It was a caller who had just watched exec chef Brandon Biederman unload lobster rolls, spaghetti and meatballs, herb-roasted chicken, catfish, ribs and fries on dozens of customers who had gathered at the Uptown neighborhood diner last fall to take part in the filming for the Triple D episode, entitled "Signature Sandwiches." The caller, who had never been to Steuben's, now wanted to make a reservation. "That was our first phone call just minutes after we were on, and they were super excited to come in," enthused general manager David Zahradnik.
Josh Wolkon, the owner of Steuben's (and Vesta Dipping Grill), grinned. That news had come just minutes after Wolkon learned that the kitchen had busted through 150 pounds of fresh lobster meat, making it necessary to 86 the lobster roll from the menu, which sucked, since it was hustling for ten bucks (instead of the usual $20) and the primary dish Fieri ballyhooed on his show, which was aired last night at 7 p.m. during a viewing party that packed the house. "Between 6:30 and 6:45 p.m., we had eighty lobster roll tickets hanging on the board," said Biederman, who, along with the staff, handed out $10 lobster roll rain checks to those who missed out.
Fieri, however, got more than a mouthful when he did time in Biederman's kitchen last Halloween. The Steuben's segment opens with Fieri swaggering down Seventeenth Avenue, making a sweeping hand gesture toward the Steuben's sign, and these words: "The former garage, doing it all fresh, even a Maine lobster roll." Moments later, Biederman and Fieri are bantering back and forth in the kitchen, an awesomely tatted Biederman whipping up the mayonnaise dressing for the roll, the sight of which makes Fieri quip, "Holy bucket of mayonnaise, batman!"
Seconds later, Fieri is squishing his jaws around the overflowing, messy sandwich, which results in a hilarious exchange between Biederman and Fieri, whose mouth is now maligned with mayo. "Is there any there" asks Fieri, pointing to the creases. "No, you're all good," fibs Biederman, trying to stifle his giggles. "We had a good twenty minutes of joking after that happened," said Biederman, who also got in another memorable line while he was brushing butter on the soon-to-be-roasted chickens.
"That's a lot of butter for a lot of chicken," remarked Fieri. "We do everything big here," shot back Biederman. In a "duh, dude" moment, Fieri later pronounced the roasted chicken "cooked to perfection," which marked the end of the butter comments.
The seven-minute segment -- Steuben's was on first -- commenced with Fieri shaking hands with Wolkon and Steuben's and Vesta chef/partner Matt Selby, and these parting words from Fieri: "Funky joint, fun joint. Save me a table; I'll be back."
With Arnold Schwarzenegger, by the sound of it.
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In case you missed it, the show will air again on the following dates:
February 18 at 7 p.m. February 19 at 10 p.m. February 20 at 1 p.m.