President Obama, Hillary Clinton pay a visit to Charlotte BBQ spot

President Obama stops off at local BBQ restaurant

CHARLOTTE, NC (WBTV) - President Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton's campaign trip to Charlotte Tuesday wasn't complete without a stop for BBQ.

Obama and Clinton were at the Charlotte Convention Center Tuesday for a presidential campaign rally. At the event, Obama praised the food found in North Carolina and hinted that he would be making a stop at a local restaurant.

"You've got great food. North Carolina's got some food," said the president. "In fact, I will find some place to stop and get some food before I head back to D.C."

Sure enough, the presidential motorcade made its way to the Midwood Smokehouse on Central Avenue in Charlotte immediately following the rally.

Obama and Clinton took photos inside the restaurant and ordered meals to-go. The visit was quick. Employees at the smokehouse said that secret service agents came to the restaurant 45 minutes prior to the president's arrival.

"They gave us the word that something would be going on," said Kristin Bobenage, the general manager of the Midwood Smokehouse.

She said secret service agents had eaten at the restaurant two times prior to Tuesday's visit, but the employees were not aware of it. Bobenage said that Tuesday's secret service visit may have initially worried some customers, but those feelings didn't last long.

"I think everyone was a little bit concerned when they started to all be frisked by the secret service. Once they realized what it was for, I think everybody was okay," said Bobenage.

Several people were eating in the restaurant when Obama and Clinton arrived. Smokehouse chefs admit that it was a little more intimidating to prepare food for the president and his entourage.

"It was an honor. Just to know that the president of the United States is in the restaurant that you work at. It's a proud feeling," explained Midwood Smokehouse chef Lee Wilson.

The visit also excited many customers at the restaurant. Bobenage said that Obama and Clinton were greeted with applause when they entered the smokehouse.

"I think it's cool that he went to a little bit of a smaller place to get the city's best BBQ," said customer Brendan Burke.

Bobenage said the restaurant has served other celebrities before, but never any as high profile as the president and Hillary Clinton.

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