Wednesday, January 21, 2015

The President Takes His Lunch

I've never been to this restaurant called Charmington's, but like most everything else in this life, it reminds me of The Simpsons, in whose hometown of Springfield, the expensive department store is Costington's (slogan: "Over a century without a slogan.")

The Simpsons do their shopping at the Try 'N' Save, or the Kwik-E-Mart.

Charmington's is in the area of Baltimore where Charles Village meets Remington. If you're not from Baltimore, you will need to understand one thing about us...we are defined by our high schools and our neighborhoods.  You have to keep up with things, because one minute, a neighborhood is known as "hardscrabble" and "tough working class," and then then next minute, someone opens a coffee bar in a space once occupied by a TV repair shop, and someone else rips the cheesy 70's paneling from the wall in their living room, finds an original brick wall, and runs to the porch to hang a sign indicating that herbal cough drops and smudge sticks are for sale within.  And boom, here come the hipsters! And in another part of town where once dwelled the upwardly mobile and the Buick drivers, "Cash for your gold" shops and laundromats suddenly sprout.  In other words, we change.

So, back to the restaurant, the president of the United States came there for lunch last week, on a day when he came to Baltimore to talk about the need for fair sick leave for all.  At this time of the year with the flu reaching epidemic levels, people are told, "If you're sick, stay home from work," but many people don't get paid sick time, and would have trouble explaining to their children that they don't get to eat next week because Daddy or Mommy was ill last week.

The owners of Charmington's have had a progressive policy about sick leave for employees, so the commander in chief came for lunch, and ordered a roasted beet salad (but he asked them to hold the beets), a turkey-avocado wrap, and a roast beef and cheddar sandwich on white (he took half of that with him.)  He picked up the tab for others at his table, to the tune of $60 in all, and left a $30 tip.

The food was prepared under the watchful eye of a Secret Service person, and those seated in the restaurant were given the opportunity to leave before he arrived if they wanted, but once he arrived, they had to stay until he split.

There were no reports of the Secret Service being involved in either hi-jinx or shenanigans, for once.

No comments: