WEST PALM BEACH, Fla. >> The definition of a foodie, according to the Merriam-Webster dictionary, is “a person having an avid interest in the latest food fads.”
President Donald Trump is not a foodie.
The man knows what he wants to eat and doesn’t give a hoot that he’s not engaged in the latest culinary trends. You can keep your Tuscan kale, aoli and Buddha Bowl. He’ll have the meatloaf and McDonald’s Filet-O-Fish sandwich washed down with a Diet Coke, thankyouverymuch.
A forthcoming book by former Trump campaign manager Corey Lewandowski and aide David Bossie details a Trump dinner of two Big Macs, two Filet-O-Fish sandwiches and a chocolate malt, according to the Washington Post, which received an advance copy of the book.
But Trump’s basic tastes shouldn’t surprise anyone who’s seen, followed or covered him over the years.
Shannon Donnelly, who’s covered Trump and his life on Palm Beach for years for the Palm Beach Daily News, says his favorite meal is the following: crabmeat cocktail to start, then either Mrs. Trump’s Meatloaf (his mother’s recipe) or chopped steak with mashed potatoes and gravy.
You could assume the president also has a sweet tooth, as vanilla ice cream, cake and cookies have been mentioned often in media reports, but more on that later.
According to a Palm Beach Post interview with Trump’s former butler at Mar-a-Lago, Tony Senecal, Trump likes steak, but he likes them well-done, overcooked even, with ketchup.
“He liked his meat well-done and he’d say, ‘No garbage with it,’” Senecal told the Post. By “garbage,” Senecal said he knew Trump meant no garnish, relishes or vegetables.
As for Trump’s favorite breakfast, he seems to lean toward a greasy spoon staple.
Senecal said a typical breakfast order for The Donald was “Three eggs over-easy with bacon.”
That’s what Trump told People magazine as well. He said although he often skips breakfast, his favorite is bacon medium and eggs over-well.
Then there’s the fast-food affection. Any fast food: burgers, fried chicken, pizza.
According to multiple media reports, when Trump was on the campaign trail, or when he is on the road as president, planning for meals isn’t a priority, so grabbing fast food is the usual go-to.
The Washington Post reported he ate Filet-O-Fish sandwiches, Big Macs and snacked on Oreos during the campaign. He told CNN’s Anderson Cooper, “The Quarter Pounder. It’s great stuff.”
According to the Post’s review of Lewandowski and Bossie’s book, they also say, “On Trump Force One there were four major food groups, McDonald’s, Kentucky Fried Chicken, pizza and Diet Coke.”
Trump has even shared photos of himself on social media eating fast food. There was a post he sent on his jet, eating a bucket of KFC fried chicken, another eating a McDonald’s burger and fries and one of him at his office eating a taco bowl made at the Trump Tower Grill. That latter post came with the cringe-worthy message of “I love Hispanics!” complete with “Happy (hashtag)CincoDeMayo!”
A self-described germaphobe, Trump says he thinks fast food restaurants are cleaner than other restaurants. Plus, he’s suggested, if a cook at a restaurant didn’t like him or his policies, well, you get the picture.
And as a native New Yorker, Trump may puzzle some with his habit of eating pizza with a fork, but he said he has a reason for that.
He told the Daily Mail that he doesn’t like to eat the crust because he wants to keep his weight down. So he scrapes the toppings off and eschews the dough.
Trump is a self-described teetotaler who also doesn’t drink coffee or tea. But he loves Diet Coke.
Donnelly, the Palm Beach Daily News reporter, confirms that Trump is a big fan of Diet Coke. According to The New York Times, Trump drinks about a dozen a day. The Times reports that he summons the White House staff with a button if he wants a Coke.
Now if all this sounds like Trump is adverse to vegetables, that doesn’t seem to be the case. He’s known to enjoy a salad, usually with what is likely Thousand Island dressing and, at his Mar-a-Lago resort, there’s a “Mr. Trump’s wedge salad” on the menu.
Of course Trump’s Mara-Lago club offers a more high-end menu. Last year for the Christmas Day feast it featured Trump’s favorite: a “colossal” crab cocktail. But it also offered other more eclectic tastes: asparagus salad and honey lavender squash soup. The main entrees included choice of turkey, filet mignon, cashew-crusted short ribs, pan-seared sea bass, roasted king salmon and herb-crusted lamb loin and shoulder duo.
And the desserts were “hand-crafted.”
Speaking of desserts, the president apparently has a sweet tooth.
As TIME magazine reported recently, during a recent dinner at the White House, Trump enjoyed two scoops of vanilla ice cream (while everyone else at the dinner who had ice cream got one) with his chocolate cream pie.
According to The Washington Post, Air Force One’s cupboards are stacked with Oreos and Vienna Fingers, along with potato chips and pretzels.
As Donnelly reported last year, a Christmas Eve feast included a buffet of sweets that lined a wall in a Mara-Lago ballroom: pistachio cakes, peppermint bark and giant towers of M&Ms were among other goodies.
The New York Times says he likes See’s Candies.
Then there’s the famous triple chocolate cake.
Trump was hosting a dinner with Chinese President Xi Jinping in April when, during desert, he informed Xi that he had just launched a missile strike on Syria.
During an interview with Fox Business Network’s Maria Bartiromo he explained that night: “We had finished dinner. We’re now having dessert. And we had the most beautiful piece of chocolate cake that you’ve ever seen and President Xi was enjoying it,” Trump told Bartiromo.
Apparently it’s called the three-layer Trump chocolate cake. And it is a thing of beauty.