Larry Shaughnessy is CNN's Pentagon Producer
WASHINGTON (CNN) - France's reputation for fine cuisine is well established. So when one of France's top government officials came to visit Washington, you'd think he'd be treated to dinner at one of Washington's most trendy, elite restaurants - the kind that get mentioned on food blogs or in glossy magazines.
Instead, Defense Secretary Robert Gates took his counterpart, the French Minister of Defense, Alain Juppe, to Gadsby's, an Arlington, Va tavern that serves down-to-earth fare like meatloaf and pork chops.
When Gates mentioned the dinner to reporters Tuesday, it wasn't Gadsby's food he mentioned; it was the restaurant's more than 225 years of history.
"Last evening, I had the pleasure of hosting Minister Juppé along with other French and U.S. officials for dinner at a tavern where Secretary of State John Quincy Adams played host to General Lafayette in 1824. Two centuries later, France remains our strong and valued partner on the global stage."
General Lafayette was one of the French generals who served in the American Continental Army under George Washington during the Revolutionary war. Being treated to dinner at a tavern that once played host to the French hero seemed to delight Minister Juppe.
"I appreciate very much, Mr. Secretary, our wonderful dinner yesterday evening in a very elegant place. And we served prestigious predecessors; I am here after Lafayette. And for me, it's a very great honor."
5@5 is a daily, food-related list from chefs, writers, political pundits, musicians, actors, and all manner of opinionated people from around the globe.
Editors' Note: We are in no way endorsing the usage of the "wacky tobacky."
In fact, his refined comfort food is often dubbed "stoner food" when it has been reviewed by critics. Brian Friedman wrote in his Philadelphia Weekly review that, "Ah, hell, it's 'food for stoners"' and "Adsum takes so-called 'stoner food' to places it has never been before."
Levin is no stranger to making the news with, shall we say, mood-altering substances. You may recognize him as the Philadelphia chef that threw the Four Loko-themed dinner party back in December.
But instead of a nice Loko-vore lady, looks like your dinner date is with Mary Jane.
Five Stoner Foods: Matt Levin
Chocolate? Champagne? That's soooooo last century. Our favorite (shhhh!) Top Chef All Stars contestant Richard Blais is working his wizardry on V-Day. In the second installment of his weekly segment on our Senior Junk Food Correspondent Ali Velshi's show - hosted today by the always dapper Don Lemon, he shared his method for maximum romance.
Here's a cheat sheet with the recipes which, in the words of a colleague who shall remain nameless, "Serving that on Valentine's Day would likely get a guy laid."
FYI – this is what he means by iSi.
3 cups bottled red beet juice
It's not enough to fizz with carbonation and taste sweet.
For years, drinks have been infused with promises of electrolytes, caffeine and instant energy. But now, some sodas and other concoctions are offering the opposite of Red Bulls and Four Lokos - they slow things down.
As more sedating sodas enter the market, some beverage makers have taken relaxation to another level by producing sodas laced with marijuana or ingredients to mimic that drug.
"Everyone is looking for some effect somewhere," said Dr. Matthew Seamon, assistant professor in the College of Pharmacy at Nova Southeastern University.
Beverages such as Malava Novocaine, Drank, Unwind, Mary Jane's Relaxing Soda and Slow Cow (sold in Canada) are marketed as helping people unwind.
Read the rest of "Anti-energy drinks: Relaxation in a can""on CNN Health.
Check your Champagne flute for foreign objects and don't chomp down too hard on that spoonful of chocolate souffle. If our inbox is to be believed, couples all over the country are going to be plighting their troth over Valentine's Day dinners at restaurants across the country. Should this happen to transpire at one of Kellari's restaurant outposts the couple will receive lifetime free dinner on Valentine's Day or their wedding anniversary.
Would you want the question popped over a romantic restaurant meal, or does the notion make you want to upchuck a truffle?
Valentine's Day dinner horror stories? We wanna hear 'em. Share below!
Sink your teeth into today's top stories from around the globe.
NEW YORK (CNNMoney) - Can a soda can be sassy? Pepsi thinks so.
Diet Pepsi will soon be available in a "taller, sassier new Skinny Can" that the company says is a "celebration of beautiful, confident women."
Diet Pepsi's new 'skinny can' will debut at New York's Fall 2011 fashion week.
The new can - which stands just more than six inches in height - will make its debut at New York's Fall 2011 fashion week later this month, but it won't hit stores until March.
Read the rest of "Diet Pepsi releases 'skinny can' for New York fashion week" on CNNMoney.
The weather outside is frightful in much of the country. In Montevideo, Minnesota, it's cold enough to turn a piece of fruit into hardware. iReporters montevideomn makes their own fun when it's -20°F with a -38 wind chill.
Got a great food story to share? Upload it through iReport and we just might feature it.
While you're frying up some eggs and bacon, we're cooking up something else: a way to celebrate today's food holiday and the most delicious finds on TV.
February 9 is National Bagels and Lox Day. Mazel Tov to all!
Bagels appeared in the United States in the 1800’s, but they didn’t become popular until the Eastern European Jewish immigrants arrived in New York. The bagel, lox and cream cheese trifecta didn’t hit the majority of tables until the 1950's when Family Circle magazine published a recipe for the combo, and according to Richard Horwich, “perhaps a Jewish echo of the Christian union of bacon, eggs and pancakes.”
What are you waiting for? Schlep over to the deli and nosh away.
What's on TV?