Back in February, Milwaukee ex-pat Kris Ausan, who works as a researcher for the Food Network's "Diners, Drive-Ins and Dives," hosted by Guy Fieri, contacted me to ask for some suggestions. Fieri and company were Brew City-bound and wanted to get the scoop on some good places for the show, which is described like this on the Food Network Web site:
"Diners, drive-ins and dives are popular again thanks to faithful baby boomers, a slew of younger fans and a whole new generation of owners. Join Guy Fieri as he visits classic ‘greasy spoon' spots, from a roadside shack in Tarpley, Texas to a Las Vegas sports bar with stellar stromboli."
Ausan knew what she was talking about when she told me, "I am very excited about our visit because Milwaukee, more than maybe any other city, is jam packed with fantastic 'dive' restaurants. My challenge will be narrowing down which will be the best for our program."
Fieri, Ausan and crew finally made it to Milwaukee last week and spent most of Monday and Tuesday filming for the show. A last-minute Chicago addition meant a trimming of the time in Milwaukee.
But, the crew still made it to Cempazuchi on Brady Street on Monday and over to Comet on Farwell the following day.
"Both places have out of this world food," says Ausan. "Hopefully we will be able to come back sometime soon and do a full shoot pod. I know there is lots more to be found."
Fieri, who won season two of "The Next Food Network Star," also hosts "Guy's Big Bite" and "Guy Off the Hook" on the Food Network.
No word yet on when the Milwaukee footage will air, says Ausan, who adds that they will be rotated into episodes "somewhere in the next three seasons."
Born in Brooklyn, N.Y., where he lived until he was 17, Bobby received his BA-Mass Communications from UWM in 1989 and has lived in Walker's Point, Bay View, Enderis Park, South Milwaukee and on the East Side.
He has published three non-fiction books in Italy – including one about an event in Milwaukee history, which was published in the U.S. in autumn 2010. Four more books, all about Milwaukee, have been published by The History Press.
With his most recent band, The Yell Leaders, Bobby released four LPs and had a songs featured in episodes of TV's "Party of Five" and "Dawson's Creek," and films in Japan, South America and the U.S. The Yell Leaders were named the best unsigned band in their region by VH-1 as part of its Rock Across America 1998 Tour. Most recently, the band contributed tracks to a UK vinyl/CD tribute to the Redskins and collaborated on a track with Italian novelist Enrico Remmert.
He's produced three installments of the "OMCD" series of local music compilations for OnMilwaukee.com and in 2007 produced a CD of Italian music and poetry.
In 2005, he was awarded the City of Asti's (Italy) Journalism Prize for his work focusing on that area. He has also won awards from the Milwaukee Press Club.
He can be heard weekly on 88Nine Radio Milwaukee talking about his "Urban Spelunking" series of stories.