Presidential Dining

Photo by Lubo Minar / Unsplash

With less than two weeks left before Election Day, you probably know where Governor Mitt Romney and President Barack Obama stand on foreign policy and the economy (well, sort of). But are you familiar with the candidates’ favorite spots to grab a late-afternoon chili dog, an early-morning enchilada or some sloppy Southern barbecue on the campaign trail?

From Michigan to Mississippi, grubbing on everything from pulled pork to organic kale, these are bars and restaurants the commander in chief hopefuls have been spotted at sipping and supping.

President Barack Obama

Lincoln, Washington, D.C.

In mid-June, President Obama ate lunch at the Lincoln restaurant in Washington, with the four winners of the “Dinner with Barack IV” competition. Evidently keeping the health-conscious first lady in mind, the president began his meal with an organic kale salad with lemon vinaigrette, followed by the all-natural burger with cheddar cheese—a customer favorite at the establishment named after President Obama’s favorite predecessor.

Romero’s Café & Catering, Pueblo, Colorado

During a two-day campaign stint in Colorado, President Obama, accompanied by U.S. Secretary of the Interior (and Colorado native) Ken Salazar, made an impromptu stop for breakfast at this 52-time award-winning chili house. There’s little doubt that the self-proclaimed chili-loving President enjoyed his enchilada tejanas with chorizo from the two-time International Chili Society world champion.

The Varsity, Atlanta

Known for his occasional weakness for fast food—and who can blame him?—President Obama indulged in hot dogs and burgers on a trip to Atlanta in June. The legendary local fast-food market, serving up savory bites since 1928, prepared five chili dogs, four regular dogs and a cheeseburger to go for the president and his staff.

Governor Mitt Romney

The Mitt, Mt. Clemens, Michigan

After receiving a personal invitation from The Mitt’s owner, Ken Leonard, the Romney campaign stopped at this restaurant—named not after the Michigan-native candidate, but for the mitt-like shape of the state’s Lower Peninsula. The governor and his sidekicks devoured dishes of “Michigan comfort food,” including pizza, salad and wings. No word on how they liked the signature Mitt Kicker, a square-shaped pizza decked with hot soppressata, pepperoni, red pepper, onions, Hungarian wax peppers and sausage.

The Hickory Pit, Jackson, Mississippi

Upon Romney’s arrival in Jackson, this locally famous barbecue joint extended its finest Southern hospitality by sending the campaign staff a spread that included pork, baked beans, potato salad, coleslaw, salad, buns, Texas toast and Hershey pie. Romney clearly enjoyed the Southern barbecue, perhaps even a little too much: His bodyguard tweeted a photo of him with the thick, sweet barbecue sauce on his white dress shirt.

Dos Amigos Burritos, Concord, New Hampshire

Back in December, Romney sat down to lunch at the Concord location of this Mexican eatery with law student Soren Dorius, winner of the campaign’s “Grab a Bite with Mitt” promotion. Romney ordered a pulled pork burrito on a white flour tortilla (sans cheese), with medium-spicy hot sauce and the restaurant’s popular yogurt sauce. At the soda fountain, he mixed Cherry Coke with Diet Coke.

Published on October 25, 2012
Topics: RestaurantsTravelWine