- The Washington Times - Saturday, May 30, 2009

For a health food nut, President Obama sure likes his burgers.

Mr. Obama made a surprise lunchtime stop Friday at Five Guys, a fast-food restaurant in the District, where he ordered a cheeseburger with lettuce, tomato, jalapeno peppers and mustard as well as several other cheeseburgers to go. He also ordered a cheeseburger for Brian Williams, news anchor for NBC, which was filming a day-in-the-life program at the White House.

White House press secretary Robert Gibbs said the president wasn’t showing off for the cameras.

“I can assure you it was done simply for the benefit of the appetite of the commander in chief,” Mr. Gibbs said.

The president snacked on peanuts and chatted with surprised customers while he waited for his order.

There are “more problems than we thought,” Mr. Obama told a man who asked him about his first months in office.

Early this month, Mr. Obama and Vice President Joseph R. Biden Jr. took a short motorcade ride from the White House to Virginia and ordered lunch at a small independent restaurant called Ray’s Hell Burger.

Mr. Gibbs joked that while the cheeseburgers at the White House are pretty good, the president likes to “get out of the gate a little bit.”

First lady Michelle Obama recently said she sneaked out to a Five Guys restaurant without anyone noticing.

Despite their burger runs, the Obamas are big believers in exercise and healthy eating.

The first lady has started a vegetable garden at the White House. Some of the crops will be served to the Obamas and to White House staff and guests, while some will be donated to a local soup kitchen.

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