Downtown sandwich shop up next on ‘Diners, Drive-Ins and Dives’

 Jan. 7, 2021

While a downtown sandwich shop expects to see new customers with this week’s appearance on “Diners, Drive-Ins and Dives,” it’s also hoping that interest spills over across Sioux Falls.

Food Network star Guy Fieri and a production crew visited Bread & Circus Sandwich Kitchen and five other area restaurants in the summer, filming for “Triple D” episodes that began airing last week.

“There’s a whole subculture of people that literally travel around and go to “Triple D” restaurants. … So that should help as well and not just us but Sioux Falls in general,” said Barry Putzke, who started Bread & Circus in May 2017 with chef Jordan Taylor. “Even if it means that more people are making us a stop on their road trip in general as far as stopping in Sioux Falls and seeing some places, or maybe it’s we can get some more people coming down to spend the weekend here that maybe wouldn’t have before. So I think overall it’ll be a good boost for us specifically, but in general it’s a good boost for Sioux Falls tourism.”

The upscale sandwich shop at 600 N. Main Ave, which Putzke describes as serving “highbrow stoner food,” saw an initial wave of extra business after news spread that Fieri was in the city in June. And it’s preparing for more. The “Triple D” production team sent information on what to expect, Putzke said, including examples of restaurants that have grown since the exposure and one restaurant that closed because it didn’t prepare for the increased business and damaged its reputation irreparably.

For Putzke, learning about the behind-the-scenes production work was fascinating. The first day, the crew filmed Taylor making his curried cauliflower and Vietnamese fried chicken sandwiches. They took steps to ensure continuity for two days later when Fieri arrived to watch Taylor cook, sample the food and visit with invited diners in the restaurant, which was closed to the public.

“We did a bunch of stuff in the morning, Guy rolls in here, and then they know exactly what they’re going to have happen so that they can stay efficient and be ready so he’s not sitting around wasting time.”

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Fieri apparently enjoyed the food. Shortly after he left, the restaurant got a phone call.

“One of the production assistants was like, ‘Hey, this is strange, but Guy wants a bunch of food for the plane.’ And I was like, ‘OK, well, should we just make him one of everything? How many people? What are we talking?’ She’s like, ‘Just make whatever you think. Maybe not things that he just ate, like some other things.’ And then about 10 minutes later, they called back with a kind of a specific order, so we just sent him a whole bunch of food. So hopefully he tried a few different things. But I threw a couple of beers in, threw a few T-shirts and said, ‘Here’s a little care package. Thanks for coming down and enjoy your plane ride.’ ”

Now, six months later, the Bread & Circus owners and crew are excited to be in the national spotlight and preparing for the likely bump in traffic. The restaurant has one TV, and it will be tuned in for the episode titled Spicin’ Things Up that airs at 8 p.m. Friday. In addition to the “funky spot loadin’ up hand-held flavor bombs,” Fieri visits an Indian restaurant in Fargo and a pizzeria in Fairbanks, Alaska. Initial replays are scheduled for later that night at 11 and at 6 p.m. Jan. 30.

‘O’ So Good, Urban Chislic and Lalibela Restaurant were featured in a single episode last week, and Look’s Marketplace is part of the show that airs Jan. 29. Fieri also visited Daily Clean Food & Drink, but that segment has not been scheduled yet.

Bread & Circus isn’t a huge restaurant, so if there’s a flood of business in the coming days, customers should be prepared. Putzke and Taylor removed about half of the seating inside to allow for social distancing in the midst of the pandemic, leaving room for 25 to 30 customers. The patio on the south side of the building seats close to 90, however, and the restaurant recently added wind guards and heaters to extend its use into winter. There’s also an online ordering system for takeout orders.

The episode also is airing in the midst of January’s Downtown Burger Battle, which this year features signature hamburgers at 24 restaurants, and Bread & Circus is seeing a lot of interest in its entry, Putzke said.

Customers who come to try the sandwiches Fieri sampled will find them on the menu too. The Vietnamese fried chicken has been on the menu since Bread & Circus opened, and the curried cauliflower was added later. They are among the staples, which include Naughty Fries and falafel, but several dishes rotate on the seasonal menus.

“We’re probably going to have to make a few tough cuts here pretty soon because some of those things have been on for a while,” Putzke said. “And people really like them, but we’ve got to keep everybody interested and keep pushing the creative juices, so we’ll see.”

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Downtown sandwich shop up next on ‘Diners, Drive-Ins and Dives’

While a downtown sandwich shop expects to see new customers with this week’s appearance on “Diners, Drive-Ins and Dives,” it’s also hoping that interest spills over across Sioux Falls.

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