Trump Hotel Employees Dish on Catering to Right Wing Elites
February 20, 2021 11:25 AM   Subscribe

Trump Hotel Employees Reveal What It Was Really Like Catering to the Right Wing Elite

IMPOTUSx2 only visited one DC restaurant during his tenure: the steakhouse in his own hotel.
... when the star appeared, you had to stick to the script. A “Standard Operating Procedure” document, recently obtained by Washingtonian, outlined step by step exactly what to do and what to say anytime Trump dined at BLT Prime, the hotel restaurant.
As soon as Trump was seated, the server had to “discreetly present” a mini bottle of Purell hand sanitizer. (This applied long before Covid, mind you.) Next, cue dialogue: “Good (time of day) Mr. President. Would you like your Diet Coke with or without ice?” the server was instructed to recite. A polished tray with chilled bottles and highball glasses was already prepared for either response. Directions for pouring the soda were detailed in a process no fewer than seven steps long—and illustrated with four photo exhibits. The beverage had to be opened in front of the [germaphobe] commander in chief, “never beforehand.” The server was to hold a longneck-bottle opener by the lower third of the handle in one hand and the Diet Coke, also by the lower third, in the other. Once poured, the drink had to be placed at the President’s right-hand side. “Repeat until POTUS departs.”
BLT Prime? BLT is a bacon, lettuce, and tomato sandwich, not a steak.
posted by kirkaracha (118 comments total) 27 users marked this as a favorite
 
If the hotel is ultimately sold, the new owner would likely start from scratch. And for the people who popped the ketchup and bussed the ungarnished plates, that means their jobs would be done. Well done.

But still, 1/2 ounce bigger than anyone else's former job.
posted by y2karl at 11:46 AM on February 20 [3 favorites]


Given the way Trump and his cronies treat people, I'm pretty sure every restaurant meal they've eaten in the past five years was served with a generous helping of kitchen workers' flem in it.
posted by Paul Slade at 11:48 AM on February 20 [24 favorites]


To be fair, many rich people of all political persuasions like to be fawned over in ways that may seem strange to us peasants.
posted by PhineasGage at 11:48 AM on February 20 [43 favorites]


More evidence of lazy writing. No one in the room pointed out that they'd already done the "Trump guts the post office and uses it to advance his political ambitions" plotline in a previous season.
posted by Riki tiki at 11:56 AM on February 20 [8 favorites]


Don’t forget the snacks. A tray of junk food needed to be available for every Trump visit: Lay’s potato chips (specifically, sour cream and onion), Milky Way, Snickers, Nature Valley Granola Bars, Tic Tacs, gummy bears, Chips Ahoy, Oreos, Nutter Butters, Tootsie Rolls, chocolate-covered raisins, and Pop-Secret.

I'm not judgmental of junk food -- but that seems like such a strange thing to want to have while dining out instead of, say, the restaurant's appetizers and desserts.
posted by Dip Flash at 11:56 AM on February 20 [34 favorites]


Jesus, Chips Ahoy? Dude could have the best cookies on the planet, and he goes for cardboard. Bah.
posted by suelac at 11:58 AM on February 20 [40 favorites]


Alright, I am going to be a little judgmental. Chocolate covered raisins? Seriously? Those were the worst things to find in your trick or treat bag.
posted by Dip Flash at 12:02 PM on February 20 [14 favorites]


the best cookies on the planet
Yeah, those wouldn't be hermetically sealed. The shade in this article is so thick you'd need a kleig light to disperse it.
posted by St. Oops at 12:10 PM on February 20 [14 favorites]


I'm not judgmental of junk food -- but that seems like such a strange thing to want to have while dining out instead of, say, the restaurant's appetizers and desserts.
I think it may be related to Trump's germ phobia, which sounds pretty extreme. Other than his well-done steak, pretty much everything has to be delivered to him packaged and sealed and then unpackaged where he can see it. It's not surprising that he wants pre-packaged junk food.
posted by ArbitraryAndCapricious at 12:11 PM on February 20 [37 favorites]


My mom used to work in hospitality and pointed out that some of this stuff is standard-ish for VIPs. Trump's unique brand of whiteness is all his own, however.
posted by Alensin at 12:12 PM on February 20 [13 favorites]


To be fair, many rich people of all political persuasions like to be fawned over in ways that may seem strange to us peasants.

After a lifetime in customer service jobs, I can say that there are plenty of "peasants" that demand to be fawned over as well, the big difference is really that the jerks with less money and power want to force extra attention from the staff because they think that's the right money conveys. They enjoy watching you dance for them.

Those who are used to wealth and power, on the other hand, don't want to recognize the staff exists as human beings at all, just automatons there because something has to do the work, but of absolutely no interest otherwise. Drawing attention to oneself as if your might thoughts might matter is the surest path to outrage them.
posted by gusottertrout at 12:13 PM on February 20 [40 favorites]


Well-done steak?! What a fucking dipshit.
posted by Saxon Kane at 12:15 PM on February 20 [13 favorites]


Yep. I'm guessing the "chocolate covered raisins" are bags of Raisinets. I'm a little surprised that Pop-Secret is on the menu (and not for the obvious reason that no one should be eating microwave popcorn in a restaurant), since they'd have to take it away from the table to nuke it. Maybe it's "okay" as long as they bring the bag back and he can see the steam as they pull it open.

Germophobia and other obsessive/compulsive tendencies can be debilitating. If he wasn't a huge asshole about it, and wasn't rich and powerful enough to make it everyone else's problem but his own, I'd feel bad for him. But he is and he is, so I don't.
posted by Riki tiki at 12:17 PM on February 20 [24 favorites]


So many things about this article that I have thoughts on, but the continued references to Trump’s germaphobia befuddle me. Not because I doubt them (I’ve seen it documented elsewhere) but because he could have run with it about this time last year and been a hero (sort of). The COVID germs are coming! We all need masks! Getting all the Trumpists to wear masks as a sign of obeisance would have been a game-changer here. As for the temptation to spit in Trump’s food, I’m sure it was strong, but the Secret Service is pretty careful about what the president eats, so probably not an option. His friends, however...
posted by TedW at 12:18 PM on February 20 [37 favorites]


Well-done steak?!

With ketchup. It’s to do with his being a germaphobe, having terrible taste, and having never been told “no” since he was about 8 years old.
posted by floam at 12:23 PM on February 20 [17 favorites]


The COVID germs are coming!

Yeah if he gave a shit he actually could have been the president many needed when COVID hit. He’s naturally inclined towards hygiene OCD, and he has proven he can sell his supporters anything. If he had wanted to, he could have gotten his base 100% onboard with masks and draconian measures to fight an invisible germ enemy.
posted by floam at 12:27 PM on February 20 [35 favorites]


But is it really germaphobia? If I was him I'd be a-scared of poison; with a stooge forced to taste everything before I did. Even if it was from McDonalds, or a just-opened bag of (bad) store-bought cookies.
posted by Rash at 12:29 PM on February 20 [12 favorites]


TedW: "he could have run with it about this time last year and been a hero"

...except that would violate the "make it everyone else's problem but his own" thing. In addition to his germophobia, he is an extreme narcissist and cannot admit to any personal weakness.

Using his own struggles to engender sympathy and get people on board with COVID precautions would topple the absurd house of cards that is his "strongman" image. It would disillusion his cult, and their adoration is the junk food for his soul.
posted by Riki tiki at 12:31 PM on February 20 [22 favorites]


As soon as Trump was seated, the server had to “discreetly present” a mini bottle of Purell hand sanitizer. (This applied long before Covid, mind you.)
Hello again cognitive dissonance, my closest bestest friend since 2016.
posted by otherchaz at 12:33 PM on February 20 [18 favorites]


But is it really germaphobia? If I was him I'd be a-scared of poison

It’s both fear of poisoning and fear of germs / food-borne illness.

I think in Fire and Fury, it is said that is why he loves McDonalds: poisoners couldn’t know he was coming, and he believed only a corporation that large would take extreme pains to ensure food is cooked so as to minimize the bad PR from food poisoning occurring at any location.
"One bad hamburger, you can destroy McDonald's. One bad hamburger and you take Wendy's and all these other places and they're out of business," Trump said at a 2016 town hall. "I like cleanliness, and I think you're better off going there than maybe someplace that you have no idea where the food is coming from."
posted by floam at 12:37 PM on February 20 [10 favorites]


Alright, I am going to be a little judgmental. Chocolate covered raisins? Seriously?

Yeah, not like he tried to overthrow the government with a violent coup or anything, but chocolate-covered raisins are definitely Klingon-cold-revenge-level snacks.
posted by They sucked his brains out! at 1:05 PM on February 20 [4 favorites]


It’s to do with his being a germaphobe, having terrible taste, and having never been told “no” since he was about 8 years old.

Oh, I'm sure he was told "no" as a child. Like, when he asked, "Daddy, do you love me?"

I'm making a joke, but my one, tiny sliver of sympathy for the man is that he had a garbage father, and that no doubt went a long way towards making him the horrible person he is.
posted by Saxon Kane at 1:20 PM on February 20 [16 favorites]


... he could have run with it about this time last year and been a hero (sort of). The COVID germs are coming! We all need masks! Getting all the Trumpists to wear masks as a sign of obeisance would have been a game-changer here.
The trouble here is that he’s aware his germophobia is a weakness. Exposing himself as having any weakness is unacceptable under any circumstances. It’s the same reason that he has to “win” in every interaction he has, even the interactions which aren’t even contests.

He must be miserable all of the time, and baffled that surrounding himself with opulence makes him no less miserable.

It would be pitiable if his coping mechanisms weren’t so monstrous.
posted by fantabulous timewaster at 1:25 PM on February 20 [25 favorites]


I wonder if he even realizes he's a germaphobe or if he just thinks his way of eating is the natural order of things (what with self-awareness not being his strong suit).
posted by kokaku at 1:26 PM on February 20 [3 favorites]


> Lay’s potato chips (specifically, sour cream and onion)

This is one of those things that makes me feel kinda sorry for the guy, because he's missing out. I mean, I love Lay's salt and vinegar and think they can stand with any "small batch" maker's efforts, but I think their sour cream and onion leaves a lot to be desired and there are so many brands (mostly regional) that make a much better version of this chip.

My favorite used to be Zapp's, but it looks they only sell that flavor in Louisiana now, which makes me sad. But there's tons of others. I even like Utz's take on this better than Lays.

Expand your horizons, Trump and other wealthy snack loving people!
posted by lord_wolf at 1:40 PM on February 20 [14 favorites]


I just wish more people (guests, I mean, not servers, obviously) would've laughed in his face for this nonsense when he was younger. I cannot imagine eating dinner with someone, seeing that he'd reserved for himself the Biggest Shrimp or a whole extra scoop of ice cream that no one else could have, and not just laughing myself sick. Mr. Big Stuff!

(BLT = Bistro Laurent Tourondel)
posted by praemunire at 1:43 PM on February 20 [8 favorites]


"But is it really germaphobia? "

Let's not forget that his wants to appear strong at all costs and in his mind strong people don't get sick. It's like deep in his dipshit brain he actually understands that disease is a dangerous thing that can hurt literally anybody, and the only way to "appear strong" in the face of it is to avoid "germs" at all costs.

So, in my mind, its directly tied in with his attempts to appear manly and strong, since suffering from disease is something he was brought up to consider "weak."

Also RE how he has his steak done:

Honestly every time this comes up it pisses me off. It's some real elitist bullshit about what people eat. I don't have the money to have other people cook steak for me, so I have to cook it for myself. I have never eaten a steak "properly" because I am poor and can't risk food poisoning. Add to it that I am colorblind and being able to tell for sure if a piece of meat is fully cooked is a tricky thing for me and makes me even more anxious about giving myself food poisoning, because once again, I am poor, and can't afford to lose days of work to my own stupidity. Shitting on him for how he eats his steak is fucking stupid, petty, and y'all should be ashamed. Why not focus on the fact that he's a murderous fuckhead who has blood on his fucking hands, you know something that fucking matters for fucks sake. Jesus christ with this bullshit. (I do get the ketchup on steak thing is kinda weird, tho. Just... not judgment worthy.)
posted by deadaluspark at 1:45 PM on February 20 [53 favorites]


we all had to eat a pretty damn big piece of meatloaf
posted by thelonius at 1:52 PM on February 20 [2 favorites]


Yeah if he gave a shit he actually could have been the president many needed when COVID hit. He’s naturally inclined towards hygiene OCD, and he has proven he can sell his supporters anything. If he had wanted to, he could have gotten his base 100% onboard with masks and draconian measures to fight an invisible germ enemy.

He made a calculation: absent some external force, the sitting president is basically reelected on the strength of the economy. For Trump, this was especially true: as singularly unliked as he is in American politics, the economy had to be (forgive me) HUUUUUGE to offset, well, him. In, January 2020, he managed not to screw up the economy he inherited. He could sit back, let the Democrats tear each other apart in the primaries, then start holding rallies.

COVID hit. He could have lead the efforts to fight the virus. His followers would absolutely have treated this with deadly seriousness had the told them to. Stay home and watch the Trump show! Wear a mask! Order take out! You are helping Make American Great! People who didn't support him would likely follow this advice because scientists said so.

Instead, he feared the economic downturn would be worse for his political chances than the virus. He didn't just not fight the virus, he turned those measures into a loyalty test. If you wear a mask, you are anti-American--worse, you were anti-Trump. He wanted everything to be as normal as possible.

The problem is that he lost, and yet his followers still believe all that.
posted by MrGuilt at 1:56 PM on February 20 [32 favorites]


deadaluspark… have you considered a meat thermometer?
posted by floam at 2:05 PM on February 20 [27 favorites]


"But is it really germaphobia? "

Perhaps with good reason; the last time that he knew and admitted he was outstripped by anyone in any field was in 1980s Manhattan real estate by Leona Helmsley, and he had doubtless heard rumours of how her employees treated her food (CW, germs, misogyny, and ewww).
posted by ricochet biscuit at 2:09 PM on February 20 [4 favorites]


With a diet like that, exPOTUS should have had the decency to have died of malnutrition by now.
posted by monotreme at 2:15 PM on February 20 [7 favorites]


Chips Ahoy? Dude could have the best cookies on the planet, and he goes for cardboard.

He doesn't actually care about quality. He doesn't care about how good anything actually tastes either. He cares about the food not being scary, not having germs, always being the same.

He cares about what he thinks other people care about. He's never cared to find out what other people do care about, so he has ideation of a child: steak, good, big steak better. Shrimp cocktail is classy! Must have biggest shrimp. and so on.

It's stupid and funny and mostly just tragic. He extinguishes everything to feed his fear and vanity.
posted by bonehead at 2:25 PM on February 20 [29 favorites]


If he had wanted to, he could have gotten his base 100% onboard with masks and draconian measures to fight an invisible germ enemy.

Not to turn this into politics megathread, but there's also the fact that Kushner pushed the idea that covid-19 was going to be almost entirely a blue-cities/blue-state problem, thus most of the people affected wouldn't be "his people" anyway, so fuck 'em.
posted by soundguy99 at 2:27 PM on February 20 [13 favorites]


I wonder if he's worried about something like polonium poisoning
posted by clockzero at 2:40 PM on February 20 [19 favorites]


granted, cooking a steak well done wouldn't protect you from that
posted by clockzero at 2:41 PM on February 20 [7 favorites]


Pleasantly surprised to hear wait staff felt they were really well tipped! The stereotype about hardcore Republicans is that they tip with those religious tracts that look like money or write "tip: go back to school and get a real job" on the receipt. Glad to hear at least these people were well compensated for their trouble.
posted by potrzebie at 2:42 PM on February 20 [23 favorites]


And come on the "germaphobia" is bullshit and I'm sick of hearing it repeated. He isn't afraid of germs, if he were he wouldn't have got covid. People who are afraid of germs aren't constantly forcing themselves on strange women or showing up randomly to shake the hand of every single person at a wedding at Mar-a-lago. He's afraid of touching or eating anything that's been touched by a poor person or an ethnic minority. It's not the same thing!
posted by potrzebie at 2:47 PM on February 20 [78 favorites]


I'll add that I hate steak and if for some reason I'm honor-bound to eat it -- like I'm at a work function or something -- I insist on having it well done because eating a hunk of flesh that looks like it has blood coming out of it is repulsive to me and I'd rather "ruin" a good piece of meat, whatever that means, than gag on my goddamned dinner. If that makes me a philistine, that's fine, I'll cop to being a philistine, and fuck you too. Seriously, why people get so het up about how others prefer their food is a mystery to me.
posted by holborne at 2:49 PM on February 20 [33 favorites]


High-end gigs can pull massive tips. I knew a bartender in LA who worked at the Beverly Hills Hotel. He was paid no salary. Instead, he had to pay the hotel to work there. Similar to hair stylists paying for their chairs. He made a ton of money at that place. And yeah, he assured me it was packed full of assholes...
posted by jim in austin at 2:53 PM on February 20 [9 favorites]


If that makes me a philistine, that's fine, I'll cop to being a philistine, and fuck you too.

No it simply means you don’t like steak. But you probably also didn’t hawk a line of mail order meat slabs bearing your own name which you touted as the World’s Finest Steaks, either.
posted by Atom Eyes at 3:09 PM on February 20 [39 favorites]


Aww Raisinets are my favorite! I always keep the theater boxes in the house.

It’s pretty funny that the fancy place is called “BLT” which is like the poor grad student sandwich. But I also don’t really get steak in general. I don’t hate it, but it’s the least interesting meal I can think of.
posted by freecellwizard at 3:19 PM on February 20 [1 favorite]


I’m still laughing at BLT Prime. Does he also have an upscale but homey pub called P.P. Goodfellas?
posted by freecellwizard at 3:31 PM on February 20 [4 favorites]


Shitting on him for how he eats his steak is fucking stupid, petty, and y'all should be ashamed.

I try not to be judgemental about anyone's personal taste.
But I'm willing to make an exception in this case.
He takes something designed to taste a certain way, and he makes it worse;
Which reflects his world-view in a way, the closed-mindedness in particular.

(In related stupid-steak anecdotes:
Business Titan Henry Ford Sr hired a new personal cook when his cook left (to start a restaurant I guess).
The new cook asked him about the menu?
Ford: "I'm a plain ordinary guy with plain ordinary tastes, I just wanna plain ordinary hamburger for dinner tonite."...
How did he like it?
Ford: "I dunno, it didn't quite taste the way my old cook prepared it..."
So obviously his cook got on the phone right away with his predecessor;
Previous cook: "Take the most expensive steak that money can buy, and put it in a grinder.")
posted by ovvl at 3:31 PM on February 20 [15 favorites]


Lay's Sour Cream and Onion and Chips Ahoy- you're making me hungry.
I have to say I approve of most of his snack choices...

I spent many hours in the back room at The Watergate Hotel, and heard many stories of $100 tips. I also got the feeling that tips like that are not worth it. Other stories made it seem like a bad place to work. Money corrupts a lot of things.
posted by MtDewd at 3:41 PM on February 20 [4 favorites]


On tipping, it's interesting that the workers in this piece had such a different experience than the very juicy Slate story from a couple of weeks ago. Then again, a lot of these guests were there to show off/wanted to be repeat customers at Trump's lair, so maybe there was a better incentive to tip.

Re: Trump's taste, he's just not very interested in food. "Not interested in food" is not the same thing as "doesn't have an appetite" -- I've known physical fitness enthusiasts who eat (to me) the most disgusting things. They enjoy eating when they get hungry, but they don't get excited at the thought of a great meal the way I do. I think that whatever pleasure Trump derives from food is vastly outpaced by his joy in self-aggrandizement and distrust of service workers. (Or even distrust of his own restaurant's ability to source good food -- it was interesting that one of the former workers said they started getting worse stuff a few years ago.)
posted by grandiloquiet at 3:46 PM on February 20 [13 favorites]


Pleasantly surprised to hear wait staff felt they were really well tipped! The stereotype... is that they tip with those religious tracts that look like money or write "tip: go back to school and get a real job" on the receipt.

I think the underlying theme is that insecure people use interactions with the service industry (restaurants in particular) as a chance to flex their power. In that context, the lavish tipping among aspiring Trump courtiers and the counterfeit tips from the "Sunday crowd" are two sides of the same coin.

This isn't a hypothetical thing for me. I grew up with someone who would occasionally give ostentatious tips for normal service (always making sure we were aware of it, and especially if someone was around that he wanted to impress), and sometimes completely stiff people (especially women) despite exceptional service, justified by some exaggerated offense. Both make me cringe, but to your point I'm at least glad that some people made out well in the exchange.

Tipping dynamics bring out the worst in many people, and the fact that we often make them a requirement for a living wage is one of the most stereotypically American things we can do.
posted by Riki tiki at 4:06 PM on February 20 [40 favorites]


Given the way Trump and his cronies treat people, I'm pretty sure every restaurant meal they've eaten in the past five years was served with a generous helping of kitchen workers' flem in it.

Based on my experiences in food service, this kind of revenge fantasy happens a lot less than people think it does and is mostly just a fantasy even when a customer is a huge asshole.

There's too many people in the kitchen and it's just generally considered taboo and disgusting. The industry is really kind of The Jungle grade cutthroat and you'd rightfully get thrown under a bus. And in a working kitchen you really can't be sure of where a plate is going to end up. An order for one ticket might get shifted to another ticket or it might even end up being rejected and sent to the leftovers or crew meal pile.

There is a lot of dodgy stuff that happens involving recycling leftovers and dropped things being washed off and used anyway, depending on the quality of the restaurant but we don't even joke about spitting in someone's soup or food or whatever.

Kitchen workers don't even joke about doing that kind of gross shit to each other and that's saying something considering how much kitchen workers play grabass, harass and haze each other to relieve stress.

There are many other ways to get revenge on a shitty customer and one of them is just choosing the worst portions or simply not giving a shit about that ticket. That's one I have seen a few times when a customer is being a jerk and an owner or server will mention it to the kitchen and even go so far as to instruct them to serve them the leftovers or dregs of something.

Another one is charging an "asshole" tax especially when there's alcohol involved and too many drinks and trying to show off with top shelf liquor or cocktails. It's really easy in most bars to charge someone an extra few bucks per drinks and build in a defacto and mostly invisible and quasilegal gratuity or asshole tax, since most customers don't really ask how much that shot or cocktail actually cost at time of ordering and rarely disputes the bill when it comes, especially if they're the kind of jerk that forgets to close their tab and leaves their card behind and has to show up later and much more sober to sign the check to get their card back.

Another thing that definitely happens is short pours, especially if the customer is over-indulging, especially for mixed drinks where you can do things like add a few more drops of bitters to mask the lower alcohol content, or for shots you barely get a proper measure or you're openly poured a half-measure as a form of non-verbal communication that you might want to slow your roll.

In most bars in the US the liquor board or agency doesn't have like a weights and measures division that mandates a minimum pour, and if anything they mandate maximum sizes only to prevent overserving and would - in most cases - turn a blind eye to the discretion of a bartender dealing with a difficult customer.

It's also why there isn't much regulation of even shadier practices like rebottling cheaper liquor in top shelf bottles. Yeah, if you make a practice of it as a major business practice you might get a bad reputation or even a slap on the wrist but it's not like the county Attorney General is going to open a fraud case about it unless someone's trying to sell entire cases of counterfeit rebottled liquor, and in that case it's more likely to be the liquor company or distributors themselves filing a civil suit or refusing to supply a bar.

Anyway, I've seen the asshole tax happen a bunch of times when someone can't handle their liquor and they're that jerk that made a mess, puked somewhere in or out of the bathroom, started fights or drama, harassed the staff or customers or was otherwise a huge pain in the ass and their huge tab gets quietly adjusted to be as much as 50 to 100 percent more expensive than a non-jerk customer's tab.

The brilliant part of this is that it also tends to inflate tips even if they're the sort of jerk that tips less than 10%, especially if they're coming back the next day to retrieve their card and they're sober. They might see the huge bill, see that the drink count is correct and maybe even might remember they were jerks or had too much to drink the night before and maybe, just maybe might actually tip more than they usually would.

As soon as they sign that check they've authorized payment and legally agree to their debt and presented bill, and you don't even have to do anything as obvious as adding drinks to the bill that they didn't order.

The flipside of this coin is that if you're a likeable customer and regular you might actually get drinks erased or conveniently forgotten from your tab or you might get charged well prices for top shelf liquor, and it's usually with the full knowledge of the owner that it's happening.
posted by loquacious at 4:18 PM on February 20 [86 favorites]


> I try not to be judgemental about anyone's personal taste. But I'm willing to make an exception in this case. He takes something designed to taste a certain way, and he makes it worse

It's a steak. It's "designed" to be prepared in a way that is pleasing to the individual consumer. It's cooking temperature, not an indication of morality.
posted by The corpse in the library at 5:18 PM on February 20 [17 favorites]


What a bunch of boring, insecure Sadists. Sheesh.
posted by Capt. Renault at 5:18 PM on February 20 [1 favorite]


The point isn't the germophobia or unusual food preferences.

It's that he's one of the most out-of-touch humans to have ever existed. That he somehow found a small army of servants (including many not even on his own payroll) to cater to his every whim.
posted by schmod at 5:29 PM on February 20 [7 favorites]


Trump redefines the term "the banality of evil".
posted by signal at 5:31 PM on February 20 [24 favorites]


Anyone else notice the glaring security hole in Trump's "open the bottle in front of me etc." shtick that could expose hime to everything to spit and other bodily fluids to actual nasties like hepatitis? Maybe it is managed but not mentioned but it appears he at least sometimes takes ice in his drink. Ice that came out of the communal machine hopper.
posted by Mitheral at 5:40 PM on February 20 [8 favorites]


Ditto on the "nobody actually spits in the food, it's an immature revenge fantasy" thing. I'll add that deference to heirarchy is a big part of the culture, both in the kitchen and front of house.
posted by Rainbo Vagrant at 5:40 PM on February 20 [12 favorites]


And, oh, man, that sounds like a hell of a workplace. Being able to vent in the back of house about terrible customers is practically an essential service like having water, heat or power.

Some of those workers sound very hireable. Like if they can fake it there and still get the work done right they'd have to be tough as nails and would jump at the chance to work somewhere that wasn't an emotional nightmare.

Another thing to consider and remember is that Trump chose all of his own properties because it benefits his own bottom line and is more open grifting.

And of course he's so banal and simplistic he's just going to choose to eat what he wants to eat anyway despite the optics because he probably think's he's being a shrewd and clever operator.
posted by loquacious at 5:48 PM on February 20 [2 favorites]


He isn't afraid of germs

Absolutely. There's that foul bit in The Art of the Deal where he recommends going to the bathroom just before the final handshake and signing and not washing his hands, so he knows he has power over the other guy 'cos of the piss-hands shake.
posted by scruss at 6:41 PM on February 20 [7 favorites]


It's a steak. It's "designed" to be prepared in a way that is pleasing to the individual consumer. It's cooking temperature, not an indication of morality.

We could say that I'm making a moral judgement about how he eats his food reflects on his personal character. He's paranoid and his food is paranoid.
posted by ovvl at 6:44 PM on February 20 [2 favorites]


Blt and BLT Prime originally got their name because BLT stands for Bistro Laurent Tourondel. Chef Tourondel is one of the co-founders of BLT restaurant group.
posted by KillaSeal at 6:48 PM on February 20 [6 favorites]


There's that foul bit in The Art of the Deal where he recommends going to the bathroom just before the final handshake and signing and not washing his hands, so he knows he has power over the other guy 'cos of the piss-hands shake.

But to someone like Trump, germs don't come from him, germs are something that the disgusting ugly and mean and brown and poor people inflict upon him so they can steal what's rightfully his (that is, everything).
posted by Saxon Kane at 6:51 PM on February 20 [7 favorites]


He's afraid of touching or eating anything that's been touched by a poor person or an ethnic minority.

Well, I think he knows who works at McDonalds...
posted by floam at 6:52 PM on February 20 [2 favorites]


I'll add that I hate steak and if for some reason I'm honor-bound to eat it -- like I'm at a work function or something -- I insist on having it well done

But if you hated steak, and also became a steak salesman and then president of the united states, and kept ordering steak you hated because you thought that's what rich people are supposed to do, then it would be ok to make fun of you, right? I mean, how could that not be pathetic/hilarious?

It's funny because he can eat literally anything he likes, and well-done steak with ketchup is the best he could come up with.
posted by ryanrs at 6:55 PM on February 20 [19 favorites]


Also, we should probably consider that germaphobic behavior follows its own logic and not appear consistent to outside rational/scientific analysis. It's completely possible for him to be terrified of getting cooties from some gross poor foreigner while not thinking twice about sticking it unwrapped into any woman he can. And it's also perfectly possible for his racism, classism, and germaphobia to be tightly intertwined and basically inextricable from one another.
posted by Saxon Kane at 6:56 PM on February 20 [7 favorites]


And let us not lose sight of the fact that fuck you trump, you horrible piece of shit, get fucked.
posted by ryanrs at 6:58 PM on February 20 [75 favorites]


Well done with ketchup is how Fred Trump had his steaks because that's how you make cheap steak edible. Donny simply lacks the intellectual curiosity and I would guess has probably gotten angry at someone suggesting he might enjoy a steak prepared any other way.

He's just an over privileged narcissist with bad taste. It's not that deep.
posted by VTX at 8:14 PM on February 20 [10 favorites]


Wait, why did Fred Trump eat cheap steaks?
posted by ryanrs at 8:30 PM on February 20 [1 favorite]


Because he was a notoriously cheap bastard.
posted by VTX at 9:02 PM on February 20 [3 favorites]


Hot take, hopefully well-done:

Steak is a simulacrum for American identity. Trump Steaks are about selling red-blooded American identity. Chips Ahoy, Raisinets, Diet Coke. Everything on his menu is like that. Everything he sells is like that. Every grift is shellacked in that fucking banal veneer.

Certainly not food, but I doubt Trump enjoys anything in life for its own sake, except for the cruelty he can redirect from his late parents onto the rest of the world. But I do think when it comes to food, he enjoys the identity connotations that come with each act of consumption and with each sale.

Branding is a grift, hiding the real product behind a layer of bullshit. Eating branded food is just completing the circle of life, for this grifter.

Behind the branding is the most miserable man on earth, who can take only the least pleasure in the packaging his food comes in.
posted by They sucked his brains out! at 9:21 PM on February 20 [21 favorites]


My Trump-voting stepfather-in-law also orders his steaks well done, and drowns them in A-1 sauce.

Trump's steak preferences are a perfect example of what connects him to his base. He's economically upper class, but culturally lower middle class. I think it was Fran Lebowitz who said he's a poor person's idea of a rich person.
posted by Artifice_Eternity at 11:08 PM on February 20 [15 favorites]


Given the way Trump and his cronies treat people, I'm pretty sure every restaurant meal they've eaten in the past five years was served with a generous helping of kitchen workers' flem in it.

*Ahem!*
posted by Phlegmco(tm) at 11:12 PM on February 20 [16 favorites]


[A few deleted; personal anecdote striking some people as offensive, and also quiiiiite a bit off topic here.]
posted by taz (staff) at 12:11 AM on February 21 [2 favorites]


Along the lines of what some people said about Limbaugh, “live a life such that people don’t celebrate your death,” maybe Trump (ha, kidding, hell never change!) should take a similar thing to heart:

“Be the kind of person who doesn’t make waitstaff fantasize about soiling your food.”

I mean, that’s pretty much what all of this stems from. It’s not fear of germs, as has been mentioned, it’s a pretty well documented fear of consequences, of someone finally doing something to get him back for the lifetime of vile, evil shit, bullying behavior, and all the rest. He’s terrified someone will do to him what he’s been freely doing to everyone else. That’s why everything has to be hermetically sealed, why everything has to be opened in front of him (not that he would ever deign to that physical labor). One part “I can order you to do this ridiculous shit and get away with it, and three parts “oh shit, if you’re out of my sight for even a second, you’ll do something to get back at me!”

Thinking about it for a second, about all the stuff we’ve heard about him since he was an idiot punching bag on Letterman: Trump is a venal, boorish hedonist whose primary motivations are greed and status, and he imagines that everyone else is just like him, largely because he can’t imagine other ways of thinking or feeling. His whole life is “get them before they get you” and all of these quirks are the end result of the fear that a lifetime of shitty behavior might ever come back at him.

As you can see, I’ve unfortunately thought about this a good deal, and goddamn, do I resent the time and space I’ve given this absolute failure at the concept of humanity and community. Fuck. Seriously, deep howl at still having to deal with a world where he exists, consequence free, still.
posted by Ghidorah at 1:39 AM on February 21 [38 favorites]


His whole life is “get them before they get you” and all of these quirks are the end result of the fear that a lifetime of shitty behavior might ever come back at him.

I think something similar to this figures in white supremacist thinking more generally. At some level, racists are aware of all the heedless cruelty they've inflicted on African Americans down the centuries and fear any let-up in the oppression they inflict now can only produce a terrible and bloody revenge. As with Trump, it's rooted in an assumption that everyone else will behave in the same shitty way you always have.
posted by Paul Slade at 2:18 AM on February 21 [16 favorites]


There's that foul bit in The Art of the Deal where he recommends going to the bathroom just before the final handshake and signing and not washing his hands, so he knows he has power over the other guy 'cos of the piss-hands shake.

Yeah, but he has touched my ass pennies. I still win.
posted by Meatbomb at 4:08 AM on February 21 [14 favorites]


I'd like it if our reasons for hating Trump were slightly different from the reasons why New York high society never quite considered him Our Kind of People... And while my heart bleeds for all those ruined $80 steaks, the fact the he eats what he wants and doesn't give a shit what anyone thinks is possibly the only thing about him I might possibly be able to respect a tiny bit.
posted by kleinsteradikaleminderheit at 4:40 AM on February 21 [14 favorites]


The problem is that he lost, and yet his followers still believe all that.

I think some do but there has been a huge shift in the American public's Covid response since Biden took over. I think for a lot of people on the right the change in power and the Capital attack broke the fever dream of Trumpism and the need to do performative Trumpism.

Here in my neighborhood of Chicago, hardly a Trump bastion, outdoor mask wearing has exploded through the roof which seemed like it was 50% or lower. It's probably at least 80% if not more on most busy streets now (Yay!). This might be partly people deciding to hang in there until their vaccinated but it was known the vaccines were coming soon in late November and that behavior didn't start then.

I think the reason why Trump didn't fight covid-19 as president is much simpler than any complicated political calculation explanation. It's also why he didn't start a war (phew!).

It would have been hard work.
posted by srboisvert at 5:16 AM on February 21 [11 favorites]


I can't find a text that references this anywhere but I remember listening to a podcast with Mary Trump talking about how bland the food in the Trump household was. That was a generation ago but it seems Donald has carried on the tradition. That's very weird to me because one of the first things I'd do if I had unlimited money would be to make certain that I ate well. What's the point of having money if you don't enjoy it?

And... Trump's properties took a huge hit last year as a result of the various covid related measures. Combine that with the fact that the Trump administration were not competent to do anything other than bitch about how government is useless and you have a pretty good explanation of Trump's inaction.
posted by rdr at 9:49 AM on February 21 [1 favorite]


We could say that I'm making a moral judgement about how he eats his food reflects on his personal character. He's paranoid and his food is paranoid.

I’m sorry, what does this even mean? What does how he likes his meat cooked have to do with being paranoid? For that matter, what on earth is paranoid food?

I just think it’s really bizarre how many people here seem willing to make moral judgments about people based on how they prefer their food. For all we know, T actually likes the way steak tastes when it’s  well done. Who cares? Why is that even noteworthy at all?

And I doubt it actually anything to do with “But he sold steaks!” Presumably he sold them raw, not cooked. It’s that people think there’s something inherently unworthy about people who like their steak prepared in a way deemed “improper,” and those people are considered fair game for mockery. That’s all. It’s really pretty distasteful.
posted by holborne at 9:54 AM on February 21 [8 favorites]


To be fair, many rich people of all political persuasions like to be fawned over in ways that may seem strange to us peasants.

Tom Wolfe wrote about this back in 1968: "The Ultimate Power: Seeing 'em Jump"

"It's not even the exercise of power ... It's a feeling ... knowing that anywhere they go, people will move for them, give way, run errands, gather round ... and jump."

It's not wealth per se they crave. There's only so much you can buy. It's about power over people ... seeing 'em jump.
posted by JackFlash at 10:46 AM on February 21 [9 favorites]


The thing about the steak isn't elitism on our part.

Donald Trump goes to great effort and expense to project class and more importantly to have sycophants witness his elevated taste and praise it. Either he has a supreme gift for dramatic irony or he is an emperor without clothes.

Eat your steak in whatever style you choose. Nobody gives a shit. Do it from a gold plated throne with your nose up in the air like a gauche, spoiled little dauphin? Fair game.
posted by klanawa at 11:33 AM on February 21 [13 favorites]


Donald Trump goes to great effort and expense to project class

... and ends up projecting the exact opposite, of course. Don't forget how effortlessly Spy magazine got under his skin by calling him "a short-fingered vulgarian".
posted by Paul Slade at 11:55 AM on February 21 [4 favorites]


The thing about the steak isn't elitism on our part.

If that were true, people wouldn't fall all over themselves to be disgusted by the ketchup he puts on the steak.
posted by Emmy Rae at 12:45 PM on February 21 [9 favorites]


I actually personally find ketchup disgusting, period. But I accept and understand its popularity on fries, etc.

I objectively find it a weird flavor to want on an expensive steak, though.
posted by desuetude at 12:55 PM on February 21


I find BDSM weird, I still don't fucking kinkshame.

Also, take out the word "objectively" to make it a true statement. Literally your view is tied to the steak being "expensive" and ketchup being "cheap" and all the connotations that go along with that.
posted by deadaluspark at 12:59 PM on February 21 [10 favorites]


It’s that people think there’s something inherently unworthy about people who like their steak prepared in a way deemed “improper,” and those people are considered fair game for mockery.

I mean, I want to empathize with this view, that we should all enjoy our food the way we enjoy it. But I also think there's something to be said here about Trump deliberately choosing a way of enjoying food that totally devalues any sort of culinary art or expertise by the chef.

Undercutting craftsmanship isn't that far removed from undermining scientific authority.
posted by daisystomper at 1:06 PM on February 21 [3 favorites]


@daisystomper

I'd say that's a fair interpretation, but it just rubs me wrong because I don't think Trump has ever tried to exude "class," he has tried to exude "power." Power always undermines any other authority that questions Power as the ultimate authority. Motherfucker wanted to sport a Superman shirt after his bout with COVID. That's not class, that's power, and he was like that way before he was President. If Trump hotels were meant to be classy and not symbols of raw economic power they wouldn't be such tacky fucking monstrosities. Like someone said upthread, it's about making people say "how high" when you say "jump."

Also, while it's fair to support culinary expertise, like, aren't we all supposed to be eating way less meat (and way less red meat in particular) if we give a damn about the environment? Isn't it backwards to be promoting steak as something special when it's a massive harm to the planet? I get it, it tastes pretty good, but I only buy it once a year or less, and I just don't understand putting beef on some sort of freaking pedestal.

Like, why the fuck is this the hill to die on?

Like I said before, there's plenty plenty plenty to validly criticize Trump for, and none of it falls under the purview of New York Elitist Bullshit.
posted by deadaluspark at 1:15 PM on February 21 [5 favorites]


I objectively find it a weird flavor to want on an expensive steak, though.

I mean, I'm pretty sure you realize that's not what "objective" means.

If anybody wanted to know about various Mefites' stances on sins as grievous as well-done steak or eating something you don't like, there are soooo many other existing threads where these hot takes have been shared. Donald fucking trump is an ignorant, racist, misogynistic, xenophobic, transphobic, harmful shit smear who deserves our contempt and ridicule for reasons I can't even begin to count, but the fact that he eats foods in a way that some other people find icky really isn't one.

The amount of aspirational classism on display every time well-done steak comes up is really depressing and unnecessary, and only really serves to needlessly shit on other people - some who are even in this very thread. Personally I prefer steak on the bloody/near-raw side and don't even like touching ketchup let alone eating it, but the knee-jerk snobbery that shows up any time certain food preferences get brought up here is far grosser to me than any well-done piece of meat could be.
posted by DingoMutt at 1:17 PM on February 21 [12 favorites]


In addition to our other critiques, we're just plain sneering at his taste. Let's just admit it. And as much as we all loathe him, it's the same kind of shitty behavior we disdained when it came from him or Rush Limbaugh or Ben Shapiro or any of the other snotty commentators on the Right.
posted by PhineasGage at 1:19 PM on February 21 [6 favorites]


And as much as we all loathe him, it's the same kind of shitty behavior we disdained when it came from him or Rush Limbaugh or Ben Shapiro or any of the other snotty commentators on the Right.

Spot the fuck on. By participating in the idea that steak is special and fancy and only for important special people and has to be cooked and presented just right, you're legitimatizing Trump's (and all classists) sick worldview.
posted by deadaluspark at 1:21 PM on February 21 [8 favorites]


but it just rubs me wrong because I don't think Trump has ever tried to exude "class," he has tried to exude "power." Power always undermines any other authority that questions Power as the ultimate authority.
I think this is a good point because I think it hits the very core of Trump's grievances. I think once, a long time ago, he did want class. Deep inside he still does. His bizarre adoration of Ivanka is about that: until he ran for president she was perceived as classy.
But at some point 30-40 years ago he realized that class was unachievable for him, and that power is a great way to get back at class. Literally: get all those "classy" people to eat meatloaf. The real classy people would not eat his meatloaf, and class is not about trust fund money. Michelle Obama is not New England nobility, but she has class. And lots of classy people enjoy junk food, like most other people, they just don't make a statement out of it.
Trump is a genius at making political and identity statements out of banalities. Who could ever care about his bad eating habits? Well now lots of people care, on both sides, because Trump has made it an issue.
posted by mumimor at 2:01 PM on February 21 [7 favorites]


[Few comment removed - can we please try (try!) to talk about Trump's terrible choices without making broad generalization that can insult other MeFites?]
posted by jessamyn (staff) at 2:04 PM on February 21 [1 favorite]


I can't help thinking of my father-in-law as I read this. He lived a long eventful life, starting out as a waiter (he once waited on Babe Ruth), working his way up until he was the manager of a swanky hotel. He learned a lot about wine; he met nightclub singers and stand-up comedians; his wife sported a blond bouffant and a slinky cocktail dress when she joined him for dinner there. I don't remember him complaining about boors who couldn't appreciate a good steak properly prepared; that was just part of the job. And the job made you part of this evanescent dream world where occasionally, everything was magic.

When my father-in-law was an old man, he used to love to go to a local Italian restaurant and be fawned on by the staff. It wasn't fake- they genuinely liked him. And he liked them because it was such a quality restaurant. We ate there after the memorial service and it's something I will never forget, because the kindness was real. That's something Trump will never know.
posted by acrasis at 2:11 PM on February 21 [21 favorites]


> They enjoy watching you dance for them.

When I met my wife she was working in a coffee shop, and not a particularly fancy one, and I remember her telling me “Some of the customers aren’t paying for the coffee, they’re paying to be your boss for a little while.”
posted by The Card Cheat at 2:18 PM on February 21 [16 favorites]


Look, this is an entire post that involves Trump's dining habits in his own hotel, which is already quite trivial. So, I think it's okay to talk about the steak thing here, if not anywhere else.

I mean, there are perfectly good situations for eating meat, especially beef, well done. So, if Trump likes his beef well done and with some char, why doesn't he just order like a skirt steak? Or have smoked brisket? Why make steak do something that something else does much better and he might like more?

And yeah, I know the thing is, maybe he just likes it like that and that's perfectly okay, but there are certain things in the article that point to the fact that his enjoyment of food and dining at a restaurant is not limited to only or possibly primarily by gustatory enjoyment.

Like, him wanting to eat the BIGGEST steak says not only about him wanting to be seen as rich, but also about Trump's perception of masculinity. Because tough men should get the biggest pieces of meat that are bigger than everyone else's at the table. I have to wonder, does he finish the bigger piece of steak? Take the leftovers home? Or does he just leave it uneaten as another dominance move?

And if it's your own hotel, doesn't it ever enter his mind that giving the bigger steak to his guest could be a small sign of good hospitality?
posted by FJT at 2:27 PM on February 21 [5 favorites]


The only thing about Trump’s eating habits that really amazes me is that they didn’t result in a statistically-premature death by natural causes.
posted by The Card Cheat at 2:32 PM on February 21 [7 favorites]


Trump is a genius at making political and identity statements out of banalities. Who could ever care about his bad eating habits? Well now lots of people care, on both sides, because Trump has made it an issue.

He humped an American flag on a stage, in front of a roomful of red-blooded, white, American conservatives. Everything he does is performative and ritualistic, including his diet of American junk food, or the rote performance of dominance when the alpha male enters the restaurant with his name on it. He is a walking, talking brand. The banality is the point.
posted by They sucked his brains out! at 2:41 PM on February 21 [9 favorites]


Like, why the fuck is this the hill to die on?

The steak thing isn't the hill to die on, for me. It's just another thing in a long string of things. Looking at the solar eclipse without sunglasses. Touching scientific equipment labelled "do not touch." Refusing to wear a mask. Remodeling the Rose Garden to make it uglier.

Any authority held by others because they were experts or artists was intolerable to Trump, because that's power he couldn't have. As others said:

power is a great way to get back at class
and
The banality is the point

Yes exactly. I'm inclined to believe Trump's food choices were never an honest preference in taste, but a display of brute capitalist power over skill and knowledge in a complex field (cooking), even over the enjoyment of the good for its own sake.

Likewise feeding Clemson football players fast food at the White House was a deliberate "fuck your talent, my money alone determines what's good, what you deserve."
posted by daisystomper at 3:34 PM on February 21 [8 favorites]


Personally I prefer steak on the bloody/near-raw side

Food-nerd: It's not blood, it's water and myoglobin, the protein that transports Oxygen to the muscle cells. As you cook a steak, the water is forced out making the steak less tender, and the myoglobin darkens.

I'll show myself out.
posted by mikelieman at 3:38 PM on February 21 [7 favorites]


Haha, yes, I am aware of that but somehow "I prefer steak on the myogloby side" sounded a little odd.
posted by DingoMutt at 3:53 PM on February 21 [9 favorites]


> somehow "I prefer steak on the myogloby side" sounded a little odd

Member since 2009 and you still think we wouldn't appreciate "I prefer steak on the myogloby side"?
posted by The corpse in the library at 3:56 PM on February 21 [18 favorites]


If Trump hotels were meant to be classy and not symbols of raw economic power they wouldn't be such tacky fucking monstrosities.

How is this assessment any different from other people’s critiques of his steak-eating preference that you elsewhere decried as “classist?” They think he has shitty taste in food; you think he has shitty taste in decor. In the end, it’s all down to aesthetics and it seems we’re all pretty much in agreement: the man has horrible taste.
posted by Atom Eyes at 4:07 PM on February 21 [3 favorites]


The difference is I used my example in an entire paragraph talking about Trump vis a vis whether he actually cares about "class" versus "power," and was trying to make a point about how he isn't actually concerned with class, and so the people pooh poohing how its funny because "he makes the classy classless" are in turn missing the point (and apparently are determined to continue to do so). I don't waltz into threads about Trump architecture to shit on him for architecture I don't love, because I honestly don't give that much of a shit about his buildings. Honestly, I'm much more concerned with his rampant racism coupled with his property ownership and how that affects minority property ownership in the cities he does business in. Context matters. Sorry for using a descriptor that you think is a prescriptive judgment about the building.

The bottom line is bad taste really isn't something to judge people over. I'm not making a fucking petition to get his buildings taken down because they're "tacky monstrosities" because I just don't care that god damned much, unlike people in this thread who are super invested in being better than him about how they eat a steak apparently.
posted by deadaluspark at 4:28 PM on February 21


Haha, yes, I am aware of that but somehow "I prefer steak on the myogloby side" sounded a little odd.

"Scared and running."
posted by mikelieman at 4:59 PM on February 21


There's a distinction being made in some comments between calling architecture choices tacky (ok) vs calling food choices tacky (not-ok) that I am not quite following. Both carry class/taste judgments, and both get at the same thing about Trump presenting his choices as classy, despite not meeting the traditional criteria for being considered classy. His supporters love it; not all of the restaurant professionals interviewed in the article agree.

I personally like both rare and well-done meats, and have been known to appreciate some ketchup. (And have been served steak frites with (usually house-made) ketchup at some pretty nice places.) No judgment from me on that front, for Trump or anyone else. Most of his other dinner choices, though, I'm willing to frown on.
posted by Dip Flash at 5:24 PM on February 21


I’m not making a fucking petition to get his buildings taken down because they're "tacky monstrosities" because I just don't care that god damned much, unlike people in this thread who are super invested in being better than him about how they eat a steak apparently.

Please. You’re the one who came into this thread with guns blazing about how much it “pisses you off” when people make fun of trump’s steak preferences. (In a thread about an article that largely deals with his odd food habits.) But everyone else is somehow “super-invested” because...I guess...you disagree with the thrust of their (mostly jokey) comments?
posted by Atom Eyes at 5:29 PM on February 21 [7 favorites]


Honestly the reason I think the steak thing is deserving of derision only because of why he sticks with it.

Like, if he was asked about it and said something like, "You know, I've had some really fancy steaks and some cheap steaks. I've tried both rare, medium, fancy sauces, you name it. But I just like my steak well done and with ketchup better, I don't know why."

Maybe even, "That's how my dad had his steaks because he was so cheap and only bought cheap steaks so I guess it reminds me of my childhood and my father."

That's pretty relatable and would make him more human right? Can you imagine Trump saying anything like that? Of course not. I doubt his own ego would even allow him to admit to himself that he might like anything else better. That's admitting that you were wrong about something, even something as trivial as you own preferences.

I mean, sometimes I like tacky stuff and trashy food. Sometimes I like some real gourmet stuff and fine dining. People are a land of contrasts and it usually makes them more human. With Trump it's just more evidence that he's a one dimensional ignorant asshole.
posted by VTX at 6:56 PM on February 21 [7 favorites]


If I had a million dollars,
We wouldn’t have to eat Kraft dinner
But we would
— Barenaked Ladies
posted by cheshyre at 7:28 PM on February 21 [6 favorites]


They'd just eat more of it
With expensive ketchup--dijon ketchup!
posted by praemunire at 9:32 PM on February 21 [3 favorites]


But.... I like ketchup.....
posted by Pendragon at 1:44 AM on February 22 [1 favorite]


Oh please.
posted by holborne at 8:09 AM on February 22 [2 favorites]


What, I thought that was slightly funny, and it involves two kinds of snobbery I'm definitely guilty of myself...
posted by kleinsteradikaleminderheit at 8:26 AM on February 22


two kinds of snobbery

I only use Modern Library editions to heat my house.
posted by Snowishberlin at 8:40 AM on February 22 [2 favorites]


The bottom line is bad taste really isn't something to judge people over.

But when that bad taste is translated into huge buildings, it's definitely fair game. Eating is private, architecture is often public.
posted by LindsayIrene at 9:00 AM on February 22 [6 favorites]


The bottom line is bad taste really isn't something to judge people over.

Wait, no, I’m confused, what else is there to judge people about if not bad taste?! ;-)

But seriously, especially if "people" = rich white American autocrat par excellence. No one’s making fun of an ordinary poor guy here!

Because of who he is, and because he owns the effing place, he could have had the best tartare of the most premium cuts of the most premium beef in the world and instead... he orders what any chef considers an abomination, and with ketchup to boot, and all to be served in a certain way as to create extra fuss for people serving him... it’s just... Sooo Trumpian!

I genuinely don’t get the people getting upset about the mocking. The target of mockery here is not "everyone who likes their steak well-done" but Trump, in his own Trump hotel, having as his regular meal a well-done steak, with ketchup, that has to be served in a certain way that requires a guideline for servers... Big difference...

(Saying this as someone who doesn’t even like steak but likes her pasta carbonara with a splash of cream, which is an even worse crime where I come from, I can’t deny that. No food snob here but really, Trump, of all people... *smh*)
posted by bitteschoen at 9:56 AM on February 22 [4 favorites]


[A couple comments removed. Can we not turn the thread into a discussion about eating well-done steak?]
posted by loup (staff) at 10:18 AM on February 22 [6 favorites]


I generally am quite averse to food prescriptivism (I'll argue for days about everyone's right to prefer sweet cornbread, chili with beans, or ketchup on hot dogs), so Trump's culinary choices, as much as they might make me cringe if I had to eat them, are none of my business.

What struck me about this article was just how childish his whole mindset is.
There is the the old trope that "Trump is a dumb person's idea of a smart person, a poor person's idea of a rich person, and a coward's idea of a brave person."
This article reveals a corollary "Trump is an child's idea of being an adult."
posted by Seamus at 12:13 PM on February 22 [22 favorites]


Lord. Yes, I was perhaps being a touch facetious in my use of "objectively." My point was that it is possible to be befuddled by this ketchup on well done steak fetish outside of being a gatekeeping elitist snob. Ketchup is a quite sweet, thick, slightly acidic sauce, which outside of my personal feelings about it as a popular condiment, does not strike me as a particularly good complement to the flavor and texture of a better-quality steak served in the American fashion. Poorer cuts of steak, actually, this makes some sense.

(Please note that my use of "quality" of "steak" refers to the US cultural standard of grilling or perhaps broiling certain cuts of beef. I am not being smarmy in making this clarification. I personally prefer "poorer" stewing cuts of beef.)
posted by desuetude at 10:25 PM on February 22


Can we not turn the thread into a discussion about eating well-done steak?

Now that was a request which was left on the grill for far too long before being served.
posted by epo at 3:44 AM on February 23 [4 favorites]


Yes, I was perhaps being a touch facetious in my use of "objectively."

It's trendy. It's like saying "hella". It's hella trendy! It's hella objectively annoying! Don't blame yourself. Or do. Whatever.
posted by thelonius at 4:49 AM on February 23


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