Food Network Returns, This Time for the Matzo Balls

You think Guy Fieri likes our local drive-ins, diners and dives? Just two weeks after a big shout-out to Havana Hideout in Lake Worth, last night the porcupine-haired host of "Triple D" did the same for the home away from home for deli-deprived New Yorkers: Flakowitz in west Boynton.

Manager Dominick LoCastro and baker Angelo Prozzi walked Fieri through the making of matzo ball soup, stuffed cabbage and Flakowitz's signature phyllo-wrapped knishes, which brought out a crowd of locals at lunch the next day to sample the Triple D Special, one of each for $7.99. The specials will run through the end of the week at lunch and dinner, when prices will rise by a couple of bucks.

"It was pretty cool," said LoCastro of his TV debut. "Everyone was a little apprehensive at first but [Fieri] loosened the whole place up and put everyone at ease."

The minutes-long segment took three days to set up and shoot, with Fieri blowing in for three or four hours to do his shtick. You think this kind of national play isn't golden? LoCastro said the Food Network people told him a mention on DDD typically boosts business 30 percent for two weeks following the episode airing, with 5 to 8 percent of those newbies sticking around to become regulars.

And why not? A little unscientific face stuffing proclaimed the stuffed cabbage pretty good, the knishes decadently rich and buttery, and the matzo ball soup God's own comfort food. BTW, if there's any better pastrami in South Florida than at Flakowitz, I haven't tasted it.

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Bill Citara