Travel Channel giving local U.P. restaurants national attention

ISHPEMING — The U.P. has been receiving some national attention recently through the help of the Travel Channel.

Several restaurants throughout the Upper Peninsula had some pretty exciting guests over the weekend. Travel Channel’s Andrew Zimmern along with some of his co-workers were in the U.P. for hunting. One of the stops they made was right here at Rodney’s Pizzeria in Gwinn.

“They ordered cudighis and pizzas and they took all the leftovers with them. It’s a big deal for us, it’s a big deal here,” said Owners Joe and Mary St. Andre.

After a quick call from Andrew himself 30 minutes before he arrived, the Owners were overjoyed to have him in their restaurant. Another stop was made at Ralph’s Italian Deli in Ishpeming and of course, Andrew tried their famous cudighis.

“They had cudighis and then they ate them outside, it was like a little picnic. He loved the cudighi, that’s what they were here for,” said Bruno Gervasi, Owner of Ralph’s Italian Deli.

Ralph’s Italian Deli will be featured in a future Travel Channel segment on the popularity of cudighis. For local businesses, this national attention is an exciting opportunity to gain more customers.

“For a small area and when people come through here, people get pretty excited about it, everyone’s talking about, it’s all over Facebook. It’s good advertising, he came to the right place,” said Dominic Gervasi, Owner of Ralph’s Italian Deli.

Andrew along with this team also stops at other cities across the U.P., such as Hancock.