CHICAGO — After staying at his Kenwood home for the first time in about a year, President Barack Obama had breakfast at his favorite Hyde Park restaurant Friday morning.
"Two over bacon, hash browns, wheat toast, cup of hot tea," Valois Restaurant manager Tom Chronopoulos said about the president's order. "I suggested the egg white omelette to make Michelle happy. But he refused it."
Obama and Gov. Pat Quinn stopped by the restaurant at 1518 E. 53rd St. Friday morning after a night of fundraising events in Chicago.
Obama often ate at Valois before becoming a U.S. senator and then president. Friday morning's visit was the first in nearly two years, Chronopoulos said.
"We were hearing rumors he would stop by today," Chronopoulos said. "It's always good having him here."
Even when the president isn't at Valois, his presence is noticeable. Coffee mugs are adorned with his face, and photos and news clippings about him are featured on a wall.
There is even a separate menu board featuring "President Obama's favorites." Among them are New York steak and eggs, two eggs with bacon and sausage, two pancakes, steak omelette, Mediterranean omelette, and an all-veggie egg white omelette.
After ordering at the counter and talking to cooks while waiting for his tray of food, Obama placed two $20 bills down.
"I don't take free food," Obama said.
The president spent about half an hour at the restaurant before leaving shortly before 9:45 a.m.
He is due to fly back to the White House Friday.