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Jan 13, 2011 08:23 PM

The Best Thing I Ever Ate...

...came to San Diego for an episode, well acutally La Jolla.

George's at the Cove...inside out taco app

First aired this past Sunday on Food Network. Will repeat on Jan 28th adn 29th. I think there's a pretty good chance The Best Thing I Ever Ate will not do to George's what Triple D did to Blue Water.

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  1. There was an episode of Best Thing about Little Italy Extraordinary Desserts' Dulce de Leche cake a couple of months ago and didn't hear of any massive swarm. I think it is an underviewed show and George's doesn't need any help with the already swarming crowd of tourists and locals.

    Extraordinary Desserts
    2929 5th Ave, San Diego, CA 92103

    1 Reply
    1. re: foodiechick

      The Best Thing is actually one of my 2 favorite shows on FTV (the other being Chopped). They've actually done a few SD pieces. Bobby Flay did a segment a couple years ago on the PB & J French Toast at Cafe 222; their business was already so busy they probably didn't notice if they got a bump from that feature or not ;-)

      Cafe 222
      222 Island Ave, San Diego, CA 92101

    2. Is this show pay-to-play like Diners, Driveins and d..well whatever?

      29 Replies
      1. re: Fake Name

        I would be very surprised if it wasn't..

        1. re: SDGourmand

          I am a born skeptic, and I am certain It is not pay-to-play, although logrolling may be involved on occasion. There are several highly-regarded chefs (e.g. Rocco DeSpirito, Michael Symon, Michael Psilakis, among others ) that have appeared on particular episodes. Most of the establishments that are mentioned are already doing quite well without being featured on the show.

          1. re: Encinitan

            Wow. When did Rocco DeSpirito become highly regarded?

            1. re: foodiechick

              1999 Named one of Food & Wine Magazine's Best New Chefs
              2000 Gourmet Magazine America's Most Exciting Young Chef
              2004 Winner James Beard Award: Best Cookbook - Cooking From A Professional

              1. re: Encinitan

                And he had a complete meltdown on NBC's "The Restaurant" which did nothing for his cred and from which he is still trying to make a comeback. Buena suerte.

              2. re: foodiechick

                "Wow. When did Rocco DeSpirito become highly regarded?"

                Well, he was at one time. And I can attest to his skills having dined a few times at one of the best restaurants in NYC in the late 90s, Union Pacific, which he opened in 1997.

              3. re: Encinitan

                And Frank Bruni has been on the show. Hard to imagine a former food critic would be on the payola payroll.

                1. re: Encinitan

                  pretty much all the chefs are food network personalities. some are only highly regarded in as much as they have name recognition from being n tv

                  1. re: thew

                    The talking heads on the show are FN-related, but the places they feature are not.

                    1. re: ttoommyy

                      yeah. thats what i said - the chefs, as mentioned in encintan's post, not the places

                      1. re: thew

                        Ah, sorry. Didn't follow that at first read.

              4. re: Fake Name

                I didn't know that was pay-to-play. Just when I thought my contempt couldn't be any greater...

                1. re: Josh

                  Josh, FWIW, I do know that when Cesar Gonzalez (Mama Testa) did the Throwdown episode, he really didn't know it was Throwdown. And he didn't pay anything for the exposure

                  1. re: DiningDiva

                    Yeah, I can't imagine Cesar doing a pay-to-play show, nor Bobby Flay for that matter. For all the gripes about his personality, I think he's serious about his love for good food.

                    I would be interested in learning if DDD is, though. I find that hard to believe, but would like to know more.

                2. re: Fake Name

                  No, I don't believe it is. According to the blurb I read in the U/T about it (Diane Bell's column, Jan. 12th) Aaron Sanchez was in town recently, had the inside out taco and fell in love with it. He does appear frequently on The Best Thing and alledgedly asked the producers to do a a segment on it with him.

                  In any event it's nice, and well deserved, exposure for Trey Foshee. The U/T blurb also said there had been a noticeable increase in business since the show first aired last Sunday and that orders for the inside out taco had shot up too.

                  1. re: DiningDiva

                    Like everything else there is murky waters... I know for certain there are Triple D places that certainly didn't pay to play. But recently visited the website of a restaurant PR agency where they were touting how they got one of their clients featured on The Best Thing...

                    And it's even murky for the restaurants. In the first season a very innovative restaurant was featured for a dessert. Now the owners lament thy can't take the darn thing off the menu because so many expect it there...

                  2. re: Fake Name

                    DDD is pay to play? Really? I am just kinda suprised, well maybe not, I guess nothing should shock me anymore. If BTIEA was pay to play, then I really would be suprised. They have had some fairly big deal restaurants on that show. I don't think that Rick Bayless and Wolfgang Puck, while neither shys away from publicity, would pay to get a plug in on a show on FN. I don't think they need to do that.

                    1. re: littlestevie

                      DDD, while not exactly what the doctor ordered in the way of encouraging Americans to watch their waistlines, is most certainly not pay-to-play. A friend of mine in Phoenix who owns an Italian place was touched by the Fieri wand with little advance notice, and has called it a very mixed blessing.


                      1. re: SaltyRaisins

                        I hope that you mean touched by Fieri's wand in a metaphorical sense, otherwise....ew.

                    2. re: Fake Name

                      I'm curious what your source is for this assertion?

                      1. re: wanker

                        That's the industry rumor. Should be easy to verify...

                        1. re: Fake Name

                          ...well Fieri does has to get those roots touched up on a frequent basis...$$$.

                        2. re: Fake Name

                          I don't think Triple D is pay-to-play. It makes no economic sense.

                          Most of the places visited are pretty small, one-location joints, often in non-hip places. They aren't going to blow what modest marketing budget they have on a national show when they are a $7 a meal, suburban strip mall place in Omaha, Phoenix or San Bernardino.

                          It makes no sense for the restaurant or for the show.

                          For a small restaurant in Memphis or Montana, are you really gonna hope to have people travel cross country when you've not yet tapped the local eaters? Your key market are locals.

                          Likewise, if you were going to produce a P4P show, you'd likely target well funded restaurants in major destination cities. For example, there are plenty of well heeled places in Vegas with celeb chefs and casino money backing, but Guy hits "The Keg" - a dive strip mall bar for beers and stromboli.

                          1. re: Fake Name

                            +1 to wanting to see the verification that DDD is pay to play.

                            1. re: chrisonli

                              One thing that makes me seriously doubt that DDD is pay-to-play is that after Guy gives the initial introduction of the restaurant, he rarely ever mentions the name again, and it's never really shown on the screen after that initial shot of the signage.

                            2. re: Fake Name

                              Have you found a citation to back up that claim yet?

                            3. I believe the same show, but different episode, had a visit to the downtown Donovan's Steakhouse for the happy hour steak sandwiches....saw it on Saturday.

                              3 Replies
                              1. re: MrKrispy

                                The show had my interest early on, but it's gotten way too watered down of late. When they start featuring the complimentary mini-steak sandwiches at Donovan's Happy Hour, it's definitely time to tune in elsewhere. Even re-runs of Hell's Kitchen....:)

                                1. re: mcgrath

                                  Some of the epsiodes do seem to be a stretch. But it's still fun to see some of things these "stars" classify as great, and they do get it right alot of the time. I find I usually like the choices Alex Guarnaschelli, Duff and Aaron Sanchez come up with; or perhaps it's just the delight with which they talk about the dish ;-).

                                  In 2009 Giada gave a shout out to the panettone at Rulli's in Larkspur, CA as being the best she's ever eaten. I have to agree with her, it is fabulous (and $$$$) and I used to order several every Xmas. Rulli's is not a small bakery operation, but it is traditional and the panettone takes several days to finish. They were totally sold out for the whole season and had to stop taking orders shortly after the show aired because they were innundated. She definitely got this one right :-)

                                  1. re: mcgrath

                                    I think that "watered down" is the right phrase. The first couple of eps I saw, I don't even think they were themed. Now not only is every ep themed but even the themes seem to be getting stretched a bit.

                                2. Call me naive, but I can't imagine DDD is pay to play. Reason? If it were it would become common knowledge, and in the press, immediately, and having done so would depreciate FN's business credibility and cause them the loss of really big bucks, far far more than anything they'd get by shaking down some little diners in South Dakota. They don't need to do business that way. IMO it's ridiculous to suggest that is what is going on.

                                  As to "Best Thing...", again I seriously doubt money is changing hands, and here you have the credibility of the "chefs" mixed in as well, but of course being friends with those chefs surely counts for something to get on the show.

                                  OTOH, how much the "secret ingredient" is really secret, and whether the choice of IC is done on the spot at the start of the "competition," well, that's another story.