Charlie’s Sandwich Shoppe: Obama Is a Good Tipper

The President stopped into the South End sandwich shop to grab a burger before stumping for Ed Markey

Photo via Charlie's Sandwich Shoppe

Photo via Charlie’s Sandwich Shoppe

Before taking the stage in front of thousands of supporters in Roxbury during a rally for Senate-hopeful Ed Markey, President Barack Obama had to refuel following the trip from Washington, D.C., so he stopped to grab a burger from a Boston sandwich shop.

“He had a cheeseburger with lettuce, and tomato, and mustard,” said Arthur Manjourides, who runs Charlie’s Sandwich Shoppe in the South End with his brother, Chris. “He had French fries, too.”

Manjourides had no clue that Obama would be stopping in to get a bite to eat on his way to the campaign event, and was shocked by when he saw the president stroll into the packed sandwich spot during their lunch rush. “I saw a lot of police on the street and I figured they were driving by, or just guarding the street. But when Secret Service came in with the dogs? It was very, very exciting,” he said.

The president was personable as he hung around the eatery for close to an hour, chatting with residents, and pushing Markey’s name into the ears of potential voters, Manjourides said. Obama, who was flanked by Markey and Mayor Tom Menino, told the shop owners that he heard they had “really good food,” so he wanted to try it. Manjourides said the Commander in Chief placed his order to go, before heading back to the line of black cars outside, and off to the rally in Roxbury. While in Charlie’s, no one asked anything political, said Manjourides, and Obama stood by and let customers take pictures with him as he waited for his order. “It was a very festive, happy time,” he said. “The place was packed. Anyone that wanted to take a picture with him he would stand there and let them.”

Manjourides wife got to hug the president, and afterward told her husband that “she was never going to wash her shirt again.”

Obama told Manjourides he was going to eat in the car before putting down a $20 from his own pocket for the $8 meal, and walking out the front door. “He left a good tip.”

At the rally on Tuesday, Obama spoke for a little over 23 minutes, joking at the start of his address that he wouldn’t talk about the Chicago Blackhawks, who open the Stanley Cup finals tonight against the Boston Bruins in Chicago, the president’s hometown.

During his speech, he recounted a story from his stop at Charlie’s in the South End before shifting his focus to the Markey campaign.