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Meanwhile in the Upper House

The U.S. Senate continues to manage its own in-house dining operations, primarily the venerable Senate Dining Room, called “Washington's most exclusive restaurant,” as well as five other dining outlets and onsite catering, through an entity called the Senate Restaurants Revolving Fund. The Fund revolved to the tune of a $1.7 million defict in its 2005 and 2006 fiscal years, according to a Government Accounting Office audit published a year ago.

The Senate Dining Room, in the Senate half of the U.S. Capitol building, is an assertively traditional restaurant where the fare generally doesn't stray far from long-time favorites like Chicken Parmesan, Chili, Beer-Batter Fish and Fried Chicken. Its greatest claim to culinary fame is probably the legendary Senate Bean Soup, which is on the menu daily.

In addition, the Senate operates five other foodservice outlets for staff and visitors, most of which are grab-and-go type snack stops. There is a cafeteria in the Dirksen Senate office building for those looking for a sit-down meal.

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