Wednesday, July 25, 2012
A grilled cheese sandwich and split pea soup worry the President, says his waitress at Gateway Breakfast House...
Earlier this month, President Obama told two different crowds of supporters "I'm skinny, but I'm tough." On Tuesday, though, he was worrying about getting "fat," according to Mary Cook, a manager who waited on the Eater in Chief during his visit to Portland, Oregon's Gateway Breakfast House. Turns out the President did order some lunch when he visited the diner shortly after noon; the detail went unreported by pool, who were busy with other issues. At the suggestion of Cook, the President, with some hesitancy, ordered a grilled cheese sandwich--American cheese, on white bread--and a bowl of house-made split pea soup with ham ($6.00 for the combo), and an iced tea. (Above: Posing with patrons)
Cook, who has worked at the diner "off and on" for 17 years, told Obama Foodorama she kind of pushed the President to place an order, telling him "you've got to eat something."
"And he said 'are you trying to get me fat?'" Cook related. "And I said no, I'm trying to sell food."
Mission accomplished. Cook said she suggested the soup because "we have really good soup" that's made daily. The split pea includes carrots, onions, and potatoes, she said. The President essentially nibbled on his lunch, Cook admitted.
"He ate part of it," Cook said. "He had a dinner to go to or something."
That would be a speech at the Oregon Convention Center, and later in the evening, a $35,800/ticket fundraiser outside Seattle, where the President discussed the wonders of Costco's $1.50 hot dog deal.
The three local veterans who were the President's guests at the diner--Dean Dilley of Portland, Mark Peterson of Portland and Thomas Foeller of Oak Grove--all ordered breakfast, Cook said, and the President paid for everyone. The staff had about twenty minutes advance notice from Secret Service before the President arrived, and Cook said she wasn't so much nervous as "excited," though Mr. Obama is the first President she's ever waited on.
"He was real nice," Cook said. "He put everyone at ease. Just as nice as can be."
After the roundtable, the President posed for photos with Cook and the staff before taking off in his motorcade.
"I don't know why everyone wants to know what he ate," Cook said, after being asked three times what kind of cheese was on the President's half-eaten sandwich.
"I think it's more interesting how nice he was."
She abruptly jumped off the phone, saying she had to go take an order.
"We're working people here, you know," Cook said, before hanging up.
*Photo courtesy of Fox 12 Oregon