For many Americans and, indeed, for many people around the world Joe Biden’s electoral victory is cause for celebration. Just don’t count on him imbibing with a glass of Champagne—he is a known teetotaler and much prefers his bubbly in the form of a frosty glass of soda. As a politician – Biden was a senator for 36 years and Barack Obama’s Vice-President for 8 – he’s built his brand on being a relatable everyman, and his food choices certainly align with his public persona. Proud Delawareans (this author included) are ecstatic that finally – finally – our diminutive state will finally receive some recognition for our oft-overlooked dining landscape.
Delaware’s favourite son may be headed to the White House, but his tried-and-true slate of local haunts stand ready for presidential visits should he miss his beloved First State food.
510 N. Union Street, Wilmington, Delaware
Local favourite Capriotti’s may be one of dozens of Delaware sandwich shops, but it’s true claim to fame is being known as the originator of The Bobbie (also known as Thanksgiving on a roll) – a Biden favourite. Shredded roasted turkey, bread stuffing, and cranberry sauce are tucked into a mayonnaise-smeared long roll, conjuring up memories of the American holiday. Joe has been a fan of the trademarked sandwich and patron of the flagship location for more than 40 years. As he said in 2013 when being interviewed by a reporter, “The best sandwich in America is out of Wilmington, Delaware.” Talk about a ringing endorsement.
2600 Concord Pike, Wilmington, Delaware
Delawareans like to say that everyone knows Joe, but everyone really knows Charcoal Pitor ‘The Pit’ as it’s known by locals. The 64-year-old malt shop continues to be a hotspot for high-school students looking to grab a burger and milkshake after a weekend sporting event. Call Joe Biden young at heart, because the septuagenarian loves the comfort food menu consisting of quarter-pound burgers, chilli dogs, club sandwiches, and fries. Occasionally, he deviates from his usual order with a hefty crab-cake platter. The owners of the hallowed restaurant note that Joe has been a customer for decades. In his teenage sporting years, he famously walked out of the then-segregated restaurant in protest when his African-American teammate was refused service. Perhaps Charcoal Pit can be credited as the birthplace of the future president’s political ambitions.
Claymont Steak Shop
3526 Philadelphia Pike, Claymont, Delaware
Certainly, the city of Philadelphia is world-renowned for the cheesesteak, but Delaware also has a pretty good steak game, and Biden often honours his Claymont roots (he attended secondary school at lauded private school Archmere Academy) by visiting the shop where he is known to order a cheesesteak with fried onions, ketchup, and of course melted American cheese. How often does ‘number 46’ visit? Let’s just say several photos of Biden grace the walls, including a signed note from the man himself.
1600 Delaware Avenue, Wilmington, Delaware
How does one celebrate a presidential run announcement? To let Biden tell it, the answer is by ordering a few slices of Brooklyn-style pizza (long, wide thin-crust slices) from the Trolley Square corner pizzeria that offers an impressive rotating roster of pies as well as calzones, stromboli, and Italian standards like lasagna, eggplant parmigiana, and baked ziti (another Biden indulgence).
535 S. College Avenue, Newark, Delaware
Imagine attending university to get a degree in… ice cream. At University of Delaware, Biden’s alma mater, one certainly could. The college campus has a full-production onsite creamery that recently churned out a new flavour to honour its most famous alumnus, who happens to be an ice cream obsessive. The flavour pays homage to Biden by recreating his favourite flavour profile—vanilla chocolate chip. What’s the flavour called?Red, White, and Biden. Naturally.