Photo by Roger L. Wollenberg / pool / Getty Images
“Definitely just saw Obama at Ray’s Hell burger. F Yes.”
Those the words I saw yesterday afternoon on Clinton Yates’ twitter account.
As I read those words I thought about dropping my things and running over to the Rosslyn establishment from my Court House office, however logic kicked in: Hell Burger is typically busy on a normal afternoon, what kind of place would it be if Barack Obama and Joe Biden walked in and had lunch? I wouldn’t of gotten anywhere close. At least I’m sure it wasn’t anything like the time a fictional Bill Clinton visited McDonald’s. I do have to say that I am at least jealous of my co-worker Kristen who was coincidentally next door at that time.
Linda Feldman over at the Christian Science Monitor has the best account of Obama & Biden’s last minute lunch out.
According to the daily guidance lunch was supposed to be, “in the Oval Office, closed press.”
But around 12:30 PM the White House Press Pool was assembled and put into a motorcade that took them to Rosslyn. It looked like Obama and Biden wanted to go somewhere new for lunch.
Feldman describes Hell Burger as, “a joint so new it still doesn’t have a sign up.” Ray’s has been opened since July 2008 which made me wonder if it will ever get a sign now that Ray’s The Steaks moved to Court House.
Photo by AP/Huffington Post
Obama and Biden walked in the front door, the press came in the back; and I could only imagine the look on a patron’s face when they see the President & Vice President wait in line with you to order a burger. In what could only be described as classy, Obama turned to the Press Pool and offered to buy everybody lunch and just like a good Commander-in-Chief does, he delegated Caren Bohan of Reuters to take everyone’s orders.
After warning that they were going to order food for here and to-go, Obama let Biden toss in his order: a Swiss cheese burger with jalapeno peppers and a Root Beer. Obama then ordered a basic cheddar cheeseburger with mustard (spicy mustard if you got it), lettuce and tomato. When he inquired about fries he learned what many Hell Burger patrons already knew: they don’t do fries.
I wonder if the President asks for fries, do you just make fries?
Luckily the manager pitched him on the tater tots and he agreed on that instead.
They both paid for their orders in cash- with Obama picking up the tab for the pool.
“We’re paying, or these people [the pool] are gonna write about how we’re free-loading,” Obama said when the management offered to pick-up the bill.
Obama also threw a five-spot into the tip jar.
Photo by AP/Charles Dharapak
They were then served at a table by the chef (curious how there was magically a table free when usually the place is packed at 12:30, but then again when you are the President things can be arranged…), if you take a look at the video they had table tent #42- too bad #44 wasn’t available.
They were back a little after 1:00 P.M- a very efficient lunch if I may say so myself.
Now after remaining on the fence on Hell Burger– I guess I should give it yet another try now that it’s been Obama-approved. However Hell Burger was popular enough pre-Obama, will it go the way of Ben’s Chili Bowl now that it’s been graced by The President?