Despite what the song says, video did not kill the radio star and neither will the internet. Thanks to smartphones and tablets, we're all reading more online, even if it's coming in 140 character bites. But, a human voice will always remain the ultimate hands free device.
Steve O and Rene, are the hosts of the South Florida Eat & Critique Radio Show, a locally produced program dedicated to critiquing Broward and Palm Beach restaurants every Saturday at 2 p.m. on WNN 1470 AM. The pair started on the air just five months ago after feeling a void in the community for honest reviews of restaurants by everyday people.
Steve O went to culinary school, has published two cookbooks, and has critiqued restaurants for other local publications. The other voice, a woman with a prominent New York accent, is Rene. President of a promotional company by day, she moonlights as an avid foodie by night.
"Online reviews can be so confusing," Steve said. "We try to do all the leg work so that when you go out, you already know what to expect and won't have to waste your time or money."
Forced by popular demand to extend from a half hour to an hour less than two months after its debut, the show caters to the older, less technically-inclined crowd who may know their way around a radio dial better than a smartphone. Each week the duo reviews a local eatery that they visited the night before. They interview the chef or owner of that place and, finally, offer gift certificates to a lucky caller. If you were wondering about the popularity of a local AM radio show about food, wonder no longer -- the lines are always jammed.
"There was one lady, an older lady, who had a stroke," Steve recounts. "She asked her daughter to bring in her laptop to the hospital so she could listen to the show on iHeartRadio."
While the commercials seem to tiptoe the advertorial lines, Steve O vouches that the pair only promotes a place once they have eaten there and enjoyed it. They say they won't even pass the gift certificates on to their callers if they had to ask the server for more water. Listen to one of their negative reviews, and you know it's not about making friends or money for these two.
We Believe Local Journalism is Critical to the Life of a City
Engaging with our readers is essential to New Times Broward-Palm Beach's mission. Make a financial contribution or sign up for a newsletter, and help us keep telling South Florida's stories with no paywalls.