"No, we gotta pay for it. See all these people here? They'll write about it if we don't pay for it."
President Barack Obama and veep Joe Biden had lunch at Arlington, Virginia's Ray's Hell Burger today.
They both paid for their burgers themselves, stood in line like anybody else, and waited along with other patrons for their numbers to be called.
Word is from D.C. Foodies that, given the number of cheeses and toppings available, the combinations at RHB are endless.
Ray's Hell Burger opened last summer and has quickly made a name for itself in the capital area, winning praise from the Washington Post's Jane Black as the best burger in D.C. Writing in the Serious Eats D.C. City Guide, she said:
For $6.95, you get a 10-ounce burger made of hand-trimmed prime beef (including juicy scraps from nearby Ray’s the Steaks), corn on the cob, and a slice of watermelon. There are only a few seats and no fries here. But who needs 'em?
[What they ordered and video of the event, after the jump.]
Barack Obama, Joe Biden at Ray's Hell Burger in Arlington, Virginia
Biden's order: Swiss cheese burger with jalapeño peppers. "Do you put ketchup on it or do we do that ourselves?" To drink, he had a root beer.
Obama's order: "Just a basic cheddar cheese burger. Medium-well. I just want mustard, no ketchup; do you got like a spicy mustard, or a Dijon mustard or somethin' like that? Lettuce. Tomato. Are your fries pretty good? Can you vouch for your fries?"
Ray's doesn't have fries. They have cheesy tater puffs, instead. Obama calls for one order and says he'll have water.
The cashier at Ray's actually did offer to comp Obama, Biden, and the Secret Service guys they also ordered for, but Obama was like, "No, we gotta pay for it. See all these people here? [points to press] They'll write about it if we don't pay for it."
Props for not freeloading, prez, but medium-well? Get outta here! But at least he's conscientious enough to order the three burgers for his entourage medium ("Because I don't know how they want 'em"). [Hat tip to everyone who emailed links: Erin, Thomas B., Barry, Jesse B., David J.]
Ray’s Hell Burger
1713 Wilson Blvd, Arlington VA 22209 (map)