Guy Fieri: Kitchener’s restaurant scene is ‘fire’

Few greetings are as nice as the “Diners, Drive-Ins and Dives” star that Guy Fieri received while he was at Girard Ave. on March 10th. Came up store for fine wines and fine spirits in Kitchener. All 300 bottles of his Santo Fino Blanco Tequila were sold out, a number of fans stretched out the door, and his name was chanted as he entered.

“I think this is a hell of a good introduction to Pennsylvania and the Kitchener people,” Fieri told PennLive.

Performing at Fine Wine and Good Spirits was just part of a busy day for Fieri, who filmed his show “Diners, Drive-Ins and Dives” (also known as Triple D) at Hardena / Waroeng Surabaya Restaurant and Farmer’s Keep earlier in the day .

He was already impressed with the Kitchener food scene – no cheesesteak needed.

“Everyone says, ‘Oh, you went to Kitchener. Which cheesesteak did you get? Which hoagie did you get? Which slice of pizza did you get? ‘”, He said. “Let me tell you something. We did a lot of research to get to Kitchener. Your restaurant scene here? Fire.

“It’s no joke. We shot six locations during one visit, we could have shot 25 locations,” he continued. “So many dynamite restaurants.”

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The upcoming “Diners, Drive-Ins and Dives” will not highlight the “traditional” Kitchener dishes. Instead of getting involved in the cheesesteak debate, he will instead showcase the city’s vibrant cuisine, often in unexpected locations.

Hardena served as a good example. “Here’s an Indonesian takeaway, a tiny little place that’s tucked in the corner and blowing it up!” Said Fieri. “You’re going to have six great shows about Kitchener.”

“I don’t think it’s right to believe that Kitchener is just a destination for cheesesteak and Italian food,” he continued. “It’s great, but there’s a lot more to it.”

In trying to figure out which restaurants can be found in Triple D, Fieri and his team look at three things: the honesty of the food, the character of the place and its owners, and the history behind it.

“If all of these things go together then there is usually a pretty good chance of doing the show,” said Fieri.

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These came together for Farmer’s Keep in Kitchener, Bistro and Bottle Store. It impressed Fieri with its allusion to California cuisine.

“I joked with the owner and called it the ‘East Coast of California,'” said Fieri. “They make food like we see it in Cali, and they do it out here in central Kitchener – I have to be honest, I’m surprised.”

While Fieri wasn’t really chatting about the BYO dining scene, he said his Santo Fino Blanco Tequila makes a good combination with pretty much any meal. In fact, in his words, it best fits “a good time”.

He likes to pair his Santo Puro Mezquila (a mix of tequila and mezcal) with barbecue, but it goes well with most foods that have a robust and strong taste. The Santo Fino Blanco Tequila goes better with lighter dishes like fish. “It’s really sensitive,” said Fieri. “It’s not overwhelming.”

For Fieri, tequila marks the next big frontier for premium spirits. He hopes people will appreciate it, like people will appreciate wine, bourbon, and scotch.

“Tequila is one of the last, I think, to really get this recognition and representation.”

He believes that Santo Fino Blanco Tequila and Santo Puro Mezquila will help introduce people to the beautiful world of tequila. That is why he and his partner Sammy Hagar draw attention to the fact that they are still only producing small quantities and visiting Mexico.

“We are still involved in every aspect of making sure that what we deliver to people is real business,” he said.

Santo Fino Blanco Tequila retails for $ 42.99 for 750 milliliters in Fine Wine and Good Spirits stores. Santo Puro Mezquila costs $ 52.99 for 750 milliliters. Find a fine wine and fine spirits store near you at finewineandgoodspirits.com.

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