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. marylou

    Let;s see......
    real vacation on Martha's Vineyard. for ten days.
    A few hours in NOLA eating a po'boy.
    what saps you people are.

    August 29, 2010 07:30 pm at 7:30 pm |
  2. Anonymous

    Gimme a break, the hollywood president strikes again

    August 29, 2010 07:33 pm at 7:33 pm |
  3. ferenge

    He is a blessed black-white angel and approachable and very humble. He reflects what America is to outside world.

    August 29, 2010 07:37 pm at 7:37 pm |
  4. Roselyn

    I think it's nice of him to mingle with residents like he did. However, I do not believe that he is doing an amazing job with our country. He has put us into so much debt that our next president, if Obama is booted out of office, he or she will go through hell trying to fix his damages to our America. Hold him responsible for what he has done instead of praising him and treating him like he's some sort of God!

    August 29, 2010 07:38 pm at 7:38 pm |
  5. geno

    What a regular guy! He doesn't carry money around for food, has his staffers provide the cash needed. Wouldn't it be nice to have life arranged like that?

    August 29, 2010 07:40 pm at 7:40 pm |
  6. annie s

    I'm proud and happy that this good man is our President. In spite of outrageously bad odds, and an opposition party that is relentless in its fervor to destroy him, he has helped to save America.

    August 29, 2010 07:43 pm at 7:43 pm |
  7. Dennis 2547

    Dear President Obama, Good work as usual. My immigrant Great grandmother settled in New Orleans way back when before the 1880's. You see and I am still laughing out loud with my friends here. Even President Clinton made sure to carry a spare few bucks in his wallet when he was traveling to an area. Glad you're staffers had your back on that one ! They need to give you a ATM card or something when you travel. You know never leave home without one.. No not the AECard, but nice touch anyway spending CASH. Cash is good ! Remember those staffers on your Christmas Card list this year, okay !
    Solid choice on the shrimp po'boy . Good eats. They have a mud bug sandwich which is so good good good.
    A retired US Army Veteran

    August 29, 2010 07:43 pm at 7:43 pm |
  8. mattyinNC

    Before anyone posts something about Obama not having money, other President's have been in similar situations.

    August 29, 2010 07:46 pm at 7:46 pm |
  9. toughlove

    Sally...oh he's such a nice man?!?! Ha!!!!!!!!

    August 29, 2010 07:48 pm at 7:48 pm |
  10. douchocrat

    wow was he working? i thought he and his family were busy on another vacation. way to go obama unemployment all time high!

    August 29, 2010 07:49 pm at 7:49 pm |
  11. Just Wondering

    Does he have to submit an expense report for his lunch?

    August 29, 2010 07:51 pm at 7:51 pm |
  12. Rajeev Ajmani

    President Obama is doing a fine job - more so, given the mess he was left to clean up.

    But memories are short, and Republicans look like they'll take the House in November. And should they win the presidency in 2012, it will be America' loss, not Obama's.

    And that will surely mark be the beginning of the end of the United States as a great power.

    August 29, 2010 07:53 pm at 7:53 pm |
  13. megrcam51

    God Bless our President.

    August 29, 2010 07:58 pm at 7:58 pm |
  14. Jeff

    What has he done? The Gulf is still full of oil, our economy continues to tank, more people continue to lose their jobs week after week and yet he does nothing but blame President Bush. The Democrats are on their last leg and when November rolls around the Republicans take the United State back over. Obama is now the worst President in American history, over-throwing Jimmy Carter. You can sit here and blame Bush, you can boast that Obama is doing a great job, but the bottom line is as our numbers continue to diminish as the weeks go by, you can thank Obama for that. President Bush has been out of office for almost two years now and yet we continue to tank as a nation. He can say the right words while reading off of his prompter, but when the rubber hits the road he has no clue as to what he is doing.

    August 29, 2010 08:01 pm at 8:01 pm |
  15. B in FL

    Did you all see the new poll saying that people in Louisiana believe Bush did a better job with Katrina than Obama did with the oil spill? Now I know these polls are either rigged or just out and out lies. Either that or they just polled the rich people whose lives were either never touched by the disaster or whose lives have been restored due to the new construction for those with money to afford it. Let's see what would happen if they ask all the people that were displaced.

    August 29, 2010 08:03 pm at 8:03 pm |
  16. Dale callihan

    This president is doing a great job its the far right andfox news that is keeping his numbers down but his poll numbers went up 3 to 5 points last wk i think the tide is going to turn in his favor here on out

    August 29, 2010 08:09 pm at 8:09 pm |
  17. Slammer

    "The new building is built 19 feet higher than the pre-Katrina establishment..." Huh? I was just there and I don't remember walking up 19 feet. That's insane! It's exactly the same height it was before the Federal Flood.

    August 29, 2010 08:11 pm at 8:11 pm |
  18. Pamela

    For those who love the teleprompter, it was easier to see the Prez hold his own at Xavier today while Sister Sara struggled yesterday, as insubstantial as her speech was. Brian must have told the Prez the questions previously. He kept looking at his hands for the answers.

    August 29, 2010 08:13 pm at 8:13 pm |
  19. SkiDoc

    Apparently the crowd of people that were so euphoric to see the president outnumbered the smattering of folks who showed up for Glenn Beck's rally................

    August 29, 2010 08:13 pm at 8:13 pm |
  20. jim

    Give me a break why is he neve working. golf or basketball is all he has accomplished

    August 29, 2010 08:20 pm at 8:20 pm |
  21. gmh6419

    This is my kind of President. Smart, compassionate, understanding and very couragous. Keep up the great work Mr. President for another 6 plus years.

    August 29, 2010 08:21 pm at 8:21 pm |
  22. Anonymous

    President Obama is a real trooper and very caring! More power to you, Mr.President!

    August 29, 2010 08:21 pm at 8:21 pm |
  23. Bumpsy

    Great Job Mr. President. I'm with you 100%. I am NOW proud to be an American. Thank you for bringing decency back to America.

    August 29, 2010 08:23 pm at 8:23 pm |
  24. DAC

    The $20 from the White House staffer is a perfect metaphor for what's going to happen with our taxes based on current policies.

    August 29, 2010 08:24 pm at 8:24 pm |
  25. gmh6419

    Health care, Wall Street reform, Bank reform, Real Estate reform, Gigantic oil spill, Iraq war, Afghanistan war, Terrorism etc.... He has grabbed them all by the throat and is relentless in his motivattion to solve all of them . Again, thank you President Obama.

    August 29, 2010 08:24 pm at 8:24 pm |
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