April 4, 2014, - 9:00 am

Barack Obama’s $17 Reuben: Man of the People’s Sandwich b/f Minimum Wage Speech

By Debbie Schlussel

I guess I’m the only one who noticed that Barack Obama paid nearly $17 for a Reuben sandwich, right before he gave his “I’m a man of the people/down wit da struggle” pro-minimum wage hike speech. Yes, that’s right. Obama ate a $16.50 Reuben at one of America’s most expensive delis, just right before he talked about how difficult it is to live on the current minimum wage (as if he has any idea). The irony is thicker than the sandwich’s corned beef paired with Swiss cheese.



The local media showed Obama eating at Zingerman’s Deli in Ann Arbor, but didn’t think, apparently, that it was appropriate to note that the Reuben he ate there costs $16.50 (or–big bargain alert!–$13.99 for a half). I mean, why get in the way of his phony populist, common man BS routine? For the record, since I keep kosher, I’ve never had a Reuben (the kosher diet prohibits eating dairy and meat together–and Zingerman’s is NOT a kosher restaurant; its owner and founder, Ari Weinzweig, is a pork-, bacon-, and lard-loving Jew). But, for comparison with the real world, I note that Arby’s Reuben costs $4.99.

Obama even had the chutzpah to refer to Zingerman’s in his speech, though it’s a place where the average person–even those who make far more than minimum wage–can’t afford to eat, especially now that they have to pay high ObamaCare premiums and their hours were cut to part time because of Obamacare. Yes, Arby’s Reuben didn’t make Food & Wine’s list of “The Best Sandwiches in America,” and Zingerman’s did. But Zingerman’s isn’t the place where the common man can afford to eat, especially in the Obamaconomy.

In his minimum wage hike speech, Obama mentioned Zingerman’s and humorlessly said that if Republicans had a sandwich it would be the “stinkburger’ or the “meanwich.” Hahaha. You’re so funny, Barack. The thing is, if the minimum wage is hiked, all restaurants will have to up their sandwich prices, and you, too, could be stuck paying 17 bucks for a Reuben. that’s how high prices will go if a higher minimum wage is enacted. Companies gotta make up for the loss somehow, and it’s charged to you, the unwilling consumer of $17 sandwiches.

It’s an exorbitant price, and so are all the prices at Zingerman’s, which makes it extra-hypocritical that Obama ate there before the minimum wage, down with the working man charade of a speech. It’s the gourmet of the gourmet–foodie heaven for spoiled rich people so bored with the good life that they must constantly eat new, ever-more-exotic things to challenge their taste buds and make life worth living. Check out the favorite items recommended by Zingerman’s staff. Owner Ari Weinzweig recommends you buy his $40 12 Year Aged Fynbos Merlot and Cabernet Bush Vinegar. Ten bucks extra for shipping for a total of FIFTY BUCKS for a small bottle of vinegar. Wow, $50 to eat like someone in the Bush. Cha-ching! Or you could spend $27 to buy another employee, Mo’s (short for Mohammed?), favorite: fire parched brown rice. Yup, 27 bucks for just one pound of burnt rice (I think that’s what “fire parched” means).

Again, this is where Barack Obama ate just before he told a bunch of spoiled University of Michigan brats that hard-working small business owners must spend more on menial, entry-level labor and struggle more to survive.

All while he’s eating a 17 buck Reuben.

Community organizer? Puh-leeze. More like Hifalutin Fraud in Chief.

28 Responses

Good Morning Debbie,

You are spot on with this story. I’m a Michigander, born and raised. I have worked in the Ann Arbor area for the last dozen + years and had not tried Zingerman’s until this past winter. My wife and step daughter had lunch there, and to say the least unimpressed. Zingerman’s is overrated, expensive to my bottom line and is all show…Just like Obama, how fitting.

Take Care, Bill

Bill Underwood on April 4, 2014 at 9:22 am

I am touched that he ate at a Jewish deli. This shows that he is a friend of the Jews, and a friend of Israel. We must all support his Mideast policy because he at at Zingerman’s.

Little Al on April 4, 2014 at 10:00 am

    Yes, I agree. Anyone that eats at a “Jewish deli”, even a non-kosher, over-rated, over-priced deli, must be a HUGE supporter of Jews, Israel and everything Jewish. Obama really went out on a limb by eating at this deli. This just shows that he’s a man of tremendous courage and is willing to take risks in order to help the American people. Hail to Barack!

    David on April 4, 2014 at 10:06 am

    There are Jewish delis. The real ones don’t serve non-kosher food.

    I’d wager Obama has never been in a real Jewish deli in his entire life.

    NormanF on April 4, 2014 at 10:16 am

    To the extent anyone working there even knows what Israel is (or cares), they’re probably JStreet libs.

    BethesdaDog on April 6, 2014 at 1:10 am

Obama, so funny, “stinkburger”, haha , man what a zinger..

HK on April 4, 2014 at 10:05 am

    It goes well with the shit sandwich’s that are his policies.

    john on April 4, 2014 at 12:18 pm

$40 bucks for vinegar? What a rip off. Walmart’s Balsamic Vinegar, made in Italy costs $2. Ari Zingerman must be making a killing on everything he sells.

That’s his right – just as its consumers’ rights to shop elsewhere.

NormanF on April 4, 2014 at 10:13 am

I am afraid I have an even deeper concern, however.

Corned beef is not considered a very healthy food. Besides all the saturated fat, it has a lot of cholesterol and sodium, and, possibly, nitrate.

My fear is that the publicity about the Reuben will weaken Mrs. Obama’s campaign to persuade/force all of us to eat health. In fact, some cities demand that trans-fats be eliminated from foods, and nutrition information divulged.

Perhaps Mrs. Obama can persuade her husband to enlist in her healthy eating plan.

Little Al on April 4, 2014 at 10:20 am

    Yeah, but isn’t amazing that the Peta crowd aren’t getting on Obama about this? I’d like to see Obama carry this to the next level and have him make a campaign stop at the Heart Attack Grill in Las Vegas, where he can order the restaurant’s signature dish: the 10,000-calorie Quadruple Bypass Burger, with all the extras, and which weighs a staggering 3 pounds. And since he’s into this goyishe kop diet, he can wash it down with a thick milkshake–black-and-white, of course, to send the political message of racial harmony.

    Ralph Adamo on April 6, 2014 at 4:05 pm

“…foodie heaven for spoiled rich people so bored with the good life that they must constantly eat new, ever-more-exotic things to challenge their taste buds and make life worth living.”

So spot-on. Also, a perfect description for all those hipster-types I see in Chicago.

Ilan on April 4, 2014 at 10:47 am

Oh, Debbie, casting zingers at that poor man and assuming the worst. I see that the more expensive Reuben is $16.50, but he may have denied himself the delight of that offering and had the sackcloth and ashes version at $13.99. This would be a public demonstration of sympathy for the less fortunate and a sign of love for Christians during the Lenten season of self-denial. As for his dining on flesh stewed in its mother’s milk, well, I have nothing to say.
Looking at the sandwich itself, would you create import barriers and deny a foreign people income beyond which they currently eke out existence, banking, and manufacture of wrist watches, cuckoo clocks, and lederhosen? Would you want someone to eat cabbage not Brinerized? And, possibly, the hand-sliced Jewish rye bread was carved by diamond-cutting Hasidics who have taken time out to help meet the nutritional needs of Ann Arbor residents and visitors.
Please get back to more important matters? Did you hear that David Letterman may retire in the near future?

marblenecltr on April 4, 2014 at 11:43 am

I’ve mail-ordered items from Zingerman’s. Notice the past-tense. I was unimpressed. Specialty olive oils were .. just olive oil. Specialty salts were .. just salt. I bake (in a wood fired oven I built from scratch) and their Peasant Bread was not as good as my simple ciabatta.

So, naturally the Name Brand Driven ghetto White House occupier gravitated there, even though he has some of the finest chefs in the world on the WH payroll. A real Ruben is the one I make (including homemade sauerkraut and homemade pickles). Corned beef is simple to make and a good rye toasted on a hot griddle is about as simple as boiling water .. naturally this exceeds our Ghetto-in-Chief’s world experience. Food is always brought to him. He has no idea how to even make a cracker with peanut butter on it.

Poor ghetto baby.

Jack on April 4, 2014 at 12:00 pm

Obama should know that Zingerman’s Deli is not only overpriced, but the food isn’t even up to snuff. Yeah, it’s clearly a PR stunt dreamed up Obama’s PR staff. . . or is it the SNL comedy writing staff? It’s sometimes hard to tell the difference.

Real deli cognoscenti know that if you have the deli craving, and you’re willing to pay for top of the line, there’s Katz’s Deli in New York and the famous Nate N’ Al’s in Beverly Hills. But who said that Obama has class?

Ralph Adamo on April 4, 2014 at 12:50 pm

“meanwich”… what a jackass.

DS_ROCKS! on April 4, 2014 at 1:25 pm

A Reuben at Katz’s Deli in NYC is $17.45; Sandwiches at the Carnegie Deli in NYC are $17.99 – $24.99; a Reuben at the Stage Deli in West Bloomfield, MI is $13.99 (much smaller sandwich than Zingerman’s). The Zingerman’s Reuben at $16.50 might be pricey but it is within the range of similar restaurants and Zingerman’s is known for the quality of its ingredients, which tend to run a bit more expensive than what other places use. The Arby’s Reuben affirms the axiom that you get what you pay for. In Ann Arbor, good alternatives for a tasty Reuben are Amer’s and Maize and Blue, both of which are about $9 for their sandwiches.

S: Most of the people who eat at Stage Deli in West Bloomfield are very wealthy and not dissimilar from those who eat at Zingerman’s. Same customer base and Obama voter pool. FYI, Do NOT recommend Amer’s. Amer is an anti-Israel Palestinian Muslim schmuck. DS

Steve on April 4, 2014 at 3:25 pm

Steve, food in NYC is expensive. Most things in NYC are expensive. And speaking of Carnegie Deli, I hear the sandwiches are as big as one’s head.

Harry on April 4, 2014 at 5:17 pm

    Still overpriced…deli’s, sad to say, are dying.

    I’ve been to Ann Arbor once, will probably never go back again. Ate at some small bagel place right across from campus. Never even heard of Zingerman’s back then. (1988). Don’t see Ann Arbor as the place to go to look for deli.

    Getting so much harder to find even a half decent one, especially at an affordable price.

    BethesdaDog on April 6, 2014 at 12:59 am

“Let them eat arugula.”

Barry Popik on April 4, 2014 at 5:51 pm

For $17 a customer should get a sandwich and a blow job, but Obama already has Reggie Love on the payroll for that.

CornCoLeo on April 4, 2014 at 6:49 pm

    My first thought exactly. I did not have the nerve to say it.

    Chinggis on April 5, 2014 at 4:31 am

i have ask the ?
since you showed the menu

was it russian dressing or the cheap substitute
1000 island dressing

no matter how some people want to lie and be idiots
there is a very big difference

prestigio on April 4, 2014 at 7:28 pm

Here in Lisle, IL, Arby’s Reubens are 2 4 $7. Pretty darn good, too.

Jimbo on April 5, 2014 at 2:53 am

I used to spend nearly 8 dollars for a vegetarian plate at a “Jerusalem Cuisine” restaurant near here, before the economy put it out of business. It is too much money for a weekly deal now. I will take my occasional Ruben sandwich with horseradish. Hold the Thousand Island dressing and e-coli, please.

Chinggis on April 5, 2014 at 4:37 am

Sure, Zingerman’s is expensive ($28 for a coffeecake, for heaven’s sake!) but they have to be in order to pay a living wage to their staff. Keep in mind too that most of their employees are graduates of the might U of M – people with PhDs in useless crap like Feminist Philosophy and Midieval History. So you not only get overpriced food there, but if you chat with the staff you also get a ton of pretentious nonsense from overeducated/underemployed hipsters. Of course, Ann Arbor is a Mecca of hipsterdom.

Oh, if you think the Zingerman’s deli downtown is overpriced, then stay away from the Zingerman’s Roadhouse on Jackson Ave.

MIGirl on April 5, 2014 at 10:05 am

Let us not forget that meechelle my belle obamaheavy recommended that we all buy a pair of $600 earrings with the Bush refund so many years ago and the co-conspiratorial media just let that zinger fly right over their collectively evil heads. What did Sarah say, “you can put lipstick on a pig … but it’s still just a pig.”

I'mJustSayin ... on April 5, 2014 at 11:31 am

Comment from MichellesMirror:

“Yes Big Guy came to the People’s Republic of Ann Arbor to speak (for the third time as Prezzy – they love him) to the true believers. And then he trotted over to Zingerman’s for lunch – which makes an extremely fine sandwich that they sell for a King’s ransom (unless you consider $15 for a half (“nosher”), $17 for a whole (“fresser”) a reasonable price for a corned beef sandwich in a college town). The price includes the price of co-owner Paul Saginaw’s “thrive-able” wage (which he was in Washington to promote recently) as well as markups that in any other business (that ultra-prog co-owners Paul and Ari Weinzweig obviously didn’t build themselves) BO would label as “obscene profits.”

Yet the Whole Foods crowd that clogs A-squared continues to buy Zing’s overpriced goods because it’s “local,” no-doubt “organic” and is provided with free advertising and promotion at least once a month in the ultra-prog Ann Arbor News under the guise of community reporting of good works by local businesses.”

Dewey From Detroit on April 5, 2014 at 1:30 pm

Obama is one silly, goyishe kop. He reminds me of Annie Hall played by Diane Keaton in the Woody Allen movie of the same name, where Alvy (Woody) takes Annie to a deli and she orders pastrami on white bread with mayonnaise. Alvy gives her a funny look in response to that. Also reminds me of legendary comic Lenny Bruce’s famous bit “Jewish and goyish,” where food is used to illustrate the difference: Kool-Aid, Drake’s cakes, white bread, instant potatoes, and lime jello (processed, bland foods) are all “goyish,” while pumpernickel, fruit salad, chocolates, black cherry soda, and macaroons are Jewish. LOL.

As for me, the next time I’m in the LA area, I’m going to stop in the World-famous Nate ‘N Al’s deli in Beverly Hills. Sure it’s pricey. But it’s one of those Hollywood places were Marilyn Monroe, Dean Martin, and Jerry Lewis ate together. And in more recent years, Jerry said it’s still the best. So you know it has to be good. I just hope I don’t find Obama there.

Ralph Adamo on April 6, 2014 at 3:29 pm

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