President: BBQ "necessary for economic growth"

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by KRIS BETTS / KVUE News and photojournalist DATHAN HULL

Bio | Email | Follow: @KrisB_KVUE

kvue.com

Posted on May 9, 2013 at 10:19 PM

Updated Thursday, May 9 at 10:42 PM

AUSTIN -- Stubb's BBQ: Home of live music, famous sauce and now, a recommendation from the president.

“He loved it. You can't ask for a better review than from the president,” said Stubb’s General Manager Ryan Garrett.

Garrett says he had no clue President Barack Obama would be eating lunch at Stubb’s until Thursday morning. He was getting his car fixed in North Austin when his restaurant manager sent him a heads up.

"I shot him a text, I'm like ‘Hey, President Obama's coming to have lunch here, you may wanna get down here as soon as possible,’” the manager said.

Once Garrett got through Secret Service, the president walked right up and introduced himself.

“He said ‘You must be Ryan,’ and that's a thrill when the president says your name," Garrett said.

President Obama dined with four locals: a teacher, nurse, construction worker and salon owner.

"I was overwhelmed before I even came, we were all pretty nervous,” said Austin salon owner Agnes Wommscy.

"He was just asking me about the construction industry here in Austin, and I told him it's pretty healthy,” Contractor Joe Alonzo told KVUE

Speaking of healthy, what did the calorie-conscious president order for lunch? A plate of pork spare ribs, a quarter-pound of brisket, and a piece of jalapeño cornbread.

Stubb’s staff tells KVUE that President Obama ate every last bite.

“He gave good compliments on our brisket, which I was really happy to hear,” said Stubb’s manager Misael Barrera.

The president liked it so much he even brought it up at his next stop at Applied Materials.

“We also had good BBQ, which is necessary for economic growth,” the president said while the crowd broke out in laughter.

For a place that's used to seeing famous faces, Garrett says Thursday’s visit was once in a lifetime.

“You kind of get accustomed to dealing with celebrities; this is a whole new level," he said.

The president took a picture with all of Stubb’s staff, and Garrett says they will hang the signed photo in a frame above the table where the president ate.

 

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