Tag Archives: New Britain

Like Take-Out? Travel Channel Premieres New Britain Foodie’s Show

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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.

QDaymon Patterson: Do you consider yourself a foodie?

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.

TV Personalities In The News, Hell’s Kitchen Looking for Chefs!

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Fox Ct co-anchor Laurie Perez was one of 37 women honored Wednesday by the New Britain YWCA at its 15th Biennial Women in Leadership Luncheon.

Perez, who is also co-host of FOX CT’s weekly political show “The Real Story”, and five others, were inducted into the YWCA’s Academy of Women Leaders at the luncheon.

The event recognizes women in central Connecticut who demonstrate extraordinary leadership and outstanding achievements.

“This is a well-deserved honor for Laurie. She works as an anchor, hosts a political show, reports on major news stories yet finds time to help other women through her volunteerism and mentoring. We are proud that she is a member of the FOX CT News team,” said Coleen Marren, FOX CT News Director.

Other women inducted in the academy were State Rep. Elizabeth Boukus, Central Connecticut State University professor Carolyn Fallahi, Coram Deo Recovery case manager Theresa Leonard, New Britain High School Academy for Health Professions and Hospital for Special Care consultant Maria Pietrantuono and Career Development Specialist at the Connecticut Department of Labor, Diana Ryan.

Bestselling author Gretchen Rubin was the guest speaker. FOX CT anchor Alison Morris emceed the event.

An additional 31 women were also honored for their community service and outreach efforts at the luncheon at the Aqua Turf in Southington.

And at WFSB…

Dan Kain may have not been feted recently but he surely will be in the next few weeks. He is retiring.

Kain, who has worked at WFSB for 25 years, will step down on June 7.

As far as naming a replacement to the story-telling beat?

“Hard to say,”said news director Dana Neves. “Dan is really and truly irreplaceable!!”

And speaking of tv, do you want to be on it?

Gordon_Ramsay[1]Fox TV is looking for chefs/cooks who want to be on “Hell’s Kitchen” with celebrity chef Gordon Ramsay.

The reality show pits one cook against another and ultimately ends with someone being chosen by the hot-headed Ramsay to oversee the kitchen at one of his world-famous restaurants.

If you are interested, send an email to HKCasting2013@gmail.com

In the subject line put your name and the city and state where you live. In the body of the email include your name, where you live, your address, you present occupation, a photo of yourself, contact information and a little about your culinary experience and why you think you would be a good fit for the show.

NBMAA Throws The Art PARTy of the Year

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It was an artist’s dream at the New Britain Museum of American Art Saturday with a picture perfect springtime evening, more than 200 donated works of art, and a crowd that was more than ready for “The Art Party of the Year.”

More than 450 people attended the bash held each year to raise money for the museum’s education program, and they came from far and wide.

nbmaa2 (2)Probably traveling one of the longest distances was former Bushnell director Doug Evans who came with husband Mikolaj Bauer from Florida. New Britain was the first leg of an even longer vacation journey.

“We’re headed to Barcelona,” said the always dapper Evans, who along with much of the crowd, took time to watch the Kentucky Derby that was being broadcast on a giant screen in the museum’s Stanley Works Center.

nbmaa3 (2)Honorary co-chairs for the event were Webster Bank’s Jim Smith and his wife Cathy with Marzena Silpe stepping up as gala chair.

“We needed this to be a festive night,” she said, explaining the bagpiper who welcomed guests, the eye-catching white table settings with clear acrylic “Ghost” chairs that made “dining amidst the masterpieces” that much more special.

Beaming the entire night was executive director Douglas Hyland, who was celebrating the success of the museum’s Toulouse-Lautrec exhibit and already looking forward to the next big show and event.

“We’ll be having a Tiffany display next,” said Hyland about “The Brilliance of Louis Comfort Tiffany: Painter and Craftsman” exhibit opening May 23. “We’re planning a ‘Breakfast at Tiffany’s’ opening for that.”

For more pictures go here.

“Tools” in New Britain Closes

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toolsIt had become a rising star when it came to live entertainment, particularly jazz, but the draw wasn’t enough for New Britain’s newest restaurant, Tools Bar & Grill.

Owner Stephen Hard said Thursday the place officially closed earlier in the week.

“We needed the restaurant business to sustain it,” said Hard, who reopened the restaurant last year. Previously a “Vito’s” and before that, a string of other unsuccessful  restaurants, Hard, who is also executive director of the Greater New Britain Arts Alliance, has banked on the combination of lunches and dinners and nightly entertainment to turn the flailing location into a winner.

A recording at the closed restaurant states the place will be reopening under new management.

Hard said he tried to sell the business but there were no offers, however he expects the building’s landlord, Avner Krohn, may have someone who is  interested.


Former New Britain Mayor/State Official Pac Dies

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One of New Britain’s most well-known and empowered Democratic politicos, Stanley Pac, died Friday.  He was 89.

Considered a stalwart Democrat in a city well-known for its gritty politics and strong Polish population, Pac served as mayor from 1971 to 1975, before being tapped by then Democratic governor, Ella Grasso, as commissioner of the then Department of Environmental Services.

A keen political strategist, Pac was nicknamed “Mr. New Britain” also served as a state representative and state senator. In 1983, he was named Man of the Year by the Polish American Business and Professional Association.

“He was popular with the Polish community but cared about all of New Britain,” said former Mayor Bill McNamara. “He was all about the people of his city,” said McNamara who credits Pac with getting him involved in city politics. “No matter how small a problem a citizen might be having Stanley addressed it,” added McNamara. “He was a good mayor.”

In an interview just a year ago with the New Britain City Journal,  Pac shared some his memories of his political past.

“As Mayor my salary was $16,000. We had a recession in 1974 and I was trying to get the heads of each agency to not get raises. They didn’t want to go along with that,” recalls Pac. “To help; I cut my salary by $5,000. I wanted to keep the tax rate reasonable.”

He found another way to keep taxes reasonable for residents even though he received threatening letters from the state for doing so.

“I kept property under-assessed so people could pay low taxes,” he said.

How did he do that?

By not re-assessing homes.

“I refused to assess up to 19th year and it was supposed to be done every 10 years,” he said. “I got threatening letters from state tax collector telling us to re-assess each year. I carried it to 19th year to keep taxes low.”

He said it kept prices on houses low so a lot of people bought houses in New   Britain. With so many house purchases, it kept enough money coming that it was not necessary to raise the mill rate or re-assess.

Pac was also always there for residents. During one snowstorm he received a phone call around 8 p.m. from a woman on Silver St. complaining that the snow plows plowed her in.

“I put a shovel in my car and went and shoveled her out myself,” said Pac. “How many mayors would do that?”

Perhaps his biggest fight involved keeping property in downtown now housing the New Britain Superior Court and One Liberty Square.

The state wanted to take that property for housing.

“The previous mayor promised them land and it was a disaster,” said Pac. “I said ‘look I’ll give you any kind of housing, but not on the best land we have in the City’. I stayed firm.”

The state took him to court and Pac won.

“Now we get $1 million on taxes for that property,” he stated. “I gave them land on Slater Road.”

Flags in the city have been lowered to half-staff. The funeral service will be held Tuesday. http://bit.ly/P8sbpN