FARGO — Food Network host Guy Fieri heaped praise on the food he watched being prepared at Pounds restaurant in downtown Fargo during the premier showing of his visit to Fargo Friday night, Nov. 13.
The macaroni and cheese with barbecued pulled pork got a thumbs up, as did the restaurant's torch chicken wings which he gave a "9.8" on a scale of 10.
Fieri, who said he "finally" arrived in Fargo as it was his first visit to North Dakota in the 13-year history of the food reality show, showed scenes of the city to kick off the segment that was filmed in late June.
He noted that Pounds owners Alan Kasin and Brandon Herz have known each other since high school. Herz said when they had a chance to buy the restaurant they put their money together and jumped at the chance.
"We really didn't like each other in high school," Herz joked with Fieri about his co-owner.
Pounds was one of a handful of Fargo-Moorhead restaurants Fieri rolled up to in the summer while filming the "Flavortown" series for his "Diners, Drive-Ins and Dives" show.
Other area stops in Fargo included Blackbird Woodfire, Nichole’s Fine Pastry & Cafe and Passage to India. On the Moorhead side, the show filmed at Sol Ave. Kitchen and Rustica Eatery & Tavern.
It was Herz who was featured cooking the dishes, with Fieri keeping watch.
The 10-minute segment also featured numerous faces of friendly customers who commented on how much they liked the food.
One diner added, "They are doing a great job of incorporating the vibe of Fargo into a new up and coming city."
Herz talked about how he cooked the pulled pork for about 2 1/2 hours, while he listed off some of the ingredients in the cheese sauce as half and half, cream cheese, American cheese and cheddar cheese.
The barbecue sauce, he said, had such ingredients as Dr. Pepper, Worcestershire sauce, chili powder and onion powder.
"There's a lot of ingredients in that monster," Fieri commented.
When it came to tasting the mac and cheese, he called it "dynamite."
"The pork is delicious and not dried out, and the barbecue sauce has a fantastic tang with a sweet taste," Fieri said.
He described the macaroni sauce as silky with a creamy texture and "the kicker is the diced jalapenos."
"It's one of those dishes that I say, 'Take it away from me or I'll want to eat it all,'" Fieri added.
The torch chicken wings Fieri sampled had a sweet but spicy sauce that one diner called "the best wings in North Dakota."
Herz said the wings were packed with lard and chilled over night and then cooked at 375 degrees for 1 1/2 hours.
The sauce on the wings included pineapple juice, brown sugar, garlic, honey and ghost pepper.
The wings received a compliment that the owners aren't likely to forget. Fieri said, "They might be one of the most tender, juicy, succulent, delicious wings we've ever had" on the show.
"It's a winner, winner chicken dinner," he said.