Madison SteinerLund was certainly not expecting to see the Secret Service at work on her first day back from vacation.
SteinerLund is a server at Moon’s Kitchen Cafe on Idaho Street in Downtown Boise. She had just returned from an eight-day road trip to Colorado and was waiting on five or so tables by herself Tuesday afternoon.
That’s when, of all people, Ivanka Trump, flanked by the Secret Service, walked in and became SteinerLund’s sixth table.
“At first I wasn’t quite sure if it was really her,” SteinerLund told the Statesman. “Then I just wanted to treat her like a normal person, because she’s a normal person, just in a position of power.”
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Trump was in Wilder on Tuesday morning with Apple CEO Tim Cook to look at the district’s use of technology as part of a national tour for the National Council for the American Worker, as the Statesman reported earlier.
SteinerLund, who did not know Trump was in the area, didn’t hint at her own political beliefs; she said it wouldn’t have mattered, anyway.
Trump ordered an omelet and country taters while the rest of her table ordered burgers and salads, SteinerLund said. It was just another table that deserved proper service during their 30 minute stay, she said.
“She’s still a human being. I handled it like any other table and treated it with respect and all that,” SteinerLund said. “They’re all people. I didn’t let any political differences of anyone get in the way. You are who you are, and if that’s what you stand for, that’s what you stand for. I’m just going to respect that.”
SteinerLund overheard that, when traveling, Trump likes to go to small restaurants. The fact that she chose Moon’s over all the other options in Boise was special, she said.
“It’s kind of a very small place to choose in Boise, Idaho,” SteinerLund said. “I know we’re pretty well known here, so that was pretty awesome. But I think that just stands to show we’re also like a family here, and so I think it’s just awesome that she chose us. We were happy to have her.”
Mary Allen and her husband own a window-tinting business that was setting up advertisements on the restaurant’s tables at the time Trump was being served. Allen had walked across the street and spotted a black Ford Explorer. Inside the SUV was someone in a “really slick get-up,” she said. It couldn’t be police officers, she thought. When Allen walked in, she was in for a surprise.
“We walked in here and there were people with black suits in there, and there’s a gorgeous blonde sitting at the table,” Allen said. “And I’m like holy crap, that’s Ivanka Trump.”
Somewhat in awe but not wanting to let the moment pass her by, Allen asked one of Trump’s security guards if she could take a picture; security obliged. Allen posted that she was “10 feet away” from Trump on Facebook and sat at her table in relative disbelief.
Allen said politics didn’t play in her decision to snap a photo. Instead, it was the gravity of who the person that struck her, she said.
“She’s just a really nationally, world-famous person. So it’s just really cool to be around someone like that,” Allen said. “She seemed nice and graceful, and all the ladies with her seemed sweet.”
As for Moon’s itself, being chosen as the restaurant-of-choice meant a lot, SteinerLund said.
“Politics aside, I think it’s awesome what she did and why she did it, and why she was here (in general). It was definitely a cool thing for Moon’s to go through,” she said. “It was a neat experience. Definitely something I’ll remember.”