Phil Mendelson has been an at-large councilmember since 1998.

Favorite Restaurant: American City Diner. LL pointed out this is a political pick; ACD owner Jeffrey Gildenhorn is active in local politics. Replied Mendo, “It’s a diner! You don’t have an appreciation for diners!”

Power Lunch Locale: M&S Grill, at 13th and F. He gets the blue plate special. For power breakfasts, though, it’s Old Ebbitt.

Legislative Agenda: Mendelson is a noted legislator on gustatory issues. He passed legislation to get rid of a $100 fee to have candles in restaurants. And he, for the third time, is about to introduce a bill to require mandatory nutritional labeling on restaurant menus. “You can go to Starbucks and have a day’s worth of calories in one drink but you wouldn’t know it here.”

Romantic Dinner Spot: “The Loose Lips will have to sleuth it out.”

Neighborhood Joint: “I don’t have time to be hanging out in neighborhood joints!” He went on to namecheck Colonel Brooks’ Tavern, Tune Inn, and Georgena’s.

Home Cookery: “I make a pretty good catfish. I’m not going to tell the secret ingredients….broil it with some parmesan cheese, nuts, and other secret ingredients.”

Family Heirloom: Corn pudding. Again, he’s protective: “It’s got secret ingredients.”

Coffee Preference: Mendelson’s an inveterate home-brewer. He brings a silver Thermos of Quartermaine’s, half French roast, half decaf house.

Dais Munching: “You will never see me with a Subway sandwich or an Au Bon Pain sandwich, really. Something like a snack—-nuts, recently I’ve been big on granola bars.”

Breakfast Politics: “When I worked for Jim Nathanson, he’d tell me about the difference between Dave Clarke and John Wilson[‘s council breakfasts]…Dave Clarke would serve, really, burnt donuts, and John Wilson had this spread with a cotton tablecloth and a silver platter. Made everyone so fat and happy that the council followed their chairman.”

Favorite Breakfast Item: “Everything!” chimes in top aide Jason Shedlock. Says Mendo, “I’m afraid Jason’s got that right.”