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America's Next Great Restaurant [NOTE: RESPONSES MAY CONTAIN SPOILERS]

Half-way through I predict that the meatball guy will win based only on the Indian guy using all the Mexican names on the menu and Soul Daddy's decision to not have fried chicken.

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  1. thanks to the Mods for adding the spoiler alert before i replied! :)

    for those of us out here on the West Coast, the show was preempted - and rightly so! - by the breaking news reports...so i checked online to find out what happened. congrats to Jamawn!! he's been my favorite contestant since the very beginning, and i was thrilled to learn that he won. i'll be interested to see how the public responds to Soul Daddy...

    1 Reply
    1. The morning after the finale and barely any posts.... I guess there is not much of an audience!

      I agree I am so happy that Jamawn won, he deserved it and I would actually try his food!

      I was up until last night rooting for Spice Coast, but he lost my respect last night. I understand that its important to listen to the investors but he bastardized his concept into a newer version of Chipotle with some vaugely indian flavors. He completely lost touch with his concept. I think he should have stuck with his concept, maybe added an indian wrap with naan on the menu and leaving it at that. But basically taking the Chipotle concept, and even calling it a taco/quesedilla/etc. proves he lost the mark.

      I'd say the same for Soul Daddy, the concept is not that its a healthy restaurant, again the key concept of yummy homemade sould food, was lost with removing fried chicken from the menu. Again, keep the core concept, maybe add one healthy option to the menu, and leave it at that.

      But all in all, thank god Joey Meatballs did not win!!!

      4 Replies
      1. re: AmblerGirl

        Agree completely with your entire post, AmblerGirl.

        I was very disappointed that Spice Coast went too far towards "Mexican"...but more annoyed that the "investors" yammered on about it since they are the ones who pushed him in that direction.

        Hopefully Jamawn will have enough success to open a franchise in his hometown so I can try the food.

        Way to represent the D, Jamawn!

        1. re: AmblerGirl

          I really wish Spice Coast hadn't turned into a Chipotle wannabe. I mostly blame the judges for this, especially Steve Ells, who seems to think his business model is the only viable one. Anyway, it was clear the second they mentioned "quesadillas" that it wasn't gonna happen.

          I'm fine with Soul Daddy going healthier, though I do think they should have kept one more indulgent dish, like fried chicken. Then again, even leaner ribs aren't exactly health food.

          I still can't understand how the meatballs guy got so far.

          1. re: piccola

            I still can't understand how the meatballs guy got so far.
            ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
            that makes two of us. i'm going with the theory that they kept him around strictly for entertainment or to throw people off as to how this would all turn out.

            1. re: goodhealthgourmet

              Well, it is a reality show, so their first concern is making it fun to watch. Actually finding "America's Next Great Restaurant" (or The Next Food Network Star or whatever) is secondary.

        2. Well well well, what a completely anti-climactic ending to a lacklustre show. I'm glad Jamawn won, though. : )

          1. Although my prediction was off I still think it was a mistake to turn the Indian food into Latin food. I also think it was a mistake to not serve fried chicken in a soul food place. Jamawn reacted too much to Stone. I do not think Curtis Stone came away from this show looking good, but it probably will not affect him much since I don't think anybody really cares much about this show. I wonder if their ratings were high enough to do a second season?

            I wonder if Soul Daddy will have fried chicken and waffles on the menu at the new restaurants? Although the Mall of America is only about 30 minutes from our place, I'll wait for my next visit there to go to Soul Daddy's? (My last trip to MOA was 2005).

            6 Replies
            1. re: John E.

              I wonder if their ratings were high enough to do a second season?
              ~~~~~~~~~~~
              there's also the matter of whether the restaurant actually ends up being successful...if it doesn't turn out to be a moneymaker they'll be hard pressed to find willing investors to participate in Round 2.

              1. re: goodhealthgourmet

                I bet most of the money is coming from Chipotle. Chipotle created a subsidiary called ANGR and it is the company that is building and managing the restaurant. I'm sure the contestants signed something to the effect that by participating they are giving their idea and image to the venture in return for about a 7% stake in the three restaurants and probably less for any subsequent restaurants. Jamawn also gets an employment contract so he will be well paid to be the 'face' of Soul Daddy. Remember, Chipotle went public and their current net equity is about $800 million so they can throw $3 - $5 million at a wall to see if it sticks.

                1. re: John E.

                  Kurtis Stone came away looking like a doosh. He's a host.. for geesh's sake... on Top Chef Masters. He has a nice head of hair, an english accent, has muscles. He's Tyler Florence without the cooking ability. However, that indian guy should have listened more tto him than the chipoltle nerd.

                  Juwan won with soul food... his crap baked chicken is not hand held... his ribs are.. well... not cleanly hand held... and you can't hold a piece of okra.

                  The indian guy tried to copy what he though was a good idea... I still think that the Meltworks is a good way to go... there's a place here in Cleveland called Melt... and it is fantastic. But it's not a fast casual place.

                  1. re: tarbaby

                    How can the baked chicken be called "crap" when so many people liked it. He did once again get the most coins.

                    Fast Casual is not always handheld. its means fast service with or without waiters usually without..

                    1. re: tarbaby

                      FWIW, Curtis Stone is Australian, not British.

                    2. re: John E.

                      well, you're right about Chipotle having the cash to play with...though Steve Ells doesn't strike me as the kind of guy who'd play too fast & loose with anything. uptight much?

                      as for ratings, i'm pretty sure they sucked but that doesn't mean the show won't be back. the ratings for The Great Food Truck Race on FN weren't so hot either, and they're currently casting for season 2...

                2. Note, I work very close to the MOA and often grab lunch while on errands. Today was one of those days:

                  http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/782126

                  1 Reply
                  1. re: MSPD

                    Thanks for taking one for the team :)

                  2. This crossed my desk this morning. It is offered without comment, simply as a take on how some in the industry view the show.

                    http://www.qsrmagazine.com/news/what-...

                    1. I finally got around to watching this series. If I had known about the restaurant closing down all three locations after less than 2 months I probably wouldn't have bothered even watching it. I thought it was an okay show but now knowing the outcome I think it is pretty lame! Stupid to try to stretch out and do 3 restaurants as well. Feels like they were hoping for excellent ratings and that everyone would rush out to try this new spot... fail on their part. The reviews of Soul Daddy on here are pretty bad as well but I could see it working if done right. Looks like Joey is working on starting up a restaurant based on his facebook page, haven't looked into the other competitors.. Any updates?