The cast and crew of the Food Network's "Diners, Drive-Ins, and Dives" has been shooting all day at Mike's Chili Parlor, for a segment on the historic Ballard restaurant-tavern that is expected to air this Fall. Host Guy Fieri (pictured above with proprietor Mike Semandiris -- he's the bald one -- photo courtesy of 'Lil Scoop), he of the spiky Smashmouth hairdo and phraseology like "on like Donkey Kong," sweated under the lights alongside Semandiris, his sister, his mother, and his father -- all of whom regularly pull shifts at the family biz.
Regulars were drinking before noon, press clips were laminated and affixed in an orderly manner on the wall near the front door, the staff wore black monogrammed shirts, the bar looked as though it had been power-washed, a muscle car was parked in a trailer out front, the Ballard Bridge went up and down repeatedly, and construction workers hammered away in the dusty gulch next to the deck, erecting Scott Clark's controversial retail megaproject. And I had a chili burger the size of a cantaloupe for $6. A beautiful day in the neighborhood, indeed.