.

• If you ever get into a situation in which the info on your phone is absolutely valuable, but your freedom or life is being threatened for said device, consider this option: Put the SD card in your mouth and give it up.

• Facebook knows your face — literally. This ranks as semi-scary in my book.

Check out my daily Lunchline Live chats at noon, or anytime on my Facebook fan page. You can also drop me a line at

By  |  12:45 PM ET, 06/08/2011

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