As I write this, Donald Trump has officially left the White House and is on his way back to Mar-a-Lago, where he can lie in bed and eat cheeseburgers and watch Fox News undisturbed until it’s time for golf. Yes, Trump is a well-known homebody, so fond of the comforts of familiar surroundings and his own personal chef that in his four years in the White House, he dined out at just a single restaurant in Washington, D.C.
It is true that there’s a lot of fuss when a president goes out to eat. Four years ago when former president and noted restaurant lover Barack Obama was leaving office, Eater published a list of his top restaurant moments, and many of them involved motorcades, Secret Service officers, and entire neighborhoods getting blocked off. Plus, Obama once bought out an entire cafe’s stock of cinnamon rolls for his entourage, which would really suck for anyone who had a craving later in the day. It all sounds like a true pain in the ass. Nonetheless, Obama—and his predecessors—continued to eat out because, well, restaurants are pretty great. (And I miss them terribly.)
Trump, however, disagrees, as is his prerogative. Washingtonian reports that he sometimes talked about exploring the D.C. restaurant scene, but he never really followed through. I mean, that does happen. You’re all fired up and ready to go out, and then you’re like, “Nah, I’m tired, I’d rather just order in.” (Or, if you’re Trump, send the Secret Service out for McDonald’s.) So, after all those threats, that would just make Trump’s appearance at a restaurant all the more exciting.
Which did he choose? Ben’s Chili Bowl? Cafe Milano, an establishment much favored by members of his cabinet? The Inn at Little Washington, whose chef, Patrick O’Connell, received the National Medal of Arts and National Humanities Medal from Trump himself?
If you guessed any of these, you would be wrong. Trump’s favorite D.C. restaurant (if only for lack of comparison) was BLT Prime, which happens to be located in... the Trump International Hotel, just a short stroll down Pennsylvania Avenue from the White House. To be fair, he did eat there multiple times. Per Washingtonian:
Trump is a creature of habit. When he did venture out for a meal at the Trump hotel’s steakhouse, BLT Prime, he pretty much always ordered the same thing: shrimp cocktail, fries, and well-done steak. It was a place where he knew he could get exactly what he wanted exactly how he wanted it—right down to the fans cheering him at the door.
I guess it was nice to know that in the unpredictable Trump years, there were a few things we could count on?