Democrat or republican, love ‘em or hate ‘em, the President of the United States will always draw a crowd in any city he visits. From the tar mac at the airport, to cars lining the highways to see the motorcade, people always want to get a glimpse of Air Force One, the shiny black Cadillac’s, and of course, the President. Folks also want to know where the most powerful man in the world plans on eating, and in KC, there are plenty of choices.
Last week, President Obama made a two day visit to Kansas City; a proud city always eager to be in the national spotlight for more than just great barbecue and mediocre baseball. Now, it’s a known fact that when any POTUS visits Kansas City for any length of time, he WILL eat barbecue. Part of being president is making very difficult decisions and he had his work cut out for him when it came time for dinner.
Kansas City hosts an array of barbecue restaurants such as Oklahoma Joe’s, made famous by being the known favorite of chef and traveler Anthony Bourdain, Gates Barbecue, which has hosted numerous presidents within its walls, and Fiorella’s Jack Stack, who is no stranger to shipping their food across the country.
Upon arrival at Kansas City International Airport, he and his motorcade drove directly to the heart of KC to one of the city’s most iconic restaurants, Arthur Bryant’s Barbecue. Local residents lined the streets on the opposite sides of his motorcade, which was heavily protected by local law enforcement, in hopes of getting a wave from the man before and after he visited their local eatery. Unfortunately for the President, Arthur Bryant’s was out of cole slaw, to which twitter soon had #coleslaw trending in KC.
The next day following his economic speech at The Uptown Theatre, President Obama made his way North to the quaint town of Parkville, MO, which is an historic community nestled along the Missouri River and lined with Cape Cod style homes, antique stores, and mom and pop shops.
After making a visit to Parkville Coffee for some iced tea, oatmeal cookies, and a refills for everyone in the place, the President made his way along Main Street visiting local businesses, while experiencing what people in this part of the country experience every day: good conversation from wonderful Midwesterners. It’s those businesses, seen here, that gain valuable exposure from a guest that one wouldn’t expect to see walk through their doors.
Prior to his departure that day, Oklahoma Joe’s sent out the following tweet: “Just now sent a rather large order to go with three serious looking guys in AIR FORCE ONE flight jackets.”
That “rather large order” was $1,400 worth of barbecue for the ride home; a ride Bourdain himself probably wishes he was on. Kansas City was in the political spotlight last week, as were a few, lucky restaurants, all benefiting from the national publicity that comes along with the President of the United States and his very hungry entourage.