FARGO — Food Network guru Guy Fieri had a little fun with Blackbird Woodfire owner Casey Absey and his "Lebanese Norwegian pizza" on Friday night, Nov. 20, in the second episode of his show featuring a Fargo restaurant.
Fieri visited in June, and segments from his first visit to North Dakota are being featured on his 13-year-old show called "Diners, Drive-ins and Dives" on Friday nights.
Absey, who told Fieri his dad's father was from Lebanon and his mother's side is from Norway, gave Fieri an opening to joke around.
It was Absey's sausage and apple pizza that won rave reviews from not only Fieri but WDAY-TV meteorologist John Wheeler.
Wheeler was one of several diners who was interviewed in the restaurant at the time of the filming
"There's absolutely nothing like a wood-fired pizza coming straight out of the oven," Wheeler said.
After Absey showed Fieri how he prepared the dough that he stores for 24 hours in the cooler, the sausage which he said was bought locally, and the sauces, Fieri had nothing but good things to say.
"That is one delicious pizza," the show host said. "There's a good chew to the crust, nice crackle on the outside with a true gluten-style flour pull."
He said the "cheese program" worked and the "sausage still had good fat to it."
With the green apples and fresh herbs on top, he said he could "go on and on about it."
"It's outstanding," he said, asking, "Is apple sausage pizza the normal around here?"
"No, just here," Absey said.
Absey also prepared some of his Mediterranean meatballs for Fieri. He said they were made from bison meat, which he also purchases locally.
The local restaurateur said he flavored the meatballs with such ingredients as yogurt, honey, olive oil, lemon juice and garlic.
In commenting on the meatballs, Fieri said he could feel the crunch and loved the texture.
"It has its own identity," he said.
The show host also had some nice things to say about Fargo during Blackbird Woodfire's segment.
"If you haven't been here, you should come and check it out," Fieri said. "Things are little different up here, and the weather can change at the drop of a hat. But I think the food scene here will surprise you."
He said people in Fargo kind of "go to the beat of their own drum" and that's why he called Blackbird Woodfire one of those kind of places with its unique pizzas and dishes.
Absey, who was a respiratory therapist, once planned to build an old-fashioned barbecue grill in his back yard but instead made a wood-fired grill. He then built a wood-fired oven on a trailer and started visiting festivals.
About six years ago, he started the restaurant and took it to a new level.
The show aired its stop at Pounds last Friday, Nov. 13, and also filmed in June at Nichole’s Fine Pastry & Cafe and Passage to India, as well as Sol Ave. Kitchen and Rustica Eatery & Tavern in Moorhead. Those episodes may be upcoming, but the dates have not been announced.