Saturday, July 21, 2012

Fast Food Mania Tech and Breakfast - Behind The Scenes

Our Fast Food Mania Tech and Breakfast episodes were a lot of fun to make. I criss crossed the country from Richland, Washington to Winston Salem, North Carolina for Tech, and from Oklahoma City, Oklahoma to White Plains, New York for Breakfast. 

Here are some photos I took along the way...

Lamb Weston

I flew from Nashville (that's another story) to Salt Lake City, and then hopped on a small plane to Richland, Washington which is on the eastern side of the state.  Lamb Weston provides fries for a ton of fast food places, including the classic waffle fry.

It was really hot at the factory. You can see me growing by the minute. Note how professional our DP Rob is holding that light reflector. All business.

They tell me the potatoes in Washington are better than the ones in Idaho, and I believe them but honestly can't tell the difference. I wanted to see the water knife that cuts the potatoes in action, but we couldn't get access to that area. 

This dissected potato was very cool. I tried to take it home. No dice.
After we finished at Lamb Weston, we drove across the state to Seattle. It's a really beautiful drive with breathtaking natural scenery, until you see the alien windmills.

These windmills are enormously tall. And they're everywhere. You've been warned.
Once we got to Seattle, a bunch of you tweeted that I had to try Dick's. So we headed to the location next to UW and gave it a shot.

Love the classic sign. Burgers, fries and shake lived up the expectations.
If we were covering regional chains, Dick's would have made the cut. Hopefully, we'll have another season to visit again.

Krispy Kreme

I enjoyed all the places we visited for Fast Food Mania, but Krispy Kreme might have been my favorite. After a long flight, I walked in to the North Carolina location greeted by this.

These were all fresh. Time to crank up the insulin pump.
I love Krispy Kreme donuts, but Krispy Kreme donuts fresh off the line are insanely tasty. I'm glad I had to host, because that kept me away from eating all of the product (and left more for the crew). I learned how to fill donuts with creme/jelly as well. 

It takes five inserts to burst the donuts. I tried...and succeeded. Didn't make the cut.
The best part about KK is seeing the donuts made right before your eyes. And that waterfall of glaze...I get hungry just thinking about it. Ranks up there with the telephone in terms of brilliant inventions.

If this was a flume ride and I was a donut, I'd never get off.
If you learned one thing from our Tech episode, it should be what to do if you ever see this illuminated in a KK window.

Make the U-turn. It's worth it every time.

There are more Sonic locations in Oklahoma City than any other fast food restaurant (including McD's), so we had to go there for our show. I love that a car hop not only still exists, but is thriving these days.

My standard casual hosting outfit in a standard Sonic kitchen.  Get ready, GQ.
One of the amazing things I learned about Sonic is that people will buy the ice by the truckload. That's right, just the ice. I don't know what's in it, but I had a soda sitting there for hours on a sunny day and the ice never melted. It's great for coolers in that Oklahoma heat.

Look at all the combos you can create, and then glance down at that ice.
I mentioned that I played hockey, so our director decided to put me on a pair of skates and car hop. I did okay, until I had to carry a tray with food on it. Much respect to the skating Sonic staff.

Loved that the skates were black and gold. Hated that they were quads - I'm better on blades. Really, I am.

The mall we shot at for Cinnabon is in White Plains, New York, which didn't require a plane ride. We actually taped the segment on an afternoon after I worked on Howard's show in the morning. The people at Cinnabon were really great and extremely patient.

You get hungry once you smell the inside of a Cinnabon store, and playing with the goo and frosting was a wonderful experience.

The ultimate challenge was when they decided to let me bake my own cinnamon rolls. I am not a chef. I don't pretend to be. I'm much better on the other end after the cooking is done.

My baking incompetence is captured in this photograph.
I struggled through the preparation of the rolls and made some mistakes, but then a funny thing happened. When my Cinnabons emerged from the oven, I couldn't believe what I saw.  I wouldn't say they were perfect, but pretty darn close to that. 

My best selling creation. Maybe I should host a baking show.
Cinnabon even put them up front in the store to sell, and they were all gone within a couple of minutes. 
Thank you, Cinnabon, for sticking with me!

The Grand Finale

Next Wednesday will be the grand finale of Fast Food Mania with our last two episodes - Extra Special Service and Extreme Locations. I don't want to give too much away, but Chipotle, Valentine's Day, Dairy Queen and the Pentagon will all be involved.

Thanks for watching, and please let folks know we're on Destination America on Wednesday nights at 10 & 1030 pm. If the ratings go up, we can return for a second season and hit some more great fast food places.


  1. You were nice enough to say hi to my daughter on Twitter last night, we love the show, have DVRed and kept every episode.
    We hope you get a second season, thanks!

  2. I've really enjoyed the series and you're doing a great job as a host.

  3. Watching a marathon today, love your shows. Agree with you about Krispy Kreme, yum!

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