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Jul 25, 2011 03:35 PM

Restaurant:Impossible w/ Robert Irvine

I find this an entertaining show with an entertaining concept. I also enjoy Robert Irvine alot. (Although I wish he'd vary his clothing a bit from the black polo!) I much prefer him to a similar format show w Gordon Ramsay. Irvine is more interesting with a better personality.

I have a couple of peeves, though. Why, in heaven's name, do they have to finish in TWO DAYS??? What would happen if they took 3? Or even 4? The 2 day requirement makes the show a bit ridiculous at times, you wonder how people can eat with wet painted walls and the smell of sawdust and paint in the room!

The other issue is with the $10G. I believe that they are only including material-- with labor costs, this could be triple the price!

Overlooking those ideas, though, I still find it entertaining. Wish they'd give up on the silly 2 days, though...

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  1. I bet it's not 2 days, there is no way RI is walking into a disgusting restaurant on day one, identifies their problems, watches a lunch service, rips everything out, retrains the chefs, orders the food, revamps the place, teaches the servers, advertizes in the town and opens at 6pm the next day.

    2 Replies
    1. re: smartie

      Agreed,,,,,he is there for AT LEAST a week. The 10k budget is also bs based on what I saw in the 2nd episode I saw this season..i forget what it was called...but it was like 5k square feet- impossible!

      And I searched online and apparently the recipes irvine made taste like crap ... i dunno.

      1. re: smartie

        I've been very suspicious of the 2 day time line... in part because they are wandering into all sorts of cities and towns around the USA... sometimes dealing with structural issues and sometimes with kitchens and wiring... depending on where you are at...these things are code issues and you can't always get an inspector there to sign off in 2-3 hours... or weeks.

      2. It just happened in San Diego.

        The newspaper article in the OP was cited on July 6, after a lot of planning and purchasing had started. (Including mention that it and another California restaurant had been chosen for the season. So, that one was being given even more time.)

        It had the opening on July 13.

        1. As noted by Cathy above, R:I did a makeover of a small restaurant here in San Diego located in a very, very residential neighborhood.

          1. They started filming on a Sunday during their usual Sunday breakfast/lunch service. Robert Irvine was not present for that.
          2. They reopened a 6 pm for dinner service that Tuesday. This was, of course, a very big deal for the neighborhood. The restaurant was slammed and couldn't keep up, plus there were filming issues. RI was there for that filming and apparently screaming at people to not move so they could get the shot(s) right Some people with reservations (at 9 pm) for the second seating didn't stay.

          I've seen more than a few episodes of this show. I like it. Unless The Trails was a complete wreck in the kitchen, it wasn't nearly as bad as some of the places I've seen on the show. It wasn't overtly dirty, decrepit, dingy, badly lit, or otherwise banged up and and unattractive. In fact, the inside was homey and way understated.

          The transformation of the dining room was nothing short of amazing. They did deal with a badly placed counter that the restaurant had inherited from the previous tenant, and that may be where the bulk of the money went. The chairs were not replaced, nor were the tables. Beadboard, wallpaper and paint were well used and I certainly recognized an IKEA piece as I've got 2 of the same at home. They were under $150 when I bought mine. The designer, Tainya Naiak from HGTV is creative and usually comes up something fun and interesting. I suspect some of the labor was not covered, but I'd be surprised if it was all gratis. (I should add, I've just recently been through a whole house remodel and after looking at acres of tile, flooring, fixtures, paint, etc, I don't think they spent $10,000 and what they did was done well)

          There was never anything very wrong with the breakfast/lunch menu and RI didn't touch it. He did, however, completely overhaul their old dinner menu. The new one - which I have not tried yet - is FAR more appealing and sticks with the restaurants goal to have vegetarian and gluten free items available.

          The restaurant is currently open for dinner only 2 days a week but expects to expand to 5 days over by mid-August. This probably isn't a bad idea as it gives the restaurant a chance to practice the dishes on slower days and get accustom to making them because once the program airs, they'll be slammed again.

          I'll be interested to see how poorly they portray the owner. I don't think she's as clueless as they have typically been portrayed on R:I, but that doesn't make for good TV does it ;-). I think she's stuck with a hard location and had an uninspired dinner menu and couldn't capture enough dinner business to help keep the breakfast/lunch business afloat.

          1. Anyone see the episode with Rascal's BBQ and Crab House ? Wow, the second I got a look at the folks running that dump I knew R.I. was wasting his time. They screwed the place up all over again as soon as he left. I guess rodent dropping and junk heaps sell well in any event. Those people just didn't deserve his time IMO.


            1. Never liked his schtick but this little problem did it for me:


              2 Replies
              1. re: Kagemusha

                Old news - 2008. FN already fired him for the lies on his resume, and then rehired him - his fans called and all was forgiven. What's sad is how much better Mission:Impossible was while he was gone, with his replacement, Michael Symon at the helm. But people who watch FN obviously prefer dramatics to great cooking and to that end Irvine is probably a better actor.

                1. re: applehome

                  Maybe but he's still a mendacious poseur. That's still current.