Our Feed column from two weeks ago offered opinions (most of which putatively came from our crack cadre of Restaurant Raters) on ten local restaurants. The restaurants ranged from Air, located at the top of the Washington Monument and offering “dishes based on gaseous chemicals” to Cryptids of Rock Creek, an eatery inside Rock
Creek Park that serves up Nessie burgers.

Left Overs, which was described as a “hotspot” for “nonprofit employees, activists, [and] Al Gore wannabes” and a “concept restaurant [that] takes ingredients that other area restaurants are ready to throw away and creates just-like-new meals” prompted one reader to ask, via email, “Was that a joke?”

Yes, it was: The column ran in the issue dated Friday, March 30 under the title “Open on Sunday.” The following Sunday was April 1.

“I can’t find the adress [sic],” the reader’s email continued, “and the phone number is also not working. Can you help me?”

For most of the ten restaurants, we used non-existent addresses—Left Overs, for example, is located at 3.1459 Pennsylvania Ave. SE—-and each restaurant’s phone number had a 555 exchange.

That reader wasn’t the only one to be confused. A blurb on the hockey-themed eatery Hamboni, with its “row of ‘rickety old wooden folding chairs’ along the counter and a long bench fronted by plexiglass” prompted an anonymous reader to call our offices. Though Hamboni’s address was listed as 638 7 ¾ St. NW, it was also described (by a fictitious Restaurant Rater) as being situated “just across the street from the [Verizon] Center”—-where the caller told our Young & Hungry columnist he works.

Another reader, 59-year-old Chinatown resident Karen Carroll, says she “thought the Foam Factory” (whose menu supposdely included “small [tapas] plates of air” and a martini described by a rater as a “giant glass of bubbles”) “was something new inside the Fuddruckers, like they had opened up a bar, and they were specializing in, like, smoothies….” Again, some confusion is understandable: Though the nonexistent eatery was given a fake address—-736 7¾ St. NW—-it was also said to be “adjacent to Fuddruckers.” There is, in fact, a Fuddruckers in Chinatown, and you can find it at 734 7th St. NW.

Carroll’s curiousity led her to seek out the non-existent street and restaurants, enlisting the aid of those red-clad downtown guides and even a police officer. Earlier this week, she even stopped in at Fuddruckers.

“They thought I was crazy,” she recalls.

“I have the greatest sense of humor in the world. You can tell I’m…easygoing,” she says. “I think this is screwed up,” she continues, with a laugh. Carroll, who used to work as a concierge at major hotels in the area, says she “would have been embarrassed” to steer hotel guests towards the likes of the Foam Factory.

What did you think—-a good laugh? Kinda annoying? Both? Neither?