We all owe Donald Trump an apology. For more than a year, we’ve been taking potshots at the commander-in-chief for not living up to our food standards and it needs to stop now. Yes, we’ve all had a laugh at the fact that our president likes his steak burnt to a crisp and slathered in ketchup, and it’s been fun, but we’ve never thought deeper than that.
“What reason could a man whose exquisite tastes include an ‘all gold errything‘ apartment have for eating so poorly?” is a question we never asked. And we should have, because outside of just being a “kooky guy” Trump may have had some very good and valid reasons for enjoying his steak smoldering and dry as a charcoal briquette. And that reason is that, as of early 2017, Mar-A-Lago (a nice place to relax and get personal access to the president and also maybe military secrets) was running a kitchen so unsafe that the only way to make the food edible was to burn it in the manner of a heretic who led the French army to victory in the 15th century.
We get it now. 10-4.
According to The Miami Herald, health inspectors that visited the high-end club in January didn’t shut down Mar-A-Lago’s kitchen for “not meeting minimum standards,” but they did find some evidence that suggested that while you probably won’t die from a dinner cooked in the club’s food preparation area, you’d probably still be pretty angry if you were paying hundreds of thousands of dollars in the hopes of seeing President Trump playing another round of golf (which he loves dearly but also promised that he’d never play were he elected president).
A sampling of the 13 violations health inspectors found:
▪ Fish designed to be served raw or undercooked, the inspection report reads, had not undergone proper parasite destruction. Kitchen staffers were ordered to cook the fish immediately or throw it out.
▪ In two of the club’s coolers, inspectors found that raw meats that should be stored at 41 degrees were much too warm and potentially dangerous: chicken was 49 degrees, duck clocked in a 50 degrees and raw beef was 50 degrees. The winner? Ham at 57 degrees.
▪ The club was cited for not maintaining the coolers in proper working order and was ordered to have them emptied immediately and repaired.
There were less serious violations, too, like the fact that the water used by employees was too cold to kill bacteria and coolers bearing rusted shelves, but let’s focus on the meat for a second: Is it possible that Trump’s love for painfully singed steak is a chicken-or-the-egg situation? Could he have, like most normal people who enjoy steak, preferred his steak medium-rare before he learned that the steak at his own establishment might make him ill? Is it in the realm of possibility that based on his history of not apologizing for things that are wrong that Trump just decided he’d change his habits and pretend like they were normal and that everyone else was wrong?
We may never know. But if this is true, the ketchup thing makes sense, too. How else are you going to combat the taste of charred sinew than by smearing it with Heinz? Confidential to dignitaries and other VIPs who may be visiting the club: Bring a sack lunch. And if you can’t bring a sack lunch, then avoid the steak, the ham, and especially any raw preparations of the fish at all costs.