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Jun 23, 2008 07:58 PM

Diners, Drive-ins, Dives, and Disgusting

I thought I had seen it all until tonight's episode featuring a disgusting school bus serving various forms of hot dogs. As if the setting wasn't bad enough, Fieri is shoveling disgusting amounts of food into his pie hole to the point that it is all over his whiskers. Is there really any value to showing a hot dog topped with ketchup, mustard, relish, mayo, some awful meatsauce, coleslaw, and a few other "condiments" ?

Maybe TFN can come up with a new show called Dumpster Divers.

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  1. My preference is Diners, Dives and Impractical Jokes.

    1. hah, guess I am the only one who wants to go to that place. Actually my sister and I are planning on heading down there sometime this summer ):

      2 Replies
      1. I really like DD&D. The food looks better than a lot of the gourmet shows, there are always fairly complete sequences of the chefs cooking a dish or two, and Guy has a good rapport with the proprietors and the regulars. But I agree -- his stuffing his face with huge bites is disgusting and hurts his credibility and appeal. It is also offensive that a 3 pound burger would have a small sample crammed into his gullet and smeared on his face and the rest wasted.

        C'mon, Fieri -- you aren't a raw rookie anymore. DD&D is a hit, broadcast and repeated multiple times each week, and your cooking show is now on afternoons. You don't need the juvenile attempts at junior high humor anymore. I don't mind the endless trademark slogans ("money") and the fist bumps, but please give your audience the same respect you give your diner cooks, owners, and patrons.

        4 Replies
        1. re: nosh

          hate to admit it but I like it too.
          the places he finds are crazy, who'd a thunk.
          I've been to a few, one in Hatboro Pa, one is Baltimore Pa, one is Seattle Wash, all fine, all fun, all an adventure. but honestly, it's the mission that is most fun, not so much the food you get at these places.....

          1. re: nosh

            Why would he change now? The formula that made the show a hit includes him taking enormous, slobbering bites of things. That's actually one of the trademark elements - it sets it apart from other shows.

            1. re: monopod

              I know this is a bit of an old post, but even though I only watch tv at the gym, and only the Food Network, and it seems that Guy is always on when I'm there (no matter what time it is...), I have to confess, that it's a strangely perverse joy to watch him stuff his face with that heavenly, artery-clogging grub... What is that all about doctor???

              1. re: monopod

                Oh yeah... to make this even weirder, I don't even have audio when I watch it...

            2. Jeez people lighten up, food doesn't always have to be so serious and this is definitely not a serious show. Looked like he was having fun and given a free opportunity to dive my face in a huge burger like that, and I probably would too.

              4 Replies
              1. re: LStaff

                Thank you thank you. It is a fun show. Diners, good comfort food, low key, families and friends, not 5 star cuisine and dining. He adds humor and fun to the show. Do you really think he wouldn't be doing this if people didn't like him. The average stay at home mom or dad, or retired or just not working person is watching cuz it isn't serious and they have some fun and see humor.

                I love the show, And I certainly would shovel that food as well.

                For one ... I love fine cooking, I'm also a pretty average gal with family and friends who love average food. So he, Rachel, Aaron, and some of the others, why not. They at least get my attention and keep it. They have got millions on non cooks to cook and kudos to them.

                1. re: LStaff

                  Agreed. It's Triple D, not Pristine, Pricey and Pompous.

                  Likewise it's not a review show of the best places to eat. It's about unique places that are a bit different and that won't cost a small fortune, or a wardrobe change to visit.

                  Most of the time, they are locally owned/run places run by chow loving folks. The places he's visited in my areas are never on the top of local dining lists, but are still unique, locally owned, and try to be authentic. I'm happy with his show for highlighting risk takers, rather than getting picky with the "best of" mentality.

                  1. re: tastyjon

                    Great comments. I was going to reply, but you said it all. All I can say is I am afraid if we removed the Pompus from Chow, there might be little left :)

                    1. re: scottca075

                      *LOL*. There is that element, isn't there?

                2. Guy Fieri is as much of a whore and a cook's ass kisser as Rachel Ray. You cannot give any credit to anybody's recommendation who says they love everything that goes down their gullet.

                  80 Replies
                  1. re: kirkj

                    Amen brother. Some of that stuff is just downright foul and would be more at home on Fear Factor ! In a future episode, maybe Fieri can visit some breweries and drink until he pukes. I bet there are some viewers that would enjoy that type of "entertainment". He could stick his head in the brew tanks, yell "That's Off the Hook" and then dive in after his sunglasses fell off his head.

                      1. re: TonyO

                        Ahahahahahahaha, too funny!
                        Not a huge fan of the show, though I've tuned in if I'm familiar with a place he's scoping out. He seems like a nice enough fella - little too hyper for me though, and gimmicky.
                        I do like eating at Johnny Garlic's though.

                      2. re: kirkj

                        I was wondering last night how he could say "that's great" after some of the things he eats. It's great mindless entertainment at 10:30 pm, which is when it is on in NY. I went totally over the edge when they added mayo to that hot dog, although cole slaw is sometimes used. There are times when we are in the mood for the greatest in gourmet dining, but other times just want an interesting, divey place where we can go in with shorts and a t-shirt and have some comfort food. It's a good laugh to see who ends up in these places, both as chef and diner sometimes.

                        1. re: robinsilver

                          Actually I'm more often in the mood for interesting, divey place than some stuffy gourmet dining. Wasn't one of the tenents behind CH the discovery of the hidden gems and things like that? Seems to me, that's one of the premises behind DD&D

                          1. re: jgg13

                            Amen to that! I find more places that I would like to go to on that show than most others. I also think that if you're going to a burger joint in the middle of nowhere run by people that don't usually read Epicurian, you SHOULD take a big manly bite of that burger! What should he do- take a dainty bite with his pinky sticking out or cut a small slice with a fork and knife? I think his rapport with the owners and his fun antics are what make them comfortable and what makes the show as popular as it is. I'll keep watching....

                          2. re: robinsilver

                            "It's great mindless entertainment "

                            yep but sometimes, that's all I'm up for.
                            it's late or early, it's mindless with little or no thought needed, sometimes, that just what I'm ready to fall asleep to.........leave it on

                            1. re: robinsilver

                              He says 'that's great' because it would be the height of rudeness to show him saying "OMG that sucks- how to hell do you stay in business??"

                            2. re: kirkj

                              >>Guy Fieri is as much of a whore and a cook's ass kisser as Rachel Ray.

                              Oh boy, am I glad you said that.

                              I can't stand the guy.

                              1. re: dolores

                                Guy would be the perfect game show host.

                                He sucks as a credible food person.

                                1. re: Scagnetti

                                  And now he IS a game show host. Great call!

                                2. re: dolores

                                  And when Rachel Ray says EVOO or sammies, I want to punch her in the face. :)

                                  1. re: SFGourmande

                                    I have recently seen 'sammy' or 'sammies' every where from menus to newspaper stories on restaurants' offerings. I wish this term would die a painful death. (I still don't choose to understand the reference at all. 'Sandwich' does not and never has used the letter 'm').

                                    1. re: John E.

                                      The word sammy was part of the vernacular long before Rachel Ray's show. And it will be around long after.

                                      1. re: tommy

                                        I did not mention Rachel Ray nor was I referring to her.

                                        1. re: John E.

                                          Your wish for a slow painful death will surely go unfulfilled. LOL!

                                          1. re: tommy

                                            Yea, I have been persuaded that a quick, painless death is the way to go. I have joined a conspiracy with Davwud to make it happen.

                                      2. re: John E.

                                        I think the 'm' in sammies comes from the child pronunciation of sandwich as sammich. young kids may not be able to enunciate the 'ndw' sound in sandwich. So, sandwich to sammich to sammy...

                                        1. re: silence9

                                          You're almost correct. It came from parents speaking baby talk to their children who had not yet learned to enunciate. That word that children said is/was samwhich, not sammy.

                                        2. re: John E.

                                          I don't. I want it to die a quick, painless death. Sammy can get in a car, turn the ignition and BOOM!!!! Problem solved.


                                          1. re: Davwud

                                            If you provide the det cord, I'll keep the powder dry.

                                    2. re: kirkj

                                      So if he doesn't like something, should he say so on the show? Take a bite and say "Hmm, that's ok but I wouldn't order that." Or "Good lord, that's awful." I wouldn't want to watch a show where the host did that. He did actually say he didn't like the peanut butter hamburger on one of the episodes.

                                      1. re: Boychucker

                                        That is precisely what I want to watch. It's a TV show, it's not free advertisement for the restaurants. I wouldn't want to watch a show where everything the host bites into is delicious. That's why I don't watch Rachel Ray. Let me ask you, why are you a chowhound? Do you have a discriminating palate?

                                        1. re: Ericandblueboy

                                          That's cool if that's what you want to watch. I honestly haven't really seen any shows like that before, but I'm curious if they are out there. Although, it has been pointed out that there have been a couple of times Guy hasn't liked the food (the peanut butter hamburger). I think your last 2 questions don't have anything to do with why I enjoy this show and you don't so I'm not going to answer them.

                                          1. re: Boychucker

                                            We also don't know how much ends up on the cutting room floor. Maybe they don't show the "eww gross' moments that do happen. This is TV, just because you don't see something doesn't mean it doesn't happen - I wouldn't be surprised if the taping at these places lasts for a few days even though it looks like he's there for 20 minutes.

                                            1. re: jgg13

                                              Not even Alton Brown's openly trashed some of the places he's visited that seem to have sketchy cooking (though he's certainly noted his distaste for certain foods he's come across) on his Feasting on Asphalt show... besides, normally the owner/cook's standing right beside him, it would be a little rude to bash their food in front of their face, no?

                                              1. re: Blueicus

                                                If Alton won't diss the koolaid pickle, what will he dis? :) Of course as you say, he *has* knocked some stuff. But at least that show is in theory "AB rolls up on an unsuspecting place" - that's different than DD&D

                                                1. re: jgg13

                                                  Oh gosh I remember that episode of Asphalt. Alton looked like he wanted to cry before he ate that thing. I'd say he comunicated his feelings about it pretty well without out-and-out insulting the people who were selling them.

                                                  Guy used to annoy me; now I kind of like him. Maybe not "like" him but whoever said he's a freak got it right--he's like a train wreck you can't look away from! What I find interesting about DDD is that it is what real people eat. Those restaurants (or dives, whatever you want to call them) all seem to be filled with enthusiastic diners. So that's what America eats. There are more people going to places like that than Babbo! And I believe I read somewhere that Guy started as a short-order cook, so DDD is a perfect fit for him. Makes sense to me.

                                                  1. re: SharaMcG

                                                    Just 'cause America eats it doesn't mean it's worth celebrating. There's plenty America does that it should be ashamed of and some of the food you see us it can easily be lumped in there!

                                                    1. re: Scortch

                                                      There always seems to be an obligatory "burger moment" when he takes one and shoves it in his face. That I could do without. Anyway, burgers are like grilled chicken caesars at this point; EVERY restaurant has one (no matter how out-of-place on the menu) and they all pretty much taste the same.

                                                      I did enjoy the episode where he made "American Chop Suey." I had no idea the beefaroni I had in gradeschool had such a long New England history.

                                                      1. re: monkeyrotica

                                                        "Anyway, burgers are like grilled chicken caesars at this point; EVERY restaurant has one (no matter how out-of-place on the menu) and they all pretty much taste the same.", you got that right. Why does everybody need to mess up a caesar salad with chicken or shrimp? You're afraid of dying from protein deprivation, after one meal, perhaps?


                                                        1. re: EWSflash

                                                          I have to disagree with the "all burgers taste the same" theory. I look for "fresh" burgers when ordering them out and try to stay away from frozen. There is a huge difference in texture in quality between a frozen one and a fresh formed patty.

                                                          1. re: jessicheese

                                                            +1 Jessie. give me a hand formed, fresh beef perfectly cooked patty over just about anything else on the planet! YUM!

                                              2. re: jgg13

                                                Also, isn't the point that he's going to places with a local rep for great food? So I would be shocked to hear him say something tasted awful... because that isn't why he's there!

                                                1. re: jujuthomas

                                                  He has spoken up when he doesn't like something..or he makes a strange face.

                                              3. re: Boychucker

                                                I notice he will try anything at least once. He didn't like peanut butter burger's or scrapple either. You can tell when something doesn't hit him the right way. Hiis wold demeanor changes from jokes to "wow...interesting"

                                                1. re: BiloxiFoodie

                                                  I don't recall seeing him eat fried or scrambled eggs. He apparently despises them.

                                              4. re: Ericandblueboy

                                                Why would I want to watch a TV about restaurants that serve bad food?

                                                I'd be curious as to your response to the questions you have posed.

                                                And what is your definition of discriminating?

                                                1. re: Withnail42

                                                  I'm not saying he should feature bad restaurants but rather that even a good restaurant has flaws. I like Top Chef because they critique the food, not just eat it and gush how good it tastes without explaining why.

                                                  1. re: Ericandblueboy

                                                    Thing is, that's a totally different type of show. On a show like TC, they're being judged on their food. On a show like DDD, they're trying to show you "good ole places" around the country - its not a judgement type of show. Again, there's really nothing that happens on TV that's not pretty carefully thought out - it isn't as if Guy drives down the road in that fancy car of his and happens upon a greasy spoon ... these places are carefully vetted beforehand.

                                                    1. re: jgg13

                                                      Yes they're two different types of shows. Given that I already don't like the format of the show, adding a clown as its host makes it even less appealing.

                                                    2. re: Ericandblueboy

                                                      Top Chef vs NFNS? You've got a clear case of apples and oranges happening.

                                                  2. re: Ericandblueboy

                                                    "I wouldn't want to watch a show where everything the host bites into is delicious."

                                                    Full disclosure: I have not seen every episode of every cooking show ever filmed.

                                                    With the exception of the classic "Cookin' Cheap" series, I cannot ever once recall seeing the host of a cooking show bite into the featured product at the end of the show and saying "Ooops. That actually isn't very good."

                                                    Can you imagine? I'm all for realism and honesty, but if the host determines the food is awful, why waste the viewers' time even showing it to them?

                                                    I can't argue if the problem is that the host is over the top with the praise (I think Guy has at least toned it down a bit), but that the host never complains about the place...that just doesn't make sense. It's not "Guy objectively critiques greasy spoons" it's "Guy shows you good or unique greasy spoons."

                                                    1. re: jzerocsk

                                                      Actually, thats what Julia Child was known for doing. I remember her spitting out something she ate before!

                                                      1. re: jzerocsk

                                                        I seem to recall an episode of DDD where Guy encountered some menudo that he wasn't keen on.

                                                        1. re: jzerocsk

                                                          he hated the cheesebruger that had peanut butter on it... and there was recently a soul-food resto featured where he tried pigs ear and didn't really enjoy it.

                                                          1. re: jujuthomas

                                                            I feel sorry for him - he's been branded with that spiky-white-hair-bling-sunglasses-limited lifetime lingo-thing and now he's stuck with it. He's the Emeril, which really has to suck. All the way to the bank.

                                                          2. re: jzerocsk

                                                            Personally, I'd rather they do the vetting off-camera, and only feature the good. I'm plenty skilled at finding a mediocre-to-bad restaurant. I don't need a Food Network show for that. Too many eateries, especially the lower-end ones, get their menus mostly pre-made from a food delivery service. It's refreshing to see low-cost places that still make things from scratch.

                                                          3. re: Ericandblueboy

                                                            So only people with discriminating palates are allowed to be on this site? I thought this site was for people who enjoy food, no matter where it is cooked.

                                                            1. re: valleygirl617

                                                              But good food can be cooked anywhere. Did you really mean the part about "no matter where it is cooked"?

                                                              1. re: valleygirl617

                                                                DDD is suffering here in food fantasy land from the same affliction Rachael Ray suffered. Popularity! If someone is popular with the unwashed masses, they are more than likely to be looked down on here.

                                                                1. re: poser

                                                                  Alll I can say from a few years on this site is this: The people who seem to hate Food Network the most sure spend a lot of time watching it.

                                                                  1. re: jmckee

                                                                    It is kind of fun to watch Food Network/Cooking Channel to spot their mistakes and critique their food - sort of armchair quarterbacking for people who don't like sports!!!

                                                                    Seriously, I like to watch food shows, because there is almost always something new to learn even from a mediocre show. What bothers me is that is that these networks have become more of a celebrity circus than a place for people who are serious about cooking/baking. I am not interested in food assembly shows; I want to see the serious stuff!

                                                                    1. re: sandylc

                                                                      Triple D is a pretty serious show if you watch. I've learned an awful lot about how restaurants operate, not to mention technique, recipes, and constant inspiration.

                                                                      For "serious stuff" I pay for courses, or buy DVDs, watch PBS shows, or otherwise take it upon myself to better myself in the ways I find necessary for my own needs. As for those shows that don't fit into my needs, entertainment or otherwise, I simply do not tune in.

                                                                      1. re: tommy

                                                                        Well put, my brother in cyberspace.

                                                                        1. re: ttoommyy

                                                                          In terms of a Guyism, that's "My brother from another cyber mother." lol

                                                            2. re: Boychucker

                                                              actually he has disagreed with some of the dishes, although not very often. They seem to do a good job finding places that serve food made from scratch, as opposed to the open a can and microwave places that are the standard these days. So these places are probably pretty darn good. I have been to about ten places that he had on the show and the food was great each time. Also, I have eaten his food (Tex Wasabi's in Santa Rosa) and I would say his restaurant credibility is solid. This guy Guy knows his stuff. And give him credit for helping to promote the little places that trying to make food the right way.

                                                              1. re: Shane Greenwood

                                                                I definitely want to visit some of the places he goes to. Most of them seem like great places with a nice community feel.

                                                                1. re: Shane Greenwood

                                                                  Thank you, Shane. You have encapsulated the argument. FN tries to find places that are homemade (my kids always laugh and call it Ho-Made, but let's save that for another day), so what Guy ends up eating can't be all bad.

                                                                  Thanks for summing it all up!!

                                                              2. re: kirkj

                                                                I've seen him be less than enthusiastic about a couple of foods he's had, one that comes to mind was peanut butter on a burger, I think his exact words were "oh man, I don't like that at all" and made an open mouth yuck face.

                                                                1. re: TarheelYankee

                                                                  that was the funniest! I think he said something about 'i want my mommy' it was hilarious! :)

                                                                  1. re: jujuthomas

                                                                    He also didn't like scrapple.

                                                                    Who could blame him on that one? :-)

                                                                    1. re: ipsedixit

                                                                      Mmmmm....scrapple. With a fried egg between two slices of toasted Wonder Bread. If only Mcdonalds sold a Mcscrapple sandwich! But they'd have to describe it as "Pennsylvania Dutch polenta-style forcemeat" or something equally pretentious.

                                                                      1. re: monkeyrotica

                                                                        cincinnati goetta's even better! :)

                                                                        1. re: monkeyrotica

                                                                          Late in the thread, I know, but scrapple rocks!

                                                                          1. re: njmarshall55

                                                                            Especially w/ chow chow or especially apple butter on the scrapple. Forget catsoup or maple syrple.

                                                                  2. re: kirkj

                                                                    He doesn't like everything. He (politely) told the owner of one dinner that the hamburger with peanut butter was acquired taste.

                                                                    1. re: Withnail42

                                                                      Funny enough, I know a chef at a particularly renowned Ottawa restaurant that absolutely loves the combination of peanut butter and hamburger.

                                                                    2. re: kirkj

                                                                      Now you've hit on it. I "enjoy" the program in the sense that if any re:kirkj
                                                                      mentioned place is close enough to try, then I will pass by and look it over. He definitely never has a bad word about any place so I and others will have to use a bit of self evaluation. One place he featured in RI was not up to snuff, so prudence is the by word.

                                                                      1. re: feelinpeckish

                                                                        He doesn't claim he loves everything he's eating. It's quite easy to determine what he's not enjoying.

                                                                        1. re: tommy

                                                                          I recall an episode where he was at some taqueria. He raved about the tacos, but when he tried the menudo, he had a hard time swallowing it.

                                                                          1. re: tommy

                                                                            He had a very entertaining interview on my local radio station. He said that you can often tell he's not thrilled with something when he says things like "you can really taste the paprika" or things like that.

                                                                          2. re: feelinpeckish

                                                                            he was pretty clear about his distaste for a cheeseburger with peanut butter burger that he tried once, it was quite amusing. but i think for the most part he probably asks them to make him things that he *wants* to try, and i'd be willing to bet that there's plenty of footage on the cutting room floor of dishes that didn't go over well with him. after all, the point of the show is to get people to go to these places, not to feature the misses on their menus.

                                                                            1. re: goodhealthgourmet

                                                                              Its very obvious that Guy doesn't like eggs and innards.

                                                                              1. re: goodhealthgourmet

                                                                                He likes the places but not always every dish that they serve.

                                                                            2. re: kirkj

                                                                              While I would not be as harsh as your statement, there is certainly as element of truth in what you're saying.....

                                                                              I am frustrated in general with "food critics" lately - they just **love!*** everything! How can we believe anything they say?