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How Trump's Miami restaurant visit turned into confusion over paying

Accounts from those in the restaurant said Donald Trump promised 'Food for everyone!' But, others say he had to leave quickly after saying that.
Former President Donald Trump looks to his valet Walt Nauta at Versailles restaurant.
Posted at 7:15 PM, Jun 16, 2023

A famous South Florida restaurant has been a fairly popular stop for U.S. presidents visiting Miami for decades. 

They call themselves the "world's most famous Cuban restaurant." Versailles, located in Miami's Little Havana neighborhood, opened its doors in 1971, the restaurant says on its website. 

The place has been considered a town square of sorts for Cuban exiles, and its popularity with U.S. presidents as a place to visit when in Miami has made it somewhat of a political landmark, as much as it is a popular spot for cuisine. 

The Cuban restaurant with a French inspired aesthetic was the first stop former President Donald Trump decided to make afterleaving his court arraignment this week

But a simple, reportedly very quick handful of minutes in the restaurant turned into days of confusion over promises made, and  concerns over whether anyone lost money. 

Former President Donald Trump.

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A local news camera was there and captured Trump greeting supporters and yelling out, "Are you ready? Are you ready? Food for everyone! Food for everyone!"

The Miami New Times reported that in the few minutes that Trump was there, people sang happy birthday to him, prayed over him and took photos with him. Then, he reportedly left shortly after making the statement — or promise, depending on how you look at it. 

To be fair, the scene was chaotic; one British reporter was yelled at and reportedly harassed by supporters for asking a serious question. 

The Miami Times reported that no one got any items from the restaurant paid for by Trump or his team. 

Newsweek reported that they contacted Versailles by telephone to ask about the incident and were told, "Sorry, I don't know about that," before the person on the other end hung up. 

Trump's camp didn't respond to requests for comment. 

Some on social media called it a "publicity stunt." Comments online added fuel to the fire after reporting said the former president appeared to promise to pay for food for those in the restaurant at the time. 

Versailles has a nearly perfect rating with reviews on Google. However, reports said it was recently targeted with negative reviews on Yelp after the visit. Yelp placed an "unusual activity alert" on the ratings. 

Laine Doss, who works with the Miami New Times, defended her reporting saying, "I never wrote that he didn't pay. I wrote that there was no food. That's all I wrote."

"No food was ordered, he left within 10 minutes and never got a chance to order and nobody ate because there was no ordering. So there was no ordering, and so no paying, and no bill, and he was only there for 10 minutes," Doss reportedly said. 

If that is the case, it would appear, at least, that Versailles wasn't "stiffed" out of money from the incident, as some online suggested.  

But, that is also difficult to fully confirm, as Versailles appears not to want to comment on the matter.  

With many months ahead for Trump in his campaign for the 2024 GOP presidential nomination, it remains to be seen if he'll comment on the matter or make good on any possible future promises to pay for meals for his supporters at campaign stops.