Well, they’re all saying that Barack Obama is our first president in a long time to be just a “regular guy.” And what do “regular guys” do, just like you and me? They go out to eat, and then they go on Check, Please! and they talk about it!

No, I’m totally serious. Barack Obama will be on Chicago’s Check, Please! (the original incarnation of the show, by the way) on January 16th, 18th, and 20th, according to the Dixie Kitchen & Bait Shop website.

We at Check, Please! Bay Area are already hard at work behind the scenes to deliver more to you than just this clip, which has the TEMERITY to cut the President-elect off in mid-sentence, so stay tuned!

This particular episode of Check, Please! was taped back in 2001 — way before the President-elect was even a glint in the White House eye — when series creator and executive producer David Manilow called upon State Senator Obama (a friend of Manilow’s) to appear on the show.

Obama’s restaurant of choice was Dixie Kitchen & Bait Shop in Hyde Park, Illinois, and according to the Chicago Tribune article, the episode was shelved because Obama was “too good — too thoughtful, too articulate, not enough of an amateur. He ended up dominating the conversation.” Yikes! Good thing Hillary didn’t have that fodder in her hopper during the primary!

Given the country’s documented obsession with everything the Obamas do — from detailed accounts of workout routines to Paparazzi invading private memorial moments to Harlequin Romance descriptions of Obama’s glinting pectorals (coming out of the Washington Post of all places!) — Dixie’s better start thinking about expanding because they’re about to become a stop on the Obama pilgrimage.

Hm, I wonder if Howard Kurtz and other scrappy pundits will haul various food experts on their shows to chew over just what Obama’s Check, Please! restaurant means to us as a nation and an American people.

If so, it will be Alton Brown’s chance to finally become a pundit.

  • http://jenniferjeffrey.typepad.com Jennifer Jeffrey

    Hysterical. I am loving how young and RESTED the man looks.

    As for “articulate, thoughtful,” etc., I’m starting to think that BO held court in the playground in 2nd grade, patiently explaining lunchroom strategies and the game of handball to his fellow classmates.

    That’s my president! Swoon.

  • http://michaelprocopio.wordpress.com/ Michael Procopio

    Why in God’s name have I never seen this before?

    Thank you very much for sharing.

  • http://www.grubreport.com Stephanie


    Well, because it’s the Chicago show and they never released it until now!

  • http://dixiekitchenchicago.com dixie

    I am the owner of Dixie Kitchen & Bait Shop and it’s sister restaurant, Calypso Cafe (a Caribbean restaurant with jerk chicken as our specialty). Eight years ago, Dixie Kitchen was the favorite of the Obamas… over the past few years the Obamas have visited Calypso Cafe even more often than Dixie. In fact, President-elect Obama mentions Calypso Cafe as one of his favorites in the New Yorker magazine article published a couple of months ago. How fortunate am I? In forty years, my grandchildren are going to be able to say: “George Washington slept elsewhere, but President Obama and his family ate at my Grandma’s restaurants.”

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