White House Photo/Pete Souza
Steinke, who usually takes off on Mondays after working weekends, got the call from his office at about 3:50 p.m. that the President would be making the stop before his fund-raising appearance on behalf of Senate candidate Joe Sestak. Steinke quickly donned his suit and rushed in from his West Philly abode, just in time for the photo at right (courtesy of Bassetts Ice Cream) with Obama and, at right, Steve Safron of Hershel's East Side Deli.
In his 4:30-4:45 p.m. visit, the President grabbed an ice cream cone at Bassetts (mint chocolate chip), a cheese steak at Carmen's and four apples from the Fair Food Farmstand, all along the market's Avenue A, the aisle closest to 12th Street. The Secret Service narrowed the President's visit to that small area of the market to provide better security.
Although market personnel weren't alerted to the visit until about 45 minutes beforehand, Secret Service and White House staff had been casing the RTM the previous week, so the stop was no spur-of-the-moment cheese steak fix.