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Apr 23, 2011 08:23 AM

Phantom Gourmet: what role does it play?

I am not from Boston but we get the Phantom Gourmet in Montreal and I have been watching it for at least 6 years on and off. I cannot figure out what role it plays in the food scene in Boston. Can someone enlighten me as to what this show is all about and the role it plays in Boston's food scene.

I also have never read any blurbs on it or about it from any of the national food sites; blogs; or online food news.

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  1. It's role is to promote food for the masses. BTW, this thread will probably be moved by the powers that be to the "food and media" board................

    7 Replies
    1. re: Science Chick

      ok thx so food for the masses translates into 'fast food big box dining?' I guess.

      1. re: blondee_47

        i think that the role of the phantom is to get money from sponsors and use the show as advertisement for said sponsors.

        1. re: cambridgedoctpr


          PG will sometimes stumble upon something good, but I can't remember them ever (at least in the last handful of years) identifying something good that I hadn't already known about for quite some time. By and large, if I haven't heard of a place and I see it pimped on the PG, I know it's likely to be garbage.

          They're blatant shills for their sponsors, which should tell you something.

          As far as "what role does itp lay?" - For me it plays the role of food porn when I'm plopped on the couch weekend mornings. As much as I dislike all of their "ooey, gooey cheese!" and syrup money shots, that's kinda what I want to watch at 10:30 on a saturday :)

        2. re: blondee_47

          Not necessarily, but food for the masses does not include a lot of stuff that gets discussed here. What you see on Phantom Gourmet is very mainstream, never high-end or challenging in any way. They might cover a neighborhood red-sauce Italian restaurant, but they would not feature a restaurant that specialized, say, in offal or had a lot of flavors that would be strange to the typical North American palate, such as Cambodian or Laotian fare. I would not expect them to be at a restaurant that a blue-collar middle class family would not be able to comfortably afford. That's their demographic. Which is not to say that everywhere they go is bad; it's just that on this board we tend to talk about a lot of things that would never be on the Phantom Gourmet.

          1. re: PinchOfSalt

            You might not want to say "would not feature", as I've seen them do it. Never say never. It's just not what one typically sees on their show. Over the years I've seen them feature a lot of places that completely surprised me (typically in the 'high end' category, but that's still not 'mainstream').

            1. re: jgg13

              I think the Andelbrothers are sensitive to this and are adding new field producers with better story telling abilities.

          2. re: blondee_47

            I didn't mean corporate/fast food/big box, as much as what the average joe would find appealing. I think the other hounds have done a more than adequate job of explaining PG's primary motivating factor. Bottom line: Garbage in = garbage out

        3. The Andelmans are strictly pay-to-play. You might see them in a decent restaurant from time to time -- I saw them in Marliave once, for example -- but they're not going to feature it on the show unless it buys an ad or otherwise greases their palms.

          Phantom Gourmet's role in the Boston food scene is mostly cautionary: if they shill for a place, it's probably not worth going there. No one here takes them seriously at all, and if their dad wasn't a beloved local media personality, they never would have gotten a gig.

          1. The original comment has been removed
            1. They have some very small value in that their footage shows what the interiors and exteriors of many restaurants is like. You get to see what the customer base looks like (can help in deciding if it's your demographic), and close-up shots of some of the food. Watch the show with the volume off - it's much less annoying that way, and you won't miss anything important.

              2 Replies
              1. re: greygarious

                Those are all good points and I've said in the past that some of the video they show has helped to shape an opinion I had of a place that I was already interested in.

                One thing though, I've *never* seen them show a burger in a way that makes me want to eat it. Even burgers that I know I like. Don't know who their food photography person is, but they need to be canned.

                1. re: jgg13

                  I sometimes think they only HAVE one burger shot. No matter what the restaurant, the cheddar-oozing burger pictured looks shellacked, with the top of the bun precariously perched upon a mound of toppings. It looks like only one of the jaw-dislocating aliens on "V" could consume it.

              2. Bottom line, they are "pay to play" product placement. Their dad was indeed once a beloved sports radio figure in this town, but I can personally attest to the fact that he was also a giant ass in person (having had the misfortune to wait on him as a 17 year old). My basic instinct is to say, if it's from an Andelman, run.