Thirty years after its founding, fans of might be forgiven for calling Guy Fieri a little late to the party.
The celebrity chef and television host dropped by the Fulton eatery and its sibling across the street, , earlier this month while filming a new season of his well-know show "Diners, Drive-Ins, and Dives" that includes Armatage favorite .
"It was fun," chef Thomas Broder told Patch. "It was a really good experience, and it was humbling to get that recognition from customers."
Broder, son of the restaurants' founders and head chef of both kitchens, wound up in front of Fieri's cameras thanks to long-time regular Anthony Rodriguez, Broder said. He's an area resident and Director of Photography on Fieri's show, and nominated Broder's Cucina for a spot on the show.
The restaurant will be the "star" of the April 16 episode, Broder said, recieving an 8-minute block in the 20-minute show. It may not sound like a lot of air time, but filming took two long days, Broder said, where the restaurant was closed and its most loyal customers were trucked in to provide scenery and testimonials to Thomas Broder's culinary tallents.
"Guy was actually only here for a couple hours of that," Broder said.
Broder's understated personality was a definite contrast to the flamboyant Fieri—a man who rolled up the restaurant in a bright red convertable and an enormous rack of his signature colorful shirts in tow.
"It wasn't the most comfortable thing I've ever done," Broder said, smiling. "But the good thing is, all I had to do is cook."
Still, Broder had nothing but good things to say about the spiky-haired host.
"He was very nice to work with, and very generous with the comments," Broder said. "He called our kitchen one of the top three he'd been in for organization and cleanliness."
Broders' plans to be closed on April 16 for a party for staff and friends, partly to celebrate their appearance on the show, their 30th year in business, and to prepare for the inevitable deluge of customers that hits many an establishment that winds up on Diners, Drive-ins, and Dives.
UPDATE 9:25 a.m. 4/11/12: This story originally identified Anthony Rodriguez as a production assistant for Diners, Drive-ins, and Dives. He is actually the Director of Photograpy.