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Obama's Taylor Gourmet Visit Focuses On Small Business Development (PHOTOS)

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President Barack Obama holds up his hoagie sandwich that he purchased from David Mazza, right, co-owner of Taylor Gourmet during his visit to the local small business in the U Street neighborhood in Washington, Wednesday, May 16, 2012. Also behind the counter is Casey Patten, co-owner. | AP

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.

The White House
Today, President Obama visits local to discuss & the need to invest in small businesses

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."

Mark Knoller
Pres Obama holds up one of the hoagies he bought for congressional leaders. His bill was .70. He paid cash.

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.

Kinda glad Obama didn't eat at the original . Don't wanna fight those crowds to get a hoagie!

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.

Benjamin R. Freed
Don't forget that Taylor Gourmet ditched its Philly bread. By visiting those traitors, Obama is putting Pa.'s 20 EVs at risk
POTUS Eats Hoagies
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