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Wednesday, February 27, 2008

‘3 Squares’ now served, on cable and YouTube

Posted By on Wed, Feb 27, 2008 at 8:01 AM

He’s no Rachel Ray, but Cleveland native and sports guy Al Pawlowski (SportsTime Ohio, ESPN) makes a genial host for 3 Squares, the recently launched restaurant show on Time Warner Cable and YouTube. Debuting last November, each half-hour show features three local restaurants. Among recent segments, count downtown’s John Q’s Steakhouse, Avon’s Bubba’s Q, and Grumpy’s Café in Tremont. “We look for great locally owned spots with interesting backstories,” says Mike Rink, owner of production company 5Front, Inc. “And, of course, we have to really love the food.” ... Backed by a peppy soundtrack and littered with adjectives like “awesome,” “amazing,” and “mesmerizing,” each four- to six-minute segment is a cheerful homage to a local biz, not a critical review. But thanks to plenty of “behind-the-scenes” kitchen footage, brief but often insightful interviews with owners and chefs (Al “Bubba” Baker’s is especially charming), and mouthwatering close-ups of dishes -- sizzling steaks, mile-high sandwiches, and gourmet ‘zas, among them – they’re a quick and easy fix for any foodie’s restaurant jones. A new half-hour show debuts each month, on Time Warner Cable 15/23, and repeats 26 times. Showtimes are 8:00 p.m. Monday, 10:00 p.m. Tuesday, 5:30 p.m. Thursday, 8:30 p.m. Friday, 12:30 p.m. Saturday, and 3:30 p.m. Sunday. Following its cable debut, each individual segment then goes onto YouTube where it makes for mouthwatering desktop viewing. There’s no cost to restaurants for participating, and Rink says he’s always on the lookout for new spots. Email him your suggestions at mrink@5Front.com. -- Elaine T. Cicora Read Elaine Cicora's restaurant reviews, food news, and comprehensive dining guide on the restaurant page at clevescene.com.

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