On tonight's Food Network episode of "Restaurant: Impossible," Robert Irvine went to Daly City, outside of San Francisco, Calif. to help save Estrada’s, a restaurant with a Mexican/Caribbean theme on this episode titled, “Mumbo Jumbo.”
Robert met with Julio Mercedes and Bernadette Aggen, life partners and partners in the restaurant. Bernadette has been in the industry all her life and when she moved from Las Vegas to be near her grandmother, she met Julio. Together they have about $400,000 in the restaurant that has yet to make a profit. As Bernadette tearfully told Robert, the restaurant and the relationship is on the rocks.
Robert wanted to see a service, and as it proceeded, the customers felt that the place needed a redo. The food did not please the customers either. One server stated that there was a definite disconnect in the restaurant, and both Julio and Bernadette had two different styles, like working for divorcing parents. As Robert saw a table with no food, the people were waiting one hour and nineteen minutes for food. As Robert yelled for Julio, it seemed that there was no leadership in the kitchen.
When Robert tasted the food, he was disappointed in everything but the broth for the soup. Julio disagreed, but he acknowledged that Robert was the doctor, and he can fix it.
Cheryl arrived to see the place looking like a flea market with so many tacky doodads. So they proceeded to empty the place to the bare walls. Then Robert met with the couple to see why Julio had no idea how much food cost. Robert gave them the factor he uses to price the food, and showed them how to make it a profitable enterprise.
Robert went to meet with the staff and hear their complaints. Bernadette is the tougher one of the two, and she is the go-to person when the staff needs help. Robert met again with the couple to ask them to write down three things that irritate the heck out of them about the other. Julio stated that Bernadette was argumentative and extremely loud and not family oriented, because he has not seen his 84-year-old mother in over six years. Bernadette stated that Julio was a pushover with employees, he insists on having his own way with just about everything, and he has to be right all the time. For their homework, Robert had them write down three things that would make the restaurant better, and their roles in doing them.
The next day, the interior was shaping up, but still had a long way to go. Robert met with the couple to see how their homework transpired. Bernadette’s list for Julio included; him handling public relations and promotions, which he excels at, get educated on food costs, and to trust her with all the accounting, not that he does not trust her, but he is set in his ways. Julio’s three things he wanted Bernadette to do were; manage the front of the house, take over the staffing, billing and the books, and lastly, to respect, honor and love each other. The three things they were passionate about the restaurant were; Bernadette and Julio were both passionate about each other, but seemed to be dispassionate about the restaurant. Robert is an expert in his field, and will bring it back before he leaves.
In the kitchen, Robert made awesome recipes that they could do easily. Then Robert took the couple to town hall to promote their restaurant. They brought the street corn for them to sample, that Robert made earlier. When they met with the people, Robert saw their passion come back. When the couple saw the new interior, they were brought to tears. It was fresh and clean and so modern and sophisticated. Tom and Cheryl did a wonderful job.
When the long line of people came in, they were enthralled with the beautiful interior, but the food was what will be bringing them back again and again. Thanks to Robert and his crew of "Restaurant: Impossible," this restaurant, is back in business and passion is its middle name.
At the end of each show, Robert tells viewers to check his link to see how the restaurant is doing since his visit. If you liked what you read, please Subscribe, and you will never miss another post from this Television Examiner. Thanks!