Obama makes an unannounced trip to grab a burger
Obama having lunch at FireFlies Restaurant in the Del Ray neighborhood of Alexandria, Virginia. Obama was joined by Secretary of Education Arne Duncan. June 10, 2014 (CNN)
June 10th, 2014
04:59 PM ET
2 months ago

Obama makes an unannounced trip to grab a burger

Alexandria, Virginia (CNN) – It's not everyday you get to have lunch across the table from the President.

But that happened Tuesday afternoon, as President Barack Obama and Secretary of Education Arne Duncan made an unannounced visit to FireFlies restaurant in Alexandria, Virginia, as this producer was eating lunch.

The President spent nearly an hour at the restaurant. It was the second straight day Obama made an impromptu visit. On Monday the President and White House Chief of Staff Denis McDonough made a quick run to a Starbucks down the street from the White House.

Obama Duncan Fireflies

Marylisa Lichens, co-owner of FireFlies restaurant, told CNN that she wrote to the President in January and invited him over for lunch. LIchens said business has been slow and hoped that by writing to Obama and inviting him to have a burger, business would improve.

"I'd seen pictures of him eating burgers around town and I said he was eating at the wrong restaurant," Lichens said.

Anthony Damiani, the only waiter on duty Tuesday, did not expect to serve the President. The college student has only been on the job for a few weeks while he's home for the summer.

"I had no idea this would ever happen. My phone has just been buzzing the entire day, my friend's keep asking, did you really serve the President? Let me see a picture," Damiani said.

He added that Obama ordered the "American Burger with cheddar cheese, and only got lettuce, tomatoes, and mustard on it. He also got French fries and a salad."

Before leaving, the President approached a woman seated next to him and said, "You've got a beautiful baby."

Obama then made his way through the restaurant shaking everyone's hand.

When someone asked for a selfie, the President said, "I'll be here too long if I take a selfie with everyone.  I've got to get back to work."

Lichens said she was very grateful and very touched that the President took the time to read the letter and visit her restaurant.


Filed under: Arne Duncan • President Obama • Virginia
soundoff (34 Responses)
  1. just asking

    When someone asked for a selfie, the President said, "I'll be here too long if I take a selfie with everyone." I've got to get back to work."
    --

    you can't get back to what you never started!!

    June 10, 2014 05:02 pm at 5:02 pm |
  2. don in albuquerque

    Breaking News!!!!!!!!! Obama goes to the mens room three times in eight hours.

    June 10, 2014 05:12 pm at 5:12 pm |
  3. just reacting

    just asking,

    You are too ignorant to even deserve a response. Now I am not saying that he accomplished all that he promised but to say 'nothing' is just gross ignorance. Have fun because Ignorance is indeed Bliss.

    June 10, 2014 05:17 pm at 5:17 pm |
  4. Sniffit

    "you can't get back to what you never started!!"'

    Teatroll Rosetta Stone says: "Lazy n-bomb."

    June 10, 2014 05:17 pm at 5:17 pm |
  5. Sniffit

    "Breaking News!!!!!!!!! Obama goes to the mens room three times in eight hours."

    Journalism fail. Did nobody think to count how many times he shakes it?

    June 10, 2014 05:19 pm at 5:19 pm |
  6. yolanda

    Wow, how original @Sniffit....play the race card when you're swinging at shadows. Your response is as infantile as the original statement you mocked.

    June 10, 2014 05:27 pm at 5:27 pm |
  7. Reggie53

    I thought Michelle wants everybody to eat healthy. Did she mention that to her husband? She is dictating to everybody about healthy foods but not her own husband.

    June 10, 2014 05:28 pm at 5:28 pm |
  8. edog

    just asking

    you can't get back to what you never started!!
    ----------------–

    Ended the war in Iraq. Obama doing something
    Ending the war in Afghanistan. Doing something
    Obamacare (like it or not). Doing something
    Ending Don't ask don't tell (like it or not). Doing something
    Gaining over 8,000,000 jobs since Bush recession: Doing something
    Unemployment from 12% to 6.5%. Doing something
    Dow Jones Stock Market valuation from 8,000 to 16,945 points: Doing something

    My 410K is better off since Obama took office.

    Just Asking? What is the list of things you are talking about when you say he never started anything. You are correct that he never started a war based on faked evidence....

    Think harder the next time you post something.... please!!!

    June 10, 2014 05:40 pm at 5:40 pm |
  9. don in albuquerque

    Sniffit
    He doesn't. Al Qaeda is doing that for him don't you know. Just ask Lindsey Graham, or John McCain.

    June 10, 2014 05:40 pm at 5:40 pm |
  10. ThinkAgain: If you don't like Congress, get rid of the repub/tea bag majority

    @just asking: "you can't get back to what you never started!!"

    predictable ... boring ... nonsensical ... *yawn*

    June 10, 2014 05:44 pm at 5:44 pm |
  11. ThinkAgain: If you don't like Congress, get rid of the repub/tea bag majority

    @yolanda: "Wow, how original @Sniffit....play the race card when you're swinging at shadows. Your response is as infantile as the original statement you mocked."

    From the epitome of sophistication – NOT!

    June 10, 2014 05:45 pm at 5:45 pm |
  12. Sniffit

    "Sniffit
    He doesn't. Al Qaeda is doing that for him don't you know. Just ask Lindsey Graham, or John McCain."

    Well, if there's anything the GOP/Teatrolls surely are experts on, it's what to do with a Koch.

    June 10, 2014 05:47 pm at 5:47 pm |
  13. foreverflag

    Did he pay the check? or was it another freebie

    June 10, 2014 05:48 pm at 5:48 pm |
  14. Sniffit

    "Wow, how original @Sniffit....play the race card when you're swinging at shadows. Your response is as infantile as the original statement you mocked."

    I didn't play the race card. I pointed out that "just derpin" was playing the race card via dogwhistle. I know, hard for you to see the distinction because of your pronounce brow ridge...but at least it keeps your tinfoil hat from falling in front of your eyes when it slides down your heavily sloped forehead.

    June 10, 2014 05:49 pm at 5:49 pm |
  15. Sniffit

    "I thought Michelle wants everybody to eat healthy. Did she mention that to her husband? She is dictating to everybody about healthy foods but not her own husband."

    Oh, well, clearly she just can't control her feckless absentee babydaddy...it's a "cultural" problem for those "inner city" types, you know. Just ask Pauly Ryan.

    June 10, 2014 05:51 pm at 5:51 pm |
  16. Anonymous

    Well, it looks like the Obama Scandal Diversion Squadron has found a sure fire way to get all of Obama's failures, scandals and disasters off the front page. Every day theyt send him out on a food mission to a local restaurant. Maybe they can extend it amusement parks, theaters, gas stations, etc.? Might I suggest an Obama dunking tank for a Democrat fund raiser? I know Obama just loves doing fund raisers.

    June 10, 2014 05:56 pm at 5:56 pm |
  17. sifto

    Anything to get away from the white house and responsibility

    June 10, 2014 06:29 pm at 6:29 pm |
  18. Marie MD

    @just asking, what planet are you from?

    June 10, 2014 06:52 pm at 6:52 pm |
  19. What?

    The G.O.P will now open Hearings in to why he did'nt order American Cheese on His Burger.

    June 10, 2014 07:20 pm at 7:20 pm |
  20. Anon

    It's nice to see this story degenerate into something wholly political with two ignorant sides duking it out with a war of words. Ironically, both sides are right and both sides are wrong. Why give yourselves heartburn arguing about something that will likely end in a stalemate?

    June 10, 2014 07:58 pm at 7:58 pm |
  21. McBob79

    Who cares

    June 10, 2014 08:03 pm at 8:03 pm |
  22. HopeAndChange

    Lol! Obama said he was going to "get back to work"!

    That'll be the day.

    June 10, 2014 08:28 pm at 8:28 pm |
  23. Thomas

    Yesterday a coffee , today a burger , whats next a burrito tomorrow ?

    Why do republicans hate cheeseburgers with French fries ?

    Why dose the GOP insist America looks under the pickle to see the beef , and what's up with the neocon Miracle Whip .
    New Velveeta cheese shipments aren't expected until February ... and Republican Senator Rand Paul's (R-KY) wants to “Audit the FED”.

    June 10, 2014 08:31 pm at 8:31 pm |
  24. Jason

    Great story. Whether you like him as a president or not, imagine being in a restaurant and the president sitting down for a burger next to you. Pretty cool if you ask me.

    June 10, 2014 08:37 pm at 8:37 pm |
  25. Willy100

    I think it Great the Prez and all his security people drive one hour each way in traffic for a burger and fries – and kiss a baby – – Must make Putin mad

    June 10, 2014 08:54 pm at 8:54 pm |
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