A visit from spiky-haired Food Network chef Guy Fieri comes with a spiky secret. No restaurateur filmed for an episode of Diners, Drive-Ins and Dives is allowed to tell anyone during the several months while Food Network's TV production crew readies days of footage into a segment
for the show.
The rumors about where Fieri and his red 1968 Camaro convertible might've been seen don't matter. Restaurateurs can't tell.
"We had a customer come in and tell us, Diners, Drive-In and Dives went to an Afghan restaurant in Dallas,'" says Matt Pikar, co-owner of one of Dallas' few restaurants that serve Afghan cuisine. Fieri and his crew visited Pikar's restaurant. But Pikar followed the rules, hemming and hawing to the customer. "Hmm. No idea!" he had to say.
Fieri and Diners, Drive-Ins and Dives are infamous for turning hometown favorites into dining destinations. If you like a place seemingly nobody else knows about, a spotlight on Food Network will send people from all over the country to your once-secret spot. Just ask restaurateurs from Dallas restaurants Cane Rosso, Pecan Lodge, Twisted Root and many more: An endorsement from Fieri on Diners, Drive-Ins and Dives means serious business.
Jesus Carmona, owner of Tacos Mariachi, says he plans to cook twice as much food for customers once his restaurant is featured on Food Network on Jan. 19. He'll also hire more employees so the line moves faster.
For Carmona, the feature on national TV is priceless for his small business.
In fact, "It's the American dream," he says.
Here's a look at 6 restaurants in Dallas that will be featured on Diners, Drive-Ins and Dives soon:
Don't be afraid of ordering an octopus taco. It's the thing to get at Tacos Mariachi in West Dallas. The pulpo, or grilled octopus, comes topped with asadero cheese, a slice of avocado and cilantro-pesto sauce, wrapped in a corn tortilla. Carmona served Fieri a pulpo taco and a basket of his mole fries. "They're the two dishes that I love the most," Carmona says. You can bet a lot of people are going to order them soon.
Episode premieres Jan. 19 at 8 p.m. on the Food Network and is called "Delicious Discoveries." Tacos Mariachi is at 602 Singleton Blvd., Dallas.
Nora Restaurant and Bar
Nora Restaurant and Bar, located on Dallas' Lowest Greenville, is the first Afghan restaurant featured on Diners, Drive-Ins and Dives, its owners believe. Nora is more upscale than most on the show. ("I kept saying, 'We're not a diner, or a drive-in, or a dive,'" joked Rosalind Lynam, a co-owner of the restaurant. Good point.) But a feature on Triple D means Pikar and Lynam can explain Afghan food to a national audience. Chef Pikar says Fieri was knowledgeable about his restaurant's flavor profile. "He knew all the spices," Pikar says. "He said, 'You have black cardamom in this.' Nobody has heard of black cardamom."
Episode premieres Jan. 19 at 8 p.m. on the Food Network and is called "Delicious Discoveries." Nora Restaurant and Bar is at 1928 Greenville Ave., Dallas.
One90 Smoked Meats
Co-owner Kyle St. Clair says a visit from Fieri is "like sitting for your test at the end of the semester." It's a good analogy, as St. Clair has a bachelor's degree, an MBA and a law degree, but now he's a student of smoked meat. One90 Smoked Meats opened in an unassuming shopping center in eastern Dallas in July 2015.
St. Clair says being on DDD is "one of the biggest opportunities we've had," noting that One90 went "from a backyard concept to a tiny shop." Expect to see two sandwiches on Diners, Drive-Ins and Dives: a "D.L.T." made with duck and a spicy brisket sandwich topped with roasted poblano peppers and smoked cheddar cheese.
Episode premieres Feb. 2 at 8 p.m. on the Food Network and is called "Bird and Beef." One90 Smoked Meats is at 10240 E. Northwest Highway in Dallas.
Whistle Britches' partners are thrilled to be featured on Diners, Drive-Ins and Dives. "We worked so hard on this," says Grace Marshi, one of the partners. Fieri joined chef Omar Flores in the Far North Dallas kitchen to make chicken and waffles and a sandwich called the Hot Dang: Nashville-style hot crispy chicken served with dill ranch and bread and butter pickles. The TV timing is perfect on this growing chicken company: Whistle Britches No. 2 opens at the Shops at Willow Bend in Plano in mid-2018.
Episode premieres Feb. 9 at 8 p.m. on the Food Network and is called "All Kinds of Comfort." Whistle Britches is at 6110 Frankford Road in Dallas.
It's barbecue, it's pizza, "it's barbecue on pizza," explains Guy Fieri in an episode of Diners, Drive-Ins and Dives on Jan. 5 that featured Tutta's Pizza in downtown Dallas. One of the pizzas as seen on TV was the Texan, a pie with a barbecue sauce base that comes topped with smoked brisket, pepperoncinis, red onion and mozzarella.
Episode premiered Jan. 5 on the Food Network and is called "Poutine, Pizza and Pork." Tutta's Pizza is at 1710 N. Record St., Dallas.
You remember the first rule of Diners, Drive-Ins and Dives: What happens during the production of the show remains a secret. A partner at CrushCraft Thai wouldn't confirm that one spiky-haired TV personality visited his late-night Uptown Dallas eatery. But a Food Network publicist did, saying only that air dates are not yet available for the episode featuring CrushCraft. We'll wait patiently while we nosh on the restaurant's excellent khao soi, a curry dish served with egg noodles and chicken.
No information on the episode yet. CrushCraft Thai is at 2800 Routh St., Dallas.