It got a little hotter than usual Sunday morning at Hell's Kitchen.
The restaurant, which just moved from S. 10th Street, across a city block, into the former S. 9th Street location of Rossi's, experienced some truly bold effrontery from the competition. And, by the competition, I mean the New Calhoun Grill, the restaurant that replaced Hell's Kitchen on 10th Street.
Hell's Kitchen owner Mitch Omer remains positively livid about someone from New Calhoun Grill approaching diners waiting in line at Hell's Kitchen with the dish that there was no waiting across the way. "Unbelievable," Omer told me Tuesday. "It is unconscionable to me that they would do this. They parked a guy on a Sunday, busiest day, right in front of my two double doors that led downstairs to the restaurant. He was upstairs telling customers to go to his restaurant and then passing out menus."
The imagery made me laugh. When asked if he didn't think that was gutsy, Omer said, "I just think it's unbelievable. I'm all for healthy competition. This is RIDICULOUS. UNACCEPTABLE."
He said he marched over to New Calhoun Grill and demanded to speak to an owner but got a kid in a chef's coat instead. "So I said, 'I demand to speak with a manager on duty' and the guy in the chef's coat came to me and I said, 'This is complete and utter [b.s.]. ... You would send somebody over to MY restaurant in front of my front doors and tell them to come over here?'"
Omer said the guy in the chef's coat said he could do whatever he wanted.
James Robinson, a manager at the New Calhoun Grill, formerly located on Lake Street, said that his information was secondhand but that he understood his co-worker was "in the building, not in the front door" of Hell's Kitchen. Robinson said that he was not working when Omer paid a visit to the New Calhoun Grill, but that restaurant staffers will not continue to solicit Hell's Kitchen diners.Maddow's advice
MSNBC's superstar Rachel Maddow advised viewers not to be the kind of chumps who are buying scalped tickets off the Internet for the inauguration of President-elect Barack Obama.
"The tickets, in theory, are free," she underscored, "even if they are as hard to come by as 'I Heart Sarah Palin' T-shirts at Tim Pawlenty's house."
In related news, NBC's Matt Lauer got an answer to a Gov. Palin question I've been asked regarding the RNC shopping spree that saw $75,000 dropped at Minneapolis' Neiman Marcus to dress her and her family for the campaign trail.
I was told to find out whether Palin was secreted into the Neiman Marcus late one night for a private show where she selected clothing she liked. I've been telling readers that was unlikely, because Palin was on a neck-breaking schedule during the RNC in St. Paul. Palin confirmed to Lauer that the clothes were selected and brought to her. It's called a personal shopper or stylist.
Palin has been wonderful and engaging in postelection interviews. In an interview with Fox's Greta Van Susteren, Palin was answering questions while preparing dinner. Food TV types make this look easy, but just ask the folks sitting in the audience when I've prepared dishes at the Home & Garden show. I was not talking to the audience very much because I needed to concentrate on the recipe.Reported here first
When I telephoned former Clear Channel empire builder Mick Anselmo on Monday night about the rumor that he was headed to CBS radio, he left a message quipping, "Did you really think I was going away?"
Ahhh, no, never. Anselmo, whose return to local radio management was officially announced Tuesday, was busy being a good son Monday while the T's were apparently being crossed and the I's dotted. He was coming back from Hudson, Wis., where he was helping his mother, Geneveive, who had knee replacement surgery.
As Anselmo's former employees at KFAN could tell anyone, say 'CCO's Dark Star, Mick's not the kind of boss to whom you have to suck up. Anselmo is the kind of boss you could rip on air as a " brain wizard" and he just doesn't care! I'm guessing shakeups will be coming to the Good Neighbor.
C.J. is at 612.332.TIPS or email@example.com. Please be advised there may be a delay in responding to your e-mail. Attachments are not opened, so don't even try. More of her attitude can be seen on Fox 9 Thursday mornings.