Support the independent voice of South Florida and help keep the future of New Times free.
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...
Follow Clean Plate Charlie Facebook on Twitter: @CleanPlateBPB.
Keep New Times Broward-Palm Beach Free... Since we started New Times Broward-Palm Beach, it has been defined as the free, independent voice of South Florida, and we would like to keep it that way. Offering our readers free access to incisive coverage of local news, food and culture. Producing stories on everything from political scandals to the hottest new bands, with gutsy reporting, stylish writing, and staffers who've won everything from the Society of Professional Journalists' Sigma Delta Chi feature-writing award to the Casey Medal for Meritorious Journalism. But with local journalism's existence under siege and advertising revenue setbacks having a larger impact, it is important now more than ever for us to rally support behind funding our local journalism. You can help by participating in our "I Support" membership program, allowing us to keep covering South Florida with no paywalls.