Obama Surprises SF Chinatown Restaurant Patrons; Orders Takeout

SAN FRANCISCO (CBS SF) – Patrons at a San Francisco Chinatown restaurant got a lunchtime surprise Thursday when President Barack Obama walked in to order some takeout.

Photo Gallery: President Obama Stops For Dim Sum At SF Chinatown Restaurant

Just before 1:30 p.m., about 45 minutes after the President’s arrival at San Francisco International Airport for a series of fundraisers, his motorcade made its way to Great Eastern Restaurant at 649 Jackson St.  Mr. Obama entered the restaurant to shrieks from the customers, according to a White House pool reporter accompanying the President.

The customers chanted “Obama! Obama!” as the President worked the room in rolled-up shirt sleeves and no jacket. Many patrons simply rushed up to the President, leaving their plates behind, according to the pool report.

“How are you? Good to see you!” Obama said repeatedly.

The President spent time working the dining room, posing for pictures and shaking hands, according to the pool report. Mr. Obama eventually ordered dim sum dumplings, paid for the order in cash and made his way out holding two large bags of food.

Along the President’s motorcade route, large crowds gathered along the side of the road, waving and taking pictures.

President Obama arrived in San Francisco after a fundraising stop in Los Angeles.  He was scheduled to attend a private reception at the Mark Hopkins Intercontinental Hotel on Nob Hill at 2 p.m., then a private fundraising dinner at a Pacific Heights home, and finally a speech at an 8 p.m. fundraiser at the Nob Hill Masonic Center.

(Copyright 2012 by CBS San Francisco. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.)

  • s.f. peaches

    That must have been a surreal experience for the restaurant patrons. When they wake up tomorrow morning they’ll need coffee before they’ll be sure this really happened.

    • s.f. peaches

      You have a First Amendment right to dislike the president, but it might help if you put enough effort into your comment that it sounds halfway intelligent. Just saying someone is a poor excuse for a human being does nothing to support your position.

  • Lisa N

    Corner of Sansome and Pine as the motorcade held up all the office workers trying to get back from lunch, many asking, “How much did this motorcade cost?” One comment of “your tax dollars at work…” I commented, “The heck with the motorcade. Fix the roads.”

    All package, no content. Most working Americans are not impressed. A bunch of fat cats on the government payroll out for a joyride, holding up traffic fails to impress. How about something concrete that will improve our quality of life?

    • Dale N

      oh give it a rest jeeez. are you really that ugly on the inside all the time?

      • Lisa N

        I pay alot of taxes and commute by bicycle. Bad roads are my reality and no shock absorbers. That doe not make me ugly. Obama could have sent a gofer out to get the dim sum. The restaurant probably would have delivered for free.

        I’m sure the motorcade and all of the security required to shuttle the whole gang through Chinatown at lunchtime cost considerably more than Michele’s $700 sneakers. Most of us live in a world where that counts as a poor use of limited resources.

      • N Abdul

        Give me a break now…

        Next time Romney is going to be here and the chinese will line up at his restaurant!!
        Heck with these ars&^%^&%oles who are exporting cheap labor to us and then taking money from his for humanatarian efforts – they have closed ALL the holes when they see victims in Syria (all of our brothers dying there – anyone cares????)

        Romney will be willing to use our nukes against these nations incl Iran

    • Brandon


      • Pedro

        Interesting he picked a Chinese restaurant. How much attention are we going to give to china?

  • Obama Mama

    Why can’t he do anything about gas prices???? Over 4 dollars!

    • Brandon

      Because he could care less about us like most politicians?

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  • SC

    I can’t believe all of the racist and ignorant comments about President Obama. I imagine if this was another president, let’s say a Caucasian one, some of you wouldn’t be spewing your racist comments. Lest you forget when he became president, this country was already bad economically. etc. I don’t see anyone blaming the former president for that or saying anything erroneous about him. Give the President Obama a break and leave your ignorant and assinine comments to yourself.

    • Lisa N

      The former president is long gone and can’t do anything about the economy at this point. There is nothing racist or ignorant about asking for fiscal responsibility. There are, indeed, some comments here that sound racist or ignorant. I would, however, call out ANY politician of ANY race or ANY political party who flashes through downtown San Francisco at lunchtime to draw attention to his/herself.

      It might be a real downer, but how about a politician that takes a walk through some of our neighborhoods and points out all the empty storefronts, the passed out drunks, the urban blight, and the burgeoning construction that has NOTHING to do with the quality of life of the people who actually live here?

      There is more to governing than putting on a good show. I’d vote for a candidate who worked for policies that are beneficial to the people he/she represents, and I need to see some proof of that. Flashy motorcades and photo-ops and finely tuned speeches are not work. They are show.

  • http://sanfrancisco.cbslocal.com/2012/02/17/president-obama-soaks-up-san-francisco-adulation-some-protests/ President Obama Soaks Up San Francisco Adulation, Some Protests « CBS San Francisco

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  • tn

    Just watch: Chinatown dim-sum restaurants will see an upward spike in patrons = more visitors = more purchases = more sales taxes collected = more parking tickets = more revenues that we will never see.

  • Lisa N

    There are no parking places in Chinatown, don’t be silly. Several of the shops, including You’s Dim Sum on Stockton, have recently been relocated or disappeared because of the new Muni underground going to Chinatown. What we know as Chinatown is about to be “re-branded,” if not entirely destroyed. And the next iteration will still not have any parking places.

    It’s a very strong community. I doubt if the President’s snack is going to make any difference. By Monday it is last week’s news.

  • http://sanfrancisco.cbslocal.com/2012/02/17/demonstrators-greet-obama-at-san-francisco-masonic-center/ Demonstrators Greet Obama At San Francisco Masonic Center « CBS San Francisco

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  • Kevin L.

    WoW… This is all LOVE, LOVE,LOVE…

  • EViL{*}stephenson


  • http://gerkeashley.wordpress.com/2012/02/23/chinese-food-please/ Chinese Food Please « gerkeashley

    […] Obama likes Chinese food too! Read this article to find out what food he likes from China! […]

  • http://sanfrancisco.cbslocal.com/2012/03/30/first-lady-daughters-spotted-eating-dinner-in-sf-chinatown/ First Lady, Daughters Spotted Eating Dinner In SF Chinatown « CBS San Francisco

    […] President Barack Obama also made a stop for food in Chinatown. On February 16th, the president ordered takeout at Great Eastern Restaurant on Jackson Street. Mr. Obama was visiting San Francisco for a series of […]

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