Top 5 places Herman Cain dined on contributors’ dimes

By Megan Carpentier
Tuesday, October 18, 2011 13:47 EDT
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Herman Cain as photographed by Gage Skidmore
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Former Godfather’s Pizza CEO and current GOP presidential contender Herman Cain has taken a lot of criticism for the middling quality of the pizza served up by the company he once ran. But recently filed expenditure reports reveal that not even Cain will deign to dine at Godfather’s. So when he’s on the road, where does he eat?

1. The Italian Oven in Stockbridge, Georgia ($1,343.19)
Billed as a “Full service casual dining with three locations offering over 20 pasta dishes,
fresh seafood, salads, brick oven pizzas, calzones and strombolis,” the local chain (they have three locations), Cain’s campaign charged more than $1,300 at the restaurant for “meeting expenses.” A 12-inch, 8-slice cheese pizza goes for $9.75.

2. Ruth Chris’s Steak House ($1,693.36)
The Cain campaign spent nearly $1,700 on 7 meals at Ruth’s Chris — all of which appear on the expense reports under the chain’s headquarters, so there’s no telling at which locations — and labeled it “meeting expenses.” Though prices vary by location, a call to their Atlanta Centennial Park reveals that their 15 ounce NY strip goes for $41. The company attracted controversy when, two days after Hurricane Katrina devastated New Orleans, it moved its longtime headquarters to Florida and later that year permanently closed its flagship location on Broad Street. It has since reopened a downtown New Orleans location in the Harrah’s casino.

3. Perkins Family Restaurant And Bakery ($360.11)
The campaign spent $360 in 7 outings at Perkins, a Memphis-owned chain with locations in 34 states. It’s fare — which, like a typical American diner, features everything from breakfast to burgers to, of course, country-fried steak — is generally a similarly-priced alternative to the more famous Denny’s.

4. Outback Steakhouse ($439.00)
The Cain campaign racked up $439 in “meeting expenses” in 6 outings at the mid-priced Outback Steakhouse, the “Australian themed steakhouse restaurant” offering of Tampa’s OSI Restaurant Partner’s company with outposts in 49 states. Though prices vary by location, the Stockbridge, Georgia restaurant has a 12 ounce NY Strip for $19.79 and the Bloomin’ Onion for $6.79.

5. Domino’s Pizza ($927.55)
Though Yelp indicates at least 12 other pizza delivery options in Concord, New Hampshire, the campaign dropped close to $1,000 on Domino’s pizza there this year between a catered event and a meeting. Not a single Yelp user in Concord has bothered rating the place, but the nearby Pizza Hut gets a 4-star rating and the Sbarro gets 3. There is a Godfather’s Pizza in Hampton, NH — which is almost 40 miles from Concord, but only 11 from Portsmouth, where Cain held an event last August. Campaign finance reports do not reflect whether he visited the lone Godfather’s outpost in the state; they do indicate that he didn’t spend a dime on their pizza.

[Image via Gage Skidmore, Creative Commons licensed]

Megan Carpentier
Megan Carpentier is the executive editor of Raw Story. She previously served as an associate editor at Talking Points Memo; the editor of news and politics at Air America; an editor at Jezebel.com; and an associate editor at Wonkette. Her published works include pieces for the Washington Post, the Washington Independent, Ms Magazine, RH Reality Check, the Women's Media Center, On the Issues, the New York Press, Bitch and Women's eNews.
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