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FOR WHATEVER REASON, the thinkers over at theBrookings Institution have declared August to be "think free month.'" Sure it’s hot, but there’s still plenty of thinking to be done -- we have yet to reach our potential as a socialist country and you KNOW we can do it. To see what the Brookings kids were doing instead of hosting events full of thinking people, we snuck into their headquarters, only to find them lounging in their cafeteria, eating food that looked like it came from the Rest Home.


The Brookings cafeteria is a glorious space located in the first floor of its office building on 17th and Massachusetts NW. If you can navigate around the big balls that line the front entrance (nope, no exaggeration there) and make it past security (we have friends in high places, so no illegal activity was necessary), there it is: plastic-looking but surprisingly edible cafeteria food. Yum.

And if you, non-Brookings employee, can find someone in the inner circle to take you to the cafeteria, we highly recommend you check it out. Presentation aside, the food is really good, and the selection is extensive and reasonably priced. (Thinking isn't a very lucrative position, especially if you're junior staff.)

The salad bar is great: three different kinds of lettuce and all the toppings you could want, including grilled vegetables and pasta salad. There's also a selection of fresh peaches and nectarines. Professional thinkers can't afford to get scurvy.

There's also a hot food bar where things have been decaying under heat lamps since the thinkers got us out of Vietnam and decided to start on a new health care plan, but the stuff still somehow tastes good. The varied selection often involves chicken, pasta, rice, and everyone’s favorite, macaroni and cheese.

Whatever you might think about the thinkers of the Brookings Institution, let’s just hope they continue to keep themselves well fed. If it weren't for them, we'd have nothing to ruminate over except who loves Stalin and who's afraid of the big bad government and something called federal preemption, because that's the world according to our friends at the Heritage Foundation.

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