NBC's Brian Williams is following President Obama around today for an upcoming TV special on a day in the life of the American president. Of course, a "typical" day at the White House includes a run to a burger joint, right? So the President, with Williams and the entire White House press pool, as well as his security motorcade, just dashed over to Five Guys Burgers and Fries lunch. (Above: President Obama at the counter)
A presidential dash includes motorcycle cops, ambulances, a couple fire trucks, and escort vehicles, BTW. Five Guys has outlets all over the US, and four in the DC area, and the President visited the one in Southeast, near Nationals stadium.
Ob Fo's fave WH press correspondent, Mark Knoller of CBS Radio, live tweeted the burger shenanigans, and he reports that as the President's motorcade pulled up and he exited The Beast, onlookers shouted "Oh my god!” "I cant believe it!"
The President's lunch order was "the usual." Knoller tweeted it verbatim:
One cheeseburger and one fries for me. Lemme get the jalapenos and tomatoes and mustard. That's it for me.
Williams got a cheeseburger with ketchup and fries, and President Obama ordered take-out for the White House staff (with the help of bodyman Reggie Love, of course); he then took out his wallet and paid with cash. (Above: The President ordering with the press pool in the background)
There doesn't seem to be any potential for scandal, since there was no mention of Dijon mustard; and scandal surrounding how the President likes his burgers cooked will be completely avoided too--because in a brilliant adoption of food safety standards that protect American eaters, all of Five Guys burgers are cooked well done. They're truly a burger joint for the 21st century, and a swell place to order a Presidential burger, if a POTUS burger has to be had outside the White House kitchen.
The President toted two large brown paper shopping bags out of Five Guys when he left, with no fear of harming staff back home at 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue.
Five Guys isn't a new burger idea for the Obamas. On Feb. 6, First Lady Michelle Obama dined with her team at the Five Guys in DuPont Circle. The last two official Obama Burger Runs: On May 5, the President and The Sheriff visited Ray's Hell Burger, and on May 8, the First Lady visited local chef Spike Mendelsohn's Good Stuff Eatery on Capitol Hill.
Knoller's best tweets:
Journalistic ethical breach? Should Brian Williams have let Obama buy his lunch? Alert Columbia Journalism Review.
Perhaps Obama is also checking out the cyber security conditions at Five Guys. We can't have any hamburger hackers.
Amusingly, in Washingtonian this week, Ann Limpert does a round up of where the Obamas and their employees have eaten in DC, and gives this advice to local restaurateurs: "If you flip burgers or operate a fry basket, stay on your toes."
*Photos from AP/pool