Restaurants across Washington, DC have been offering government shutdown discounts all week long and, today, President Barack Obama and Vice President Joe Biden drew some serious attention to them. This afternoon, political reporters on Twitter erupted with the news that the president and vice president had strolled from the White House to a nearby location of local (and insanely beloved) Philly-style sandwich chain Taylor Gourmet. Just for some lunch, you know, super casual.
Conveniently, Taylor Gourmet has been offering furloughed government employees a free cookie and a 10 percent discount on any hoagie or salad as part of their shutdown deal. The team at the restaurant tells Eater that Obama ordered the Race Street sandwich — topped with turkey, prosciutto, pesto, and mozzarella — while Biden ordered the 9th Street Italian cold cut hoagie. They both also got cookies, but official word from Taylor Gourmet is that there was no government discount applied on this particular order.
Pres Obama tells reporters: we're starving and the food is great here. He notes they're also offering a 10% discount & a free cookie.— Mark Knoller (@markknoller) October 4, 2013
That said, CBS News White House correspondent Mark Knoller tweeted that Obama offered the discount as an explanation for the visit, as well as that: "we're starving and the food is great here." Obama would know seeing as how one of his DC dining outings last year was to another Taylor Gourmet location for a roundtable discussion on small businesses. At the time, he also picked up a pack of hoagies for a lunch meeting at the White House with Congressional leaders.
Ar risk of spoiling his appetite, Obama ate one of his own cookies before getting his sandwich.— Mark Knoller (@markknoller) October 4, 2013
In a series of tweets, Knoller further reports that Obama paid $21.56 in cash for the meal and also maybe tried to steal Biden's cookie, but was denied by the vice president. Also: "Ar [sic] risk of spoiling his appetite, Obama ate one of his own cookies before getting his sandwich." Eddie Gehman Kohan of Obama Foodorama reports that Obama used the outing to praise restaurants for offering furloughed government employees discounts during the shutdown, saying, "This is...how ordinary Americans are looking out for one another."