PBS's 'Check, Please!' Wants to Know Where You Love to Eat

By: 
Cody Bay

Lord knows we like to talk about our food here—and the well-educated and literate city we are, we sure can talk about it well. I think the gentle folks at KCTS might find themselves with their hands awfully full starting, oh—today. That’s when they begin accepting applications to appear on the PBS series Check, Please!, which will begin airing here in March.

If you’ve never seen the show, which also runs in Chicago, San Francisco, Phoenix, Kansas City and South Florida, it operates like this: One person nominates his or her favorite restaurant, and then two other people are sent there to review it. After their anonymous visits, the reviewers get together to discuss their meal and rate the restaurant. They cover everything from the latest hot spots with superstar chefs to the hole-in-the-wall that’s been serving you your favorite fish and chips for years.

Anyone can nominate a restaurant. KCTS publicist Jason Pagano says they’re really aiming to get Seattleites from all walks of life on the show, “just normal people who are passionate about their favorite place and can talk about it” (sorry, food bloggers—this one ain’t for you… however, they are also looking for a host, I’m told).

So on the one hand, it’s an opportunity for all of you out there with real jobs and normal lives to play professional food critic for a day. On the other, it’s a really fun way for local restaurants to get a different kind of exposure. Even when they get totally panned by two out of the three people, Pagano says, restaurants in the show’s existing markets typically see a flood of curious new customers through the door.

The waiting list to get on Check, Please! in Chicago is reportedly somewhere over 20,000 deep. I would be surprised if Seattle's food-obsessed showed any less enthusiasm, and I’m excited to see all of the unsung neighborhood gems of our city get a few minutes of fresh time in the spotlight. You can apply beginning December 1 at KCTS9.org/checkplease.

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