Miami-Dade County

Obama went to Wynwood for tacos and everyone lost their minds

“Let’s make history happen,” former President Obama supports Andrew Gillum in Miami rally

Former President Barack Obama comes to Miami to support Democratic candidates like Andrew Gillum on Nov. 2, 2018, at the Ice Palace Studios.
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Former President Barack Obama comes to Miami to support Democratic candidates like Andrew Gillum on Nov. 2, 2018, at the Ice Palace Studios.

Former president Barack Obama worked up an appetite during his get-out-the-vote rally in Miami Friday afternoon for Andrew Gillum and Bill Nelson, so he went to Coyo Taco.

And Wynwood lost its mind.

Women screamed as Obama stepped out of a silver Chevy Suburban onto Northwest Second Avenue around 3:45 p.m. They grabbed their cellphones to snap photos and call their friends. He shook a few hands.

“I want everybody to vote!” he shouted.

Inside the venue, stunned diners gaped as Obama entered, surrounded by an entourage of Secret Service agents, reporters and camera crews. Evan Schlecker, a Morgan Group employee who stopped at Coyo for lunch, shared a tortilla chip with him and let him dip it in the guac.

They posed for a selfie, guacamole still firmly on the chip before Obama downed it.

Announcing it was his treat, Obama ordered: Cochinita Pibil, Pollo al Carbon, Camaron, Guacamole and Esquite.

He bought a bottle of Coca-Cola for Gillum. Kali Hughes took their order, and told Gillum, the Democratic nominee for governor, that he’d voted early and cast his ballot for him.

Obama made his way down the counter, giving Katarina Morgan a hug after she told him she was in Miami from Myrtle Beach on her bachelorette party. “Congratulations. You’ll make a beautiful bride.”

He spoke to Ruben Paredes, director of Coyo’s operations, who told him the chain is opening a location in Portugal. He gathered with the staff and smiled for photos behind the register. “This is a health code violation,” he yucked.

Obama worked the room while he waited for his food.

“You voted, so you get a photo,” he told a man who asked for a selfie with the former president.

Then he got hungry.

“Where are my tacos?” he yelled. “Everybody was busy taking all these pictures.”

By the time Obama got his food and left the restaurant, word had escaped that he was in Wynwood. A crowd had formed around the restaurant and on the other side of the street. People cheered as he walked to his Suburban.

He waved, got in and left, leaving Hughes behind holding a copy of the receipt like a trophy.

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