The AP reports that President Obama and VP Biden went on a burger binge today to a small strip mall joint called Ray's Hell Burger in Arlington, Va.
Amid a gaggle of photographers, the two paid with cash and waited for their number to be called.
Ray's Hell Burger, also called Ray's Butcher Burgers, does one thing (and well, at that, according to D.C. foodists) -- a $6.95, 10-ounce burger made from freshly ground, prime beef.
Sara Levine of the Washingtonian.com said, "Ray's creations aren't of the truffle-and-brioche gourmet variety à la Palena or Central Michel Richard; they're more like great made-at-home burgers from the backyard grill, taken up several notches thanks to the quality of Landrum's meat." Washington Post food critic Tom Sietsema's only quibble: the brioche bun tends to fall apart.
Ray's doesn't even sell French fries.
The foodie(s) on the White House staff know their local grub. The cheeseburger at Ray's Hell Burger is on the list of the 50 best burgers in 50 states in the June issue of Food Network Magazine. It's one list we won't quibble with, at least not where Chicago is concerned -- the Slayer burger at Kuma's Corner is the magazine's pick for Illinois.
Update: We just heard back from Ray's owner Michael Landrum, who apologized for not being able to call us that day the Prez came in. Kinda busy, we guess.
Anyway, Landrum tells us he's humbled by the impromptu visit from Obama and Biden to his 9-month-old shop. And contrary to what some were reporting Tuesday, he says Obama ordered a cheeseburger with Vermont cheddar. And Biden ... uh, Landrum doesn't remember what theVP ordered.
"The tour buses haven't started rolling up yet, but seeing your restaurant discussed on The Daily Show and Dave Letterman is kind of cool," Landrum says.