'Feed the Beast': Mikey Roe takes bite out of America's night life

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If you want to know where to find the best eats after the sun goes down, Mikey Roe is your man.

The expert on late-night dining -- the decidedly unfancy kind -- begins a tour of six U.S. cities when the Travel Channel series "Feed the Beast" premieres Wednesday, March 6.

In the first two half-hour episodes, airing back to back, Roe gets literal and figurative tastes of San Francisco and Austin, Texas, by sampling the general night life and seeking the top local foods.

Warning: Seeing the overstuffed burritos and fried peanut butter and jelly sandwiches may trigger your hunger.

"I wanted people to see that if they hadn't been to that city, this is what a night out there could be like," the good-humored Roe tells Zap2it. "You could see the heartbeat of the city, then bring the food element in. Depending on your taste, you may not be into the giant burritos, but there are options for everybody. We show as many of them as we can."

In that sense, "Feed the Beast" reflects a shoot-from-the-hip style, with Roe and his crew often diverting to eateries they've just discovered.

"That's what we always wanted this to be," he maintains, "a little bit on the fly, more documentary-style and finding what goes on along the way. We have places we wanted to hit, but I may come across something that takes me on a detour. I may see a food truck I wasn't planning on going to, and I'm like, 'Let's go check that out! I'm not going to pass that up.' "

At the same time, Roe acknowledges having a production budget and deadlines to meet.

"There are rules from the people above," he notes, "but if there's time, we'll pop over to some place that wasn't scheduled. And sometimes it will make it into the show, and sometimes it won't. Maybe it wasn't meant to be, and it just wasn't good enough TV. Other times, there's the real and the natural and the fun that you get out of people ... especially the characters you find late at night."
Photo/Video credit: Travel Channel