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Food critic dines out on Michelle Obama favorites

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Published : Oct. 14, 2011 - 18:39

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WASHINGTON (AFP) ― It’s sure nice work if you can get it: going to nearly every restaurant in Washington patronized by Michelle Obama and ordering exactly what she ordered.

Marian Burros did just that for the Politico website (www.politico.com), and the experience ― which took her through 25 eateries ― left her with a unique insight into the gastronomical tastes of the U.S. first lady.

“Despite a number of bad meals, by about one-third of the way through the reporting, it was pretty clear Obama is a careful eater,” the veteran food writer and cookbook author reported.

Sometimes Obama splurges. Sometimes she skips desert. But never does she fail to order salads and vegetables, even when they complement hamburgers, double-fried French fries or seared trout.
First lady Michelle Obama gets help from fifth grade student Sterling Zapata in filling a basket with peppers for the third annual White House kitchen garden fall harvest on Oct. 5 in Washington, D.C. (AP-Yonhap News) First lady Michelle Obama gets help from fifth grade student Sterling Zapata in filling a basket with peppers for the third annual White House kitchen garden fall harvest on Oct. 5 in Washington, D.C. (AP-Yonhap News)

“She is especially fond of seafood and orders it much more often than anything else; and when she dines with her husband (President Barack Obama), they usually start a meal with a dirty martini,” Burros added.

“More often than not, she has some wine. But sometimes, at lunch, she just has tea.” Plus, for her 47th birthday earlier this year, a 15-layer carrot cake.

Fascination in Washington with mother-of-two Obama’s diet stems in good part from her front-and-center role in Let’s Move, the anti-obesity campaign she launched to get young Americans to lay off the junk food and exercise more.

Burros said that in most cases, she found out what the first lady ordered by asking restaurant owners outright. If any refused, she just made a reservation anyway, then got the inside scoop from helpful waiters.