Like many candidates, Donald Trump has spent some parts of his campaign stopping by local food institutions in the places where he’s stumping. That means he got a cheesesteak from Geno’s in Philly and, true to Western PA form, he went to get a Smiley Cookie while he was outside Pittsburgh this week.
After Trump left town, a post appeared on his Facebook page: “Stopped by Smiley Cookie to pick up some great cookies for the family, along with Rudy [Giuliani].”
However, the popular chain of diners headquartered in Homestead outside Pittsburgh is actually not called Smiley Cookie, despite its most famous food offering. No, the chain is actually called “Eat’n Park.” Sure, this isn’t about foreign or domestic policy. But it’s important to Pennsylvania, so we decided to check Trump’s claim of swinging by a place called “Smiley Cookie.”
The GOP presidential nominee held a rally at Ambridge Area High School about 20 miles northwest of Pittsburgh on Monday, where he waved a Terrible Towel, his first since coming under fire following the release of audio from 2005 of Trump’s using offensive language referring to women.
Local TV station WPXI reported that after the rally had wrapped up, Trump and members of his campaign traveled to Moon Township, where they stopped at an Eat’n Park. Trump and former New York Mayor Rudy Giuliani, a top ally of the presidential nominee, reportedly bought a dozen Smiley Cookies while there.
According to Eat’n Park’s corporate website, the establishment was founded in 1949 “as the first Pittsburgh-area drive-in with carhops.” Today, it’s more like just a diner, but it has more than 65 locations in Pennsylvania, West Virginia and Ohio.
The restaurants serve breakfast, lunch and dinner, but the most famous part is the bakery, where employees whip up pies, cakes and, of course, hand-frosted Smiley Cookies that are given to children who eat at the restaurant. They’re also available for purchase.
Eat’n Park has been doling out the Smiley Cookies for the last 30 years, and the restaurant itself has become a western Pennsylvania institution of sorts, as it’s one of the only 24-hour joints still around.
Some on social media reacted harshly to Trump’s mix-up, while others were more understanding. The Smiley Cookie is the most iconic part of Eat’n Park.
Eat’n Park Hospitality Group and the Trump campaign didn’t respond to a request for comment Tuesday.
Donald Trump posted on Facebook that he “Stopped by Smiley Cookie to pick up some great cookies for the family, along with Rudy.” We’ll leave deciding whether or not the cookies can be considered “great” to you.
But this place is not called Smiley Cookie. It’s called Eat’n Park. And it has been called that for 67 years. The mix-up’s understandable, though, and Trump did purchase the Smiley Cookies in question. We rate the claim Mostly False.