Former President George H.W. Bush famously disliked broccoli. His son, the outgoing president, is a Texas meat-eater. President-elect Obama loves chili and shuns beets.
Obama's aversion to beets aside – “I always avoid eating them,” he says – the new first family are foodies with a wide-ranging palate. They have hankerings for Mexican food, enjoy hand-crafted pastas and their kids dig fried chicken and macaroni and cheese.
“They are totally adventurous people … they enjoy food,” said chef Rick Bayless of Topolobampo, an upscale contemporary Mexican restaurant in downtown Chicago that's a favorite of the Obamas.
At Bayless' restaurant, Obama and his wife, Michelle, usually begin their meals with tortilla soup and guacamole as starters, followed by something from a changing seasonal menu to reflect the freshest fare.
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The Obamas aren't teetotalers, partaking of the restaurant's margaritas and wine.
But it's not just fancy dining the Obamas like. They enjoy takeout from a neighborhood pizza joint and an island inspired restaurant not far from their home where Michelle Obama fancies the grilled tilapia.
Barack Obama does have a weakness for chips and salsa and tends to put hot sauce on everything. At Dooky Chase's Creole restaurant in New Orleans, he offended longtime owner Leah Chase by pouring hot sauce all over the gumbo she offered to fatten him up.
“I hope this isn't insulting,” he said. Chase, sitting at his side, stared straight ahead.
The Obama daughters, 10-year-old Malia and 7-year-old Sasha, have a few favorites of their own. When they stay over at close family friend Yvonne Davila's house they often request her fried chicken and macaroni and cheese.
Another family friend, Kaye “Mama Kaye” Wilson, said Malia is a fan of her lemon meringue pie and Sasha enjoys her cobbler.