Diners at one of The Heights's most popular neighborhood restaurants got a little celebrity company Sunday morning when Vice President Joe Biden and his wife Jill Biden stopped by Down House for brunch. The Bidens were in Houston to take in the Final Four — he's a Syracuse Law School grad; she earned a master's degree at Villanova.
According to executive chef E.J. Miller, Secret Service agents began examining the restaurant around 8:30 am. By 10 am, someone from Biden's office called and told assistant general Matt Sorrels that the vice president was coming.
"He said, 'the Vice President of what?' She said, 'of the United States,'" Down House general manager Kayla Webber tells CultureMap. "Around 11:30, he showed up. We probably had 15 to 20 Secret Service members all over the restaurant."
Despite being full of customers, the restaurant reserved a few options for the couple and two young companions. Taking advantage of Sunday's pleasant weather, the foursome chose to sit on Down House's patio. The Vice President ate a crispy waffle, and his wife went with the restaurant's signature shrimp and grits.
"He mentioned that he loved the shrimp and grits," Webber says. "As soon as he was finished eating, he waited for us to gather (then) he shook our hands and took a photo." Webber adds that Dr. Biden thanked the staff for accommodating them.
"It was a pretty cool moment," Webber concludes. "We told him it was our pleasure."