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President Obama ate $6 noodles in Hanoi with Anthony Bourdain

Libby Nelson is Vox's policy editor, leading coverage of how government action and inaction shape American life. Libby has more than a decade of policy journalism experience, including at Inside Higher Ed and Politico. She joined Vox in 2014.

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's chopstick skills are on point . #buncha #hanoi

A photo posted by anthonybourdain (@anthonybourdain) on

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:

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.

Watch: Obama is one of our most consequential presidents