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Fuel for the Fire: Sager allows only nature to cook his meats. Credit: Photograph by Darrow Montgomery

Time for another entry in the annals of presidential restaurant visits. President Barack Obama and Maryland Sen. Ben Cardin made an unscheduled stop for ribs at Texas Ribs and BBQ in Clinton, Md., on their way back from an event on energy policy at Prince George’s County Community College. A White House pool report notes that Obama ordered two slabs of babyback ribs, asked for hot sauce, and declined to answer questions about Afghanistan. (Which, frankly, seems like a reasonable thing to decline to do while preparing to savor barbecue.)

The meat there may not need an endorsement from the most powerful rib fan in the world, though. Former Young & Hungry columnist Tim Carman wrote about the place for Washington City Paper in May 2007, and chef Danny Sager‘s cooking did its own publicity:

The sliced meat arrived without a drop of sauce, Texas-style. But more than that, the kitchen didn’t trim off the entire fat cap, that quarter-inch of goodness over the flat part of the brisket, once the meat emerged from the smoker; instead, they left a thin layer, just enough to flavor and moisten the beef. Even the smell was right; smoke rose from the plate and tantalized my nostrils. The first bite confirmed what my eyes and nose dared to suggest: This was smoky, succulent stuff, maybe not Lockhart level, but the best I’ve had around these parts.

Read the whole thing here.

Photo by Darrow Montgomery