Ahead of his first game as a member of the visiting team at Nationals Park, wayward outfielder Bryce Harper delivered a long-awaited, emotional thank you to D.C. in a lengthy Instagram post.
In his address, the new Philadelphia Phillies slugger singled out three restaurants that always gave him the warm fuzzies during the seven years he spent as a budding superstar in Washington.
“The city of DC was home,” he wrote. “Filomena’s, The Silver Diner, The Italian Store, and countless other places helped make it feel like home.”
Aside from the fact that the latter two places are in Virginia, it appears Harper has shown some solid selection here, some notion that despite being the type of person that can afford to turn down a 10-year, $300 million contract to stay in Washington, he has the appetite of an everyman.
The Italian Store in Arlington is cherished its cold cuts. Filomena in Georgetown is a 36-year-old cathedral to Italian-American cuisine in all of its ridiculously portioned glory.
But the inclusion of the Silver Diner, the farm-to-breakfast-counter chain mostly spread out over Virginia and Maryland, drew mixed reviews on Twitter, where it was briefly trending in D.C. on Tuesday afternoon.
People long to eat at the Silver Diner like people long to see the Liberty Bell— Nick Palastro (@Palastro24) April 2, 2019
"The Silver Diner, Panda Express, Panera, Pier 1 Imports ... all the places that helped make DC feel like home." https://t.co/8KUXN0ZpWN— Greg Wyshynski (@wyshynski) April 2, 2019
I know it seems a disconnect that a multi-millionaire like Harper would eat at Silver Diner, but to me, this is one of the most human things I’ve seen from him. https://t.co/Nlgksm4T8N— Tim Carman (@timcarman) April 2, 2019
It’s not really fair to rip Bryce for mentioning Silver Diner because it’s a “chain” like Panera—it started in Rockville and it is a local chain. All of its locations are in MD and VA...except there is one in Cherry Hill, so someone should tell him that.— Eric Fingerhut (@ericfingerhut) April 2, 2019
Because this is 2019, and the Washington Post wields significant resources, the newspaper’s D.C. Sports Bog unearthed the information that Harper took his family to the Silver Diner in Clarendon for a late-night meal after winning the Home Run Derby last July. He ordered bison huevos rancheros.
Other people online noted that Harper snubbed a couple other known haunts, Acqua al 2 and Ted’s Bulletin, in his note. A handful of folks were also quick to note that Silver Diner’s lone location outside of Maryland or Virginia is in Cherry Hill, New Jersey, just a short drive from Philadelphia.
Here’s Harper’s full post:
View this post on Instagram
If you would have told me 5 years ago I would be walking into Nationals Park as an opposing player, I would’ve told you that you were crazy. Five years later, I’m doing just that. I remember the first day I walked into Nats Park. My first base hit. My first home run. And, of course, my first standing ovation. Nationals fans delivered that first ovation. The things that I will miss most are the relationships I gained on a personal level with so many of the Nationals staff and workers around the ballpark. Every day I walked in, I got a smile or shared a laugh with you. I especially want to thank The Lerner Family and Mike Rizzo for the unwavering support they showed me during my tenure in DC. The city of DC was home. Filomena’s, The Silver Diner, The Italian store, and countless other places helped make it feel like home. You, Nationals fans, made me one of your own for the entire time I was a part of the Nationals organization. I’m so blessed to have been able to play for a fan base that cared so much about our team each and every night. You will always hold a special place in my heart no matter what. I look forward to continuing Harpers Heroes with LLS in the DMV as well as making sure the legacy fields bearing my name are the best youth fields in town! When I run on the field tonight I am sure to hear some boos, but I will always remember the cheers and the screams that are still with me right now, as I start my new chapter. So for that, DC, THANK YOU.