The Washington Post

Long line for Texas barbecue? Not when you’re the president

Lines apparently don't matter when you're the president.

President Obama made an obligatory stop for barbecue while in Austin on Thursday. "I love Austin. I love the people. I love the barbecue -- which I will get right after this," he said during a speech at the Paramount Theater.

His motorcade wasted no time, speeding over to Franklin Barbecue, where both the brisket and the lines to get it, which can last for hours, are legendary.

But when you're the president lines don't matter. Obama cut the line and apologized to the two people at the very front - and offered to buy them lunch.

President Obama has a moment with people when he visits Franklin Barbecue in Austin. (Kye R. Lee/The Dallas Morning pool via AP)

Obama put in a massive order - the bill was more than $300, and pulled out a wad of cash. He then took out a credit card, but had to check with his  trip director to ensure it would not be declined (the director, Marvin Nicholson, assured the president his credit was good).

Bruce Finstad, of Houston, and his daughter, Faith Finstad, of Austin, got more than a free lunch after the president jumped ahead of them in line. They got a gift basket that included three pounds of beef, two pounds of ribs, a half pound of sausage and a half pound of turkey. The two were in line while two other family members sat at a table. When Obama heard their order he remarked, "Hold on -- how many folks are y'all feedin'?

Obama got his order to go. He and his staff chowed down on Air Force One back to Washington. But Franklin's wasn't the only barbecue Obama got during his trip to Texas. He also had barbecue for dinner Wednesday night.

Katie Zezima is a national political correspondent covering the 2016 presidential election. She previously served as a White House correspondent for The Post.



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