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Obama Surprises SF Chinatown Restaurant Patrons; Orders Takeout

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President Barack Obama greets patrons during a surpise visit to Great Eastern Restaurant for dim sum in San Francisco's Chinatown on February 16, 2012. (Saul Loeb/AFP/Getty Images)

President Barack Obama greets patrons during a surpise visit to Great Eastern Restaurant for dim sum in San Francisco’s Chinatown on February 16, 2012. (Saul Loeb/AFP/Getty Images)

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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 This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.)

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