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Dear President Obama: You're in Hollywood Sunday; Let's Do Lunch

Dear President Obama:

With less than a week to go before the presidential election, I am so pleased that you've chosen Hollywood to be the location for one of your last public rallies before the big day.

I love that you've picked one of our local high schools for the venue and I'm hoping you run with that theme and come out in a football uniform, complete with cheerleaders. An old-fashioned home-town pep rally is just what this town and country needs.

This Sunday, November 4, I'll be at McArthur High School Football Field (6501 Hollywood Boulevard) cheering you on. (Tickets' by the way are free, but you must pre-register at Afterward, like at any game, I'd like to take you to lunch. My treat (well, I'll probably expense it but you get the point).

You see, Mr. President, I love the fact that you're an enthusiastic eater with a taste for brewskis. Politics aside, it's people like you that keep me and my fellow food writers employed. I might go so far as to say that you've helped create my job (that's one out of five million). Plus, you have to eat. And, though you trust the secret service with your life -- do you really trust them to pick out a place to get a great burger?

So, Mr. President, I've hand-picked a few restaurants to take you to (in case you need to have some bomb-sniffing dogs "sweep" the place). Then, just let me know. I'll keep the afternoon open.

Billy's Stone Crab Restaurant and Market
Mr. President, you simply cannot leave south Florida without enjoying some of our very own local delicacy -- stone crabs at Billy's. These sweet claws, served with melted butter and mustard sauce, go great with a pitcher of beer. By dining on our seafood, you're supporting the local fishing industry -- mostly small business owners who rely on their boats to feed you -- and thus, their families. In fact, Billy's owner, Billy Hershey has his own fishing boat if you want to spend the day on the water for a good photo op. Then, you can stop at the market and get a pound of crabs to go for Michelle. She's working just as hard as you are.

Urban Rustic Bagels
Mr. President, there's nothing quite like a nice bagel with lox on a Sunday morning. If you walk into Urban Rustic Bagels unannounced, you'll cause quite a stir. Picture the faces of all the bubbies when they get the opportunity to pinch your cheeks, hug you, and take a picture with you. Perfect opportunity to talk about how you'll keep Social Security intact. That senior vote is locked in for sure.

Martorano's Italian-American Kitchen
Mr. President, you will love Martorano's. The owner, Steve Martorano, was a guy from south Jersey and Philadelphia who had a dream. He started a sandwich shop in his basement and turned it into an empire. The food is pure Jersey Italian, rich, red sauces, fresh steamed clams, and giant meatballs. Plus -- since you've been known to cut a rug, you'll appreciate that Martorano also serves as his own DJ, spinning the hits so you can work off your meal before jumping back into Air Force One.

Le Tub
Oprah Winfrey and Gayle King love the burgers at Le Tub. You remember Oprah -- one of the country's most powerful women and a huge supporter of yours? Yup -- that Oprah. Basically a shack on the water, Le Tub isn't the prettiest restaurant. It's decorative style could be chic. But, this is where the 47 percenters go for a fantastic burger and a pitcher of beer. Hard-working blue-collar people who depend on you to do right by them. So let's hang out and hoist a few while watching the one percent go by on their yachts. It's what real people do on a Sunday.

Jaxson's Ice Cream Parlor
I know you're a busy man, what with the campaign and a major natural disaster. Plus you're the father of two young girls (and someone's got to walk the dog). So, if you don't have time for a long lunch, I'll understand. But everyone's got time for ice cream! Jaxson's is an institution in these parts. Opened in 1956, this old-fashioned ice cream parlor is a place where families can go for good, all-American treats. I suggest a pina colada cone to remind you of your childhood in Hawaii. Then you can bring home a few pints of fresh banana and fresh peach for Melia and Sasha.

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Laine Doss is the food and spirits editor for Miami New Times, covering the restaurant and bar scene in South Florida. She has been featured on Cooking Channel’s Eat Street and Food Network’s Great Food Truck Race. Doss won an Alternative Weekly award for her feature on what it’s like to wait tables. In a previous life, she appeared off-Broadway and shook many a cocktail as a bartender at venues in South Florida and New York City. When she’s not writing, you can find Doss running some marathon then celebrating at the nearest watering hole.
Contact: Laine Doss

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