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Gut Check: Obama had one Pi time in St. Louis 

Barack Obama's speech under the Gateway Arch on Saturday, October 18, included a humorous anecdote about the senator and Ohio Governor Ted Strickland stopping for a slice of pie. "Some people like cake," Obama deadpanned. "I like pie."

(For the record, Obama's favorite kind of pie is sweet-potato. Second is pecan. On his trip with Strickland, the senator had to settle for coconut-cream.)

Turns out Obama also had a chance to sample pizza from Pi, the Delmar Loop pizzeria and Riverfront Times Best Pizza (Thick Crust) for 2008. The Democratic candidate for president liked Pi's pies...a lot.

Owner Chris Sommers confirms that Pi sent Obama five of the restaurant's thick- and thin-crust pizzas. (For Pi fans who are wondering, the five were the Bucktown, Berkeley, North Beach Classico, Lincoln Park and East Loop.)

The campaign sent a driver to pick up the pizzas. Later, Obama's assistant called Sommers and asked him to hold. Then Obama himself took the phone and told Sommers how much he'd enjoyed the food.

"He was very gracious," says Sommers. "I was more impressed by the character of the guy to take the time to call."

And, yes, Sommers did point out to Obama the irony of a Chicago-based senator praising deep-dish pizza from St. Louis.

Lest you think that Obama was merely going through the politician's motions, Peachy Myers, the Missouri Field Director for the Obama-Biden campaign, called Sommers later to inform him that, as Sommers relates it, Obama "wouldn't shut up about my pizza."

Blue Water Grill (343 South Kirkwood Road) will close after service on Saturday, November 8, after nearly twenty years in business. A farewell letter from restaurateur Tim Mallett cites the economy as the main reason for the closing:

"...[W]e live in some very uncertain economic times that have made the restaurant industry extremely challenging. Our customers have less disposable income to spend on eating out and business has suffered. So when my lease is up in November, I have decided not to renew it."

Mallett's other restaurants, Big Sky Café and Remy's Kitchen & Wine Bar, remain open.

Got something else for Ian to chew on? E-mail him at And check out his Gut Check column online for frequent dining news updates.

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