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'Man v. Food' Cincinnati Episode Includes Visit With Fiona

Courtsey Travel Channel
'Man V. Food' host Casey Webb meets Fiona and mother Bibi during filming here in late May.

Arnold's Bar & Grill, Blue Ash Chili, Sharonville's Roc-A-Fellas pizza and Fiona get national attention Monday, July 30, when a half-hour episode ofMan V. Food  airs on the Travel Channel.

Host Casey Webb visited the three Greater Cincinnati restaurants in late May with a camera crew. He also stopped to see Fiona and her mother Bibi at the Cincinnati Zoo – but he didn't challenge Fiona to a Man v. Hippo eating challenge. (Zookeepers told Webb that hippos eat 34 pounds of food daily.)

Credit Courtesy Travel Channel
The massive eight-pound chili platter with deep-fried jalapenos prepared for Webb at Blue Ash Chili.

Here's the episode description for the "Cincinnati" episode (9 p.m. Monday July 30, Travel Channel):

"Casey Webb heads to Cincinnati to see if he can take down an enormous eight-pound, double-crusted pizza in just thirty minutes. Along the way, he encounters one beautiful cheeseburger at a 200-year-old bar and a massive tray of Cincy-style chili."

At Blue Ash Chili, 9565 Kenwood Road, Blue Ash, he was served an eight-pound platter of Cincinnati chili with deep-fried jalapeno peppers.

Credit Courtesy Travel Channel
Webb filmed at at Roc-A-Fellas pizza in Sharonville June 2.

The show ends with Webb and a friend competing in the Bronx Bomber Challenge at Roc-A-Fellas pizza, 11055 Reading Road, Sharonville, to consume the eight-pound pizza in 30 minutes.

Webb, a New Jersey native who took over the show last year, chatted with Arnold's patrons Thursday night, May 31, in the covered garden as they ate the Yo Mamma burger with goetta, hash browns and an over-easy egg; Arnold's signature Greek spaghetti, and the restaurant's new pork belly sandwich. Here's a link to my May 31 story and photos.

Credit Courtesy Travel Channel
Webb shot here in late May and early June.

Webb's longest conversation at Arnold's that night was with Jim Tarbell, who bought the historic 1861 downtown tavern at 210 E. Eighth St. in 1976. He sold it to long-time employee Rhonda Breeden, who operates the restaurant with her son, Chris.

Man v. Food filmed Friday June 1 at Blue Ash Chili, and Saturday morning at Roc-A-Fellas pizza.

The Cincinnati Man v. Food show is the third episode of season three. After the premiere at 9 p.m. Monday July 30, it repeats at midnight that night; at 1:30 p.m. Saturday Aug. 4; 11:30 p.m. Monday Aug. 13; 2:30 a.m. Tuesday Aug. 14; and 11 a.m. Thursday Aug. 16.

Credit John Kiesewetter
Webb chats with a couple at Arnold's on May 31.

This will be the first time Arnold's will be featured in a TV food  show, although it has been seen in a couple of movies. The bar also served as a model for a tavern on NBC's short-lived Harry's Law drama (2011-2012).

Blue Ash Chili was visited by Guy Fieri's Diners, Drive-ins and Dives in 2010.

Man v. Food filmed here in 2011 when Adam Richman hosted the show (2008-2012). Richman visited Camp Washington Chili, Tom + Chee's, Findlay Market and at Izzy's on Main Street downtown.

John Kiesewetter, who has covered television and media for more than 35 years, has been working for Cincinnati Public Radio and WVXU-FM since 2015.