The premiere of “Feed the Beast” on Wednesday on the Travel Channel finds host Mikey Roe beginning a series-long mission to explore eclectic late-night dining in America. His first stop: The City.
“We chose San Francisco because it's just a great city to be in and it had a lot of terrific late-night food options,” Roe says, admitting that he is one “those guys” about which people say, “You have the best job in the world.”
He adds, “I get to go out when people are out at night and taste food all night long. There's nothing better.”
Roe's first mouth-watering after-hours course is the famous two-pound super burrito at El Farolito in the Mission District. Filling, yes, but he doesn't end the culinary journey there.
Butter, the popular South-of-Market watering hole, also receives a nod, specifically the popular Spaghettios plate. The host tops off the visit by indulging in another keeper on the Butter menu: Deep-fried Twinkies covered in candy.
“Butter is just a great time with that back-country menu,” he says. “You can get everything from Spaghettios to tater tots, but one of things I liked was Tang mixed with vodka – they actually rim the glass with Tang.”
The episode also finds Roe heading into Yuet Lee in Chinatown, where he polishes off a dish of tasty ginger crab and another delicacy: frog.
He also goes to Grubstake. Set inside a former rail car, the popular Portuguese diner on Pine Street between Polk Street and Van Ness Avenue has been serving crowds since the 1920s.
The idea behind the series was two-fold. At the core, Roe wanted to show off a variety of hotspots that were popular and unique, and places “everybody can meet and catch up.” He says: “Something more than just grabbing a burger in a bag on the way home. A lot of people don't realize how many places are open for them.”
He also wanted the series not be about cooking. “This is more of an eating show,” he says.
Roe offers key ingredients of the perfect late night stop: “Does it break your wallet?” he says. “The energy of the area-do you have travel far to get there? And the service. Most of all, you don't want to go out to a place at night just because it's open. San Francisco definitely stands out for its diversity and culture.”
Feed the Beast
Where: Travel Channel
When: 9 p.m. Wednesday