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January 16, 2009 / JV

"Where the food at?"


On his first Saturday after moving to D.C., Obama went to Ben’s Chili Bowl with D.C. mayor Adrian Fenty to satiate his appetite. Ben’s has a deep history in the city, having been established in 1958, at a time when U Street was known as Black Broadway. When most of the city closed down after the 1968 riots, Ben’s stayed open “after curfew to provide food and shelter for activists, firefighters and public servants desperately trying to restore order.” I’ve been there for socializing purposes, although I can’t boast that I’ve ever ordered anything. Dope black-owned spot though, that and MaggieMoos, among others.

From January 11 Tacoma-based paper The News Tribune:

After Obama’s motorcade wandered through the U Street district, passing the African-American Civil War Memorial and a flea market selling shirts that bear his face, he and Fenty surprised the restaurant around lunchtime.
Patrons shrieked with delight and surprise as they saw his face. A mother blushed as Obama held her baby in his arms. The president-elect and the mayor moved slowly through the restaurant’s crowded rooms, shaking hands and getting pictures taken with patrons.
Still, they came there to eat. “Where the food at?” Obama finally asked the counter staff, drawing laughs from them and nearby patrons.
He and Fenty ordered a house specialty, a Chili Half-Smoke — a quarter-pound half-pork-and-beef smoked sausage on a steamed bun with mustard, onions and chili sauce — along with a big helping of some cheese fries.

Apparently, once they sat down, Obama was getting his grub on when he realized something was missing. He holla’d for them to bring him some cheese — and “not the Velveeta kind.”

That’s my dude.


One Comment

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  1. jboogie_23 / May 10 2009 4:50 pm

    i love this.

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