I always meant to write about my close encounter with public television fame — the only kind that's worth pursuing, if you ask me — but somehow I got waylaid by summertime, its various parties and good ol times. But I've got a sec, so I should just spill it before the good times take hold again.
Check, Please! Bay Area is a restaurant review show on our local public television station, KQED Channel 9 (what!). On each show, three Bay Area residents sit around a table and discuss their thoughts and feelings about three local restaurants. At the beginning of the process, each person gets to choose a favorite1 restaurant; then, each participant goes to all three restaurants; THEN, everyone assembles at KQED studios to discuss them in front real TV cameras.
So, yeah, it all started back in June.
Mara and I were at Pauline's Pizza, eating dinner with some friends when we saw Leslie Sbrocco, the host of Check Please. We're Check Please superfans, so we couldn't resist the urge to approach Leslie and creep her out with our extensive knowledge of the show. Later, Leslie and her dining companion (who turned out the be the producer) stopped by our table and asked us to apply to be on the show. Somehow, I was the one who applied, even though Mara would have been 10 times better. Somehow, I was accepted, for reasons that are still unclear to me.As I mentioned in the footnote, I chose a taco truck as my favorite restaurant, and this was a slight — SLIGHT — departure from those chosen by my cohorts — a fancy Noe Valley bistro, and a classic Financial District steakhouse. Therefore, my entire preparation for the show involve crafting arguments about why they needed to give the taco truck another try. "The ecology of taquerias is rich and diverse," I would instruct them; "each one has its own specialty, a thing it does better than all others, and it takes time to fully explore this richness." (Anyway, you can read more of this BS in my review on KQED's website).Turns out, my cohorts loved the taco truck. I was speechless, really. I had nothing productive to say to people who agreed with me. It could have been the wine. (IT'S REAL, by the way). And I drank too much of it, too much for a non-wine drinker, too much for 11am on a weekday (when we taped it), too much to generate extemporaneous bon mots worthy of PUBLIC TV. If you're curious about what the blogosphere had to say about my taco truck recommendation, you need only get a load of this review from a guy named Ely, also from KQED's site:
Dont eat from El Tonayense, I had a beef burrito that made me sick! The meat was too oily and mix in with fatty fat peices. The burrito was tiny and the ingridients had little favor.
My bad.1 Check Please kinda repeatedly implies that each restaurant reviewed is the "favorite" restaurant of the person who suggested it. I chose a taco truck.