Restaurateur Guy Fieri just rolls with it, and by so doing perhaps demonstrates his birthright to host four TV shows, especially Food TV's "Diners, Drive-ins and Dives."
Nothing seemed to faze Fieri when he shot a segment Saturday in Dinkytown at Al's Breakfast, celebrating its 60th anniversary. The personification of a cartoon character -- the hair, the audaciously laced sneakers and pant legs anticipating a flood -- Fieri is the most interesting person wherever he is (and that includes the NBC set of his newest show, "Minute To Win It").
As he stood next to the red 1967 Camaro he drives on "D3," he was told that an Al's customer wanted to know how the TV star managed to drive the car from California to Minnesota. "You have to make sure you don't give them [as in anyone who would ask that question] anything with alcohol," quipped Fieri. Suffice to say, that car, with its Turtle Ice shine, leads a more pampered existence than many humans.
This trip to Al's was like a homecoming. This dump that aspires to be a dive was one of the eateries that Fieri visited on a 17-day cross-country road trip that was field research with David Page, of Twin Cities-based Page Productions and makers of the show. "This is when I said, 'OK, we're serious, this really is diners, drive-ins and dives.' To come back now and see a line down the street," said Fieri, "this is one of those homecoming days. It seems like it's been 20 years, not four."
Standing on the side of a street to interview Fieri was a bad idea and not just because it improves one's chances of encountering a speeding, cell phone-distracted driver.
We were interrupted twice.
Check out startribune.com/video to see if you spot yourself among Fieri's enthusiastic, if rude, fans. Don't be surprised if you see Fieri in Duluth this week.Was Coco hiding at Keys?
There was excitement Monday morning about Coco around Keys Cafe, and it had nothing to do with hot chocolate.
A guy named Bryan on Twitter.com tweeted that Conan O'Brien was at the downtown Minneapolis Keys Cafe in the Foshay having "brekky." Two employees told me that O'Brien, who's performing at the Orpheum on Tuesday night, was not there, and that my phone call was not the first.
It'd be pretty hard to walk in and then hide if you're as tall -- and as red-haired, a Keys employee noted -- as O'Brien is.Try being me, Hecker says
Fallen auto mogul Denny Hecker doesn't have to be in his car to call attention to his driving.
Last week an e-mailer who identified herself as Karen M. noticed a "pristine" luxury SUV "with fancy custom rims parked in the no-parking area next to the" Wayzata's Lunds. "I went in and got my coffee and found Denny Hecker there with his children getting coffee, cocoa and oatmeal. Can't cook breakfast at home? It must be nice to claim to have no money so you qualify for public defenders. That way you have plenty to spend at Caribou. The illegally parked [car] was his."
Hecker told me he was at Caribou with his daughter. "You know what? People have just got to get a life," he said. "There's a spot, three spots; I've been parking there for years. I'm only there five minutes. A lot of the time the kids stay in the car. You should be me for a couple days."
NO THANK YOU. My hands are full just being me.
"I mean, you go in the grocery store and people look at you like you've got two heads. It is kind of hard on [the kids]," he said.
Much as Karen seemed to disdain Hecker, who has gone from famous auto dealerships owner to infamous defendant in a federal fraud case, she has compassion for his kids. "I felt bad for those kids because people did know who [Hecker] was and were staring and talking," she wrote.
C.J. is at 612.332.TIPS or firstname.lastname@example.org. E-mailers, please state a subject -- "Hello" doesn't count. More of her attitude can be seen on Fox 9 Thursday mornings.