Speaker: Tell first lady president ate 'beautiful salad' at BBQ - KCTV5 News

Speaker: Tell first lady the president ate 'beautiful salad' at BBQ joint

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Kansas City is known for its barbecue restaurants, and President Barack Obama's unexpected decision to eat at Arthur Bryant's has been the talk of the town.

Obama has had meals catered by Oklahoma Joe's but this was the first time as president that he visited one of Kansas City's iconic barbecue restaurants in person.

Victor Fugate, who was one of the four letter writers chosen to dine Tuesday night with the president, introduced Obama before his speech Wednesday morning at the Uptown Theater.

He said he was relieved that he didn't embarrass himself by dumping food on his clothing.

"The president can really tear up some ribs," he said.

Obama ordered a half slab of ribs, water, a Bud Light and some coleslaw.

"I am an experienced rib eater," Obama said Wednesday. "I did share some fries."

None of his food choices were likely to make first lady Michelle Obama's healthy food choice options.

So Fugate had a message for her.

"If the first lady is watching, it was a beautiful salad," he said.

The president didn't actually get the coleslaw because Arthur Bryant's was out.

Josh Earnest, the president's press secretary and a Kansas City native, retweeted a tweet from @vivid13 calling for the president to get a nice-sized to-go order of coleslaw from Arthur Bryant's.

Obama expressed disappointment in not getting the coleslaw. He said his meal was tasty and he plowed right through it.

Arthur Bryant's management are sheepish but say they didn't have advance notice that the president was stopping by just before closing.

"We had an extremely busy day and we just ran out. It's just one of those things," restaurant manager Willis Simpson said. "I hate it happened."

He said the Secret Service gave little notice.

"We were all just working, it was just a normal business day then out of the blue they tell us the president is on his way," Simpson said. "He said everything was fine. Everything was good."

Simpson said he would like to ship the White House more ribs and a heaping pile of coleslaw.

The president joked that he deals with a lot of tough issues but, "I am not going to decide who makes the best barbecue in Kansas City." He added that he needed more samples to make a definitive decision.

He said his meal was tasty and he plowed right through it.

The president and his entourage apparently didn't leave Kansas City hungry.

Oklahoma Joe's posted on its Facebook page that some of their yummy food was making its way to Air Force One.

"Just now sent a rather large order to go with three serious looking guys in AIR FORCE ONE flight jackets. We asked, 'Is this for you know who?' They nodded," the post read.

On his return to Kansas City International Airport Wednesday afternoon, the president made an unscheduled stop at Parkville Coffeehouse where he got a "slightly sweet, but not too sweet" Earl Grey tea. Obama also picked up a to-go pizza from Stone Canyon Pizza Co. in Parkville.

Obama chatted with the coffee shop patrons and took notes about his conversation with one quite intent woman. He paid for the refills and chai tea for the handful of customers, but all tried to demure.

"It's not that often the president buys you a cup of coffee," Obama said.

When he ordered his iced tea, he was offered by an employee to flavor it with lavender.

"I'm not confident enough to order that," Obama replied.

Nathan Staley made the iced tea and admits he was nervous at serving the nation's commander in chief.

"I was nervous enough to put too much ice in his ice tea so it kind of spilled on him a little bit," Staley said.

He tested coffee and tea from small cups and talked to the employee about the roasting process. He talked to the employees about their educational and job backgrounds.

When he left the coffee shop, he went next door to the Cool Vintage Watches shop and then another shop.

Parkville leaders and business owners were thrilled to bask in the attention brought by a presidential visit.

"He was really friendly and really interested in what was going on and very genuine," said Josh Brock of Parkville Coffeehouse.

Obama's schedule had called for a 30-minute stop in Parkville but he wound up staying about an hour. Streets in Parkville were blocked off and drivers stopped to snap photos, creating some traffic snarls.

What's your favorite barbecue restaurant in the Kansas City area? Tell us on KCTV5's Facebook page. Click here.

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  • What is the best barbecue joint in Kansas City?

  • Thank you for participating in our poll. Here are the results so far:

    Arthur Bryant’s Barbeque
    99 votes
    BB’s Lawnside Barbeque
    6 votes
    Danny Edwards Famous Kansas City BBQ
    13 votes
    Gates Bar-B-Q
    122 votes
    Hayward’s Pit Barbecue
    9 votes
    Fiorella’s Jack Stack Barbecue
    134 votes
    LC’s Barbeque
    39 votes
    Oklahoma Joe’s Barbeque
    262 votes
    Rosedale BBQ
    35 votes
    Woodyard Bar-B-Que
    21 votes
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