Get breaking news alerts via email

Click here to manage your alerts
President Barack Obama greets patrons after having lunch during an unannounced visit to FireFlies restaurant in the Del Ray neighborhood of Alexandria, Va. ,Tuesday, June 10, 2014. President Barack Obama and Education Secretary Arne Duncan, went on a lunch outing to an Alexandria, Virginia, neighborhood known for its good restaurants. The White House said Obama went to FireFlies Restaurant on Tuesday because the owner wrote him earlier this year and asked him to come try the best burger around. (AP Photo/Pablo Martinez Monsivais)(AP Photo/Pablo Martinez Monsivais)
Obama burger runs: President, education secretary eat burgers in Virginia
First Published Jun 10 2014 03:35 pm • Last Updated Jun 10 2014 03:58 pm

Alexandria, Va. • Two days. Two surprise outings from the White House for President Barack Obama. What will day three bring?

On Monday, Obama and Denis McDonough, the chief of staff, walked down Pennsylvania Avenue to Starbucks.

Join the Discussion
Post a Comment

On Tuesday, Obama cleared a seat in his motorcade for his education secretary, Arne Duncan, and together they were hustled to lunch in an Alexandria, Virginia, neighborhood known for its good restaurants. Obama had been invited earlier this year by the owner, who sent him a letter asking him to come try what she says is the best burger around, according to the White House.

What kind of outing will Wednesday bring?

That’s unknown. But the bottom line from the White House is to expect more such outings by a president whose term in office is winding down. Obama also complains with some regularity about life inside the White House "bubble" and speaks just as often about how it refreshes him to get out of the building and mingle with everyday people.

When Obama travels around the country, aides often schedule what’s known in White House parlance as an OTR at a local business, a visit that is considered "off the record" because the stop is not on his public schedule.

He’s been making these kinds of appearances in the Washington area with increasing frequency of late.

"It’s one of the things that he enjoyed a lot about the campaign," spokesman Josh Earnest said Tuesday, referencing Obama’s presidential campaigns. "It afforded him the opportunity to spend a lot of time ... outside of the gates of the White House. He’s looking for opportunities to do more of that now, and that’s what he’s doing."

After lunch, Obama greeted patrons of FireFlies Restaurant in Alexandria’s Del Ray neighborhood but said he couldn’t pose for pictures with everyone because he had to get back to work. "I’ll give you a hug. I’ll give you a kiss, if you want," he said.

Obama also spoke on the telephone at the bar with the restaurant’s owner, telling Marylisa Lichens he was sorry she wasn’t there but that he was "very happy" with his "tasty burger."

story continues below
story continues below

Burger runs are becoming a regular thing for Obama. Last month, he and Vice President Joe Biden surprised diners at Shake Shack in DuPont Circle. The guest on one of Obama’s more notable burger runs was then-Russian President Dmitry Medvedev.

Obama’s surprise outings aren’t limited to the hunt for cooked beef patties on sesame seed buns.

Recent weeks brought a walk to the Interior Department for a ceremony and a stop at a Washington park where Little League baseball teams were warming up for a game. Obama tossed a ball to a 10-year-old.


Follow Darlene Superville on Twitter: http://www.twitter.com/dsupervilleap

Copyright 2014 The Salt Lake Tribune. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

Top Reader Comments Read All Comments Post a Comment
Click here to read all comments   Click here to post a comment

About Reader Comments

Reader comments on sltrib.com are the opinions of the writer, not The Salt Lake Tribune. We will delete comments containing obscenities, personal attacks and inappropriate or offensive remarks. Flagrant or repeat violators will be banned. If you see an objectionable comment, please alert us by clicking the arrow on the upper right side of the comment and selecting "Flag comment as inappropriate". If you've recently registered with Disqus or aren't seeing your comments immediately, you may need to verify your email address. To do so, visit disqus.com/account.
See more about comments here.
Staying Connected
Contests and Promotions
  • Search Obituaries
  • Place an Obituary

  • Search Cars
  • Search Homes
  • Search Jobs
  • Search Marketplace
  • Search Legal Notices

  • Other Services
  • Advertise With Us
  • Subscribe to the Newspaper
  • Access your e-Edition
  • Frequently Asked Questions
  • Contact a newsroom staff member
  • Access the Trib Archives
  • Privacy Policy
  • Missing your paper? Need to place your paper on vacation hold? For this and any other subscription related needs, click here or call 801.204.6100.