Taco in a Bag, the "Food Court Wars" winner that's been serving up its namesake at Spring Hill Mall since March, returns to the media spotlight with an upcoming debut on "Chicago's Best."
"Our viewers think it is a good place and so we're checking it out next week and look forward to putting it on the show and showing Chicagoans great places to eat," said Josh Kaufman, the show's executive producer.
The show, hosted by Brittney Payton and Elliott Bambrough, highlights the best grub in the city and suburbs as selected by its viewers on the show's social media channels.
Filming at the West Dundee eatery is Wednesday. The segment is scheduled to air at 10 p.m. July 27 on WGN-TV.
Retired competitive eaters Tim "Gravy" Brown and Patrick "Deep Dish" Bertoletti own the restaurant that was formerly a food truck enterprise in Chicago called Glutton Force Five. Brown says the eatery isn't doing anything special for the cameras.
"We're just going to make our menu," Brown said. "Our menu, it speaks for itself. I'm not doing anything I wouldn't do for our regular customers."
In addition to "Chicago's Best," the duo will also promote their business on LXTV's "1st Look," Brown said. That show airs June 21 on NBC TV after Saturday Night Live. On it, Brown and Bertoletti will take hostess Audrina Patridge though a competitive eating boot camp.
The exposure comes at a critical time for the eatery, which has experienced declining profits since the novelty of its television appearance and food wore off three weeks after its opening, the partners said.
"Food Court Wars," executive produced by award-winning chef Gordon Ramsay, pits two teams of two food entrepreneur hopefuls against each other as they fight to win a food court restaurant inside the host mall.
Although the space is rent free for a year, the partners continue to struggle because business is slow at Spring Hill Mall, they said.
"We started really busy, I think, from the show and we've kind of tapered off and bottomed out," Bertoletti said.
The business can't rely on the mall's existing foot traffic, so Brown's trying to generate buzz by marketing Taco in a Bag as a destination spot. "We're just trying to get as much publicity as we can because this thing has been so crazy for us," Brown said.