CINCINNATI – Just in time for March Madness, the Travel Channel recently crowned a local eatery with the distinction of not only being one of the best places in the city to grab some wings, but also in the country.
On Sunday, March 16 the Travel Channel aired “101 More Amazing Places to Chow Down .” Producers spotlighted Knockback Nat’s for its smoked wings and brisket nachos.
“It was pretty exciting,” said Toby Lay, husband of restaurant owner Natalie Lay. “Number one, to be on that show period, and number 2, that we finished in the top 10 was amazing.”
Knockback Nat's landed number 9 in the list that was part of a mammoth five-hour television rundown of their restaurant list on Sunday.
Tom and Chee also made channel’s list of top eateries. Tom and Chee was previously featured on “Man vs. Food.”
The Lays purchased Knockback Nat’s five years ago. Natalie managed the neighborhood restaurant when it was Rockin’ Robins. She purchased it after the former owner died.
Natalie Lay said her staff, located at 10 W. 7th Street downtown, was thrilled with the national recognition.
The Travel Channel contacted the Lays in December and filmed in their bar in January.
“They were here for five or six hours filming and it was all edited down,” said Toby.
And though this is the first time Knockback Nat’s appeared on national television, Toby said it’s not the first time the restaurant’s wings won praise locally.
“Last year they had the first wing fest in Cincinnati and we won five out of seven categories,” he said.
The event, held on May 11, 2013, was sponsored by Yuengling beer and Yelp.com. Participants on the restaurant review website described the smoking process and a special seasoning rub as what made Nat's wings stand out.
That and it's served with four sauces.
For those who did not catch Knockback’s national debut, more information can be found at the Travel Channel’s website.
In addition, Toby said fans of Nat’s can see them again in another Travel Channel show soon.
“We’re going to be on one more time this summer,” Toby said. “Since we cracked to the top ten, we’re going to be featured on another show as well.”