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Restaurant Impossible

Have you all seen it? It's surprisingly good. Robert Irvine is a boot camp-like chef who gives failing restaurants a complete overhaul. One couple in Chapin, SC (near me) operate the Sweet Tea restaurant which is supposed to serve Southern home-cooked food. But everything is from a can or a mix! The green beans were those limp olive green things right out of the can. The graxies were from a mix. The owners and waitresses were dimwits and you could tell the chef offended them and hurt their feelings with his suggestions. %0D %0D Oh, and the chef is totally hawt, but I can't tell if he pings so I guess he doesn't.

by Umpyreply 8503/05/2015

This show is as scripted as scripted can be.

by Umpyreply 109/11/2011

This show is a complete ripoff of Kitchen Nightmares with Gordon Ramsey, which was first to air.

by Umpyreply 209/11/2011

I saw an episode last week where they renovated the dining area, sanitized the kitchen and revamped the menu in 48 hours!!!

by Umpyreply 309/11/2011

Who cares, r2? At least Irvine keeps it clean, knows how to motivate minus intimidation, gets right in the muck during clean-ups, cooks everything he suggests, shows respect even while roundly criticizing, etc.%0D %0D Plus, KI does a complete restaurant make-over, with a known budget, designers and crew; and also showcases other local businesses (kitchen equipment, furniture, painting, re-upholstering, etc.).

by Umpyreply 409/11/2011

google "Robert Irvine + royal wedding cake"

by Umpyreply 509/11/2011

[quote]This show is as scripted as scripted can be.%0D %0D I'm sure of that too because last year they went to a Spanish restaurant just outside of Newark - one that I've gone to a number of times - and the way it was depicted on the show seemed to be in an alternative universe than the one I'm familiar with or else I wouldn't go there so frequently. (I subsequently came across an article online that suggested Irvine & company did things like planting a dead obster in the lobster tank and letting loose a pigeon that was flying in the kitchen.)%0D %0D One of the things about the show in general is they want the owners have the menus come across as more original, and so they had this particular restaurant include a page of tapas and streamline the menu - which I found funny since there were ALREADY several nearby places that did that, notably Mompou in Newark.%0D %0D BTW the place, which was always crowded on weekends - including for events going on downstairs in the private room - is still packed on weekends, now only more so.

by Umpyreply 609/11/2011

R5 beat me to it. Irvine is a liar. He is a fake. Is it any wonder his show is a fake also? The man has no credibility in the culinary world. zero.

by Umpyreply 709/11/2011

My new favorite show. I know one of the construction workers on the crew and the 48 hour time table is strict. It's staged a bit, of course, but they work their asses off.

by Umpyreply 809/11/2011

I LOVE IT! It took me along time to get used to Robert "the anteater" Irvine, but now I like him.%0D %0D What's amazing is that any of these huge dirty restaurants with horrible food would stay in business a month, let alone for years. And that the owners would sink their live savings into them.%0D %0D One of the best was two young guys who bought a thriving restaurant, and the recipes for another 100K. The recipies consisted of opening a can and spooning the food onto a plate.

by Umpyreply 909/11/2011

When is Irvine going to come out of the closet?

by Umpyreply 1009/11/2011

For r10.

"Irvine has lived with his wife Karen in Absecon, New Jersey, since at least 1998. He has two daughters, Annalise and Talia."

by Umpyreply 1109/11/2011

r11 Oh ok....then he couldn't possibly be gay then.

by Umpyreply 1209/11/2011

I like the show ,I find it to be one of the more entertaining 'reality' shows on Food network these days.

by Umpyreply 1309/11/2011

It's far the best thing Robert Irvine has done, but the only draw the show has is how beyond clueless the restaurant owners are. Ramsay's original (the U.K. version, not the bombastic Fox version in the U.S.) is much better. He spends more time addressing the menu and the long term prospects for a place, and more time on how to manage and operate a restaurant -- and much less time screaming about how the booths have to be re-naughahyded "Right now!" and some stupid partitions built of scrap lumber stained cat orange.

by Umpyreply 1409/11/2011

[quote]What's amazing is that any of these huge dirty restaurants with horrible food would stay in business a month, let alone for years. And that the owners would sink their live savings into them.

Well, but that's the thing - a lot of them *aren't* really dirty, with horrible food, or with owners who'll have to shut down in a matter of weeks if Irvine doesn't help them. The show exaggerates and flat out fabricates A LOT. A number of the restaurant owners are on the record as saying so, as r6 mentioned.

by Umpyreply 1509/11/2011

He had his children before fame, r12. But hey, every man is gay, right?

by Umpyreply 1609/11/2011

Professional honoursAmbassador of the Culinary Institute of America (awarded at commencement, December 2007)[15]%0D Chef Professional from La Toque Blanche International[16]%0D Chef%E2%80%99s Five-Star Diamond Award from American Academy of Hospitality Sciences 1998%E2%80%932003[16]%0D 2001 Culinary Excellence Award granted at Carnegie Hall by the Culinary Institute of America and the American Tasting Institute[16]%0D Trustee of the American Academy of Hospitality Sciences' Five-Star Diamond Award[16]%0D Member of the Malta Chefs Society (MCS)[17]%0D

by Umpyreply 1709/11/2011

He has a nerdy face, but a large, masculine body. He sounds Irish.

by Umpyreply 1809/11/2011

Yeah. Yeah. Anne Burrell still kicks his ass..... everytime.

by Umpyreply 1909/11/2011

I don't believe that R6/16 because I've been to Flood Tide in Mystic, CT, in 1998, 2000 and 2010 -- saw the improvements.

ALL of these shows -- all on Food Network and HGTV -- are heavily edited, somewhat staged. But I'm looking for entertainment, not food police.

Restaurant Impossible is fun, and so much better that Robert Irvine's Dinner Impossible.

On the newer shows, he's doing "family therapy" with the owners of these places, which must STOP. Otherwise it's still a fun program.

by Umpyreply 2009/11/2011

Shirtless pic.

by Umpyreply 2109/11/2011

[quote]I don't believe that [R6]/16 because I've been to Flood Tide in Mystic, CT, in 1998, 2000 and 2010 -- saw the improvements.%0D %0D I'm R16. I can't comment on the other restaurants or the one you know, R20. But I am very familiar with the Spanish Pavilion since I go there about a half dozen times a year, including for my union's Christmas party. (In fact I was just at the place for dinner last night.) And I haven't invented what I posted above, including the reference to the local news article, regardless of what you believe.%0D %0D As a result of the show, the restaurant repainted the interior and made some other cosmetic changes that neither added nor detracted from the ambiance. And they streamlined the menu, unfortunately, because its expansive menu, notable for its variety, is what set it apart from the other Spanish restaurants in the Newark-Harrison area. In addition, the food they now serve tastes exactly the same (very good) as before. And the place, including its bar, is still popular.

by Umpyreply 2209/11/2011

Sounds to me like the owner of the Spanish Pavilion was pulling a fast one on Restaurant Impossible.

by Umpyreply 2309/12/2011

It's an enjoyable enough show. Like most "reality" TV you can't take it too seriously, not if you're sane. I find Irvine really appealing though, and a lot of fun to watch. I think I like his "Dinner Impossible" show better though.

Thanks for the pic R21, hot.

by Umpyreply 2409/12/2011

%E2%80%9CRestaurant: Impossible%E2%80%9D experience not a happy -- said the owner of mouse infested Rascal%E2%80%99s BBQ & Crab House. Owner Steve Kledaras was the one who had a hoading problem.

by Umpyreply 2509/12/2011


by Umpyreply 2609/13/2011

He lives in Absecon? God, what a dump. I lived there briefly during college, when I was working a summer in AC. It's a backwater full of white trash. %0D

by Umpyreply 2709/13/2011

I can tell the time limit is somewhat real because on occasion they don't actually finish all their design ideas. I watched an episode where they designed a lovely plaid burberry style pattern for the "focal point" in the dining room but when the restaurant opened it was clearly missing some of the colors in the design. I checked the website of the restaurant and the owners had already painted back over the design with plain white.

by Umpyreply 2809/13/2011

OMG r25. I remember that episode!!! My GF said it was totally hoarding and I thought, 'Oh they must just make it look that way... '

by Umpyreply 2909/13/2011

"He lives in Absecon? God, what a dump."%0D %0D Irvine's from England, he wouldn't know any different. Plus, he used to be a chef in the Royal Navy.

by Umpyreply 3009/13/2011

[quote] He lives in Absecon? God, what a dump.

So does Michelle Malkin of all people.

by Umpyreply 3109/13/2011

I saw this show for the first time this week. An Italian restaurant near Scranton, Pa. Was entertaining to an extent, but then I googled the place and saw articles on line about how exaggerated the dirtiness of the place was. Now I don't trust watching it anymore (and I know it's just tv but why waste time on fakery?)

by Umpyreply 3203/02/2012

[quote]Oh ok....then he couldn't possibly be gay then

Well, his marriage is certainly more evidence than is your own "feeling" he's gay. The world isn't actually a construction of your little brain.

by Umpyreply 3303/02/2012


I saw that episode,too. Honestly, if my restaurant was that dirty, I would want people to think that it was exaggerated for the show. With the layers and layers of built up grease and crud, I seriously doubt that it was exaggerated. It really seemed to be that filthy and the owner really seemed to be that clueless.

by Umpyreply 3403/02/2012

And R(34), if I was a prospective customer, I would wonder how long it would be until it got that dirty again! If you google restaurant impossible anna maria's , you will see a Times Tribune article about how this place passed its last inspection.

by Umpyreply 3503/02/2012

So, is this the first time that Umpy has revealed that he's in South Carolina? This fact explains a lot, and gives me a bit of empathy for him.

by Umpyreply 3603/02/2012

My new fav.

by Umpyreply 3703/02/2012

Kitchen Nightmares on a tiny budget. The time frame is just arbitrary drama.

by Umpyreply 3803/02/2012

Well, I must say that if you look at Gordon Ramsay's track record more than 95% of his restaurant makeovers fail and usually do so within 3 months.

I'd be curious to see if Robert Irvine can do better but something tells me no.

by Umpyreply 3903/02/2012

[quote]Well, I must say that if you look at Gordon Ramsay's track record more than 95% of his restaurant makeovers fail and usually do so within 3 months.

Do you have a link for that? The follow-up visits give the impression that 2/3 stay open.

by Umpyreply 4003/03/2012

I thought you were banned, OP. But I see that you have never really stopped posting, have you? We are onto you...

by Umpyreply 4103/03/2012

The yelp reviews for the places on the show seem to follow a pattern: a brief uptick in quality/service, followed by the owner reverting back to past behavior and sinking again.

by Umpyreply 4203/03/2012

More importantly, does Irvine have sizemeat?

Verificatia needed.

by Umpyreply 4303/03/2012

Picture of Robert Irvine's fiance. Let the gay rumors commence:

by Umpyreply 4403/03/2012

His fiance is WWE wrestler Gail Kim, R44.

As for Irvine's HOTNESS, even Paula Deen can't help herself...

by Umpyreply 4503/03/2012

Paula Deen is disgusting.

by Umpyreply 4603/03/2012

Paula may be going for his abs in that photo, but you know she's really hot for his buttah face.

by Umpyreply 4703/03/2012

Can not stand that Irvine creep. He's such a fraud. And didn't they find out he was lying about his culinary past at some point?

But I agree, that show is as real as my dyed hair.

by Umpyreply 4803/03/2012

I'm not buying this show!

That 1 restaurant that was so filthy it made Robert puke...... how did it pass it's health inspections?!!

all that grease and dirt on the stove and other equipment, pan of bread crumbs just sitting on the floor, food stored improperly in the fridge, filthy basement were other food was stored, etc.

How did it pass it's health inspections?

Don't believe it!!

Here in Georgia health inspection reports have to be placed in a prominent place up front where all customers can see it and the score.

by Umpyreply 4903/04/2012

I think the common pattern here seems to be the owners after the fact complain the show trumped up the filthiness for more drama, but can the local inspection department (health dept) sue for making it look bad?

by Umpyreply 5003/05/2012

The show recently re-did a Greek restaurant near my house. The episode hasn't yet aired, but news of the renovation made the local papers in light of the "Grand Re-Opening."

I'm Greek, so my partner and I visited the restaurant several years ago. The chicken (basic olive oil, oregano, and lemon) was the only thing that was passable, and the decor--an 80s-era southwestern-style coffee shop completely discordant with the theme--was laughable.

We went back post-reno to check it out. The decor is now your basic blue and white. It's clean, bright, and much more in line with what you'd expect. The food, though, was still mediocre-to-bad, with an overpriced, oversized lamb shank as the featured item. No traditional Greek items on the menu--not even the chicken--and, candidly, nothing that looked appealing.

If Irvine wanted to transform the menu to serve simple, straightforward, neighborhoody Greek food, he failed miserably. But, hey--at least it looks nice.

by Umpyreply 5103/05/2012

The show is stupid and he's a hack but he's hot as hell (rather, kind of "ugly hot") and I would gladly be his sex slave.

by Umpyreply 5203/05/2012

on Gail Kim:

"Prior to signing with WWE, Kim undertook breast augmentation surgery. After signing, she had her implants enlarged. While performing for WWE, one of her implants ruptured, which resulted in her being sidelined for two weeks."

by Umpyreply 5303/05/2012

Not attracted to Irvine but his carpenter, Tom Bury, is rather do-able.

by Umpyreply 5403/05/2012

total ripoff of kitchen nightmares

ditto poster # 2

love the show anyway

by Umpyreply 5503/05/2012

R6, the restaurant owners ALWAYS say that the nasty stuff found in the kitchen was planted. It's the same way on Kitchen Nightmares, they always claim it's faked. I've seen and heard enough about the stuff restaurants do to totally believe that they're actually that dirty.

by Umpyreply 5603/05/2012

I was a random "customer" at one of the R.I. restaurants (the Chatterbox). Local press said that the show would be re-doing a diner a couple towns over, and for the heck of it my wife and I went to see. They invited people to come in and try the food (this was the "before" part) and filmed peoples' reactions. What was later shown on TV “was less than complete.” First we weren't really "customers" since we were given the meals free. We also didn't "order" from the menu per se, we were given what they gave us (we were given breakfast even though it was afternoon, though others were given lunch). But it was free as I said so can‘t complain. But where it really is misleading is how they get the bad "before" reviews.

We weren't really asked how we liked it, just given leading questions. I had an omelet and why wife had a basic eggs plate. We both basically said it was good. Nothing special, but nothing really wrong with it either. My omelet was about like you would find at any random diner. They proceeded to ask, "Was it greasy? Was it over/under cooked? What didn't you like?" and the such. Didn‘t really agree with any of it so we stuck with, "It was fine." I guess they didn't like that cause at one point an (off camera) crew member had an uncomfortable exchange with my wife where they pressed her for criticism and she had to get pretty forceful in saying, "I had fried eggs. That's pretty hard to mess up, I don't know what you want me to say." The only interest they showed in our response was when we said it would be unlikely we would go out of our way to come back, but alas our chance at 10 seconds on TV was missed as we explained that it was a 40 minute drive for us and if we lived close we might eat there again. We did note some people around us seemed to eat the camera attention up and would after saying the food was okay would agree to pointed questions by saying stuff like, "Well yeah, it was kinda overcooked" or some such after asked. Though there were others like us who just stuck to saying the food was fine. We didn't hear anyone say, "Wow that was awful," without coaxing. I suppose to be fair we didn't hear anyone say, “Wow that was awesome," either. But still, definitely not that bad reaction TV showed.

Also it seemed that though the "time limit" may have to end pretty strictly (they announced a grand re-opening in media ahead of time), they can really start well ahead of schedule. Our part took place almost a week before the reopen. We heard that the crew had been in and out for a few days before that. Robert Irvine wasn't around (as far as we could tell), so for my part I suspect it may be run in terms of: Crew comes in early and builds a plan well ahead of time, the "clock starts" when Irvine shows up on site and follows a pre-made fixing plan in 2 days, leaving the time limit "real" from a certain point of view.

I didn't see anything that would imply cleanliness issues were faked as other reports have said of other restaurants, but after having been pointed to some of Irvine's past busted lies (having claimed to be a British Knight, the exaggerations at best about cooking in the White House and for Charles and Di) paired with how much the "before" reactions we were a part of were manipulated I would be surprised if there wasn't at least some exaggeration and editing techniques in play with some of the restaurants cleanliness.

We did go back after the re-open (but not during) for the fun of it. It looked nicer in terms of appearance, but then it wasn’t packed with a crew and “customers” giving interviews, so hard to say if it was real improvement or just less hectic since we had only been there that one other time. They boasted of the TV show makeover and redone menu, but I hadn’t seen a real menu before either so I didn’t know what had changed. I had an omelet again just to compare. It was good. Nothing special. About like you would find at any random diner. I won’t go out of my way to go back, but if I lived closer I might eat there again. Huh. Well what do you know

by Umpyreply 5704/28/2012

Lov it love the show love robert irvine love the fake drama fun to see the new decor on 10k enjoy the new menus LOVE IT ALL I said Love

by Umpyreply 5805/05/2012

In Seabrooke, Texas the cook had tried to convince the owner to use abbreviations on the tickets. Owner's wife thought tickets with only three items (written with full words) was easier to read. Neither had previous restaurant experience. Three sons who were waiters were geeks. They paid $125,000 for the place and lost money every month until Irvine showed up.

by Umpyreply 5905/05/2012

It's fun to watch but it's way too formulaic. They need a some additional fake narratives. The 11th hour screaming at the designers due to their lateness and unforeseen crises is so transparent.

by Umpyreply 6005/05/2012

r59, the place you mentioned is Pelican Grill. It airede again last night.

by Umpyreply 6105/06/2012


by Umpyreply 6205/06/2012

Why do they impose a time limit?

Hell, it took months for those places to fall into disrepair, what's a week more?

Shut it down and do it right. They are always rushing about right before it opens.

It would behoove them to take their time. When things (construction and decoration) start to fall apart, they can say, 'well, what do you expect for a 2 day completion time'?

Is that why they do a rush job?

by Umpyreply 6305/06/2012

How is it possible a fully renovated restaurant doesn't wreak of paint, adhesives, and chemicals used just moments before they reopen? Food and service is PERFECT from the start without issues or complaints, just rave reviews. Entertaining yes, just make it more "reality".

by Umpyreply 6408/08/2012

OP eats Spaghettios, cold, out of a can and comes here and pretends he can afford a fine dining establishment.

by Umpyreply 6508/08/2012

WHET Umpy?

by Umpyreply 6608/08/2012

Watched a marathon last night. Best episode was the one with the dysfunctional trio of an elderlez couple and the femme partner's bitch daughter. They own a French bistro in Bumfuck, Montana, housed in what has to be a former Mexican restaurant. Lots of tears and recriminations and accusations of embezzlement. Plus eye candy in the form of Tom Bury and Lynn Kegan.

by Umpyreply 6712/27/2012

Is this the same show as the guy who sounds like Joe Pesce? I watched a show about a restaurant about 5 miles from here. Then I ate there the next week. The same sour lady was waiting on tables but she was much nicer. (She was a bitch on the show). The food was really good so I guess it makes sense if you've got a good menu to have a good attitude. She's the owner's wife so I don't know how long it'll last.

by Umpyreply 6812/27/2012

^ That's [italic]Restaurant Stakeout.[/italic]

by Umpyreply 6912/27/2012

I only like the 1st 20 minutes.

Some of those places are really disgusting. How they got past the health inspectors is beyond me.

And what's with all the canned and frozen food?

by Umpyreply 7012/27/2012

R6;, paint doesn't smell anymore.

by Umpyreply 7112/27/2012

When Robert asked an Italian restaurant owner in Wilkes-Barre or Scranton why she used frozen chicken parmigian, she said it was to save time because of high volume. He screamed "High volume? You're goin' out of business1"

by Umpyreply 7212/27/2012

And your point is?

by Umpyreply 7312/27/2012

The restaurant owner was clueless!

by Umpyreply 7412/29/2012

I look forward to this show every week. It is fun to see someone that may need some help get a boost to continue trying. I don't know why you are all so cynical about staging. Of course every show needs a little staging or it wouldn't be inviting to watch. How would you complainers and scoffers do it any different. You've got 60 minutes to tell a story of transformation-this is great TV of helping people or can't you rejoice in that. Of course Robert Irvine can't personally guide every minute from now on for these restauranteurs, but he gives them some hope. He's and/or they've created a great idea into a fun show! And he plays his role well!

by Umpyreply 7503/20/2013

I assume many of the posters here are familiar with today's media production process. In this age of ubiquitous media in everyone's hands, I just assume that people understand that it takes hundreds of people to create ANY professional media program or film. First of all, Irvine is just the "talent" part of the show. The rest of it is created, written, managed, filmed, edited, planned, and executed by the rest of these talented (or sometimes not so talented) people. Whether or not your like the concept or an individual show is up to you, of course. In today's world, content is king: there are 24-hours each day on hundreds of channels that are blank until something is broadcast. This is simply a concept that gets ratings, so it will stay on in the same format until people stop watching. Then, something else will take its place. Whether or not the individual places are successful is irrelevant to the overall goal of ratings. Regarding health department issues, I would GUESS that health inspectors are compensated and trained at about the same level as the average dog catcher. This does not mean that they accept illegal payoffs from owners, but I would guess you can find the inspection list of your local county online or at city hall. If you are concerned, go find out what the latest inspection found, how long ago it was done, and then go eat that the place and see what YOU think.

Finally, this show give me an insight into what MIGHT be going on at some of the places where I eat. I found the inspection information and made decisions based on that information. By the way, check out your local fast-food places. You will get some REAL eye-openers when you look up their scores.


by Umpyreply 7604/17/2013

I'm completely bored with it. Chopped is still the best they got.

Did you see Top chef Richard compete. My God, his facial expressions! He acted like it was a matter of life and death.

He did well, but came in 2nd

by Umpyreply 7704/17/2013

I just saw my first episode over the weekend. It was Smitty's in Clearwater, FL which looked dirty and had a horrendous cockroach infestation. I didn't wonder how they passed a health inspection and just assumed they paid their inspector off. I was in awe of how the owners allowed themselves and their restaurant in such filthy conditions be filmed at all. The first thing Irvine said was something to the effect of "Cleaning is pretty much free. Why don't you do it?" The wife looked humiliated a she should be.

by Umpyreply 7803/07/2014

Like that HGTV show Love it or List it or whatever it's called, every show is exactly the same. I'm sure both are totally scripted and fake. Yes they are real restaurants and real owners but I think that's where the reality stops. The only reality show I like on FN is Chopped. Oh I'm sure it's as fake as the rest but somehow I just enjoy it.

by Umpyreply 7903/07/2014

Shrimp Scampi

by Umpyreply 8003/09/2014


by Umpyreply 8103/04/2015

Ellen, stop drinking and go to bed!

by Umpyreply 8203/04/2015

I love you, r82.

by Umpyreply 8303/04/2015

Umpy never returned from Texas, did he?

by Umpyreply 8403/05/2015

interesting how he wears the same very snug sheer black short sleeve shirt for EVERY episode?! wasn't his excuse/answer: this shirt is his "uniform" and he likes to be consistent" UH HUH..

wonder how many times he has been hit on by any of the staff? i mean while he's not facially attractive, he's a tall big man in a skintight shirt, he has to get attention from the employees.

wonder why he hasn't been to a "rainbow" restaurant/club yet?

by Umpyreply 8503/05/2015
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