You have to be in the know to ask for one of these secret goodies at Bourbon Steak. (Four Seasons Hotel, Washington D.C.)

"They’re a total spoof on the whole Georgetown Cupcake nonsense," says chef Adam Sobel of the trendy little shop with the long line, down the street from his restaurant.

Sobel, who took over the kitchen from David Varley four months ago, is doing his best to make sure his cheddar biscuits stuffed with shredded smoked pork shoulder are hot draws: They’re not listed on the menu and he bakes only 20 of the pig-outs a day. "When they’re gone, they’re gone," says Sobel of the savory cupcakes, which are finished with mustard butter and sell for $7 each.

I wondered if Georgetown Cupcake had experienced Sobel’s riff. "I want to patent  it first," says the chef. "I don’t want them to steal my idea." On the telephone, it was unclear whether he was smiling when he said this.

Weaned on a beige buffet a la “Fargo” in Minnesota, Tom Sietsema is the food critic for The Washington Post. This is his second tour of duty at the Post. Sietsema got his first taste in the ‘80s, when he was hired by his predecessor to answer phones, write some, and test the bulk of the Food section’s recipes. That’s how he learned to clean squid, bake colonial cakes and distinguish between nutmeg and mace.