President dines with UT student at Magnolia Cafe

President Barack Obama meets with Kinsey Button, a student at the University of Austin, who wrote him a letter about her family, at Magnolia Cafe in Austin, Texas, Thursday, July 10, 2014. Obama will also speak about the economy at the Paramount Theater. Austin is the final leg in his three city trip before returning to Washington. (AP Photo/Jacquelyn Martin)

AUSTIN (KXAN) — President Obama was in Austin for less than 24 hours, attended two fundraisers, gave a speech on the economy and made a surprise stop at Magnolia Cafe.

The President sat down with Kinsey Button, a University of Texas junior from Houston studying public relations. Button, who drank coffee, and the president, who had tea with honey and lemon, chatted about school and jobs before the president’s speech about the economy at the Paramount Theatre.

The 20-year-old wrote a letter to Obama earlier this year about jobs and education, pushing his administration to work with Congress to find solutions.

In her letter, Button talked about her father’s job struggles. She said he was an engineer, was laid off and had a hard time finding work because he was overqualified

Button introduced the President before his public speech.

Magnolia Cafe, located on Lake Austin Boulevard, said it got a heads up about not too long before the president strolled in.

Michaella Rodriguez served the president at the Magnolia Cafe.
Michaella Rodriguez served the president at the Magnolia Cafe.

Michaella Rodriguez, who has worked at the iconic Austin restaurant for four years, served Obama his tea.

“I was amazed. We had a little advanced warning that he was coming so I kind of already got the butterflies out of my system and I was happy to meet him,” said Michaella Rodriguez. “I guess some of his people were eating in his section before, and I guess that’s when they made the calls and they told me I was going to be waiting on him. I just lucked out today.”

She said the president didn’t get any food, but the entire restaurant seemed excited to meet him. She also added that he was a “generous tipper.” provides commenting to allow for constructive discussion on the stories we cover. In order to comment here, you acknowledge you have read and agreed to our Terms of Service. Users who violate these terms, including use of vulgar language or racial slurs, will be banned. If you see an inappropriate comment, please flag it for our moderators to review.

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