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“I’ve had a few people run in and order for a member, but no one personally has come in. I’ve got to get some, though, because I’ve heard the D.C. thing is to have your photos taken with a zillion members and put them up in your place,” the chef had recently told FamousDC, a political, media and sports blog.

But we have it on good authority that Chef Spike has unknowingly prepared an order for Rep. Patrick T. McHenry of North Carolina (perhaps he didn’t recognize the Republican, who at 32 is the youngest member of Congress).

Enjoying burgers on the same day the congressman dropped in were reporters for The Washington Times and Politico, and two staffers for House Democrats.

Earns his keep

We checked in with Darren McKinney, director of communications for the American Tort Reform Association, after realizing he landed not one, not two, but count ‘em three letters-to-the editor in major daily newspapers in one week’s time — two of them in a single day, including the New York Times and Wall Street Journal.

“Who besides Al Gore could pull that off?” he quipped.

Tinker away

NASA Deputy Administrator Shana Dale provided a little parental advice when unveiling the first-ever Nobel Prize exhibit at the space agency’s headquarters in Washington, compliments of John Mather, who in 2006 became the first NASA civil servant to receive the prestigious prize in physics.

“As a young schoolboy growing up in Sussex County, New Jersey, he entered science fairs and conducted experiments under his family’s kitchen table,” Ms. Dale observed. “He demonstrates to all of us that a child’s curiosity can lead to profound discoveries about the universe.

“So the next time your child is tinkering with your radio or cell phone or messing up your kitchen with inventions, remember that son or daughter could be a Nobel laureate in training.”

John McCaslin can be reached at 202/636-3284 or