President Obama Is First Ever to Cut Line at Famous Austin BBQ Joint

07/11/2014 at 02:02 PM ET

President Obama Cuts Line at Franklin BBQ
Kevin Lamarque/Reuters/Landov

At Franklin BBQ in Austin, where the hours of operation are quaintly listed as “11 a.m. — sold out,” the hankering and the hungry wait in line for hours for the famous brisket, pulled pork and ribs.

And, while you can pay someone to stand in line for you, there’s a strict no-cutting rule.

Unless you’re the President and are accompanied by armed agents.

Skipping to the front of the line on Thursday to get takeout for Air Force One’s return flight to Washington, D.C., Obama apologized to Bruce Finstad of Houston, who’d just reached the counter with his daughter, Faith, and then insisted on paying for their meal.

The Finstads, with two other family members waiting at a table, proceeded to order three pounds of beef, two pounds of ribs, a half-pound of sausage and a half-pound of turkey.

“Hold on,” Obama said, leaning in close to Bruce Finstad. “How many folks are y’all feedin’?”

With the total bill topping $300, Obama had to bum a credit card off White House trip director Marvin Nicholson — after jokingly questioning if Nicholson’s credit was good.

“No one’s ever just skipped line and gone right up to the counter and ordered food, but if it’s okay for someone to do it, it’s him,” owner Aaron Franklin told Eater Austin, adding that “it didn’t seem to piss anybody off.” These tweets may say otherwise:

—Sandra Sobieraj

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Showing 55 comments

charlotte on

Awesome! Regardless of what anyone thinks of him as a President, he is just that…..The Commander in Chief. He should be allowed to cut the line. And paying for the other families meal was exactly the right thing to do! Kudos Mr. President.

Maggoe on

Meanwhile just a few miles away from the border…….. Oh silly me President Obama doesn’t do photo ops.

bill on

The bill went to the taxpayers…the non Obama voters.

Guest on

I think it would do Obama some good to stand in a few lines.

Christy on

He should not be allowed to cut in line! so he’s the president, hes a horrible president.

Jazzy on

Graciousness is clearly not something that is familiar to the Finstead family.

ljjf on

Way to go Mr. President!!! A very nice way to show you can be a average Joe no matter who you may be.

Anonymous on

Why doesn’t o-bummer concentrate on the countries deficit to name jūst one of the MANY issues in this coûntry and stop trying to be a celebrity

Shea on

It’s about as close to the border as he’ll get.

Dan on

Bambam should have had duck. He is a lame duck and an embarrassment to his Office

Surrealisto on

Special privileges for the King. Whoopie.

Pam on

Too bad he will not cut in lime to defend the Constitution.

Sharon on

Shows the total lack of respect he has for any rules – even the simple ones that don’t result in sweeping changes or life and death. Believes he is above it all and deserves special treatment. No wonder this country is in such a mess right now.

Kay on

Hey PEOPLE, We’re sick of obama. How about your ltberal staff reporting on some news about real Americans?

christineveach on

The Finsteads must be republicans.

wfhn on

King Barry! Even better than King Ralph! I hope he asked for cuts, and didn’t just take them. Getting between someone and their bbq is, well, ….

Jessica on

LOL! He could cut in front of me especially if that means I can rack up a $300 tab that he pays for. Ha

rosieglitter on

People get bent out of shape about anything these days. He’s the President of the US. Get over it folks! What are you? A comment provider on a gossip mag forum. He’s a pretty good person, albeit shakey as a leader – things are steadily improving. He had a LOT of catching up to do and it’s rather impossible to balance EVERY political party. Jeez. *BACK OFF*

Buffettgirl on

Can this guy ever be anything but TACKY? He should have had his staff call ahead, let Aaron know, say a day before, so something could be prepared and taken out to his lino discreetly. Instead, he acts like an entitled schmuck. Nice Mr. President, really nice. I for one will be delighted with the end of your term as it will mean you stop being such an embarrassment to our nation.

Anonymous on

reminds me of high school

guest on

A MUSLIM EATING PORK!!!!!!!!!! THAT”S A NO NO!!!!!!!!!!!

Liza McKee on

The President took a cut in line, paying for the person who he got in front of, because frankly his time is incredibly tight and every hour accounted for, for running the country and a new crisis a minute.
He is a classy man in all ways, and to pay (lots more) to cut in, no one but a rightwinger could possibly make this an issue. It isn’t one.

NotHerAgain on

No way. Wait your turn, like everyone else, a-hole.

Lisa on

For the people dissing the Finstad family, the TOTAL bill was $300, not just for the Finstad’s order.

Fourth paragraph regarding Obama: “Skipping to the front of the line on Thursday to get takeout for Air Force One’s return flight to Washington, D.C.,,,,”

He got takeout for Air Force One, as well as paying for the Finstads’ order. Geez. Reading comprehension is becoming a lost art.

Anonymous on

Obama didn’t pay, the trip director did.

Edyie on

Come on!!! No matter how you feel about him he’s the president!! If it was some star like George Clooney or Sandra bullock everyone woukd be star struck !! Grow up this is a major problem in this country….disrespect ! We lived through 8 years od Bush and I never disrespected him.

Edie on

OMG Seriously if anyone has the right to cut in line it’s the President of the United States. No matter how you feel about him. This is the problem in this country a total lack of disrespect. If it were a sports icon or movie star everyone would have been drooling. These comments are disgusting. He shouldn’t have had to cut, he should have been led right to the front. This is why other countries look at us like the fools we are. On top of that the guy is an ass and orders way too much food. Not cool at all but so typical of Americans. I didn’t care for Bush but I NEVER disrespected him.

Menley on

What a big surprise…NOT!!

Gretchen on

The Finstad’s order was typical for those from out of town who go to Franklin’s. It’s hard to go there and stand in line for hours, and just order a sandwich. Many people order 6 lbs of brisket and take it back to work. Get real, the $300 was for AF1, and the Finstad’s, so not out of line. His order was what he intended to get all along….I would have done the same; if I go to Franklin’s, it’s a big order every time!!

Laine on

No matter my opinion on the President, he is still the PRESIDENT. It would have been ridiculous if he hadn’t cut the line. I know for a fact if he HAD waited in line, people would be whining about him wasting time in line at a BBQ joint.

Michael Perrin on

Why was this lying article printed?

Go to

and the first thing you see on that page is:

Traveling? Dip in and grab a fully cooked brisket, chilled and packed for travel. You can skip the line.

Since the President departed for the airport with food in hand, I’d say that qualified as traveling.

Evelyn on

Is it just my eyes deceiving me or are the comments on this particular page a much smaller print than any of the other articles on this web site? Don’t worry about retribution from the White House “People Magazine” he hasn’t done anything since taking office.

Beth on

There isn’t a snowball’s chance in hell that any President would wait in that line- including both Bushs! Soooo irritated by the mountains of ignorance about the fiscal realities Obama faced after 8 years of Republicans catering to the wealthy. We ALL pay taxes, btw, and some of us pay more than others but the mess of this deficit did not occur bc of Obama. Wake up and read the real news vs. listening to propaganda a la Glenn Beck!

Maria on

Of course he cut in line. The Constitution doesn’t apply to him, so why would he follow silly rules like not cutting in line? The rules haven’t applied to him for six years…he sure isn’t going to start now!

Elle on

Some people seem to have amnesia, let’s remember who cause the country to go down hill in the first place and it sure hell wasn’t Obama he’s trying to fix all the garbage that Bush left behind, so please give me a break, he is the President of the United States and he cut the line get over yourself.

Ellen on

Let’s not forget who caused this country to go downhill in the first place and it’s sure hell wasn’t Obama, Bush created this mess and Barack is trying to fix it so if you want to talk about horrible presidents please put Bush on that list ugh smh. Barrack can cut the line he is the President of the United States get over it already.

suzy diamond on

That’s ALL this guy does…is PARTY! Doesn’t he have BETTER things to do???? WORST PRESIDENT EVER!

apatriot on

It says a lot. He has the same views about immigration.

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Nick on

President Obama Is First Ever to Cut Line at Famous Austin BBQ Joint.

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