Are you a foodie, a budding epicurean or home chef with a passion for food? Do you go out of your way to find top San Francisco restaurants? If you haven’t heard of PBS’s member station KQED’s weekly television show Check, Please! Bay Area, than you’re in for a treat. Not only can you watch previously aired shows on-line or download them to your computer, read reviews, recipes and information shared by staff and guest diners on their website, but you can even apply to be on the show! The format is simple: Three Bay Area diners choose their top restaurant, share it with one another then each visit that restaurant and later share their experience on the show. The host of the show is award-winning author, speaker, sommelier, and founder of the new multi-media company, Thirsty Girl, Leslie Sbrocco who moderates the active discussion and occasional passionate exchange between the guests.
If you spend any amount of time dining in the diverse, restaurant rich Bay Area and enjoy sharing your experience with friends and family, you’ll find plenty to enjoy as popular and out-of-the-way eateries are showcased within a 50 mile radius of San Francisco. Past shows have traveled from the East Bay to San Ramon, Napa and Larkspur. Additionally, guests have chosen restaurants in and around Santa Clara, San Jose and Half Moon Bay with many stops in between.
Once guest diners have completed visiting and dining at each others favorite spot, they gather around a table similar to Jon Favreau’s HBO show, Dinner for Five, but in this case instead of the movie business they discuss their restaurant experience. Guests are often in agreement over a satisfying meal at a particular restaurant, occasionally berating bad service or otherwise poor atmosphere for casual conversation or a comfortable place for children. From time to time guests do disagree and that is perhaps the most enjoyable, learning what matters to other diners or perhaps how your own favorite spot measures up. Reviewers on Yelp have described finding hidden treasures in cities they’ve lived in their entire life while others line-up in agreement with criticism. There is no short supply of opinions about restaurants, food, and the dining experience. The show includes high-definition coverage of the restaurant, meals being prepared and served, as well as close-up video of dishes that are discussed by the guests. The end result is an insiders experience to popular landmark restaurants and casual unknown stop-overs that routinely serve up some of the most interesting local programming on television.
The concept for the show is based on the original concept, Check, Please! created by David Manilow for public television station WTTW in Chicago. Check, Please! Bay Area is in its fifth season.
KQED, “http://blogs.kqed.org/checkplease/”, kqed.org
Yelp, “http://www.yelp.com/biz/check-please-bay-area-san-francisco-2”, yelp.com
Wikipedia, “http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/KQED_(TV)”, wikipedia.org
WTTW Chicago, “http://www.wttw.com/main.taf?p=1,49,1”, wttw.com