There are few things better than rolling out of bed in the morning and trudging down to a local food-trough to stuff breakfast into your craw. Rachel and I do it at least once morning each weekend. Usually, we get up and laze around until we’re starving, then walk down to 124 street as quickly as our low-energy will allow.
We usually have a weekend breakfast at the Urban Diner on High Street.We’re pretty much regulars there, and one morning last January our server suggested we come back in a few weekends for the taping of Food Network Canada’s You Gotta Eat Here.
(Full disclosure: the owner of the Urban Diner is my father’s cousin. But even if we weren’t related, I’d still eat there every weekend. I love the food and the staff.)
Hosted by actor, comedian, and now foodie John Catucci, You Gotta Eat Here travels all over Canada sampling the hidden gem restaurants in different towns and cities. It’s one of those show you’ll wind up watching if you have the TV tuned to the Food Network — and it will definitely make your mouth water.
When we arrived to the taping of the show, they already had lighting setup, and a section of the restaurant set aside to tape different patrons eating. They’d asked several groups of regulars to come in that day so that they could speak to the food as frequent visitors, and accurately describe the restaurant to the host.
We were seated while another table was being taped. Though we both had an idea what we wanted to eat that morning, the show’s producer (I believe), who was super nice and explained how the whole shoot would work for us, asked us instead if we’d mind eating certain pre-selected food items that the chef and owner wanted to highlight.
Once we had our food, John sat down with us and just had a conversation with us. It was kind of like if someone randomly sat down at a restaurant and just asked us how we were enjoying our meal — and way. The poffertjes became the focus of our interview with John, though when he sat down with us he asked us other questions, like what we like about the Diner, what keeps us coming back, what the food is like generally.
Then I made a poffertjes and bacon sandwich dipped in chocolate sauce. It was delightful!
All told, I think we were actually on camera for five minutes. We were in and out of the Urban Diner in two hours, and that included a second, untelevised meal. The show was taped in January, and it aired in mid-May — I knew it had aired because people started texting and tweeting that they’d seen me on TV. I wound up getting way more screen time then I ever expected, which was kind of cool!
Check out the episode of You Gotta Eat Here that we were in. It includes the Urban Diner, Fat City Franks, Phil’s BBQ.
Photo by Mack Male on Flickr. Used under Creative Commons License.