If it's anything like his upcoming prospect, Boca Raton restaurant Talia's Tuscan Table, it's got a lot to do with character. Character from the food, the customers -- and even the establishment's owners.
"We're your local dive joint. You come here for some good food, for a good price, and a big portion. It's a no frills thing," said owner and Chef Andrew Bennardo.
Frills or no, a spot on Fieri's show isn't in the bag just yet. It's actually up to people like you to make it happen. Like them on Facebook, and write to the Food Network, if you'd like to see this local South Florida spot on an upcoming episode.
"We're close. That's why we've gone on this campaign [to get more support]," Bennardo told New Times Thursday.
The last e-mail Bennardo received from Food Network producers read:
"We'd like to hear more noise from your customers."
Luckily, they've got plenty of those, too. In fact, Bennardo credits his customers for his chance to be on Diners, Drive-Ins and Dives. With over 1,000 Facebook friends -- and growing -- it's his loyal supporters who have made his business the next spotlight for Guy Fieri's foodie show.
So, what kind of a dive is it? The kind of place with $1 drafts poured from a self-serve keg in the middle of the dining room, and where the Godfather streams continually 24-hours a day.
"It's a New York kinda place, with a Sopranos feel to it," said Bennardo, who has since expanded Talia's to include Baba's Shrimp Shack, the nautical-themed portion of his restaurant. Baba -- his nickname since childhood -- is homage to his hometown of City Island, Bronx's own "mini Cape-Cod."
"That's where I grew up, and I worked every seafood restaurant on that island," said Bennardo, whose specialty at Baba's include fresh fish tacos, New England-style clam bakes, and a Moroccan-style paella -- to name a few.
Sounds like one delicious dive. We'll be doing our own drive-thru pretty soon. Look out Guy Fieri! Here comes Clean Plate Charlie...