Eight years ago the race for the White House was decided weeks before the actual election, in what was then known as the Burger Elections. Created by celebrity chef Spike Mendelsohn in his flagship Good Stuff Eatery in the shadows of Capitol Hill, the Burger Elections gave burger connosseiours two specially crafted burgers, each named for a candidate – Democratic (Barack Obama) and Republican (John McCain) – and asked them to “vote” using their appetites.
As the Obamas prepare to exit the White House, Good Stuff Eatery has announced the burgers – named for both the President and First Lady – will become permanent fixtures of their menu.
President Barack Obama visits Good Stuff Eatery one afternoon during his term in office. (Courtesy Photo)
“Michelle and Barack Obama will never come off the menu, especially after all of the great things they accomplished during the Obama presidency,” Good Stuff Eatery chef Max Albano told the AFRO. “They made an incredible President and First Lady.”
Following Obama’s successful bid, his burger, topped with Applewood smoked bacon, Roquefort cheese, onion marmalade, and horseradish mayonnaise became a hometown favorite. Alongside it is the Michelle Melt, named after the First Lady – a ground turkey burger topped with Swiss cheese, caramelized onion and herb mayonnaise. The Obama burgers have remained on the menu throughout the president’s terms in office.
Good Stuff Eatery regular Yolande Hicks-Jasper told the AFRO that she is “over the moon” about the decision to keep the burgers on the menu. In addition to the pride she feels over the job the Obamas did in office, Hicks-Jasper said she wants visitors to the town to never forget their legacy.
“I remember when the original burger wars/election was under way in 2008 and I came in at least three times a week to buy the Obama burger because it felt good to see his name on a sign,” Hicks-Jasper said. “When tourists and lobbyists from out of town come here and listen to the political debates going on upstairs or outside, they can firmly place this Black man and his wife within the frame of the discussions. Good or bad, the Obamas impacted the politics all around the world, including our burgers.”
For others, like the Johnstons – three generations of North Carolinians visiting the city on vacation – seeing and eating an Obama burger is the next best thing to shaking the president or first lady’s hand. “We never thought in our lifetimes that we’d see Black people run the nation, and if we never see him up close and personal, we can at least see his name on the menu and bite into this good bit of meat,” Yusef Johnston told the AFRO. “It almost brings a tear to your eyes and for the owners to decide to make them permanent in a space where powerful people eat lunch, is an example to my grandchildren.”
Jordyn Lazar, marketing media relations manager for Good Stuff Eatery told the AFRO that it was important to maintain and build upon the legacy Michelle Obama began with her Let’s Move initiative and healthy eating platforms.
“The Prez Obama burger and Michelle Melt exemplify how Good Stuff Eatery isn’t just another hamburger joint, but rather a chef-driven restaurant that consistently serves delicious burgers,” Lazar, who is prepping for the launch of the Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton election burgers, said.