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Three weeks ago, as we were preparing the latest installment of Dishing Expedition, I was all ready to offer up a one-paragraph summation of my lone visit to the Commissary in Logan Circle, but at the last minute, the item got cut due to space limitations. Given the ongoing flap over Washington Post restaurant critic Tom Sietsema‘s now-retracted First Bite review of the eatery, it seems a fitting moment to resurrect the commentary:

Scorn in the U.S.A.

I have only one comment after picking at an overcooked cheeseburger, a limp croque-monsieur, and a dry, flavor-challenged margherita pizza at the Commissary, the new flag-waving haunt in the old Merkado Kitchen space at 1443 P St. NW (202-299-0018): The economy’s gonna have to get a lot worse before I dine regularly at this cheap-eats spot.

I specifically want to highlight the time frame of my original jab at the Commissary—-mid-October, well before Sietsema’s piece. Earlier today, EatWell DC partner David Winer, one of the owners of the Commissary, said he fears retribution from the “covey of restaurant food critics” who, for all he knows, may “have coffee together.” Winer may well view this posting as a sympathetic pat on the back to Sietsema, but I offer it up as evidence that a conflict of interest does not inherently mean that the original criticism was unfounded. I understand Winer’s frustration, but I’d encourage him to look at his food as much as the critic reviewing it.