Home / General / A serious request for an honest discussion about Guy Fieri

A serious request for an honest discussion about Guy Fieri

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Couched sarcastically, of course, because I’m still me, but this happened today:

And I’m actually not kidding. I gave Fieri a little bit of snark in a piece I wrote earlier, but I also acknowledged that he’s done more for small businesses than any Republican in recent memory, and received an outpouring of supportive email from Fieri supporters — owners of restaurants only still in business because of him, leaders of motorcycle gangs who plan their summer road trips around Diners, Drive-In, and Dives, etc. — so I contacted his representatives and I’ve got an interview scheduled for after the New Year.

So I’m putting it out there — outside of the branding, about which I already know how you feel, what do you think about the project behind the show? It’s the most popular program, by far, on Food Network — only Chopped approaches it — but its ethos is decidedly in line with ours. (Unless you’re that guy, in which case, this is just another example of lower class privilege, whatever that means.) Point being, set snark aside, admit to your guilty pleasure, and feel free to relay questions about why Guy Fieri pretends to like matzo balls that my bubbie would come to blows over if she heard about that recipe…

…or, you know, other questions. I’ve got that matzo ball one covered, my grandma wouldn’t forgive me if I didn’t.

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  • Malaclypse

    Why oh why would he, or anyone, think this was a good idea?

    • DrDick

      Other than this show, which I do enjoy, has Fieri ever had a good idea?

      • The show wasn’t even his idea. It originated with a company called Page Productions, and they had a deal with Food Network to develop it. FN handed them Fieri because they didn’t know what to do with him.

  • pianomover

    The Guy Fieri marinated tri-tip from Costco is the bomb.

    • Bill Murray

      how do you get the tri-tip into Guy to marinate it?

      • pianomover

        That is as dumb as your latest special Bill

      • cpinva

        “how do you get the tri-tip into Guy to marinate it?”

        I would suggest a layer of water-based lubricant, to help slide it in there.

  • solidcitizen

    I’d be interested in his thoughts on the ethics of Triple D. He, as you say, pretends to love everything he’s served. So, what then is the purpose of the show, if not to be an authentic verifier of the quality of the food? Just to say, “Hey, this restaurant in this town exists!”? Do they not air segments from places he doesn’t like?

    Of course, I’d also like to hear his response to the reports he’s rabidly anti-gay, but I imagine that’s a bridge too far for this interview.

    • Murc

      He, as you say, pretends to love everything he’s served. So, what then is the purpose of the show, if not to be an authentic verifier of the quality of the food?

      I’m willing to be charitable and say that it is possible to recognize a dish of food you, personally, hate as being high-quality.

      (This is something that burns me up about a lot of judges on cooking shows, Chopped and Iron Chef included. There’s a difference between “I didn’t like this” and “This was badly prepared.” I’ve seen dishes that I knew would make me throw up if they got anywhere near my mouth that I could nevertheless tell were exquisitely prepared and were of the highest quality.)

      Do they not air segments from places he doesn’t like?

      From what I’ve heard, this is precisely what they do.

      • efgoldman

        From what I’ve heard, this is precisely what they do.

        Trying to work my way around the double negative in the block quote: No, I’ve never seen a negative segment. Doesn’t mean there hasn’t ever been one, but chances are there hasn’t.
        He has some clear dislikes, though. He makes no secret of not liking eggs (served as eggs, not as an ingredient in, e.g. a batter.)

        • N__B

          How does he feel about yeggs? (As professionals, not as food.)

          • skate

            Why do you ask? You have a safe you need cracked?

          • Ask Me Gently

            We only take yeggs what’s been to college, ain’t that right, Dane?

            • N__B

              Jeez. Campos’s post is still warm.

    • djw

      I feel like I’ve seen enough of the show to be able to tell the difference between when he’s really enthusiastic and she he’s going through the motions. But also. You see enough of the process to be able to make some of your own assessments.

      • Since he is famous for opening the worst restaurant in Manhattan, I don’t think I would trust his judgment.

        • Hogan

          It’s not like he eats there.

        • efgoldman

          Since he is famous for opening the worst restaurant in Manhattan, I don’t think I would trust his judgment.

          Well, hell, many of us (me included) on this blog and everywhere else opine on baseball without ever being able to throw a curveball or execute a pivot at second base.
          Same with everything else

          • Bad analogy. He owns the restaurant. If the food is inedible, he needs to hire a new executive chef and general manager. The owner of a baseball team is responsible for the product, even though he can’t play. Or maybe, he doesn’t know what a good restaurant is.

            • Brien Jackson

              I wouldn’t say that’s obvious: He has another restaurant at the Horseshoe Casino here in Baltimore that is really quite good.

    • Bill Murray

      So, what then is the purpose of the show, if not to be an authentic verifier of the quality of the food?

      to showcase interesting/different/out-of-the-way places to eat, some of which may be near you or in a place you will be visiting.

      • efgoldman

        to showcase interesting/different/out-of-the-way places to eat

        Some of which are already very popular, and have been for years or decades.

        • timb

          And, some which aren’t. He “reviewed” a fantastic tamale restaurant near my house and that segment and the attendant media (it is Indianapolis, whenever someone from a coast say something nice, people run into the street and scream “They like us. They really do”) enables them to buy a new space and expand to the 2 new locations. Without him, they’re still a secret to a large portion of Indy.

          • cpinva

            agreed. this is probably true of many of the eating establishments he’s “reviewed”. some may be famous locally, but if you’re there on business, for example, unless a local mentions it, you’re not going to know it’s there.

    • UserGoogol

      Well presumably, the producers of the show do some degree of planning to pick out relatively deserving restaurants, even if on shooting day Fieri has to pretend he likes it. It’s not like the show just shoots at whatever location he randomly picks out of a hat.

  • Bootsie

    He officiated 101 gay marriages in Florida because a) Florida dropped their ban on gay marriage and b) his late sister was a lesbian.

    Guy just seems like a cool dude who just likes greasy spoons and wants to keep them successful.

    • Just_Dropping_By

      Guy Fieri is an ordained minister or judge?!? (Because I can’t see anything in Florida law that would allow lay persons to legally officiate a wedding, gay or otherwise, outside the specific context of a Society of Friends service.)

      • Malaclypse

        He could always go this route.

      • Murc

        You can become an ordained minister in about ten minutes. I don’t think you even need postage anymore, you can do it online and print out your credentials.

        I’ve often thought about becoming ordained just to be able to say I am, and to let people know if we need to conduct an emergency wedding I am prepared.

        • Malaclypse

          Several of my friends did the link above, because there was a time not long ago when clergy wouldn’t officiate at gay marriages, but this way they could.

        • cpinva

          “I’ve often thought about becoming ordained just to be able to say I am, and to let people know if we need to conduct an emergency wedding I am prepared.”

          how do you feel about emergency funerals? asking for a friend.

          • Murc

            How drunk am I allowed to be?

            • sharculese

              Allowed… or required?

  • DrS

    Why did he change his name to sound more Italian and then refuse to pronounce it in Italian?

    • Jordan

      Isn’t “Fieri” his grandfather’s original last name, and it was changed when the grandfather emigrated from Italy to the US?

      • DrS

        Well, how about that.

        Delete my question. Ask what brand of hair bleach he uses.

        • Jordan

          very acceptable question

  • SIS1

    I would like to know the selection and vetting (if any) process by which locations get selected for the show – obviously appearing on the show is a huge boon to the businesses that get chosen, so it seems to me that there might be some amount of competition to get selected.

    • efgoldman

      I would like to know the selection and vetting (if any) process by which locations get selected for the show

      The show has been on for so long, and has been so many places, they get tons of unsolicetd recommendations. The also have a form on their website.

      • SIS1

        Certainly – I would like SEK to ask how they pick from all those recommendations, solicited or not.

        • SEK

          Ask I shall.

  • FlipYrWhig

    I watch the show a fair amount. Sometimes the focus is on trashier or old-fashioned places turning out surprisingly good food; sometimes it swings in a more hipsterish direction, gastropubs with tattooed chefs and tattooed patrons. The latter group strikes me as slightly in violation of the original concept: they’re more flirting with down-market-ness as a tribal signifier than authentically down-market, I might say. (Sometimes in the intro Fieri will say that they’ve been in business since 2011 or something. As a viewer, I’d rather hear about a dicier place open longer than a better-quality place that just opened.) Is that a tension he’s at all concerned about?

    • busker type

      this would be an interesting question

  • Todd

    I have many problems with organized religion. But when religious organizations (even the crazy right wing ones) help feed and house poor people, or get supplies to areas beset with disaster, or give people some help and comfort with their addictions or mourning or whatever….there isn’t much to do but tip the cap and hope that more of that type of stuff is coming from them in the future.

  • Murc

    Point being, set snark aside, admit to your guilty pleasure, and feel free to relay questions about why Guy Fieri pretends to like matzo balls that my bubbie would come to blows over if she heard about that recipe…

    …or, you know, other questions.

    I’ve got one, although it might be more involved than is convenient to ask him.

    Guy Fieri has quietly but not invisibly been taking his health more seriously over the past five to seven years, as he realized that you can’t eat the enormous fat-and-salt piles that he (quite rightly) loves to death every meal of the day and still get your threescore and ten. You can tell that he’s slimmed down some, his skin looks clearer, he has some real muscle tone, etc.

    I would ask him if he actually eats the entire plate at the places he visits, or if he just eats the few bites we see him take on-camera (and those few bites are a notable change from earlier season, where we’d often get a plate-cleaning montage) and invite him to chat more about how he balances his personal health needs against the business demands of the show he produces and the need to not be impolite to the people who are serving you a meal they busted ass to prepare on-camera.

    • catclub

      Good question!

    • timb

      That is a good question. Murc scores

    • Brad Nailer

      Slightly OT: I’m waiting for the Man vs. Food guy to literally explode on camera, or at least to vomit five pounds of undigested food chunks all over his stupid audience. That’ll teach ’em to cheer on an idiot like that.

      • BiloSagdiyev

        Maybe you should offer him a mint? One that is waff-er theen?

    • Dr. Ronnie James, DO

      This this this. I’ve never understood how food critics can eat everything they say (especially someone like Sietsema, who seems to review 20 places a week), unless they eat 2 bites of everything, in which case your cover is blown. Some of the New York mag weekly food diaries made it sound like tiny breakfasts were pretty much required (“one cheese toast with sliced tomato” made two separate lists).

      • ArchTeryx

        The little speech from the fictional food critic Anton Ego (from Pixar’s Ratatouille) comes to mind.

        “I don’t like food, I love it. If I don’t love it, I DON’T. SWALLOW.

    • BiloSagdiyev

      Guy Fieri has quietly but not invisibly been taking his health more seriously over the past five to seven years, as he realized that you can’t eat the enormous fat-and-salt piles that he (quite rightly) loves to death every meal of the day and still get your threescore and ten. You can tell that he’s slimmed down some, his skin looks clearer, he has some real muscle tone, etc.

      I’ve not watched closely enough to notice. I just see it here and there. I have been worried about him, and pondered replacing the Camaro with a bicycle once in a while. (The same way I worry about my friends whose weekend fun is Harleys, while their guts get bigger and bigger.)

      Mostly, I don’t understand his taste in the non-food areas. Speaking of taste and his Camaro, here are the rest of his cars:

      http://www.foodnetwork.com/chefs/articles/car-guy-guy-fieris-car-collection/guy-fieris-car-collection.html

      Subtlety is not his thing.

  • Captain Oblivious

    I’m sort of split on GF. On the one hand, he’s probably every bit the loudmouthed self-absorbed celebrity dudebro he comes across as. On the other hand, he promotes the ma-and-pa food industry, which struggles against the craptacular chain giants like Chili’s and Outback and whoever owns Olive Garden this week.

    • Murc

      I won’t defend the employment or sourcing methods of the chain giants (although the mom and pop places are often not that much better in either regard) but I will note that the entire reason chain restaurants took off wasn’t entirely based on price; it was that people were legitimately fed-up with the massive quality variance and inconsistencies of a giant patchwork of individually owned eateries, and just wanted a place that served decent-to-good food reliably.

      It’s difficult to remember, and few will admit it now, but in the 60s and 70s a lot of people jumped for joy when they heard a McDonalds was opening in their community (yes, there was a time when McDonalds wasn’t ubiquitous) because it meant they’d have an eating-out option that was quick, cheap, reliable, and not shitty. People would dress up to go there. There were similar reactions when chain restaurants came along; a place where you could sit down and order off the menu without either paying a fortune or not knowing what the sketchy-ass guy in the back was really doing.

      People like to imagine that there was the glorious golden landscape of mid-scale eateries that was wiped out by the coming of Darden Enterprises. The truth is more complicated; what was actually the case is you had very upscale dining, out of the reach of a lot of people on a regular basis, and “don’t inquire too closely about where this meat came from or if the cook had open sores on his hands” dining, and not a lot in-between. And even where affordable quality existed it could be hard to find via word-of-mouth.

      • LeeEsq

        The same was true for chain hotels. They turned the family vacation or the lower end of business travelling into something much more endurable than previously possible from what I’ve read.

        • catclub

          I was just reading somewhere else about ‘repeatable process’ for picking pension fund asset managers.

          It also applies in airplane checklist based flying.

          and getting it to checklist based medicine is still a big deal.

      • LeeEsq

        I’ve posted this before but its the same sort of imagined landscape that plagues a lot of foodie thought. Before scientists and business people got their hands on food production, humans weren’t eating glorious local and seasonal produce. They were eating a monotonous diet based on a grain of some sort and some vegetables with preserved meat as a treat and fresh meat as an even rarer treat. A lot of what we think as peasant cuisine is really 19th century middle class cuisine.

      • Yeah, modern American foodie culture has a foundational myth that there was this lost great American food tradition that was destroyed by McDonald’s and postwar processed foods and Applebee’s. And that just isn’t true. From the beginning of the nation through the early 20th century, the more you read about American food, the more you realize how terrible most of it was. What did Americans like? Unbelievably sweet desserts and tons of greasy meat. Sure there were moments where all New Yorkers were eating fresh oysters by the barrel but these are exceptions, not the norm.

        Even today, if you are roadtripping and avoiding chains, meal quality is extremely hit and miss. That’s what I appreciate sites like Roadfood.

        • LeeEsq

          From what I can tell all foodie culture has this foundational myth. European, Asian and presumably Latin American and African foodies are just as clueless as the American ones.

      • witlesschum

        I dunno, maybe I have a strong stomach, but when given the choice I’ll always roll the dice. The only time I’ve had food poisoning, I did it to myself by eating shrimp jambalaya that had been in the fridge a long time. A bad meal is not something that bothers me all that much and I can eat nearly anything. I’m by no means a foodie but blech to eating something I know will mildly suck. Surprise me with the ways your food can suck.

        • JustRuss

          This. There’s a place for quick and reliable, but it’s boring as hell.

      • MDrew

        I like everything about this comment, and will add that I happened to eat two McDonalds cheeseburgers and a small french fries and a coke for lunch today for the first time in nearly forever due to a bus trip, and, once I went back to the counter to get some hot fires, there was absolutely nothing wrong with any of it. I combined the two into one doubt, but that’s not because of bun quality; McDonald’s hamburger buns have a very nice flavor. And I’m not a fan of McDonald’s fries the way many people (I assume not here) are, but when you’re hungry and they’re fresh they’re much more than adequate. (The main problem is that they still hugely oversalt them. Back when I formed my opinion of them I must not have realized how much black pepper improves french fries, and that it helps mask extra salt. French fries of all varieties are commonly over salted, so McDonald’s is no unique offender here.)

        The only question I’d raise is, in those days, were there many places that people went that they didn’t get dressed up for at the level they got dressed up for McDonald’s? Certainly to eat?

        • BiloSagdiyev

          If you don’t like salt on your fries, try going to McDonald’s tomorrow. It varies day to day. What I’ve noted over the last years of my going there (I’ve stopped going) is that they barely salt them, and made just a pathetic waving gesture of salt shaker towards the fries, because they were in such a hurry, because the orders are backed up for lack of fries, because nobody’s really assigned to just do french fries anymore.

          I could go on. I won’t.

      • royko

        Some of those old-time places still exist, certainly across the Midwest. And they have their charm, and you may get something quite tasty, but you may just as easily get something inedible. Many of these places would horrify foodies.

        (Online reviews, if you can find them, help narrow the risk considerably. But no one had those in the 60s & 70s.)

      • Jamoche

        Yeah. When my two-week trip to the UK started with a bout of food poisoning at home, and then the first UK food I saw was a Scottish breakfast buffet that was *all fried* (not normally a problem, but just after food poisoning – no), and the *next* few restaurants I found were heavy on the fried side, I was glad to find McDonalds all over the place, even if the only thing I could manage was the shakes.

  • SamInMpls

    Alton Brown’s Feasting on Asphalt did something similar to DDD although that show was aimed at a slightly different demo. Fieri hasn’t referenced T. S. Eliot in a DDD episode title. Well, not yet.

    • Captain Oblivious

      FOA might have been more successful with a less off-putting title. Be honest, what does it make you think of? Yeah, same here.

      • SamInMpls

        True. Brown’s motorcycle crash comes early in first season but I am unclear on whether the title was arrived at before they went into production or after the crash. Nominative determinism or no, it doesn’t sound appetizing.

    • Lee Rudolph

      Garlic and samphire in mud?

    • randy khan

      It wasn’t that similar – it was as much about regional foodways than about particular places to eat. (I’m thinking, in particular, of the segments on koolicles and lutefisk in the second season.)

  • Funkhauser

    I liked Drew Magary’s piece in GQ on Guy and his wine. It made the subject more relatable and sympathetic.

    While I have never eaten at his restaurants, and have no plans to do so, I often see DDD on the TV at the gym (on silent) and think, hey, I’d like to eat that.

    I wonder if he has had thoughts about the sustainability of the foods he offers/shows off.

    • Cassiodorus

      Slightly OT, but I find Magary to be extremely funny.

      • Jordan

        He does have great poop jokes

      • Dr. Ronnie James, DO

        As BigDaddyDrew, he was far and away the funniest commenter on Deadspin before they hired him.

  • efgoldman

    Serious question: Why is American restaurant cooking (and pretty much every recipe/dish DDD features) so sodium/salt heavy? When the show went to Tuscany, the recipes were captivating and appealing, and the chefs did not add salt to the recipe at all (although they did use some cured meats).

    • SEK

      Serious answer: They didn’t use salt because precisely they used those cured meats — there wasn’t any need. The sodium content in any pasta dish served in Italy probably exceeds the FDA’s DRA, because they 1) salt the water, 2) use San Marzano tomatoes, which contain 20 percent of your DRA on their own, and 3) toss in meat.

      Don’t think they’re eating low sodium diets over there — they’re not.

      • Denverite

        Also there’s a good bit of sodium in the cheeses they use.

        • timb

          Until the doc told me I wasn’t supposed to eat much salt, I was unaware of how much salt was used in cheese production

    • Murc

      Why is American restaurant cooking (and pretty much every recipe/dish DDD features) so sodium/salt heavy?

      Because salt is fucking awesome?

      When I was a child I would lick the side of our car in winter (I was five, I didn’t know better) to get some of that delicious, intoxicating salt taste. I’ve been known to eat a crystal or two whole from the grinder when I’m cooking with it and just let it dissolve in my mouth.

      Salt tastes amazing and I want something with a lot of salt in it right now even as I type this.

      • kg

        I’m glad my 5 yr old hasn’t figured that out yet ’cause he’d have licked my car clean by now. He will seriously sneak the shaker to get a taste occasionally.

        • Bill Murray

          road salt != sodium chloride

          • BiloSagdiyev

            Moose like to lick up some roadside ditch salt in winter, too.

      • Docrailgun

        I’ve heard chefs say that the salt is the difference between home cooking and restaurant cooking.

        • Judas Peckerwood

          In most cases the difference is an additional stick of butter.

          • Dr. Ronnie James, DO

            And shallots

          • Bill Murray

            and twice the cream, if there is cream in the dish

  • LeeEsq

    Guy Fieri hate is something that I don’t really understand. As far as I can tell his biggest sins are his frat-boyish demeanor and personality and the fact that he is a gourmand rather than a gourmet when it comes to his love of food. Basically, the way he carries himself and how he loves food goes against some current orthodoxies but he does seem to be a good-natured sort of fellow.

    • kped

      Yeah, i can’t understand the hate…or I can, but I don’t like what I think it is – a bunch of snooty rich douche bags ragging on the guy who isn’t as cultured or “classy” as they are.

      I have to say, his bit at Anthony Bourdain’s roast was pretty good, and well deserved. I like Bourdain’s shows, but his schtick can be a little classless, and his current branching out into trashier tv is exactly the stuff he’s mocked Fieri for. THis line must have stung (and I guess it’s a low blow on his drug use…but it was pretty good):

      “Anthony, I gotta ask a question, why do you hate me so much brother? … Is it because you went to a fancy culinary school and I didn’t? I hear you’re the only one in class who did most of his cooking with a spoon and a Bic lighter.” — Guy Fieri

      • Bill Murray

        Guy has generally struck me as an overgrown frat boy douche bag. I am certainly not snooty about food, nor am I rich in the American context

    • nixnutz

      His aesthetics are terrible, mostly in his look but also it seems in his cooking. He’s definitely ripe for mocking but I got to know him through DD&D and he comes off as friendly and enthusiastic and I enjoy that show. I’d be more likely to buy one of Bourdain’s cookbooks but his TV shows make him out to be a miserable, insufferable prick. I don’t hate Fieri but I kind of hate the cultural strain that’s convinced him to make the decisions he’s made. I don’t think he deserves all the shit he gets, the NYT review in particular was a bit much but it was funny and finally he has no one but himself to blame. He got his job by winning a reality show so I guess he needed to stand out, now his career is hooked to that image which is both tacky and out-of-date, it will be interesting to see if he updates to be more low-key or if he’s still outrageous but in a less 2005 manner.

      • I wouldn’t buy Bourdain’s cookbook, but I’d buy a cookbook from a chef he recommended. He doesn’t really have much of a culinary reputation but he does seem to have taste.

        • Captain Oblivious

          Whatever you think of Bourdain, Kitchen Confidential is one helluva a read. One of the greatest pieces of insidery gossip trash ever written.

          • randy khan

            It’s a great read.

      • LeeEsq

        Guy Fieri looks like a perfectly good cook but a bad chef. Like I wrote above, he is a gourmand rather than a gourmet. He loves food but not in a refined, upper class dandy sort of way. DD&D is supposed to have the common touch rather than the refined one.

        • efgoldman

          DD&D is supposed to have the common touch rather than the refined one.

          Absolutely, if he’s following the show’s title. In fact, I’m often surprised by the number of trendy, foodie type places he goes to. Some of them look more expensive than the program title would suggest, too.

    • royko

      I think a lot of it is that he embodies a lot of Food Network’s excesses that annoy some people (and delight others.) Personally, while I enjoy DDD, after a few seasons of Food Network Star I cringe whenever anybody on the channel takes an oversized bite of food and then talks, mouth half full, about the crunch or the pop or the bold flavors or whatever word salad they’re teaching them to use these days.

      I don’t know that it’s always fair to Guy to take it out on him, but considering they made him quite wealthy, he can take the lumps.

  • Docrailgun

    I have several questions:
    Why does everything have to be flavor-blasted or covered in donkey sauce?

    Why does he pretend his name is pronounced in an Italian way when his name wasn’t Fieri until he changed it?

    Does he realize he’s the Larry the Cable Guy of cooking? That is, a guy who puts on a fake folksy affect and milks tgst persons for all it’s worth? Is tgst what he was shooting for?

    I’d like him to know that despite my disdain (which he diesn’t care about and rightly so) he’s still more interesting than Anthony Bourdain or Duff Whats-His-Face will ever be.

    • What is “tgst”?

      • skate

        I’m guessing it’s “milks that persona”.

      • Captain Oblivious

        It’s “that” when you fat-finger the h and a (look at your keyboard).

        • Docrailgun

          I always do it… my phone will even Autocorrect to ‘tgat’.

  • LeeEsq

    I have a sneaking suspicion that Guy’s TV persona is close to as actual persona or at least he kept up the act long enough that it became his real persona.

  • DD&D is fine, although Guy doesn’t bring much to it other than a garish look and calling things “money”. His role is basically that of the hype-man. Everything else he’s involved in is goofy and cartoony and fun to make fun of (“Donkey Sauce”). None of this begins to translate to him being a bad person or worthy of hate.

    (Uncannily, he just came up as a subject of discussion on a video I have on in the background.)

    As far as I can tell, he’s in the Sandra Lee category of being a food clown, but not in the Paula Deen category of being a food clown who also is kind of a messed up person.

  • feebog

    I know of two restaurants that have been featured on the show; one on the Seattle waterfront, that is truly a diner. Great breakfast food, and was standing room only before it was featured on DDD. The other is in Cabo San Lucas, Solomon’s Landing on the marina. They have always served good food, but nothing really out of the ordinary. I love BBQ, so I’m always interested in the shows that feature that type of joint.

    • bottyguy

      I watched the early episodes of the show and most of the places seemed to be fairly popular local restaurants and the food looked very good. I think that as the show has gone on it’s been a struggle to find good restaurants and that has been obivious when you look at the food and sometimes his reaction to it. I stopped watching because of this, it’s just not worth it.

      It does resonate with me, when my family travels we have a rule that we can’t eat anyplace we’ve been before. That kept the kids from asking for Wendy’s everywhere and made them more involved in finding a place to go.

      • This is a good enough time as any to bleg. I am traveling to Georgia for a week next month. Atlanta-Macon-Savannah with various stops in between. Any food suggestions in any of these cities much appreciated.

        • sharculese

          Where are you staying in Atlanta? I haven’t been back long enough to have an amazing sense of what’s good at the moment, but if I know what area you’re in I can check with people.

          • I don’t know, some downtown conference hotel.

            • sharculese

              Oh, duh of course. I’ll ask my dad; telling out of town researchers where they should eat in that area is basically one of the major parts of his job.

              I have like no reason to be in that part of town ever and no desire to either.

              • That sounds good! I certainly neither want to eat nor drink at bad places but I know how hard that it is when you are stuck downtown. I’ll have a car for the latter two cities but not Atlanta.

                • sharculese

                  Yeah, I figured you wouldn’t have car access. You’re probably not that far from a MARTA station, and have a decent number of options at the North 1-4 stops, but I’ll see if he has an idea what’s best. If you can tell me precisely which hotel you’ll be at that will help, but really, it’s not gonna be inconvenient to take MARTA if you’re keeping within that area.

                  ETA: I’ll see my dad tomorrow, so I should be able to get back to you after that.

                • Atlanta Marriott Marquis

        • ATLinChina

          Longtime lurker, rarely posts.

          Erik, as a long time Atlantan I heartily suggest my neighborhood tavern. Milltown Tavern in the Cabbagetown neighborhood. It’s about a mile outta downtown (where no one hangs out) and built in the shadow of a giant cotton mill.

          • Cool, thanks!

            • ATLinChina

              No problem. Although if you want a true Atlanta experience, check out the Claremont Lounge on Ponce. And prepare to be amazed.

              • sharculese

                I don’t think the Claremont Lounge serves food, and if it does I don’t know if you should eat it.

        • Docrailgun

          Anywhere on Peachtree… no, wait – every street in Atlanta is “Peachtree”.

        • Cassiodorus

          For Macon, I highly recommend Nu-Way Weiners (the name was misspelled when they ordered the original sign back in the 20s). The original location on Cotton Avenue burned down a year or so go, but the other locations are still in business and just as good.

        • Bones steakhouse.

  • I’ve eaten a few places that were featured on his show and was quite happy with them.

    • Brien Jackson

      I’ve eaten at all of the Baltimore ones, and they’re all good. Several of them I went to before they were on the show, however, and Chap’s has been a local icon for over a decade. It’s an interesting show for getting ideas for fun chowdown food though, and I have actually made some of the sandwich concepts I’ve seen there for parties/tailgating.

    • The Golux

      When my wife and I were visiting our son in San Antonio, we picked out a place that had been featured on DDD.

      It was dreadful.

      However, he did (later?) visit the pizzeria Dough in San Antonio, which is excellent.

  • Matty

    Hah, an LGM post relative to my weekend!

    Some long background to the question I’d like to see asked:
    I watched a couple DDD episodes back to back, and got to see one where Guy just really, really didn’t like the food – he was served some kind of bacon-cheeseburger pizza and took a no-thank-you bite and said something middling about the crust, and was served some sort of spicy vodka sauce pasta, and said something to the effect of “yep, there’s some cheese in there.” The next episode was all about restaurants in Bakersfield, CA, and he was completely different – asked good questions, really seemed to personally like each person he interviewed, had effusive (even for DDD) praise for the food. It was like night and day from the episode before (which was the most negative one I’d ever seen). I think part of it was that he’s from somewhere near Bakersfield, and I’d really be interested to hear if there are other parts of the country he feels are unfairly ignored.

    Also, tangentially, Loomis convinced me to order alligator this weekend (I had my mouth open to order shrimp at a chain restaurant, remembered the pieces on slavery in the shrimp industry, and went “I bet the alligator probably didn’t involve actual slave labor” and changed my order).

    • Captain Oblivious

      My late mother loved alligator. Personally, I can’t get past the concept, but if a restaurant had alligator on the menu (and quite a few in Florida do), she’d order it 100% of the time. She also loved frog legs.

      I have no idea where the alligator served in restaurants comes from. I know when they catch a nuisance alligator in FL they kill it and sell it, because the official bounty is only $30 or something ridiculous like that, but I don’t know who they sell it to.

      • Matty

        Whoever runs the restaurant at Bass Pro Shops, apparently.

      • Randy

        She also loved frog legs.

        My mother thought the S. Gross “Try Our Frog Legs” cartoon was hilarious.

    • DocAmazing

      I can understand why he’d enjoy Bakersfield. I’ve actually had some good meals there (Mexican seafood at Angela’s Mariscos was a real standout; hope they still exist!), and people there always seem pleased when someone pays them a compliment, compared to the “armpit of California” commentary they usually get.

  • Snuff curry

    Liked him, the program, the ethos, as you say, behind the program, until reading the bit about him harassing the women (Jews, lesbians, gay men, black men) who run and work at the DD&Ds in question. Not cool, bro, not even hella cool. Ask him about diversity behind the front of house, and whether commitment to obtaining it is a good thing for the consumer and the industry both.

    • Snuff curry

      Here’re the receipts, as it were, and the scuffles behind the camera with the program’s creator are moderately interesting. Damage control regarding the bigotry didn’t really pan out.

      • Snuff curry

        For what it’s worth, though, I’ll take him over Alton Brown or Anthony Bourdain (whose humorlessness and misogyny is well-established).

        • apogean

          It has become eminently clear to me that I should never meet Alton Brown in person, but I don’t think anyone can deny that Good Eats is brilliant television. I think it’s the best cooking show since Julia Child.

          • nixnutz

            I think I watched every episode of that show without ever cooking any of the recipes. I keep thinking I’ll make up a batch of his pancake mix, and I’ve been planning to make his pickle meat for a while (been checking for pork butt in the store for about a month, haven’t been motivated to go to a real butcher yet). I think I’ve learned a lot about the science and technique but his recipes somehow don’t appeal.

            Also, one example of his constant “unitasker” griping that stood out, he recommends that you use beans instead of pie weights, which makes sense because they’re cheap but once you’ve baked them what else are they good for? I like dumb gadgets if they work well.

          • Snuff curry

            Some of his SCIENCE! is truly bad, though, and I don’t regard Nickelodeon skit cum mansplaining a form of cooking, exactly. I already know how to cook, so I go in for personality (Cradock, Darina Allen, Graham Kerr before his conversion, Mario Batali when he was into that sort of thing, Sara Moulton, Ainsley Harriott, Dickson Wright & Paterson) over instruction-through-Bill-Nye-puppetry. The channel is lousy with macho assholes and women commissioned to be non-threatening non-experts and the “edgy” spin-off channel looks even grimmer.

            • apogean

              Examples of the science being bad?

            • apogean

              Also I do not think “mansplaining” means what you think it means.

              Which is to say: I think when you are actually knowledgeable in the subject matter and you are talking to people who have self-selected to listen to your opinions on things by voluntarily tuning in, it’s just called “explaining.”

              • Snuff curry

                No, mansplaining is precisely what I mean, thanks. When Brown left his televised science lab and began hosting and commenting on competitive programs featuring industry types doing the competing, he developed the habit of talking down to the women (when they were there at all) and pulling mock-incredulous faces at them as they worked. This I noticed, this I’m objecting to, Brown has no business explaining anything to anyone outside of home cookery because he has no professional experience but as an actor who enrolled in culinary school in order to make television for home cooks.

                Off the top of my head, he admitted the oil-in-pasta-water thing was a non-starter; his advocacy for extended brines of poultry is demonstrably wrong; for the sake of an endorsement, he has the habit of pretending post-diluted concord grape juice fits into his “mediterranean” diet (not to mention his weird and complicated feelings about yucky fat people and their Ill Health); the “homebrewing” and ginger ale GE episode is correctly regarded as one gigantic technical error; he confuses radiant with conductive and convective heat whenever discussing or diagramming metals and that’s distracting for no reason; and oddly enough, given his interest in chemistry, his book on baking and bread-making is a disaster.

                • apogean

                  My comment was specific to Good Eats, thanks (as was yours). I don’t watch the competitive programs and never have, so I have no thoughts on that.

                  It doesn’t surprise me that he holds unscientific views on cooking. Most doctors hold unscientific views on medicine. But he has a lot less mysticism and a lot more solid data in his approach on Good Eats than most cooks.

                • apogean

                  In fact the doctor analogy is especially apt since there is widespread disdain for yucky fat people and their Ill Health.

                • Snuff curry

                  Cool cool

            • nixnutz

              The spin-off channel was good at first, much like MTV2 it was where they actually aired cooking shows when the main channel was all reality competitions, but now it’s pretty much the same. Personally I think I’m a decent cook but I definitely still have a lot to learn and Good Eats was pretty much the only show on the Food Network that was any good at all. Mostly I watch whatever’s on the PBS Create station but they seem to have gone way overboard on barbecue lately.

              • KadeKo

                Well, Steve Raichlen has a new show as of 2015, giving him three shows, ergo, a lot of BBQ.

                • I have always found Steve “Third” Raichlen to be annoying.

      • Jordan

        I dunno, is there anything other than that one guy with an obvious financial grudge who says those things about Fieri?

  • LosGatosCA

    So let me make sure I understand the situation: there’s an eldctronic device that displays pictures with sound and one of the sources of pictures and sound is a thing called the Food Network and some of pictures and sounds on that network are of/about this person named Guy Fieri.

    Cool. Before I comment what his ffWAR?

    • Barry_D

      [ORDER #405i867 START:

      Subject: Smugster
      Action: Standard package
      (superglue on fake hipster beard, ‘organic’

  • TexRipples

    Fairly recently, I read an article by Tyson Ho about being on the other side of this type of arrangement (but not DDD), and it was a pretty interesting perspective: http://www.seriouseats.com/2015/12/behind-the-scenes-food-network-show-tyson-ho-arrogant-swine.html

  • JonGal

    I spent some time in food service, and despite this still fantasize about starting a restaurant (and losing a lot of money, working all hours, and living or dying by Yelp reviews. Just fantasies y’know?)

    The DDD interactions I’ve most appreciated are the ones where Guy can’t help but dive into the mechanics, and thus the business, of providing what he’s eating. I would love to know if, off-camera, he and the owner/chef/whatever ever get into the nuts and bolts of making the business profitable, and, FSM willing, successful?

    Also how do the mechanics of the show work? Who drives the camaro to get it to shooting locations? I would assume that they concentrate on single regions to minimize logistics, but how do you keep that from turning into a madhouse as other places try to get an invite?

    Is he still seeing a regional character to these small places, or is there an encroaching foodie culture? Is a hamburger is a hamburger is a hamburger wherever you go (minus bizarre condiments), or is there variation in quality, preparation, etc.. For example, moving to Portland from Southern California I swear there’s a difference in the beef between the two places. There’s the classic “Eastern-most in quality, western-most in value” (for all you Farmer John’s fans in LA), is this true?

    And, obviously, when he retires, who gets to be the replacement? (me! me! me!)

    • CJColucci

      I’d like to see some of the shows about fixing failing restaurants replaced by a show that tells you how to do it right and what it takes.

    • BiloSagdiyev

      Also how do the mechanics of the show work? Who drives the camaro to get it to shooting locations?

      I ponder that, too. I assume it’s just towed in an enclosed trailer.

  • mikeSchilling

    Has he ever had sex in your office?

    • Does he take great offense at neighbors who wear hats?

      • tsam

        What’s his policy on ketchup?

    • Bill Murray

      has he ever cooked or eaten dead horse?

    • Peterr

      Does he have conversations/arguments with CATS of ANYAGE?

  • He featured on his show a few years ago a great burger place in Santa Fe — Bert’s Burger Bowl. It really had the most amazing green chili cheeseburgers. Sadly, Bert’s recently closed because the owners were just too old to keep it going. I’m told it’s reopening soon with new folks. I hope so.

    I don’t mind him. I think he is trying to keep the greasy spoon tradition alive. I like greasy spoon diners.

  • Julia Grey

    As far as I can tell, he’s in the Sandra Lee category of being a food clown,

    NO ONE comes close to the food clown that is Sandra Lee. Guy Fieri used to have an actual cooking show, on which he cooked actual food from basic, fresh ingredients.

    Sandra Lee opens cans and packages from the supermarket and does boring, regrettable or bizarre things with the contents. Hence the title of her early show, SEMI-Homemade. Igg.

    • Bill Murray

      didn’t she also drink quite a bit?

      • gusmpls

        Yes, but not enough to redeem her for the food.

  • randy khan

    DDD isn’t bad, and we often eat at one of the places that was featured in the show on our summer vacation (and it’s quite good.

    Grocery Games is an abomination.

    His cooking shows really grate on me, but it’s as much his approach as the cooking itself.

    But, as noted by others, he’s not remotely in the Sandra Lee category.

  • Peterr

    Serious question to ask Guy:

    How have his forays into all these interesting, out-of-the-way, local landmark restaurants changed his approach to running his own restaurant(s)? Changes to his menus? New cooking approaches? Different way of hiring/supervising staff? Different ways of connecting with customers? Connecting with the community?

    IOW, what have all these restaurant owners he’s talked with taught him about the business?

    • That would be an interesting question. From what I have seen about his own restaurants, they appear to be designed by corporate focus groups.

  • Peterr

    Second Serious Question:

    The quality and taste of the food is a big part of DDD, but so is the atmosphere of all those places, which depends in no small measure on the front-of-the-house staff. The show depicts Guy interacting with the owners and chefs, as well as with the customers, but does he spend much time talking with the wait staff? What has he gleaned from them about what makes a good joint run smoothly and be attractive to customers?

    My sense is that these places often have staff with many years of experience in that restaurant, which makes the followup question obvious: How do these owners treat their staff, to earn such loyalty and partnership?

  • metaform3d

    I saw Guy giving a live cooking demonstration at the Sunset Home & Garden Show maybe 10 years ago. Generally these demos tend to be very dry and the presenters — even high-end chefs — can be halting, hard to hear, and just not very engaging. Guy, on the other hand, was a consummate showman. He had us eating out of the palms of his hands and got a huge ovation at the end. That kind of raw talent may not come across on the TV so well, but it’s undoubtedly a big reason for his success.

    I had the opportunity to try one of the diners he showcased, a falafel place in Santa Clara — and it was fantastic. That gave me a lot of confidence that he’s not just gushing about any place that the PR people tell him about.

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