You are viewing this article in the archives. For the latest breaking news and updates in Ann Arbor and the surrounding area, see
Posted on Fri, Apr 30, 2010 : 3:30 p.m.

Obama in Ann Arbor: What would you feed the president?

By Jessica Webster

I’m still waiting for the phone call.

“Hey Jess! It’s Rahm Emanuel. Yeah. So you live near the stadium, right? Barry’s going to be @$#&* hungry after that speech. Can we swing by after graduation?”

(Rahm Emanuel swears a lot, right? What kind of imaginary phone call would it be if I didn’t make it authentic?)

Yeah, I know that having HMX-1 fly over my house and maybe parking a few parents of graduates on my lawn is about as exciting as my day is going to be on Saturday, but that won’t stop me from dreaming.

What would you cook for the president if he showed up at your front door?

I’ve done some looking online, and it appears that when he’s at home in Chicago, President Obama enjoys eating food prepared by Rick Bayless. Have you even looked at some of Rick Bayless’s recipes? Twenty or more ingredients and hours of preparation. I’m not sure I could pull that off. Certainly not on short notice.

Other sites list his favorite foods as Nicorette, trail mix and protein bars. Really, Mr. President?

Maybe this would best be tackled as a collaborative effort. During the campaign season in 2008, my son brought home an issue of "Time For Kids" that listed what both McCain and Obama like to cook at home. At the top of Obama’s list was chili. I make chili! People refer to my chili as “famous” and ask me to cook it for their birthday parties.

Maybe President Obama could come over and we could cook up a batch of chili together in my kitchen. I’ll show him my trick of roasting the three different kinds of peppers in the toaster oven. I’ll talk to him about how much better ground beef tastes when you know it comes from grass-fed cattle. I might even share my secret ingredient. We’ll laugh about how important it is to choose the right music to listen to while you’re cooking.

Yeah. The president and me, hanging out and cooking up a storm in my kitchen.

Wait. My kitchen. My kitchen is a mess. I’ve been trying to get my brother over to paint the ceiling in my kitchen for about a year now. We even called him up and sang our plea to the tune of Journey's "Don't Stop Believin' this winter and he still didn’t come. (“Come paint our ceiling! Don’t you know it’s really peeling! Come paint our ceiling right away!”) There’s no way I can have the President of the United States of America in my kitchen.

I guess I'll just have to take him out for lunch, if, you know, Rahm Emanuel calls me up and asks me to feed the president. Now, let’s see ... where would you take the president out to lunch in Ann Arbor?

Leave a comment below and share: What would you cook for the president or where would you take him out to lunch?

Jessica Webster oversees Food & Drink coverage for the Community Team at You can reach her at


sandy schopbach

Fri, May 7, 2010 : 5:06 a.m.

As Mr. Rib doesn't exist any more, maybe Banfield's Westside Grill, or Monahan's for some chow-dah (which would tie in with the Kennedy reference). As for what I'd make, the grass-fed cow comment made me think of a boeuf bourguignon - but if that's not American enough I'd just tell him it's beef stew.


Mon, May 3, 2010 : 9:53 a.m.

I know it's a little late, but to put a vote in here for Ypsi, Hawkin's Barbecue!


Mon, May 3, 2010 : 9:12 a.m.

I'd definitely take him to Zingerman's Deli for takeout; my home cooking choice would be grilled fish tacos with some great Monahan's fish. There are good and easy recipes in Rick Bayless' "Mexican Everyday" cookbook that do not require anywhere near 20 hours.


Sat, May 1, 2010 : 7:35 p.m.

Blimpyburger. It would be fun to see him get yelled at, especially if he asked for Dijon mustard like at that joint he and Biden visited.


Sat, May 1, 2010 : 5:52 p.m.

Curry from the Raja Rani, Soup from La Dog, Brownies from Zingerman's, Beer from Arbor Brewing, Cherry Pie from the Traverse City Pie Company, and a box of Chocolates from Schakolad. And if he want's Chinese, that is a whole different menu. Finding great food in Ann Arbor is is the deciding which great food that is hard!


Sat, May 1, 2010 : 5:40 p.m.

Muffins baked fresh like Vera Baker would....


Sat, May 1, 2010 : 12:18 p.m.

Since Obama makes "only" $200,000/year, I doubt if he could afford Zingerman$


Sat, May 1, 2010 : 10:10 a.m.

The Fleetwood

Brian Bundesen

Sat, May 1, 2010 : 9:18 a.m.

Another vote here for Blimpyburger. Not just for the burger, but for the whole experience. He should also swing by Zingerman's on his way back to the airport for a Corned Beef 'to go' for later.


Sat, May 1, 2010 : 9:11 a.m.

Absolutely Angelo's! But where will they park that great big ol' limo?


Sat, May 1, 2010 : 8:52 a.m.

He's the King...Burger King.


Sat, May 1, 2010 : 8:43 a.m.

Obama is a smoker. Since we can't smoke in any resturants anymore he will probably just eat on the plane.


Sat, May 1, 2010 : 6:53 a.m.

Angelo's Smoked turkey Angelo Ruben - best sandwich *ever*. Far better than anything Zingerman's does. The Goat Curry at Mahek. The burger and truffle fries at the Jolly Pumpkin. Anything at Mediteraneo.

J. Sorensen

Sat, May 1, 2010 : 5:22 a.m.

Soft Mi-shelled crab & Ba-rack of lamb....


Sat, May 1, 2010 : 2:13 a.m.

the farmers market

Old West Sider

Fri, Apr 30, 2010 : 11:44 p.m.

Presidemnt Obama like a good glass of beer take him to Metzger's German Restaurant for a glass of " Mai Bock"


Fri, Apr 30, 2010 : 9:54 p.m.

For Breakfast...Angelos lunch...zingermans deli not the roadhouse its terrible! He needs a great big Zingermans sandwich

Jennifer Shikes Haines

Fri, Apr 30, 2010 : 1:57 p.m.

I was going to put in a bid for the Roadhouse, too. BTW... Benny's used to be Abe's and that's where President Clinton stopped (at least the one in Ypsi) when he was hear. But for breakfast, if you couldn't do the Roadhouse, then the Northside. Now... in terms of cooking... Something from ingredients from the Farmers Market so he can get a preview of what eating from Michelle's garden will be like. Then lecture him about appointing people like Michael Taylor to positions of power. He'd probably do better going to the Roadhouse without me.


Fri, Apr 30, 2010 : 12:29 p.m.

Zingerman's Roadhouse.


Fri, Apr 30, 2010 : 11:56 a.m.

Benny's. Good enough for Michael Phelps, and so close.