August 29th, 2010
04:40 PM ET
11 years ago

Even for the president: No such thing as a free lunch

[cnn-photo-caption image= caption =" President Obama ordered lunch Sunday at Parkway Bakery and Tavern in New Orleans."](CNN) - Here's a line that would certainly grab your attention if it were called out on the intercom as you're enjoying a lovely Gulf shrimp sandwich for lunch: "Barack, pickup!"

President Obama was already mingling with the patrons of the legendary Parkway Bakery and Tavern in New Orleans when his lunch order was called. Some locals received a hug from the president–even though he cut to the front of line.

"We're just glad to see you," one woman told him, "Thanks for coming down."

Obama ran into trouble, though, when he attempted to pay for the first family's lunch. Failing to produce enough money for the food, he called over a White House staffer who produced a $20 bill for the cash-strapped commander-in-chief.

Six more photos of President Obama at Parkway Bakery and Tavern, after the jump:

For lunch, the president ordered a shrimp po'boy, New Orleans' ubiquitous submariane sandwich. A young on-looker recommended the surf and turf.

"The combo thing," Obama replied as a local might. "There was a time I could do that-when I was your age."

The family-owned and operated tavern was under eight feet of water after Hurricane Katrina struck the Big Easy five years ago. It was one of the first restaurants in the city to re-open after Katrina struck. The owner, Jay Nix, worked with his extended family to rebuild and turn the lights back on just 88 days after the storm had passed.

The new building is built 19 feet higher than the pre-Katrina establishment so even hurricane-level flooding won't drown the Parkway.

President Obama and the first family were accompanied by the traveling press pool, which provided the information used in this story.

ALT TEXT President Obama greets people as he arrives at Parkway Bakery and Tavern in New Orleans on Sunday. (PHOTO CREDIT: Getty Images)

ALT TEXT President Obama greets people as he arrives at Parkway Bakery and Tavern in New Orleans on Sunday. (PHOTO CREDIT: Getty Images)

ALT TEXT President Obama is given money by a White House staffer to pay for lunch Sunday. (PHOTO CREDIT: Getty Images)

ALT TEXT President Obama holds a wad of money near the front counter in Parkway. (PHOTO CREDIT: Getty Images)

ALT TEXT President Obama talks with local residents after ordering lunch at the Parkway Bakery and Tavern. (PHOTO CREDIT: Getty Images)

ALT TEXT President Obama jokes with some locals inside Parkway. (PHOTO CREDIT: Getty Images)

Filed under: New Orleans • President Obama
soundoff (81 Responses)
  1. tv

    President Obama is a People Person. By coming down to New Orleans and eating the food he sure will bring in business for local.

    August 29, 2010 06:06 pm at 6:06 pm |
  2. Debby

    Boy what a phony photo opt. When the Obama's were on the Vineyard everyone was booted out of restaurants and stores. Business people on the Vineyard were furious.

    August 29, 2010 06:12 pm at 6:12 pm |
  3. webb

    Sorry folks, I just got to this off my chest. Beck "Restore America Rally" is his twisted dream. We will see if Beck can live by his words of honor by not attacking everyone that disagree with him. Beck will be back on Monday preaching hate and fear on his show. P.S. YOU GO Mr. President Obama!

    August 29, 2010 06:15 pm at 6:15 pm |
  4. Ryan

    I guess the recession has even hit the presidents wallet. Glad to see he can go on vacation after vacation with his family though. I'm embarrassed I gave this man my Vote

    August 29, 2010 06:19 pm at 6:19 pm |
  5. John Bernard

    it's about time he showed up in nola. but he should have had a least a $20 on him to pay for lunch.

    August 29, 2010 06:22 pm at 6:22 pm |
  6. charlie from the North

    I love that we have a President of which I can be proud. At first I was just so happy that the Bush Error had come to an end that I would have praised almost anyone in comparison, but now that he has been at this for a while I'm really liking him.

    Of course the fact that right wing idiots get upset at the mention of his name is just icing on the cake. Hey that's fair I'm sure they took some joy in how much I (and those like me) hated having Bush as President.

    August 29, 2010 06:24 pm at 6:24 pm |
  7. Smart Human

    He's a man of the people, by the people, for the people.

    August 29, 2010 06:24 pm at 6:24 pm |
  8. Anonymous

    Frankly, I think the issue is more – what stand would folks like Glenn Beck and Sarah Palin have taken 50 years ago? Probably not the one of Martin Luther King, based on their current sputterings!, and for them to usurp and try to own the MLK just doesn't ring true. Let them have their event, but not invoke MLK. I am a white 56 yr old from Boston, so I was not "there" at the critical time of the civil rights movement, but have always supported the "rightness" of the cause.

    August 29, 2010 06:25 pm at 6:25 pm |
  9. Margie Fuqua

    We have a wonderful President.

    August 29, 2010 06:28 pm at 6:28 pm |
  10. Mbugua

    Obama we Love You More than You will ever Know!

    God Bless and thanks for giving a human spin to the Presidency.....

    August 29, 2010 06:29 pm at 6:29 pm |
  11. lindaglenn

    what a great Man!! cant help but to love this Man god bless

    August 29, 2010 06:29 pm at 6:29 pm |
  12. Sandi

    America is heading in the correct direction. Hopefully the President will get the time and support he needs to continue to move our country beyond the shameful ethnocentric and war mongering nation of the last decade.

    Too bad Katrina was not managed as well as the oil spill.

    August 29, 2010 06:33 pm at 6:33 pm |
  13. Bob Pacific Grove, Ca

    Nice "headline" CNN........Whatever you do, NEVER give President Obama any credit for anything!! Seriously, it wasn't like he came to New Orleans looking for a hand out as your writer suggests..His mingling with the people of New Orleans at a local eatery was about as down home and appreciated as you can get, not to mention the facts that the levies that caused the flooding (you know, the ones that the Bush Administration failed to fix) would be completely repaired by next year.

    August 29, 2010 06:38 pm at 6:38 pm |
  14. Shawn-GA

    It is a shame so many had to die because they ignored the repeated warning. Then they blame the federal government and ignored th fact the the state government are who let them down more than anything.

    August 29, 2010 06:38 pm at 6:38 pm |
  15. Scott

    So he's going to manage the largest nation and economy in the world and he can't even manage his own affairs well enough to have enough cash in his pocket to successful get through the day without needing a handout from some staffer... Wow, we're in real trouble lol

    August 29, 2010 06:44 pm at 6:44 pm |
  16. Karen

    America is cash strapped – I just don't have a staffer to pay for my lunch. I would love to see the president turn this economy around!

    August 29, 2010 06:48 pm at 6:48 pm |
  17. Cheree DeRiemer

    I am grateful to you President for your hardwork and leadership during these extrordinary times. I believe in you : )

    August 29, 2010 06:48 pm at 6:48 pm |
  18. normajean

    Sad to say but one of the reasons that the other side can walk all over this president is because he is a good,decent,honest man.It's a sad world when the snarkiest, rottenest,most devisive men are the ones that our most undereducated people will listen to and champion. Actually president Obama has accomplished a lot despite the mess he inherited and the lack of assistance from the other party and considering that we were in such bad shape at the actual time he was sworn in.He's still fighting for us and when election and voting times come, it's our turn to fight. for him and for our country, If we don't , the other side will take us backwards about ten or more years and very quickly. It Won't be pretty.

    August 29, 2010 06:52 pm at 6:52 pm |
  19. walleye

    So happy to see we have a down to earth caring person leading our country. A breath of fresh air after eight years of being led by an illiterate clown and his robot henchmen.

    August 29, 2010 06:55 pm at 6:55 pm |
  20. Mark

    At least when he's campaigning hes not implementing any more radical policies.

    August 29, 2010 06:57 pm at 6:57 pm |
  21. only me

    so he didn't have enough cash...or didn't plan on having to pay for his lunch...did he ASSUME that he had a right to a FREE LUNCH????

    lol...i'm glad the owner didn't give him a free lunch!!!!! shame on him for know what they say about

    August 29, 2010 06:59 pm at 6:59 pm |
  22. Chris

    I'm not generally a shallow person..... work for two volunteer organizations outside of my regular job, donate money to charitable organizations, take volunteer vacations, wish the best for the people of New Orleans, Haiti, Pakistan, wherever, etc, etc, etc....but man, I just have to say that he is smokin' hot....

    August 29, 2010 07:03 pm at 7:03 pm |
  23. Nickson Anya Ajonyi

    I will first of all thank the cnn for the good job that they are doing. I am so proud for the attitude of the president, that is to show an example for some president that nomatter the honor,they are entitle of thier bills and to let the world knows that he is not different from any other human bieng. I ask God to inspire him the more.

    August 29, 2010 07:07 pm at 7:07 pm |
  24. the_punnisher

    Typical DEMONRAT behavior....USE OTHER PEOPLE'S MONEY...

    This behavior is why people are going to create REAL change in November...

    August 29, 2010 07:20 pm at 7:20 pm |
  25. mj

    CNN – Did you get enough Photo Ops? Typical Democrat – Don't Worry – Someone else will pay for it.

    August 29, 2010 07:21 pm at 7:21 pm |
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