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Barack Obama on Check Please! Chicago

Barack Obama, Former TV Food Critic

Now that America has become familiar with President-elect Barack Obama's political agenda, the country has taken interest in the soon-to-be president's personal quirks and preferences. A clip surfaced of Obama on Check Please! Chicago, a Chicago series that features locals reviewing restaurants. In the August 2001 episode, the then-Illinois state senator raves about Dixie Kitchen, a Southern-, Cajun-, and Creole-influenced restaurant in his South Side neighborhood of Hyde Park. In the clip, Obama sounds surprisingly . . . well, just like us. "It's not gourmet cuisine, but that's not why I go to the Dixie Kitchen," he says. "What I'm looking for is food that tastes good for a good price." Yet his introspective nature is already evident, when he admits the johnnycakes are "dangerous," so "I've learned from my mistakes." Watch the clip when you


I'm also somewhat surprised that Obama — famous for his healthy eating habits — chose to feature a restaurant like Dixie Kitchen. I myself have been to the North Shore outpost of this restaurant, and must admit that it's not exactly healthy fare (although the fried green tomatoes are delicious).

Watch the clip below and share your thoughts. Are you, too, fascinated by Obama's ordinary lifestyle?


Join The Conversation
lexichloe lexichloe 8 years
I love this clip! ;)
Penny4545 Penny4545 8 years
I *heart* Barack - To share a meal with him would be beyond words. With all his healthy eating habits though, I would hope he kicks his smoking habit.
mydiadem mydiadem 8 years
I love that show! Watch it with my bf every time I'm in Chicago. Let's the average diner and their family be food critic for the day! I wish we had something like that in Philly.
bellaressa bellaressa 8 years
Zull, I never been to the one in Evanston but the Hyde Park location is great. They also have one further south in the burbs.
Zulkey Zulkey 8 years
I didn't know there was a Hyde Park Dixie Kitchen--I thought it was just in Evanston! I've put my name in to be on this show but so far no luck. I have friends who've been on it before though.
LaurenG22 LaurenG22 8 years
I love this show too, it has influenced my restaurant going in CHicago on many occasions.
xxkrist24xx xxkrist24xx 8 years
The Dixie Kitchen was the first place I went to with my fiance's family... oh my goodness it was delicious! Definitely a place I'd go to to splurge :)
mom2ross mom2ross 8 years
The show isn't about being a restaurant critic, Caterpillar girl. Every week three people come on and tell about their favorite restaurant. The other two guests go to your restaurant as well. Then everyone gets together and discusses each other's picks. It's an awesome local show, with local people, talking about local restaurants. With so many to choose from in and around Chicago, it's a brilliant idea. No restaurant critics here.
bellaressa bellaressa 8 years
1. I love Check Please. 2. LOVE LOVE, Dixie Kitchen. The Gumbo is to die for and the Johnny Cakes, mmmm.
CurvatudeBlog CurvatudeBlog 8 years
love dixie kitchen. especially the catfish. oh and the cornbread.
LittleLady12 LittleLady12 8 years
It's kind of funny how you think he sounds like such an "ordinary" person, when the reason why they didn't air this 2001 episode until now is because the producers thought he sounded anything but "ordinary.",0,4361490.story It's a pretty great show, though, because they review neighborhood restaurants . . . not just Alinea and Trotter's. Too bad Dixie Kitchen is going to be destroyed with all this publicity!
aburlock aburlock 8 years
Apothecary06- You beat me to it! I just left Hyde Park in August, but I ate at Dixie Kitchen often when I was going to school at U of C.
apothecary06 apothecary06 8 years
Wow, what a find! I live in Hyde Park and I go to Dixie Kitchen all the time - it's so good! Too good, really ;)
UrbanBohemian UrbanBohemian 8 years
Nice! I like how he talks about what he looks for when he eats out, and I agree too. It's less about the visual presentation as it is about taste.
CaterpillarGirl CaterpillarGirl 8 years
So he is interviewed about one restaurant and he is a food critic now?
caryatid caryatid 8 years
I'm not sure Dixie Kitchen needs the help! But now I want to visit it before it gets super crowded after being featured! =)
ilanac13 ilanac13 8 years
go figure - everyone's going to try to capitalize on this whole thing huh? i'm not sure that i would use his recommendation over someone else, but i guess if it helps business there, then that's better for the restauranteur and the economy.
nancita nancita 8 years
Yum, I also used to LOVE the north shore outpost of Dixie kitchen. Those johnnycakes...mmm mmm. Yet another point on which I agree with Obama.
Food Food 8 years
They're not only airing the episode again on the 16th, but they're also airing it on the 20th, since it's Inauguration Day! I love Check Please!, so I look forward to tuning in.
mom2ross mom2ross 8 years
This was always my favorite local show on channel 11. (It has a different host now, though.) I love that he was on this! They're airing the whole epsiode again on the 16th.
pioneers pioneers 8 years
I'll eat johnnycakes with Barack Obama any day.
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