"Diners, Drive-Ins and Dives": An update
OK, so if you'll recall, I heard from a producer at the Food Network's "Diners, Drive-ins and Dives" a few weeks ago. She wanted to know if there were any restaurants in Lawrence that fit the bill for the show: Cheap, tasty and original.
I asked you all for suggestions and shipped them along, hopeful that we'd see host Guy Fieri's spiky blond head in Lawrence sometime soon. Well, the producer loved our responses, but the two restaurants she pushed to her bosses didn't make the cut because of two criteria of which I was unaware:
• The restaurant has to have been open at least a year.
• The restaurant has to make 90 percent of its food from scratch.
Therefore, her top two: The Basil Leaf Cafe (only open since October) and The Burger Stand at Dempsey's (which buys their fries pre-made and then spices them up) don't count.
So, she called me for some more suggestions. And though I was bummed that The Basil Leaf and Dempsey's didn't qualify, I told her I'd meditate on it some more. I also asked her for some more of the show's hidden criteria for its restaurants of choice. Here's what she had to say:
• The restaurant can't have had major national media exposure already (Therefore some KC BBQ staples — Gates, Arthur Bryant's and Oklahoma Joe's — are being skipped on the show's trip.)
• A meal at the restaurant can't cost more than $15.
• It can't be too fancy, obviously, because the show is all about diners, drive-ins and dives.
• It can't be a chain.
So, what are your favorites in Lawrence, K.C. and Topeka that fit the bill? Somewhere that's been open awhile but isn't TOO well known, makes almost everything from scratch, isn't too ritzy or expensive and is one-of-a-kind?
I'm getting hungry just racking my brain over this one...