"un-Belizably" Delicious Food

By Carmen Schmidt |

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Our ninth season of Check, Please! is off to the races with three more exciting new restaurant conversations. Are you feeling like having a big juicy steak in a classic Chicago setting? Or, maybe you're looking for some South American flavor. Let me tell you, this next episode has it all.

As Alpana puts it, you will find "un-Belizably" delicious food and fun when our guest reviewer, Jelani, introduces us to one of only two restaurants in Chicago offering traditional dishes from Belize. At the WTTW Studios, the crew and I had about eight different ways to say the restaurant's name. Finally, we had to listen carefully to the owner as he pronounced it correctly. The restaurant is Garifuna Flava, pronounced Gah-ri-foo-nah Flay-vah. It is named for a small area in Belize where the owner's family is from. Bold flavors, wonderful people, and a geography lesson too. Very cool.

All I have to say about New Rebozo in Oak Park is "Oh my God!" In fact, after you watch this next episode, you may be struck with the need to repeatedly say "Oh my God!" too. Working on this episode, the editor and I were bombarded with numerous "Oh my Gods!" by the very charismatic, over-the-top, huggy, kissy, restaurant owner and chef, Paco. This man is full of charm. I did not officially count how many times we heard "Oh my God!" while editing, but I think it may be safe to say we were nearing 100! You see, this was the first official English phrase Paco learned when he came to the U.S. from Mexico several years ago, and now he uses it for everything that elicits an emotion. "Are you ready for some Oh my God food?" Paco sure hopes you are! While some might think "enough already!"...I couldn't help but hold back a laugh when I heard it for the twentieth time. Our guest reviewers certainly found their restaurant experience was all the more memorable because of it. Incidentally, watch for one of my favorite food shots in this restaurant review, it's a Mole Extravaganza! Twelve different flavor moles, artfully displayed on kitchen spoons. Clever!

Well, I've said it before, but it bears repeating, I really get hungry as I work on this show. I hope you have a meal before you watch this episode or you might find yourself grabbing your jacket and keys and heading for the restaurant before the credits roll. No worries though, we've got you covered at wttw.com/checkplease. Check us out each week for the details on all of the featured restaurants immediately following their premiere broadcast.

And now for a little "taste" of what's to come... dessert lovers stay-tuned! The chocolate is coming!

Carmen M. Schmidt
Associate Producer, Check, Please!
WTTW