President Obama made news during his trip to Vietnam by ending a ban on selling military equipment to the country. But first he stopped for a lunch of cheap noodles in Hanoi with Anthony Bourdain:
The president and the host of the CNN travel and food show Parts Unknown perched on bright blue plastic stools at Hanoi's Bún chả Hương Liên for noodles. The total cost of the meal was $6. Bourdain said on Twitter that he picked up the check:
Total cost of bun Cha dinner with the President: $6.00 . I picked up the check . #Hanoi— Anthony Bourdain (@Bourdain) May 23, 2016
The episode of Bourdain's show featuring the dinner will air in September, according to CNN. Obama has made a habit of unconventional media appearances — he's been a guest on several podcasts, been interviewed by YouTube stars, and appeared in Jerry Seinfeld's Comedians in Cars Getting Coffee.
Eating dinner with Bourdain in Hanoi presumably let Obama talk some about his administration's pivot to Asia. But sitting down to cheap noodles in Hanoi also underscores the image of the president as a cool, cosmopolitan guy at a time when having an adventurous palate marks you as more sophisticated than preferring fine dining.