Happy Presidents' Day to the Top Five Foodie Presidents
Washington has been focusing more and more on food and eating healthy lately, thanks to Mama Obama's presence in the white house. Michelle planted a garden on the White House grounds, which regularly provides produce to the prez and his family. She's working to make school lunches healthier, but she still enjoys a good slice of pizza or some crisp french fries. Our commander-in-chief seems to have taken a page out of Michelle's book, and has become somewhat of a foodie himself.
He's far from the most epicurean president, though. In honor of Presidents' Day, we've rounded up the top foodie American leaders--men who were just as obsessed with dinner as they were with foreign policy. We've also provided suggestions for where you should eat to honor these former head honchos on this special day.
5. Lyndon Johnson (36th president, 1963-67)
Lyndon Johnson was born and raised in Texas, and as such, he was a barbecue man and Tex-Mex man. At his inaugural luncheon, chefs served Texan filet mignon, and when the Johnsons entertained dignitaries at his ranch in Stonewall, Texas, they would serve giant Tex-Mex buffets prepared extra spicy. The president would then watch with glee as his unsuspecting guests turned red and feigned appreciation for the tongue-scalding regional cuisine.
Pork ribs were Johnson's barbecue meat of choice, but there was a saying in the White House kitchen that he would eat anything that didn't bite him first. The LBJ Library on the University of Texas campus has records of Johnson's favorite foods, which include chicken fried steak, spicy deer sausage with scrambled eggs and grits, and anything made with peaches, which are a major crop in west Texas.
He also had a particular fondness for chili, and said a week without chili was a week wasted. Not sure the soldiers in Vietnam during that time would agree, but whatever, LBJ.
To dine like LBJ this evening, try Bogart's Smokehouse (1627 S. 9th St.; 314-621-3107), a Gut Check favorite and winner of RFT's Best Barbecue 2012.