I had a good laugh reading the Washington Post this morning. They had a front page story in the Style section about President Barack Obama and Vice President Joe Biden heading out to Arlington, VA for lunch. Obama and Biden chowed down at Ray’s Hell Burger. I’ve never heard of this place but how can you have a restaurant that sells burgers but not french fries?
By Philip Rucker
Washington Post Staff Writer
Wednesday, May 6, 2009
Their standing weekly lunch is served by butlers on the finest china in a private White House dining room. President Obama and Vice President Biden sit at opposite ends of a polished mahogany table, a golden chandelier hanging overhead and a cerebral John Quincy Adams staring down at them from a portrait.
Yesterday, however, Barack and Joe wanted to show they’re still in touch with the people — and what better way than waiting in line for a big juicy burger. An aide knew just the spot. So at 12:26 p.m., they hopped in their motorcade, zoomed across the Potomac River into Virginia, and pulled up outside 1713 Wilson Blvd. The popular joint in a plain Arlington strip mall has no sign, but neighbors know it as the home of Ray’s Hell Burger, and the spot is beloved as much for its premium aged 10-ounce hamburgers as for its bare-bones decor.
The world’s most powerful man, and the guy a heartbeat away, waited patiently in a single-file line as the lunch crowd gawked — and as two customers in front of them at the counter pondered the menu leisurely, apparently oblivious to whom they were holding up. Then it came time to order.
Obama tilted his head to read the menu, but took a pass on Ray’s specialty burgers, like the “Let’s Get It On,” or the $17.50 burger with foie gras and white truffle oil. Obama, customer No. 42, opted for something more simple: “Your basic cheddar cheeseburger, medium well.”
No ketchup, the president said, but lettuce and tomato. And: “Have you got a spicy mustard or somethin’ like that? A Dijon mustard?”
Biden ordered a Swiss cheeseburger with jalapeno peppers and ketchup, medium well, and a root beer.
“Are your fries pretty good? Can you vouch for your fries?” Obama asked.
Ray’s doesn’t do fries, said the guy behind the counter, Tim Murray. But Murray suggested the president try “Cheesy Tater Puffs,” which are pureed potatoes with cheddar cheese and chives flash-fried like Tater Tots. Obama looked skeptical, but asked for one order for him and Biden to share.
Looks like their visit has increased business at Ray’s. Even the county health inspector came by to check the place out, lol.
ARLINGTON, Va. – It’s a burger that has won many “best of” awards and today the lines were long at Arlington’s Ray’s Hell Burger, the burger joint the president and vice president visited Tuesday.
The manager says every day is busy but President Obama’s decision to grab lunch there with Vice President Joe Biden made Wednesday’s lines even longer.
“My husband told me that Biden and Obama came yesterday and I thought, ‘well that’s a great reason to come,'” said Jean Cartwright, a customer
It probably wasn’t a coincidence that the day after the president dined at Ray’s, a county health inspector showed up to check on conditions at the restaurant. Apparently they passed and it’s a good thing too as many people were still waiting in line late in the afternoon.
Check out what others have to say about yesterday’s burger run: