President Barack Obama has a tendency to drop in at local restaurants when he’s in town. He did in recent visits to Los Angeles and Marion, N.C.
He and First Lady Michelle Obama are so known for their food passions, in fact, that a blog, Obamafoodorama, documents the president's taste in restaurants and his wife's quest to encourage better exercise and nutrition for children.
So what would happen if Obama has a chance to leave North Island Naval Air Station Friday – where he's coming in for the – and pay a visit in town? What restaurant would he pick?
We asked some local restaurants what they would serve if the presidential entourage happened to drop by.
This restaurant is known for its concept, something the First Lady has endorsed. So what would executive chef Gregory Chavez serve the Eater-in-Chief?
“Roasted Tahitian Squash Ravioli,” Chavez said. “We stuff the ravioli with Tahitian squash and toss it in a brown butter sauce with walnuts, pomegranates and arugula.”
The dish was just put on the menu last week and showcases the new fall harvest. Of course, if Obama happened to show up in the spring, Chavez would have served his personal favorite.
“Crispy skin chicken thighs,” he said. “Or I would show off our local seafood we have here in California. Maybe do a crispy skin rockfish or black cod.”
Chavez also said he’d like to showcase the local farms the restaurant frequently uses—Suzie’s Farm and Crows Pass, which Chavez said make farm-to-table so much easier and more accessible.
This family-owned-and-run restaurant has reason to brag—it was just named a top 10 restaurant in San Diego on Zagat.
“I’m very proud of my staff,” said general manager Joey Rodrigues. “We’re no longer a secret gem, hidden in Coronado. We’re making a name in San Diego, beyond the island.”
Rodrigues, who’s been working at the restaurant for 22 years, would like to try a little bipartisanship with his menu. He would serve the president the same dish he put in front of Speaker of the House John Boehner last month.
“The veal chop Milanese,” Rodrigues said. “It’s a bone-in chop that’s butterflied, dipped in a quick egg wash and Italian bread crumbs, then sautéed.”
Sounds simple, but it’s what goes on top of the chop that makes it spectacular.
“We make a caprese sauce to go on top,” Rodrigues said. “We take the components of a caprese salad—basil, tomatoes, mozzarella—and turn it into a sauce. We finish the chop with a drizzle of balsamic.”
Just in case the prez doesn’t fancy veal, Rodrigues would serve filet mignon, which he claims is amazing as is. As for the veal chop—it’s popular, but you have to be in the know – it’s an off-menu item.
Obama might pop into Peohe’s for a few reasons—their proximity to the base, view of the bay and downtown and their specialty, Hawaiian fare. It just might appeal to the president, who was born in Honolulu.
So what would executive chef Dave Bland serve?
“Our Mahi Mahi Mia’a,” Bland said. “It’s fresh mahi mahi baked in the oven served with a frangelico sauce (hazelnut liquor) made with macadamia nuts, bananas and a buerre blanc. It’s definitely a Hawaiian-style fish.”
He'd provide more macadamias for dessert, to finish out the Hawaiian theme.
“We’d give him our chocolate lava cake with macadamia nut ice cream,” Bland said.
Bland also thinks the president probably loves sushi, so the sushi chef could take care of him if need be.