Happy Birthday, Mr. President! Wish You Were Here

What Obama would do if he spent his bday in Chicago?

Barack Obama may be the President of the United States, but he’s just a Chicago guy at heart. If he were here for his 48th birthday today, Chicago would roll out the red carpet.

Unfortunately the president will be working on his special day, meeting with Senate Democrats about  health care and the economy. There is no party planned.

"Chuck E. Cheese was booked," White House Press Secretary Robert Gibbs joked during his daily White House press briefing.

But we’d like to imagine what kind of day the birthday-boy-in-chief would have if he did decide to spend his birthday in his hometown. We’ve got a pretty good idea where he would celebrate.

First he’d need something to wear. The president is a big fan of Hart Schaffner and Marx, a nearly 100-year old retailer in The Loop. They’ve got a blue, worsted wool 2-button suit that’s just the president’s taste. The suitmaker created Obama’s tuxedo and topcoat for his Jan. 20 inauguration. They might even toss in a free birthday tie. 

On his way, he might grab lunch at River North's Frontera Grill or Topolobampo where one of the Obama’s favorites, Mexican chef and culinary icon Rick Bayless, would cook him up something special. When Obama was elected, Bayless was rumored to be a candidate as the White House chef.

Or maybe he'd stay in Hyde Park  for lunch and grab a bite at Medici, an Italian and pizza joint the Obamas frequented, and which peddles shirts that say, “Obama Eats Here.”

Well fed and antsy for fun, Barack puts the suit aside for later and throws on the White Sox jacket that Michelle loves oh so much. They’d head over to U.S. Cellular Field and watch the Sox win one for the president over the Los Angeles Angels. Despite his sketchy knowledge of the team, Obama insists on his devotion to the South Siders.

Come dinner time Obama would have a lot of choice.

The couple could relive the romantic Valentine’s Day dinner they shared at Table Fifty-Two restaurant in Near North, with executive chef Art Smith (yeah, you heard right, the guy who used to cook for Oprah).

Or maybe Mr. and Mrs. Obama would eat at Spaggia, one of their favorite spots. The upscale eatery in Gold Coast features wood roasted scallops that the president adores. He even told chef Tony Mantuano that Mantuano was his top chef.

Lots of restaurant options is a good thing, and Obama is, afterall, the country's No. 1 decision maker.

Then, of course, the lovely couple would head back to their 5046 South Greenwood Ave. home and snuggle up for a movie marathon featuring Casablanca and Lawrence of Arabia, which Obama said were his two favorite movies in an interview with Katie Couric.

Alas, the president isn’t coming home for his birthday and he’ll likely celebrate in Washington D.C. (blech). But that doesn’t mean Chicagoans can’t celebrate their favorite political son’s birthday as if he were home. There are plenty of places for mere plebes to fete the prez.
Edy's Ice Cream is getting into birthday spirit by unveiling the new, limited edition Slow Churned “Red White and No More Blues” ice cream. Just perfect for a health conscious President (cigarettes notwithstanding) 'cause the ice cream boasts half the fat and one-third fewer calories of regular full fat ice cream.
David Burke's Primehouse in River North is giving away complimentary mini "Yes We (cake in a) Can" birthday cakes on Tuesday, the day Obama celebrates his 48th birthday.

The red velvet cake with cream cheese frosting and birthday blue sprinkles will be served to dinner guests only. The mini-cake includes the famous "Yes We Can" campaign phrase.
How are you celebrating the president's birthday? Use the comment section below to suggest some Chicago spots for a Barack Bash.

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