Washingtonian magazine published an extensive feature today that detailed how former staffers at the restaurant inside Trump International Hotel jumped through all sorts of hoops to please right-wing VIPs while the owner of the hotel was in the White House.
The story is chock full of choice bits — former Trump lawyer Michael Cohen tried and failed to land a table without a reservation — but the most absurd may be the lengthy procedure the BLT Prime steakhouse put into place to serve Donald Trump a Diet Coke. Trump doesn’t drink alcohol, but he apparently is so persnickety about drinking soda out of bottle that BLT had a seven-step process for serving Diet Coke.
Washingtonian obtained a “Standard Operating Procedure” booklet that outlined the following process:
- The waiter “discreetly” presents a miniature bottle of hand sanitizer
- The waiter greets the president and asks if he wants his Diet Coke with our without ice
- The waiter presents a polished tray with chilled bottles and glasses pre-prepared with or without ice
- The waiter opens the bottle in front of Trump, not out of his sight
- The waiter holds the bottle opener “by the lower third” and the Diet Coke bottle in the same position while popping it open
- The waiter places the drink on Trump’s right-hand side
- The waiter keeps ‘em coming
The story also teaches us that Trump was unhappy whenever he didn’t have the biggest steak at the table, so former executive chef Bill Williamson started reserving a 40-ounce tomahawk ribeye for the size-obsessed commander-in-chief. Despite always ordering shrimp cocktail, a well-done steak with ketchup, fries, a double order of popovers, and sometimes apple pie or chocolate cake for dessert, Trump also required a tray of junk food and candy that included Sour Cream & Onion Lays (one of the better decisions Trump made in office, tbh).
Read the full story from Washingtonian here. For more on the previous administration’s dining missteps, check out this Slate story written by a former Fiola Mare server.