At the bustling Pi pizza restaurant in St Louis, the staff has come up with a new mantra: "It's just pizza!"
Just pizza, and yet, customers are happy to wait more than two hours at peak time for a table - ever since news broke out that Barack Obama loved it so much during a campaign stop that the owners were invited to recreate it in the White House ovens.
"We tell them it'll be two to four hours, and they say, OK!" says owner Chris Sommers, who spent his own money on travel to prepare the presidential meal in April.
Pizza from St Louis, pancakes from Pittsburgh. A juicy hamburger or a chili half-smoke sausage in Washington, soul food in Chicago. The new American president eats something and others want to eat it, too. Has there ever been such attention to the food the president eats?
"Well, White House cookbooks have always been popular - but no, there's never been this flood of interest before," says Eddie Gehman Kohan, editor of the blog Obama Foodorama. She sees a fusion of two potent forces: An escalating interest in food and food policy, and enormous curiosity in anything Obama.
And all this interest may have even more to do with first lady Michelle Obama than Barack. Some polls have shown the first lady is even more popular than her husband, and for all the focus on her fashions and her biceps, she's made food a prime area of interest - especially with her new White House kitchen garden.
Indeed, foodies have no doubt that it was Michelle who chose Blue Hill, a pricey but understated New York restaurant, for the couple's much-discussed "Date Night" at the end of May.
"Everyone gave them space and was too cool to bother them," says Marion Nestle, a professor of nutrition and food studies at New York University who ate at a nearby table.
"When they got up, the whole place broke out into spontaneous applause," says Eva Fleischer, who was dining with her husband and friends. "Barack said, 'Hi guys,' and Michelle even touched my friend on her shoulder!"
"No comment," says Blue Hill chef Dan Barber, who won't say another word about the evening, though he's said to have personally cooked an off-the-menu feast for the Obamas.