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'Restaurant: Impossible' helps Mike LaSusa’s Italian Restaurant

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On last night's Food Network episode of "Restaurant: Impossible," Robert Irvine went to Oak Creek, Wis. to help save a restaurant named after the owner called Mike LaSusa’s Italian Restaurant in this episode titled, “Unfixable Family.”

Mike runs this restaurant with the help of his parents, Mary and Pat. His parents bought this place for him to give him a start at running his own restaurant. He started by bussing tables at 14 and then went on to culinary school. His parents bought the restaurant in the hope that once it turned a profit, he would start paying them back so they could enjoy their retirement. That day is yet to come. With approximately $750,000 invested, and their retirement at stake, the parents are both working there with no end in sight. With any changes that Mike wanted to do, he was met with roadblocks by both parents who refused to let him change a thing.

When Robert arrived, he saw a place that had no true identity. Robert detested the pictures on the wall, as did Mike, but his mother loved them and was not happy to know that Robert did not either, as it was one bone of contention in the restaurant between the parents and son.

Robert wanted to see a service and brought in people who had never been there before to dine. Mary felt that Robert thought they were idiots for investing so much money in the place and for continuing to pay the bills. She is very strong willed, and it may be a hard job for Robert to turn this place around. Mary is the hostess and greeter, but does much more in the restaurant than she admits to.

In the kitchen, Robert saw that Mike had no passion and was just going through the motions. The customers had mixed feelings about the food. Each dish seemed to have both good and bad points. When Robert tasted the food, he was not happy. So he gathered the staff together to find out more about the restaurant. So he sat with them to hear the scoop. He asked who was running the place; and nobody seemed to know who to report to. They agreed that any changes Mike wanted to make were nixed by Mary. They agreed that Mary micro-manages the teams and if the servers are not completely on top of the customers, she is there to oversee them.

When Robert met with Mike and his parents, he asked them the tough questions; especially if Mike no longer wanted to cook? His parents did not seem to have anything good to say about their son. When Robert told Mike that his pizza crust was delicious, but the sauce needed to be better, he thanked Robert, but his mother jumped in to tell him that it was still not a compliment. When his parents heard that he did not want to cook any longer, they were ready to pull the plug.

The next day, Robert met with the family. Mike admitted that he really did want to cook. Mary found nothing redeeming in her meeting with Robert yesterday. When Robert promised to give Mike his expertise, Patrick walked out and nobody was sure if he was going to return. Mary continued to deny that she had any input in the restaurant.

Robert met with Mike to show him how to create a menu based on his kitchen layout. When he went into the kitchen with Mike and Jessica, they made dishes that were a knockout and brought back the passion that Mike once had.

When Robert was ready to show them the finished restaurant, it was just Mike and Mary, who were there, but Pat had not returned. Michael loved the place and even Mary was pleased.

The customers were thrilled with the interior. The kitchen was humming, and the customers were loving the food. Robert had faith in Mike and gave him the tools to turn it around, leaving the rest up to him.

Thanks to Robert and his crew of "Restaurant: Impossible." this restaurant and family have better communication and a brighter future.

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!

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