WASHINGTON -- What's the on-the-street buzz in the nation's capital? President Obama at Taylor Gourmet, the Philadelphia-inspired Italian-style hoagie shop with a handful of locations in and around the nation's capital.
Wednesday morning, there was unconfirmed chatter about an unusually high level of security at Taylor Gourmet's 14th Street NW location, near the bustling U Street corridor roughly 13 blocks north of the White House.
The White House later confirmed the visit, noting that the president wasn't paying a casual visit to the highly regarded sandwich spot.
According to the White House pool report, Karen Mills, the administrator of the Small Business Administration, joined the president for his visit, where they were joined by Taylor Gourmet co-owners Casey Patten and David Mazza, Yes! Organic Market President Kathy Rachels and Brian Smith, founding principal of Francis Lee Contracting.
From the pool report:
Casey [Patten] and David [Mazza] were approved for an SBA-backed loan that helped them purchase their third location on 14th Street NW in Washington, DC. They will open a fifth location this summer and plan to hire more than 25 new employees.
According to The Washington Post, the president said:
"My message to Congress . . .is let's go ahead and act to help build and sustain momentum for our economy," Obama told reporters before ordering his sandwiches. "There will be more than enough time for us to campaign and politic, but let’s not lose steam at a time when folks like these feel optimistic and ready to go."
The visit to Taylor Gourmet's 14th Street location puts another Obama-endorsed food spot in the U Street corridor on the presidential food map. (The president has previously visited famous Ben's Chili Bowl, a short walk away.)
Some fans of Taylor's original location on H Street NE were relieved.
According to DCist, the president ordered a "12-inch Spruce Street turkey hoagie, prepared with prosciutto, roasted red peppers and provolone."
Naturally, Obama's visit was viewed through a political lens, at least a light-hearted one.
DCist's Benjamin Freed reminded his followers about Taylor Gourmet's 2011 bread controversy, where Washington City Paper reported that Taylor Gourmet had ceased its daily shipments of Sarcone's rolls from Philadelphia without telling its customers who were actually eating locally sourced bread.
Obama holds up a hoagie he purchased after visiting Taylor Gourmet, a sandwich restaurant, May 16, 2012 in D.C.
Obama holds up a hoagie sandwich alongside Small Business Administrator Karen Mills (L) after holding a roundtable discussion with small business owners at the Taylor Gourmet restaurant.
Obama puts away his money after order lunch from David Mazza (R) and Casey Patten (C), co-owners and founders of Taylor Gourmet, after holding a roundtable discussion with small business owners at the restaurant.
Obama speaks while visiting Taylor Gourmet.
Obama gets assistance with putting on his suit jacket from Marvin Nicholson (L) while visiting Taylor Gourmet.
Obama speaks during a roundtable discussion with small business owners at Taylor Gourmet.
Obama speaks during a roundtable discussion with small business owners at the Taylor Gourmet restaurant.
Obama signs his receipt for David Mazza and Casey Patten, Co-Owners of Taylor Gourmet, while visiting Taylor Gourmet.