Restaurant business is slow most weeknights in the Gaslamp Quarter. The exception is Barleymash.
At 7 p.m. on Wednesday (March 30), the tables and central bar were nearly filled to capacity. Patrons were gazing up at TVs--smiling and cheering. No, March Madness basketball games weren't airing.
(See the video below of comedian Aziz Ansari explaining hip food nomenclature shorthand.)
Rose Lane got center stage in the Season 14, Episode 14 edition of Food Paradise: Apps and Zerts.
She's been the executive sous chef at Barleymash for six years. Lane has been with the popular restaurant for nine years, having started as a line cook.
"This was my first time being on TV or doing an interview or anything outside the kitchen," she says. "Chef Kevin [Templeton] has always been the one who does news interviews. So it was very surreal."
Watching herself on TV was embarrassing, she says, smiling. "I'm a behind the scenes kind of person, kind of quiet," Lane says. "But it was amazing to see myself on TV and to have all the love of my friends and family and coworkers all night long."
Lane recalls the long filming process that went into the production, which yielded about 10 minutes of TV airtime.
"We had a 12-hour filming day, back on November 1," she says. "It was a lot of work."
At the time, some COVID restrictions were still in place.
"It was COVID time--but it doesn't look like COVID time when it aired on TV," Lane says.
She says filming day was kept safe by the production crew.
"It was weird cooking for the first time in a while without a mask on," Lane says. "That was odd and felt a little uncomfortable. But there was a lot of testing beforehand. And we made sure everybody kept their distance. While we weren't filming everybody was masked up. It was an adjustment."
One of the best parts about attending a Cooking Channel viewing party at a restaurant is getting to try the food you see up on the big screen.
For the show, Lane prepared duck empanadas and iron fries.
Served on a wooden cutting board, the crusted duck empanadas are filled with duck confit, sweet corn, arugula, goat cheese, crema, roasted poblano beer-cheese sauce and crispy duck skin.
The "loaded" iron fries are usually topped with a three-cheese blend that's smothered and baked in. Iron fries are on the menu served five ways. The tastiest: All In--with applewood-smoked bacon, chili-braised short rib, ale-braised pork shoulder, pepper jack beer-cheese sauce and fresh chilis.
For the possibility of a need to explain what apps and zerts are, check out the above video featuring Aziz Ansari's character Tom Haverford from the classic sitcom Parks and Rec.
The final culinary question: Why is it that Barleymash is always full--every night of the week--with people using food rakes gobbling up apps, zerts and tray-trays?
"I'll say its because of the food," Lane says. "Obviously. You can watch sports anywhere, but the food is amazing. And there's the feel of Barleymash. You've got all the TVs, the bright lights, the fun employees. And its a great location. You can walk by it and see it from all angles."
Barleymash is part of the Verant Group, which also owns and operates downtown's The Smoking Gun, also recently featured on the Cooking Channel.
Both eateries have two walls of garage-style windows. Barleymash enjoys a prime location in the Gaslamp, at the intersection of Fifth Avenue and Market Street.
"In the back of the kitchen they tell us its always busy, but we don't always get to to see that," Lane says. "But we definitely get a feel that all those people are here when all those tickets come in." SDSun