What's for lunch? President makes surprise visit to Portland diner

What's for lunch? President makes surprise visit to Portland diner

Credit: Michael Lloyd/The Oregonian

Barack Obama stopped at the Gateway Breakfast House after arriving at PDX. Photo by Michael Lloyd/The Oregonian

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by Teresa Blackman, kgw.com Staff

KING5.com

Posted on July 24, 2012 at 2:22 PM

Updated Tuesday, Jul 24 at 5:56 PM

PORTLAND -- Customers at a Northeast Portland restaurant were surprised to see President Barack Obama walk in Tuesday, and some even chatted with him over their morning coffee.

The President made an unscheduled stop at the Gateway Breakfast House on 114th and NE Halsey just after noon. The neighborhood greasy spoon is known for its huge portions and great service.  He greeted diners and bantered aboutwhat he was going to eat and how everyone was doing, according to Jeff Mapes, an Oregonian political writer traveling with the president as part of the media pool.

Photos: Obama at Portland restaurant

President Obama sat at a table with three veterans, Dean Dilley of Portland, Mark Peterson of Portland and Thomas Foeller of Oak Grove. They appeared to talk about health care issues and expenses and at one point the president said emphatically with a smile, “That one we can do right away. You heard it from the Commander in Chief.”

The President managed to get in a bite to eat as well. What did he order? A cheese sandwich, split pea soup and iced tea. (Onlookers said he didn't finish the soup.)

After more than 30 minutes, the president left the restaurant and his motorcade made its way back onto I-84, en route to the Convention Center.

The President has two scheduled fund-raisers at the Convention Center on Tuesday and then will leave for Seattle before nightfall, for more events.

More: Obama's Portland fund-raising events

Photos: President Obama's Portland visit

The president was also scheduled to make a speech at the convention center, which will be televised live on KGW-TV and streamed live on kgw.com. It was scheduled to begin around 4 p.m.

Proceeds from Tuesday's events will go to the Obama Victory Fund, a joint fund-raising committee of Obama for America, the Democratic National Committee and several state Democratic parties.

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