Like many great ideas, Daymon Patterson’s idea was born out of necessity. A job change for the New Britain resident meant the 6-foot-five, 390-pound Patterson had to change the places he ate lunch. Nearby choices including every fast food joint imaginable from Dunkin’ Donuts to Taco Bell. He decided to post his food reviews on YouTube and noticed his followers were more interested in his food reviews than his news. And so the entrepreneur took advantage of the growing following, giving hilarious, honest, take-out and fast food critiques, taped from the driver’s seat of his car. And as some of his reviews went viral, the Travel Channel noticed. Patterson’s “Best Daym Takeout” show will premiere Wednesday at 10 p.m. EST. Bold, funny and down to earth, Patterson has developed his own lingo when it comes to his reviews, “B” means friends while “slide to the spot” which means heading to the place to be reviewed that now go far beyond Connecticut. The 35-year-old husband, father and internet star is grateful and surprised as his life takes a tasty change. And although he is in the midst of media frenzy, the self-described “simple man” made time to Spill the Beans with Java.
Q: Why did fast food menus tempt your palate? Did you think such food was underrated overall?
A: It was crazy when it all began. I worked in a Walmart in a place where every fast food place you could think of was close by so those are the places I would end up going for lunch. And I had an hour for lunch. I remember the first basic quick review I did was of Burger King’s French Toast Sticks, two and half years ago. I posted it on my regular news video blog and somehow the whole things morphed into more about food than news. I saw that I was getting more views on my food reviews than I was on my other postings so I started doing a review once a week. Then one about Five Guys burgers and fries went viral. People just loved the reviews and more and more people started looking at the site.
A: I always loved food. There were a lot of females in my family who loved to cook and were very good cooks. My mother knew what I liked and didn’t like. My aunt was a really good cook. I was always around food in general so giving a general opinion on dishes wasn’t hard for me. But I don’t do much with fruits and vegetables.
Q: What makes your reviews different, other than the fact that its fast food and take out rather than fine dining?
A: I want you to have fun while watching my reviews. I really identify with the product. I want to give you that feeling that it’s worth trying. They are short, two to three minutes long. And they are kind of funny. But I am starting to do longer more in depth videos for the new show.
Q: You seem to be a poster child for how to use social media to make yourself a star? How savvy were you and did you have a strategy to make your videos so successful?
A: I had no idea what I was doing. I had been doing a news site but saw that the food reviews were what people clicked on. People like to hear about food. Followers started sharing it with other people and here we are.
Q: You are traveling around a lot more now as far as the food reviews. If you could only eat one meal the rest of your life what would it be?
A: I don’t remember the name of the restaurant in New Orleans but they had shrimp po boys that were unbelievable. And Uncle Jack’s in Manhattan, Kobe steak, I could eat it forever.
Q: What advice to give you fans around here when it comes to fast and take-out food?
A: I am a fan of Five Guys, I always order their burgers. Plan B in West Hartford for burgers. I always like to try burgers on a menu because I figure if they can’t do burgers right there’s no reason to try anything else on the menu. Capitol Lunch in New Britain and in New Haven, a little place called Sage which is great for seafood. And any “99” restaurant, I always get the steak or the country fried chicken there.
Q: How do you like your new celebrity life as a tv host?
A: It’s unbelievable that this is my job now. Being with Travel Channel and “Best Daym Takeout” is allowing me to go beyond fast food chains and move on to mom and pop restaurants. I love that I can go into the back yard of towns and cities all over the nation now and use social media to tell people where when we are coming and ask them for recommendations.
Q: How has the fame change you?
A: I don’t think it has. I am not snobby, just a simple guy who likes to eat. I think that was part of my appeal on my own website and videos. I am the “go to” guy, an everyday guy. The one you would talk to on the street. There are a lot of food reviewers out there. But I bring madness and comedy to the review.
Q: Do you ever go to fine dining restaurants?
A: From time to time when my wife wants to go out. Q: What is your cholesterol like?” A: I am told my cholesterol is on the borderline of good and bad. I try to get the gym now three times a week.
Q: You have two daughters, do you ever do kids’ foods?
A: I did a review of Gerber baby food recently because I wanted to know why my one-year-old hated certain ones.
Q: Something no one knows about you?
A: I look kind of scary because of my size but once you meet me you will realize I am just a big teddy bear.