eating out with the obamas


Sampling a peach at Kroger’s Supermarket in Bristol, VA (July 2009).

Do I dare to eat a peach?

Thanks to this man, I can proudly say, “Yes!”

Exactly one year ago today, the very first African American was elected President of the United States. On that day, the universe, and our consciousness, shifted (and my heart soared to the stars and beyond). A President born in Hawai’i? Surely now anything is possible.

It seems like every day I find something new to love about the Obamas. No surprise, much of it has to do with food. Everyone’s talking about Michelle Obama’s White House Kitchen Garden and her food initiatives to encourage healthy eating, curb childhood obesity, support small and family farmers, promote food literacy and nutrition education, and to simply make good food more accessible. (She’s the only First Lady in the history of this country to have a food policy team!) Even when it comes to children’s books, there’s a focus on food, gardening and agriculture.

    
       The Prez is especially good at growling.

You may remember President Obama reading, Where the Wild Things Are, at the 2009 Easter Egg Roll. He has admitted it was one of his favorite books growing up. Some of the titles on the “approved” Obama administration Children’s Reading List include, Duck for President (Doreen Cronin), The Curious Garden (Peter Brown), Stone Soup (Marcia Brown), If You Give a Pig a Pancake and If You Give a Mouse a Cookie (both by Laura Numeroff). Note to these books: I’ll eat you up!


Sasha and Malia read If You Give a Mouse a Cookie.

With my focus on restaurants this fall, I was quite interested in this post from Obama Foodorama, discussing some of the restaurants the Obamas have visited since they moved to Washington. Though I’ve lived in Virginia for over twenty years, I’ve yet to dine at any of the places mentioned. The menus have got me positively salivating, and I now consider it my civic duty to engage in some “blog research” and report back (stay tuned).

Naturally, many of these eateries source organic, local, sustainable foods. I’m especially looking forward to the big, fat $8 apple pie at The Blue Duck Tavern (where the Obamas celebrated their 17th wedding anniversary), the “super-moist carrot cake” at The Source, and the historic Majestic, where “dessert feels like a home-baked treat from Mom.” Sigh.


Biden and Obama at Ray’s Hell Burger, Arlington, VA (May 2009).

Fancy places aside, the Obamas still love their comfort food. Ben’s Chili BowlFive Guys Burgers and Fries, Ray’s Hell Burger, and Good Stuff Eatery, home of the Prez Obama Burger and the Michelle Melt (health-conscious turkey burger) are some of their favorite spots. Good Stuff is where the Commander-in-Chief orders secret takeout! That’s what I love most about these people. They’re so real. They’re also very good about patronizing local businesses and taking a genuine interest in community cultural and social events — hands-on, grassroots all the way. 

Here’s a video shot at Five Guys Burgers and Fries in D.C. back in May, part of Brian Williams’ NBC Special on the day in the life of the President, who ordered his “usual.” It must be the longest burger order on record, and proves that amazing things can happen in ordinary places.

Happy First Anniversary, Mr. President! (I expect all of you to celebrate with your burger of choice today — beef, turkey, or veggie.) ♥ Recipe for Michelle Melt is here.

P.S. Did I mention that the Obamas also love pie, and that the President has a cupcake habit? And how cool that the shortbread cookies they passed out for Halloween were made with honey from the White House beehive!

P.P.S. Have you checked out Assistant White House Chef and Food Initiative Coordinator, Sam Kass? Ladies, take out your oven mitts; there’s a hottie in the kitchen! Boy, would I love to watch him cook! (As one commenter said, “For him, I’d eat lima beans — all day, every day.”) 

   
     Sam has been added to the official alphabet soup Stud Muffin List.

More 2009 Fall for Restaurants posts here.

*Photo Sources: White House flickr photostream and Obama Foodorama.

Copyright © 2009 Jama Rattigan of jama rattigan’s alphabet soup. All rights reserved.

36 thoughts on “eating out with the obamas

  1. Did you happen to catch The Biggest Loser last night? I never watch that show, but for some reason it was on. Anyway- they were visiting the White House kitchen. Hottie Chef was on there, and they took a trip to the garden to pick veggies and made some food in the kitchen. It was pretty cool!

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  2. Did you happen to catch The Biggest Loser last night? I never watch that show, but for some reason it was on. Anyway- they were visiting the White House kitchen. Hottie Chef was on there, and they took a trip to the garden to pick veggies and made some food in the kitchen. It was pretty cool!

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  3. Ack!! I missed it! I did watch the first hour of the show because I heard he was going to be on — then I changed the channel to watch Dancing with the Stars. I never watch The Biggest Loser either, but since it was in D.C., I gave it a shot. So, did you think Sam was hot when you saw him?😀

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  4. Ack!! I missed it! I did watch the first hour of the show because I heard he was going to be on — then I changed the channel to watch Dancing with the Stars. I never watch The Biggest Loser either, but since it was in D.C., I gave it a shot. So, did you think Sam was hot when you saw him?😀

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  5. We’d both be great taste testers, right?

    Aside from the White House hives, I like that they used seeds from Monticello for the White House Garden. You probably know of Jefferson’s love for collecting seeds and recipes from his travels abroad.🙂

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  6. We’d both be great taste testers, right?
    Aside from the White House hives, I like that they used seeds from Monticello for the White House Garden. You probably know of Jefferson’s love for collecting seeds and recipes from his travels abroad.🙂

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  7. Tanita Says🙂

    So weird, people are going all retrospective about the President’s “year in office,” when it’s been… nine months. But, hey, I’m all for celebrating today and hottie chefs. And gardens.

    And it just KILLS ME that there is a White House beehive. Best use of all that backyard/lawn space, EVER.

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  8. Tanita Says🙂
    So weird, people are going all retrospective about the President’s “year in office,” when it’s been… nine months. But, hey, I’m all for celebrating today and hottie chefs. And gardens.
    And it just KILLS ME that there is a White House beehive. Best use of all that backyard/lawn space, EVER.

    Like

  9. Ohhh I love this post! Only thing missing was Bo, but the adorable shot of the Obama girls reading the book totally made up for it ;D

    And you know, even though I’m still completing my Business degree, I suddenly feel inclined to switch into a culinary career. It just feels like my calling is in the kitchen. The White House kitchen, to be precise.

    😀 Thank you for putting this together! It’s like a virtual scrapbook of awesome!!!

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  10. Ohhh I love this post! Only thing missing was Bo, but the adorable shot of the Obama girls reading the book totally made up for it ;D
    And you know, even though I’m still completing my Business degree, I suddenly feel inclined to switch into a culinary career. It just feels like my calling is in the kitchen. The White House kitchen, to be precise.😀 Thank you for putting this together! It’s like a virtual scrapbook of awesome!!!

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  11. Your “sudden” desire to switch to a culinary career doesn’t happen to have anything to do with a certain Chef Kass, does it ;)? If so, I don’t blame you one tiny bit!

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  12. Your “sudden” desire to switch to a culinary career doesn’t happen to have anything to do with a certain Chef Kass, does it ;)? If so, I don’t blame you one tiny bit!

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  13. Re: Bens Chili Bowl Rocks!

    I didn’t realize you once lived in D.C.! I’ll have to go to Ben’s and have some chili for you.

    I see you also have excellent taste in chefs :D!

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  14. Re: Bens Chili Bowl Rocks!
    I didn’t realize you once lived in D.C.! I’ll have to go to Ben’s and have some chili for you.
    I see you also have excellent taste in chefs :D!

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