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Obama's Kenny's BBQ Smokehouse Visit Focuses On Ribs, Haircuts And Fatherhood

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President Barack Obama eats lunch with two soldiers and two local barbers, in honor of the upcoming Father's Day weekend, at Kenny's BBQ Smokehouse in Washington, D.C., on June 13, 2012 | Getty Images

WASHINGTON -- President Obama brought his well-documented love of barbecue close to home on Wednesday afternoon.

POTUS ate his unscheduled lunch at Kenny's BBQ Smokehouse on Capitol Hill. His companions were two soldiers and two local barbers. The barbers -- Otis Gamble and Nurney Mason of Mason's Barber Shop -- are participating in "Fatherhood Buzz," a new government initiative relating to barbershops. The soldiers are U.S. Army Captain Joubert Paulino and U.S. Army First Lieutenant William Edwards, winner of the 2012 Military Fatherhood Ward.

Politico got the menu:

Obama ordered a platter of steaming beef ribs, greens, black-eyed peas, rice, a corn muffin and a bottle of water.

You can see in the slideshow below that the President and his companions are enjoying their meal, even if some on Twitter aren't fans of the restaurant, and others thought it an odd meal for a White House focused on the promotion of healthy eating:

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Obama Goes To Lunch At Kenny's BBQ
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The White House later released the remarks Obama gave while at the lunch:

Remarks by the President at Kenny's BBQ Smokehouse

Kenny’s BBQ Smokehouse
Washington, D.C.

12:26 P.M. EDT

THE PRESIDENT: (In progress) -- these guys are also young fathers, and they're doing great -- he’s got four kids. He’s got two. And Michelle and I have been working a lot with military families, trying to support them. When these guys are deployed sometimes, they're leaving the family behind. I just want to make sure they get support.

And then the reason the two older gentlemen are here is, as I was mentioning, barbershops are where a lot of men go -- and we want to work with them -- we want to work with barbershops to figure out how we can get better information to fathers about resources that are available to them so they can find job training programs; they can find support groups for fathers. Because the more information we’re getting out there to folks about how they could take responsibility for their kids, make sure that they're in their child’s lives, help support their mother even if they're not living with the mother, makes a huge difference.

It turns out that with the father being involved, the kids are less likely to do drugs, they're less likely to -- girls are less likely to get pregnant. And so that message is something that we want to make sure gets out there. And barbershops are a good place to do it, so that's where everybody hangs out -- right?

Although I was teasing these guys, cutting their hair wouldn’t be that complicated. (Laughter.) You just take a -- (Laughter.) I was just saying you got to give these guys a discount if they come into your barbershop because they'll only take five minutes.

All right, guys, thank you. We’re going to eat in peace now. (Laughter.)

END
12:28 P.M. EDT