First lady sneaks off to fun restaurants

April 23, 2009 4:59:20 PM PDT
First lady Michelle Obama pulled back the curtains a little bit on life in the White House, revealing that she and her staff like to sneak out to eat at fun places. Three months into her new role, she said Thursday she has the best job in the White House, doesn't miss cooking and that new dog Bo is "kind of crazy."

"Every now and then I have this thing that I like to do with some of my staff members, and we sneak out, without telling anybody, and we go and test out all the fun places to eat in D.C.," Mrs. Obama told children visiting the White House.

"I went to Five Guys and nobody knew it," she said, naming a popular chain of hamburger restaurants. "It was good."

Mrs. Obama didn't mean that she sneaks out of the White House without the Secret Service agents who protect her, but that she sometimes goes out without reporters following her, an aide said.

Mrs. Obama answered questions from children attending a program marking Take Your Child to Work Day.

She said would pick being first lady if she had to choose from any job in the White House.

"I think I have the best job in the White House. I don't have to deal with the hard problems every day," Mrs. Obama said. "I have some problems that I have to deal with, but I get to do the fun stuff."

"Because I don't get paid, I get to do whatever I want to do," she said.

She likes eating food prepared by the kitchen staff. "I don't miss cooking. I'm just fine with other people cooking," she said in a tone that made the children laugh. "Their food is really good."

Her least favorite thing to do at the White House? Running on the treadmill.

"Everything that I do here is really pretty worthwhile, even if it's hard," said Mrs. Obama, who gets up early to work out in an upstairs gym. "Maybe it's running on the treadmill ... sometimes I don't like to do that."

The students asked about Bo, the 6-month-old Portuguese water dog that joined the president's family last week; he was a gift for daughters Malia and Sasha. The first lady said she is spending a lot of time walking and training him.

A member of an energetic breed, Bo plays late into the night, as he did on Wednesday.

"It was, like, 10 o'clock. Everybody was asleep and we hear all this barking and jumping around," she said. "The president and I came out and we thought somebody was out there. And it was just Bo. He was playing with his ball. And it was like there was another person in the house."

"He's kind of crazy, but he's still a puppy. So he likes to play a lot," Mrs. Obama said.

She also divulged that "he loves to chew on people's feet."

More than 100 children and grandchildren of executive branch employees were invited to see where their parents work. Vice President Joe Biden's granddaughter, Maisy, 8, was among them.

Mrs. Obama quipped later Thursday about the kids being a tough audience.

"They asked me a ton of questions. They were hard," she said. "I think that was my first official press conference."


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