A Homesick Biden Goes Shopping For Subs

Hilarity ensues

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Brendan Smialowski / AFP / Getty Images

Vice President Joe Biden leaves with an order during a grand opening at Capriotti's Sandwich Shop November 21, 2013 in Washington, DC.

Vice President Joe Biden took an unannounced trip Thursday to the grand opening of Delaware hoagie chain Capriotti’s first Washington branch to pick up sandwiches for himself and the president. As usual, hilarity ensued.

From the White House Pool Report by the Huffington Post‘s Jennifer Bendery:

Just after 11am, Biden emerged from the White House, flipped on his aviators and off we went to Capriotti’s, a Delaware-based Italian hoagie chain that opened a shop today in downtown D.C.

The restaurant is one of Biden’s favorites, and he brought three White House staffers from Delaware with him for lunch. ABC’s Ann Compton noted that one of his favorite subs is apparently the “The Bobbie,” or basically, Thanksgiving in a sandwich: turkey, cranberry sauce and stuffing.

A giddy crowd was gathered on either side of the restaurant as we rolled up. The Racing Presidents, a.k.a. the mascots for the Washington Nationals, were also outside to welcome us.

Once inside, Biden was greeted by sevearl of Capriotti’s top execs. They included Jason Smylie, executive VP and CIO, George Chanos, board chairman, and George Vincent, Jr., owner of this franchise. Ashley Morris, the CEO of the chain, took his order. Before his order, though, he announced to the room that Delaware makes the best subs ever.

“This is gonna settle once and for all, the best sandwich in America is out of Wilmington, Del. I’m bringing one back for the president. No more of this stuff about Chicago and Philly and New York. This settles it,” he said. “You guys want to get this settled. And end it. I’m ready man. The president is waiting. I’m having lunch with him today.”

Biden’s order: Two medium Italians, one with hot peppers, the other with hot peppers on the side, and neither with onions. He also ordered another large Italian and a large Bobbie with hot peppers on the side. Biden emphasized the importance of peppers.

“The only way to eat these things is with hot peppers, but not everybody understands that. You know what I mean?” he said.

The total was $56.25. Biden pulled out a wad of cash and realized he was short. “Alright man,” he said, and then turned around and called out to Fran Person, his personal aide, “Fran, you got ten bucks?”

Several people started laughing, and a Capriotti staffer offered to give him The Bobbie for free, but Biden said no.

“I’m not taking it. You know what, I’ve been going to Capriotti’s on Union Street for the last 40 years. I have paid every time I’ve gone … In Delaware, you pay. It’s simple.”

As he waited for his food, Biden was still trying to convince people that Delaware makes the best sandwiches ever.

“The only place where Philadelphia can compete with us is steak sandwiches. Just compete. Compete. Not win,” he said to someone.

As pool was being ushered out, Ann Compton asked what he thinks is going to happen in the Senate regarding filibuster reform.

“They’re going to learn to eat Capriotti’s, is what’s gonna happen in the Senate,” Biden said.

Pool waited about 10 minutes outside while Biden kept talking to people inside. When he came out, he explained again to the press that Delaware sandwiches are the best.

“This should end the debate about where the best sandwich in America comes from: Wilmington, Del. This originated in Union Street, I’ve been eating these subs — you all them hoagies, we call them subs in Wilmington — the best sandwich. So this ought to end any debate about Chicago or New York or Philadelphia. The only thing Philadelphia can compete with is the steak sandwiches. They’re close, but anyway.”

Before getting back in his car, he turned to the Racing Presidents and said, “Hey I love you guys. But you know, if you showed up outside of Capriotti’s on Union Street, you’d be in trouble. They’re all Phillies fans, you know what I mean?”

He also cupped his mouth and shouted to peple down the street, “Are you going in to get a sub? I like the Italian best. The Bobbie is good.”

Pool headed back to the White House, arrived just after 11:30. Lunch time.

Biden also picked up a hoagie for Obama senior adviser and fellow Delawarean Dan Pfeiffer: