Diners Dives and Drive ins?

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wild lily
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2010/09/14 12:07:24 (permalink)

Diners Dives and Drive ins?

Has anyone tried any of the places that have been featured on the food networks "Diners, Dives and Drive ins"?  If so, was the food as good as he says it is?
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    Foodbme
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    Re:Diners Dives and Drive ins? 2010/09/14 15:18:59 (permalink)
    I've been to all the places in the Phoenix area he's visited and yes, they are good places to eat. He has a book out now with places he's been. He's a Stern's Copycat!
    #2
    Sundancer7
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    Re:Diners Dives and Drive ins? 2010/09/14 15:46:02 (permalink)
    wild lily

    Has anyone tried any of the places that have been featured on the food networks "Diners, Dives and Drive ins"?  If so, was the food as good as he says it is?


    He is in Knoxville, TN this week.  I have no idea where.  He was here previously at the Pizza Palace on Magnolia.  His crew was downtown this weekend hanging out.
     
    I sorta like him myself but I could never ever do what he does.  Way too much food for me.
     
    Paul E. Smith]
    Knoxville, TN
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    Greymo
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    Re:Diners Dives and Drive ins? 2010/09/14 15:52:17 (permalink)
    I have been to all the places in the Baltimore area  and  most are fine  but  not the  best example of  a  great place. 
    #4
    mayor al
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    Re:Diners Dives and Drive ins? 2010/09/14 16:42:15 (permalink)
    A lot of his antics turn me off, but he did a good review of Martin's BBQ near Nashville. His description was good enough to make me want to try it out on our next visit to the Music City.
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    emmymom
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    Re:Diners Dives and Drive ins? 2010/09/14 16:45:33 (permalink)
    Yes, we went to Tecolote Cafe in Santa Fe, NM, and it was divine!  See my trip report for more details.
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    Foodbme
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    Re:Diners Dives and Drive ins? 2010/09/14 16:52:15 (permalink)
    Wild Lily,
    The bottom line is that they're not going to put a place on National TV that's sub standard. They'll be at least very good to outstanding.
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    leethebard
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    Re:Diners Dives and Drive ins? 2010/09/15 05:59:22 (permalink)
    We went to Super Duper Weenie in Connecticut,talked about on this forum...and it was exactly as advertized. Great food, and his show captured the essence of the place!!!
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    tommyeats
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    Re:Diners Dives and Drive ins? 2010/09/15 08:53:53 (permalink)
    Foodbme

    Wild Lily,
    The bottom line is that they're not going to put a place on National TV that's sub standard. They'll be at least very good to outstanding.

    Of course they would.  They're putting together a TV show, not the Michelin guide.  Many of these places look mediocre at best, and Guy has said that not all the stuff is very good.
    #9
    plb
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    Re:Diners Dives and Drive ins? 2010/09/15 09:48:31 (permalink)
    It is not surprising that Roadfooders have been to lot of places covered on the show, one of the producers of the show was here on Roadfood asking for our advice on what places to feature.
    #10
    Scorereader
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    Re:Diners Dives and Drive ins? 2010/09/15 10:44:39 (permalink)
    There's like 7 or 8 places that DDD has been to in Balimore area. I've been to 4 of them - all are spot on places one should go when in Baltimore. They're not the ONLY 4 places to go in Baltimore, but they are each worth the aggravation of dealing with the tourists who now go to these places since they were featured on DDD. 
     
    DiPasquale's is an absolutely awesome place. I'd say it's Baltimore's answer to DC's (arlington) Italian Market, but Balto has DC beat. A true Italian marketplace. It's not in "Little Italy" but IMO, Balto's Little Italy is overpriced except for Vaccaro's, which is a bakery, and even then....   Most people don't get to that side of Patterson Park, but should. This place would survive in any town's Little Italy, but I like its off the beaten path location. The deli, the imports, the butcher, it's all "A One."
     
    Went to Stoney Creek Inn in Orchard Beach (Pasadena), MD without knowing this was on DDD. So I had no preconceptions. It was just a place that was near some real estate I was researching. The result: I thought I had discovered this place, I started planting flags to mark my conquest....only to find later that I wasn't the first to stumble upon this quaint Bay joint.  The best crab cakes I've had, yes, even over the venerable Faidley's. All crab, there wasn't really any filler, which is why the crabcake fell apart into perfectly seasoned crab chunks. The hush puppies were, indeed, a bit unwhelming, but, I can accept that since the hush puppies haven't the chance of outdoing the crabcakes anyways. I wouldn't drive an hour for hush puppies or anything else on their menu...but for the crabcakes, heck yeah! 
     
    Blue Moon Cafe is fantastic. Now, it's not particularly "Baltimore" in that it's not a hole in the wall in Fells Point (and there aren't as many of those around anymore either), but they serve excellent food, breakfast in particular, in a casual and fun atmosphere that is the trend in the made-over Fells Point. It's right up there with Miss Shirley's. Although, the best option would be to take the best items from both places and leave out the few on each's menu that doesn't work.
     
    I could say that, "G & A isn't the 'best' " - but that's simply because I grew up on hotdogs from a different sausage factory. So, for me, if it doesn't taste like Hofmann Brand Franks and Coneys (white hots) of Syracuse, NY, then I'm not blown away. But, when in Coney Island, I like Nathan's and when in Baltimore I like G & A.  Hot dogs are one of those items where one won't find it the best unless it tastes like the tubers one grew up on. So, the best compliment that can be given is this: if I grew up in Baltimore, these are the doggies that I would've grown up on and defended to the end. Like my beloved Heid's of Liverpool, it's a gem.
    post edited by Scorereader - 2010/09/15 15:08:55
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    ayersian
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    Re:Diners Dives and Drive ins? 2010/09/15 11:57:32 (permalink)
    Foodbme
    He's a Stern's Copycat!

    Foodbme, you are so right!  I enjoy all these food shows, but I'd feel so much better if, just once, someone cited the Sterns in the credits...because we all know their research starts on Roadfood.com on in the books!    Chris
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    LyndaB
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    Re:Diners Dives and Drive ins? 2010/09/15 13:13:38 (permalink)
    I live in the next town to O'Rourkes in Middletown Ct and use to go there often but since the fire a few years ago have only been there once.  It was expensive (breakfast for 2 $30 no tax or tip) I had the Irish breakfast the hash was vinegary, the colcannon had way to many caraway seeds and I was told I could not sub the kind of toast served? It was also just warm.
    to be fair Brian ( owner and cook) was not  there that day.  Also on DDD Brian looked very uncomfortable having them there, again being fair the place is small and I am sure the DDD crew can be over taking.  Try it,  they must be doing something right because on weekends there is always a line down the sidewalk
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    mar52
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    Re:Diners Dives and Drive ins? 2010/09/15 15:56:30 (permalink)
     I think those on DDD submit their own restaurants for review.  There might even be money involved, but I'm not positive.  This is just second hand information.
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    Foodbme
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    Re:Diners Dives and Drive ins? 2010/09/15 16:32:45 (permalink)
    mar52

     I think those on DDD submit their own restaurants for review.  There might even be money involved, but I'm not positive.  This is just second hand information.

    My understanding is that they make their selections from Emails sent in by customers who recommend places as well as other sources. You see Guy talking to some of the customers who sent in emails to DDD during the show.
    That being said, because a restaurants business usually increases after a place is on the show leads me to think that Greed, Money and Hanky Panky under the table payoffs could certainly be a factor!
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    Heartbreaksoup
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    Re:Diners Dives and Drive ins? 2010/09/16 11:16:24 (permalink)

    That being said, because a restaurants business usually increases after a place is on the show leads me to think that Greed, Money and Hanky Panky under the table payoffs could certainly be a factor!

     
    I don't know about the insinuation there, but a restaurant's business will certainly increase... when we first went to Pizza Palace in Knoxville in July '09, the owner told us that a customer had mentioned seeing them on DDD every single day since its first broadcast.  Those further immortalized in one of the two tie-in books are guaranteed additional custom.
     
    Of the restaurants in the books (I've only seen the show twice or three times), I've been to the Palace, the Marietta Diner, Red Arrow Diner in NH and Blue Moon Cafe in Baltimore, and all are certainly worth visiting.
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    UncleVic
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    Re:Diners Dives and Drive ins? 2010/09/16 11:36:02 (permalink)
    He was at my little hangout, "Havana Hideout" in Lake Worth, Florida.  Food there is excellent, and he did them good by putting them in the spotlight!
     
    #17
    Foodbme
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    Re:Diners Dives and Drive ins? 2010/09/16 13:03:13 (permalink)
    Heartbreaksoup


    That being said, because a restaurants business usually increases after a place is on the show leads me to think that Greed, Money and Hanky Panky under the table payoffs could certainly be a factor!


    I don't know about the insinuation there, but a restaurant's business will certainly increase... when we first went to Pizza Palace in Knoxville in July '09, the owner told us that a customer had mentioned seeing them on DDD every single day since its first broadcast.  Those further immortalized in one of the two tie-in books are guaranteed additional custom.

    Of the restaurants in the books (I've only seen the show twice or three times), I've been to the Palace, the Marietta Diner, Red Arrow Diner in NH and Blue Moon Cafe in Baltimore, and all are certainly worth visiting.

    You took my statement out of context. Read the whole thing.
    #18
    The Travelin Man
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    Re:Diners Dives and Drive ins? 2010/09/16 13:51:01 (permalink)
    Scorereader 

    There's like 7 or 8 places that DDD has been to in Balimore area. I've been to 4 of them - all are spot on places one should go when in Baltimore....
     

    Score - 
     
    I think he also visited Chap's Pit Beef, as well.  I think I remember seeing that giant Guy Fieri poster the last time I was there.  The line was out the door on the hottest day of the year.  I remembered it being busy the previous time I was there, but I suspect that their appearance on DDD has increased their business significantly.
     
    ayersian

    Foodbme
    He's a Stern's Copycat!

    Foodbme, you are so right!  I enjoy all these food shows, but I'd feel so much better if, just once, someone cited the Sterns in the credits...because we all know their research starts on Roadfood.com on in the books!    Chris


    Chris, 
     
    I know that you know I am not disagreeing with you, but the sad reality is that TV > Books.  Thus, it will likely go down that from the point of entry of DDD, Guy Fieri and DDD will probably get the credit for keeping this type of dining establishment thriving.
    #19
    hatteras04
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    Re:Diners Dives and Drive ins? 2010/09/16 15:07:37 (permalink)
    I've been to 3 places - Virginia Diner in Wakefield, VA; The Silver Skillet in Atalnta; and Blue Ash Chili in Cincinnati.
     
    I liked all of them.  I could see that the buffet at the Virginia Diner might not have been the best but I just ordered some ham biscuits and the peanut pie off the menu and I like that a lot.
     
    The Silver Skillet was great.  Country ham, red eye gravy and lemon ice box pie for breakfast.  We went back the next time we were in Atlanta.
     
    Blue Ash was nothing really off the charts special for me but it was a very good example of Cincinnati Chili.  It was good but not so much better than any of the others that I've had.
    post edited by hatteras04 - 2010/09/16 15:08:48
    #20
    mayor al
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    Re:Diners Dives and Drive ins? 2010/09/17 09:15:18 (permalink)
    There are several websites that map and comment on the places visited on D-D-D. The set-up on a couple look a lot like the restaurant review section of the RF site, organized by state etc.
    Here is a sample...there are several others.
    http://www.flavortownusa.com/
    #21
    Heartbreaksoup
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    Re:Diners Dives and Drive ins? 2010/09/18 09:29:31 (permalink)
    The most interesting discovery on the Flavortown site thus far is learning that Charlotte is the only city in NC that DDD has visited, and they've come back seven times!
    #22
    MiamiDon
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    Re:Diners Dives and Drive ins? 2010/09/19 05:55:29 (permalink)
    D,D&D may have started by researching this site, but they certainly have moved on.  There have been eight places visited around here, and not one of them has been in any of the Sterns' books, or is officially reviewed on Roadfood.com.

    For the curious, the two that have been visited and commented on by Roadfooders are Blue Marlin and Tap-Tap.
    post edited by MiamiDon - 2010/09/19 06:17:02
    #23
    mayor al
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    Re:Diners Dives and Drive ins? 2010/09/19 08:36:23 (permalink)
    One of the things I have been taking notice of while watching the various foodie-visiting places shows is the seating arrangements in the establishments. I have given up on Man vs Food as it appears he packs the place with a cheering section for his adventures. Some of the places visited 'before the challenge' do give an honest view of how tightly packed the regular crowd can be. DDD does a fair job when Guy  mixes with the customers for comments about the food at a given place.
    Saturday evening TV used to be a Bore for me, but now with 2 hours of DDD on the food channel (9-11 PM) and 3 hours of COPS on Fox (8-9 PM) and G4 (9-11 PM), I keep the remote jumping from chase to food and back !!
    #24
    Scorereader
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    Re:Diners Dives and Drive ins? 2010/09/20 00:23:13 (permalink)
    Al, you're like me: you watch a few shows at once. Drives my wife nutty, but it keeps my interest.
    #25
    2005Equinox
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    Re:Diners Dives and Drive ins? 2010/09/25 02:25:32 (permalink)
    I like the show too. Wonder if he has ever come close to Northeast Wisconsin.
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    MoBob
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    Re:Diners Dives and Drive ins? 2010/09/25 08:12:44 (permalink)
    I can think of two places I've been for sure.
    Red Iguana in Salt Lake and yes it is probably the best Mexican Food between Denver and the West Coast. It's Mexican not Tex Mex.
    Lankford's Grocery in Houston does make a pretty good burger but the place has gotten too popular since the show.
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    blizzardstormus
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    Re:Diners Dives and Drive ins? 2010/09/25 09:06:18 (permalink)
    Received a form e-mail from DDD. "Thanks for your suggestion..." Not a single Iowa restaurant on DDD.
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    brickie
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    Re:Diners Dives and Drive ins? 2010/09/25 12:40:48 (permalink)
    I  loved this place before his show aired, and other than a longer wait I still really love eating here... http://www.flavortownusa.com/crazy-burger.aspx
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    Twinwillow
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    Re:Diners Dives and Drive ins? 2010/09/25 12:52:48 (permalink)
    In Dallas, I've been to the same places he visited for years. My favorite (genuine dive) is, Louie's. Although, many won't agree because of the (can be sometimes) abusive service.
    But, it's one of the few true, east coast type "dives" in Dallas.
     
    The other place he visited was Twisted Root Burger. It used to be much better when they first opened. It's still good but I won't go anymore because they won't do their 1/2 pound burger rare.
    #30
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