I’ve always considered the Man v. Food Live episode in Miami a game-changer for my hometown.
More than ten years ago, Man v. Food was one of the hottest things on television with its everyman host Adam Richman.
At the time, Miami was starting to have its food profiled on national television. The South Beach Wine & Food Festival would also help to shine a spotlight on my city’s culinary landscape.
It was a big deal when Man v. Food announced that its first-ever Man v. Food Live episode would emanate from Miami during Superbowl week.
I covered all the action on BurgerBeast.com, everything from the announcement to the build-up, and a recap of the live event, which I attended over five posts.
I’ve compiled everything below.
DECEMBER 17th, 2009
Man v. Food will have its first live episode on February 3rd, 2010, and it’s happening in Miami. It will be “a special real-time television event during America’s biggest football weekend in Miami, FL.”
He’s going to attempt Shula’s 48 oz. Steak Challenge.
*I also heard a rumor that he might be checking out a particular bar on Biscayne Blvd known for its burger.
*IMPORTANT NOTE: The Kingdom restaurant space did not work out.
JANUARY 10th, 2010
Straight from the Travel Channel Man v Food Forum:
BE PART OF THE AUDIENCE FOR MAN VS FOOD TAILGATE PARTY! LIVE FROM MIAMI Wednesday, February 3, 2010 Time: 7:00pm – 11:00pm Location: Miami Beach, FL Looking for fans to be part of the LIVE AUDIENCE to cheer on Adam Richman as he host 2 hours of local food rivalries, a tailgate party and sun-soaked Miami excitement. Will Adam overcome the mammoth 48-oz. Steak Challenge? See if he can bring it home strong on Wednesday, February 3. Bring your friends to hang out, eat and cheer on Adam during the show! GOING TO BE IN MIAMI FEB 3? CONTACT US TODAY TO BE PART OF THE AUDIENCE Email: [email protected] Type AUDIENCE in subject line of email Please include your name, photo, number of guests in your group, telephone #, address, age 18 years & up
JANUARY 17th, 2010
Travel Channel has named the restaurant locations for the February 3rd Episode, and here they are:
5225 Collins Avenue
Miami Beach, Florida 33140
What will he eat at Shula’s Steakhouse?
Live on February 3rd, Adam will attempt the 48 oz. Steak Challenge
Joe’s Stone Crab
11 Washington Avenue
Miami Beach, Florida 33139
What does he eat at Joe’s Stone Crab?
Joe’s Jumbo Stone Crab Claws
144 SW 8th Street
Miami, Florida 33144
What does he eat at La Moon?
6795 SW 8th Street
Miami, Florida 33144
What does he eat at Sarussi?
The Sarussi Original
There are also other non-food locations he checks out:
Flamingo Park’s Memorial Football Field
1245 North Michigan Avenue
Miami Beach, Florida 33139
SW 8th Street & 15th Avenue
Miami, Florida 33135
10th Street & Ocean Drive
Miami Beach, Florida 33139
FEBRUARY 2nd, 2010
1st, let’s start with the restaurant locations:
Burger & Beer Joint: It’s looking like the 10lb. Mother Burger
Joe’s Stone Crab: Joe’s Jumbo Stone Crab Claws
La Moon: Supermoon Perro
Sarussi: The Sarussi Original
Shula’s Steakhouse: Live on February 3rd, Adam will attempt the 48 oz. Steak Challenge in under 20 minutes
There are also other non-food locations he visits:
Flamingo Park’s Memorial Football Field, Little Havana, and Lummus Park
ADAM RICHMAN QUOTE ABOUT LIVE EVENT
“Yes, that’s exactly the reaction we are going for. It bears noting, and I really do mean this, it’s not just going to be tune in, challenge, done. It’s a two hour event and we’re going to be in the Alexander Hotel in Miami Beach with the ultimate tailgate party. We’re bringing back chefs and restaurants from the first two seasons, we’ve got some correspondents, NFL athletes, fan v. fan challenges, fan v. food challenges, university of Miami cheerleaders…I’ve been trying to explain to people that it will be a cross between the Roman Coliseum and Rowan & Martin’s Laugh-In.”Adam Richman talking to Al Norton on 411mania.com
FEBRUARY 4th, 2010
Initially, I sent an email asking for a press pass for the Man v. Food event. The official response: there are no press passes.
Eventually, the Travel Channel website would include an email address and an explanation of what to do to be a part of the Tailgate Party.
I sent in my email and waited.
Then I received a reply a few days later asking me to confirm my attendance.
After confirming, the final email with instructions arrived a few days later.
A FEW EVENT PICS
I snapped a few pictures before I had to turn off my cell phone. These cell phone pics are from 2010, so all things considered, they don’t look too shabby.
Being supremely paranoid that we might be late, we left early and arrived by 4:00 PM (5:15 PM was the audience arrival time). A line of a good 25 or so folks was already formed when we arrived.
Someone came up to confirm that our names were on the list and gave us black wristbands.
We stood around for about 30 minutes before being escorted to a waiting area, where we sat for another hour and a half.
We watched some live rehearsals via a TV and some Travel Channel programming.
The Travel Channel employees were courteous and offered water and soft drinks several times.
A COUPLE OF THINGS OF NOTE ABOUT THE LIVE EVENT
- All must be 18 and up – Not true; there were children there
- The no logos & white was also not correct. Anyone wearing something not appropriate for television was given Man v. Food Live T-shirts, which was an excellent deal for them.
- No cell phones (must be off) or cameras – This was false. There was a dude right next to the guys in blue during the Burger & Beer Joint challenge who was using his cell phone while the show was live on the air more than once.
- I mentioned I was wearing a black wristband. Depending on the color of your wristband, you were told to stand in a particular area. Our area was by Tony Luke’s and Lou’s. We were told not to move from there.
- If you were part of the V.I.P. area, you were given liquor and soft drinks; we common folk had water. Most of the V.I.P. people talked on their phones and took pictures. I guess it pays to be V.I.P.
- The intro scene, where Adam Richman is seated, and all the fans surround him, was filmed at 6:30 PM; everything else was live.
- We were finally allowed to eat food at 8:45 PM and told to make sure we had plates of food in our hands when the tapings began.
- We were also told that we would switch the areas we were standing in once the filming began, but that went out the window, and everyone went wherever they wanted. I went to visit my friends from Burger & Beer Joint.
WHAT THE LIVE CROWD ATE
- Burger & Beer Joint (Miami Beach): Mini-version of their Thunder Road Burger
- Harold’s NY Deli (New Jersey): Triple Decker Sandwich, Chocolate Cake, Giant Eclair
- Lou’s Giant Subs (Pompano Beach): Giant Cold Cut Sub was about 12 feet long
- Sarussi (Miami): Sarussi Original
- Sports Grill (Miami): Special Grilled Wings
- Tony Luke’s (Philadelphia): Cheesesteak (Philly-style)
MORE LIVE FILMING NOTES
When the filming was about to start, I was asked to move about five times in a row; apparently, I kept choosing spots where Adam Richman would be doing his initial run.
I ended up behind Lou’s Giant Subs, and if you watch the episode, you can see me standing there in my blue/yellow striped polo shirt when Adam Richman walks by it.
I didn’t find being part of the live crowd exciting, as not much was happening.
The best portion of the show was the 10 lb—challenge involving Burger & Beer Joint’s Mother Burger.
AND THEN I LEFT
After that came, the wings challenge with the football players, which bored me so much that my friend John and I left. My wife, Marcela, stayed behind with my brother-in-law Jose.
He was desperate to come out on TV and meet Adam Richman; Jose made his live television debut during the Shula’s Steak Challenge at the very end. He was wearing a yellow shirt, and he was to the right of the screen.
Marcela was also able to snag him a Man v. Food Live shirt. The staff and crowd were great and friendly, except for a few meatheads.
Adam Richman is a legit nice guy, as I watched when the cameras were off. Once home, Marcela and I saw the replay at 1 AM. I was hoping the show looked better on TV. I was disappointed to see that it didn’t.
Most of the challenges, including the final one with the 48 oz, were not very exciting. He could have finished it faster, but he was milking it.
Hearing those same annoying chants repeatedly didn’t help, especially since they would drown out anything Adam Richman had to say.
Man v. Food Live disappointed me, and from what I heard, I wasn’t the only one.