Food Network television show Mystery Diners visited Alameda's popular German restaurant Speisekammer for the episode they titled, "Oktobertheft," which aired earlier this year. Speisekammer co-owners Cindy Kahl and her business partner Peter elected to be on this show, a sting-style series that catches employees acting badly on the clock, to find out whether the rumors that the "Dirndl Girls" the restaurant hired for its popular annual Oktoberfest celebration were up to no good. Turns out they were stealing money, drinking on the job, and juking contests so that their friends won the prizes. Speisekammer gave these girls the boot, but they didn't realize that appearing on Mystery Diners would also lead to something worse than bad seasonal help. According to Inside Bay Area, the appearance led to a PR nightmare for the restaurant.
On the episode, Mystery Diners calls the restaurant an Oakland establishment (the show's website, though, properly says it's in Alameda) and super-proud residents of the East Bay city are pissed! Says Inside Bay Area, "Alamedans are very particular about not living in Oakland's shadow." After the show aired, Kahl explains that she got hate mail from people who "assumed it was our fault and said they'd never come here again."
Yeesh, now that is some city pride. So before you ban Speisekammer and bring out the pitchforks and torches, you should know that Kahl isn't to blame. "We love Alameda," Kahl told Inside Bay Area. "That's why we moved here. We wanted to live here, and we still do."
Food Network's site has a clip from the show, but it conveniently doesn't mention the restaurant's name or city.
[Via: Inside Bay Area; video still via Food Network]