After nearly a year in Washington, President Trump has yet to enjoy a non-working meal at a restaurant that doesn't pay him rent. He hasn't seen a performance at the Kennedy Center performance, a sporting event, or most of the sights. It's one of the peculiarities of the Trump presidency and one way he's changing the office, as well as its relationship with the District of Columbia, reports the AP. "I would say that Trump has been the least present of any of the most recent presidents," says DC City Council Chair Phil Mendelson, a Democrat. It's not just restaurants. Trump has been less engaged on the local charity circuit than other recent presidents, with no stops at local food banks or school reading drives. First lady Melania Trump has ventured out, but the homebody president rarely does—and when he does it's almost always to properties that bear his name.
"I love the food in the White House. The White House is the greatest restaurant," he said last month. "They do such a beautiful job." Trump's homebody ways mark a dramatic shift from his predecessor, President Obama, who with Michelle Obama relished DC's hottest restaurants, from high-end to low brow, providing coveted buzz to eateries. Trump recently suggested he might venture out of his comfort zone. "In Washington you do have some great restaurants, and I'm going to start going to 'em," he said last month. Washingtonian mag's food editor says Trump may face resistance in an overwhelmingly Democratic city, where he won just 4% of the vote. "It's good to show respect to your community" by giving them business, she said, "but I'm just not sure to what extent he's welcome."