In this supposed Golden Age of Television, one of my favorite TV shows ... is "The Best Thing I Ever Ate" on the Cooking Channel. It's ideal background noise television. There's no plot or characters or even recipes to follow; no, it's just members of the extended Food Network family and beyond describing their favorite dishes from across the country in glorious detail while cameras capture the plates in all their food porny deliciousness.
It's the perfect show to look up from your laptop every now and then when a tasty dish catches your eye, then go back to work.
But something in a recent episode caught my eye longer than usual: a restaurant representative from Milwaukee and, according to New York City chef and "Chopped" judge Scott Conant, some top tots.
On a new episode of "The Best Thing I Ever Ate" Monday night themed on "culinary revolutions," Conant shined his spotlight on Chef Mitchell Ciohon and the tots with caviar at Snack Boys Snack Bar, opened just last year at 814 S. 2nd St.
During the short segment, Ciohon takes the viewer through the making of these extravagant bites while Conant talks the history of the tater tot and drools over the crunchy snacks. Unfortunately the big naked Burt Reynolds portrait in the dining room doesn't get a mention, but when we're talking homemade double-fried tots covered in salmon roe and caviar, I can understand the oversight.
Here's a part of the crave-inducing clip:
How do you seamlessly mix highbrow and lowbrow foods for a perfectly delicious dish? Put some caviar on your tots, that's one way to start. Tune in Monday night at 9pm ET for more culinary revolutions on the #BestThingIEverAte. pic.twitter.com/2Bxwd4QQdZ — Cooking Channel (@CookingChannel) July 7, 2019
Though "The Best Thing I Ever Ate" tends to focus on the same cities – food meccas like New York, L.A. and Chicago, plus maybe a particular chef's stomping grounds, like Cleveland for celeb chef Michael Symon – this isn't the first time Milwaukee's made the cut. "Cheap Eats" host Ali Khan praised the corned beef tongue reuben from Bavette La Boucherie in an episode themed "Sandwich Hall of Fame," while chef Sunny Anderson used her segment on "In A Bowl" to give a shoutout to Milwaukee's late-night staple Real Chili. Or, uh, wherever "Milwuakee" is.
More like Milwompkee, Cooking Channel pic.twitter.com/J7XLWbDwiy — Matthew Mueller (@aManAboutFilm) February 8, 2015
The Cooking Channel got it right this time, though – and you can see for yourself next time this episode airs on Monday, July 22 at 8:30 p.m. (For scheduled airings beyond then, visit Cooking Channel's website.) Warning: Do not watch on an empty stomach.
As much as it is a gigantic cliché to say that one has always had a passion for film, Matt Mueller has always had a passion for film. Whether it was bringing in the latest movie reviews for his first grade show-and-tell or writing film reviews for the St. Norbert College Times as a high school student, Matt is way too obsessed with movies for his own good.
When he's not writing about the latest blockbuster or talking much too glowingly about "Piranha 3D," Matt can probably be found watching literally any sport (minus cricket) or working at - get this - a local movie theater. Or watching a movie. Yeah, he's probably watching a movie.