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In ‘Check, Please!,’ WHYY’s latest TV show, locals review restaurants

Three locals pick a restaurant, trade assignments, and dine anonymously.

Kae Lani Palmisano, host of Check, Please!
Kae Lani Palmisano, host of Check, Please!Read moreWHYY (custom credit)

This winter, a new show will feature reviews of some of the Philadelphia region’s best restaurants — but the opinions will come from local residents, not food critics.

Check, Please!, which will launch on WHYY-TV in January, is hosted by South Jersey native Kae Lani Palmisano, a contributing food and travel editor with USA TODAY’s travel publication, 10Best. The show will explore the Delaware Valley’s changing food scene through the eyes of its residents, rather than food experts.

While new to Philadelphia, the Emmy award-winning food show began in Chicago in 2001 and has since been adapted in other locations, including Miami, Kansas City, and the Bay area.

In each episode, three locals pick their favorite restaurants and are then assigned each other’s choices. After dining anonymously at the restaurants, the guests come on the show to discuss and debate their experiences.

“This region has some of the best restaurants in the world and many of them are tucked into neighborhoods where only the locals know how good they are,” Palmisano said in a statement released by WHYY. “This show will be an essential resource for dedicated foodies and occasional restaurant goers alike.”

The first season of Philly’s Check, Please! will include stops at Bing Bing Dim Sum, Vernick, Little Fish, Sate Kampar, Hardena, Zeppoli, Victor Café, and Vedge.

To apply to be a guest on the show, go to