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"America's Next Great Restaurant"


jsmeeker
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I don't know about anyone else, but I would never use a dipping sauce for my grilled cheese sandwich. Call me an inflexible purist, if you will.

I'm really struggling with this because I agree. Still, I have seen endorsements here of putting sriracha on grilled cheese. I think the dipping sauce was meant to offer something you couldn't get at home. I think Meltworks should've sayed longer, but having been eliminated, I don't really feel like the world has suffered a great loss.

But I think Joey should've gone. As an investor, do you want a partner that completely forgets about his concept when he steps in font of a camera to promote it?

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I was really surprised that the taco place went down so early. Yes, the guy was a d-bag, but the concept can work- there was a recent favorable review in the LA Times about such a place that served various types of non-mexican cuisine inside a taco.

At the very least, I thought he had picked a good chef and that that chef would carry him further into the competion. If that chef is good enough for Gordon Ramsay, you'd think she could hold her own in a reality TV competition but it seemed like the judges never liked any of the tacos she produced.

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I don't know about anyone else, but I would never use a dipping sauce for my grilled cheese sandwich. Call me an inflexible purist, if you will.

I'm really struggling with this because I agree. Still, I have seen endorsements here of putting sriracha on grilled cheese. I think the dipping sauce was meant to offer something you couldn't get at home.

This is another argument I can't exactly wrap my head around. "You can make it at home"

A) People eat a lot of meals out because they aren't able to cook at home, even if able to. A lot of that is because they are AT WORK. Lots and lots of restaurants' "bread and butter" are the lunch time office worker crowds.

B) Even with simple foods, people may not have convenient access to more interesting ingredients. Sure, Wonder Bread and Kraft American cheese is super common in homes. But what if you are interested in kicking it up a notch?

C) There are all manner of foods people can make at home as easily as a grilled cheese. But restaurants serving that type of food are very successful.

Jeff Meeker, aka "jsmeeker"

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B) Even with simple foods, people may not have convenient access to more interesting ingredients. Sure, Wonder Bread and Kraft American cheese is super common in homes. But what if you are interested in kicking it up a notch?

C) There are all manner of foods people can make at home as easily as a grilled cheese. But restaurants serving that type of food are very successful.

I agree with the "B) ...kicking it up a notch". I would order it precisely becuase I wouldn't make it at home or have the generous resources to do so.

And C) is dead on because people like comfort food and will pay good money for it. Comfort food is exactly what his cuisine was all about. Too bad it wasn't comforting enough (or well made enough) for him to stay.

 

“Peter: Oh my god, Brian, there's a message in my Alphabits. It says, 'Oooooo.'

Brian: Peter, those are Cheerios.”

– From Fox TV’s “Family Guy”

 

Tim Oliver

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Another one bites the dust.

Not surprising to me, though. I liked Sandra's concept but it seems as though she just never had the food to back up the idea. I think the "Saints and Sinners" menu is a great idea. Most of the fast food chains have dabbled in the idea. For example, at Carl's Jr/Hardee's you can order a chicken sandwich where the chicken is battered and deep fried, or you can have the chicken just grilled for a healthier option. I could easily see that idea expanded to an entire restaurant menu. Why she couldn't execute that idea left me scratching my head.

I would assume that someone who wishes to start a restaurant would have some basic core recipes that they want to build a restaurant around. Where were her recipes? How much blame can you place on the hired chef? Are the recipes generated out of thin air? And then when the chef makes the food, aren't you tasting it and testing it to make sure it's what you want to serve to the public/judges? Or am I just being a control freak here?

Another contestant who raised one of my eyebrows in last night's episode was Stephanie Park/Harvest Sōl. They practically had to drag her kicking and screaming into the food truck competition. Of course, the judges railed on her food because it wasn't convenient to eat. What was she thinking? All she had to do was make a healthy falafel wrap or stuffed whole wheat pita and she could have walked away with it while being faithful to her restaurant vision. (Mini rant: The judges gave her negative comments about her using canned chickpeas for her falafel. Excuse me, Bobby Flay, but where in the hell do you buy fresh chickpeas? You can't find them in the grocery stores where I shop.)

Stephanie was also the same contestant who, a couple episodes ago, when asked by the judges to make a sandwich said "No". No? :shock: I would bet good money that she'll be the next to go.

 

“Peter: Oh my god, Brian, there's a message in my Alphabits. It says, 'Oooooo.'

Brian: Peter, those are Cheerios.”

– From Fox TV’s “Family Guy”

 

Tim Oliver

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Excuse me, Bobby Flay, but where in the hell do you buy fresh chickpeas? You can't find them in the grocery stores where I shop.)

I think Bobby was probably referring to dried chick peas, which would then be ground to make the falafel balls.

Mitch Weinstein aka "weinoo"

Tasty Travails - My Blog

My eGullet FoodBog - A Tale of Two Boroughs

Was it you baby...or just a Brilliant Disguise?

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Excuse me, Bobby Flay, but where in the hell do you buy fresh chickpeas? You can't find them in the grocery stores where I shop.)

I think Bobby was probably referring to dried chick peas, which would then be ground to make the falafel balls.

Thank you for that. I checked my local Von's and they don't carry them. My guess is they'll be found in the local Indian grocery store.

The restaurantuer-wannabe's were given $300 and then they shopped at what looked to be like a Costco/Sam's Club-type store. I know my Costco doesn't carry dried chickpeas. I don't think the contestants had the option to do their shopping at an Indian/Ethnic store. So if your main dish requires ground chickpeas, what's a person to do? I think Stephanie made the best decision based upon what I saw in the editing/show and she shouldn't have been taken to task by the judges for it. Unless the contestants did have the option to shop where they wanted to shop to better source their ingredients, then the judges critique would be correct.

 

“Peter: Oh my god, Brian, there's a message in my Alphabits. It says, 'Oooooo.'

Brian: Peter, those are Cheerios.”

– From Fox TV’s “Family Guy”

 

Tim Oliver

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Excuse me, Bobby Flay, but where in the hell do you buy fresh chickpeas? You can't find them in the grocery stores where I shop.)

I think Bobby was probably referring to dried chick peas, which would then be ground to make the falafel balls.

Thank you for that. I checked my local Von's and they don't carry them. My guess is they'll be found in the local Indian grocery store.

The restaurantuer-wannabe's were given $300 and then they shopped at what looked to be like a Costco/Sam's Club-type store. I know my Costco doesn't carry dried chickpeas. I don't think the contestants had the option to do their shopping at an Indian/Ethnic store. So if your main dish requires ground chickpeas, what's a person to do? I think Stephanie made the best decision based upon what I saw in the editing/show and she shouldn't have been taken to task by the judges for it. Unless the contestants did have the option to shop where they wanted to shop to better source their ingredients, then the judges critique would be correct.

I thought the whole thing was a little silly, but the judge's point was that if she couldn't get a good product, she should have changed her recipe.

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Man, that Steve Ells is a busy guy.

From Nation's Restaurant News:

That’s what officials at Chipotle Mexican Grill confirmed Tuesday regarding the new Asian concept the company is scheduled to open this summer.

“I have always believed that the Chipotle model would work well with a variety of different cuisines,” said Steve Ells, founder, chair and co-chief executive of Denver-based Chipotle, in a statement Tuesday.

Can't be related to this show, can it?

Mitch Weinstein aka "weinoo"

Tasty Travails - My Blog

My eGullet FoodBog - A Tale of Two Boroughs

Was it you baby...or just a Brilliant Disguise?

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Man, that Steve Ells is a busy guy.

From Nation's Restaurant News:

Can't be related to this show, can it?

The cynic in me would say "yes" except for the fact that if there were connection between the two , it certainly would have been trumpted from the rooftops since Day One of the show. Why else keep it quiet? Any publicity is good publicity.

Of course, having said that, watch it pop up in the next episode. :hmmm:

 

“Peter: Oh my god, Brian, there's a message in my Alphabits. It says, 'Oooooo.'

Brian: Peter, those are Cheerios.”

– From Fox TV’s “Family Guy”

 

Tim Oliver

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Another team bites the dust.

The only surprise to me is how they lasted this long given how they didn't seem to have a consistent fare/menu until the investors forced them into it just a few episodes ago.

Which leads me to ask is how did these teams get this far having so many problems? You would think anyone lasting this long would have their stuff together, to put it politely, and that the investors would be splitting hairs at this point to find faults with the top teams. But these are some major team FUBARS. Who screened these teams?

The Brooklyn Meatball Company (?) guy scares me. He has been clueless from Day One and has made it this far with major help from others (new restaurant name and theme, menu focus, etc). What if he wins and he's on his own to launch his three locations? Who will be there helping him to make it a success?

 

“Peter: Oh my god, Brian, there's a message in my Alphabits. It says, 'Oooooo.'

Brian: Peter, those are Cheerios.”

– From Fox TV’s “Family Guy”

 

Tim Oliver

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The funny thing is that the guy had his stuff the most thought out got booted a couple of episodes ago. (Grilled Cheese Guy). The Harvest Sol girl was equally clueless. Her concept really changed a great deal. Before, it was all about calories or fat grams or something like that. "What's the fla vor profile?" "Uh... 500 calores". "No, no.. what does it taste like?" "Uhh.. 4 grams of fat"

I actually like Joey Meatball. :) But one of the "investors" made a good comment. It's all the OTHER stuff that drags him down.

Jeff Meeker, aka "jsmeeker"

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I actually like Joey Meatball. :) But one of the "investors" made a good comment. It's all the OTHER stuff that drags him down.

He's a character, but perhaps too much of one. He seems to have the best culinary basis, but that came from Grandma. I think I agree with the Grillbilly negative assessment, but Joey is not far behind in terms of being potentially very difficult to work with. I think the Soul Daddy option is the most attractive on that score.

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I was just very happy that Sudhir (sp???) with Spice Coast survived. That's probably the only one of any of the concepts I'd patronize. Joey Meatballs (LOVE that moniker, jsmeeker !) is a dolt, and I'd never go to a meatball sandwich place for a fast lunch during a work day, because I'd end up wearing it. So would my kids at dinner (that's, of course...if I had any. Kids, that is). Crunchy Granola Girl doesn't have a clue about what she wants to serve and why, and her food looks like every bad, cardboard, tasteless cliche of what "healthy" food is. I'd probably also go to Soul Daddy, frankly. He's a close second after Spice Coast, if Soul Man can get his food together. I'd do chicken and waffles in a heartbeat for a "fast casual" meal.

Yeah. Grill 'Billies. They just were a train wreck.

The advice the "investors" are giving the contestants, as has been noted, is all over the place. Is it a fast/quick/good/lunch place for office 'droids, or is it an after school/after soccer/quick cheap dinner place for harried parents and overstressed kids? That's never been made clear, and I think that's hurting the contestants. Of course Indian food isn't going to appeal to most kids. But up until yesterday, kids weren't the freakin' focus !

Steve Ells has got to be one of the singular most annoying people on the planet. And that's saying a LOT.

--Roberta--

"Let's slip out of these wet clothes, and into a dry Martini" - Robert Benchley

Pierogi's eG Foodblog

My *outside* blog, "A Pound Of Yeast"

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Steve Ells has got to be one of the singular most annoying people on the planet. And that's saying a LOT.

By Steve Ells, are you talking about "And I'm Steve Ells, owner of Chipotle?". THAT Steve Ells? Because you don't want to get him confused with any other Steve Ells who is NOT the owner/creator/founder of Chipotle. I don't think he's annoying, just really, really considerate in identifying himself as THE Steve Ells who owns Chipotle every single damn time he ever has to say his name.... :biggrin:

I watch the show as I'm doing other things, so if I'm wrong feel free to correct me, but does it seem like Steve Ells (owner of Chipotle) has this idea that his restaurant is the gold standard of "healthy", fast casual dining and not just a polished "BURRITOS AS BIG AS YOUR HEAD!!!" joint? I know, I know, you can have it all in a bowl and customize it however you want to make it healthier.....just like you can have a salad with no-fat dressing at McDonald's.

Jerry

Kansas City, Mo.

Unsaved Loved Ones

My eG Food Blog- 2011

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Steve Ells has got to be one of the singular most annoying people on the planet. And that's saying a LOT.

By Steve Ells, are you talking about "And I'm Steve Ells, owner of Chipotle?". THAT Steve Ells? Because you don't want to get him confused with any other Steve Ells who is NOT the owner/creator/founder of Chipotle. I don't think he's annoying, just really, really considerate in identifying himself as THE Steve Ells who owns Chipotle every single damn time he ever has to say his name.... :biggrin:

Steve Ellis is like Toby in that episode of "The West Wing" where he lost a bet with Josh and had to introduce himself to everyone he met with "I'm Toby Ziegler...I work at the White House." :laugh:

The advice the "investors" are giving the contestants, as has been noted, is all over the place. Is it a fast/quick/good/lunch place for office 'droids, or is it an after school/after soccer/quick cheap dinner place for harried parents and overstressed kids? That's never been made clear, and I think that's hurting the contestants.

Exactly this.

So, Bobby Flay, if the winning restaurant is supposed to be one of those "take it and go and eat it on the run" type place (the judges keep telling the contestants to "make it hand held, like a taco or like Steve Ellis' Chipotle burritos"), just how am I supposed to carry and use those dipping sauces you keep harping on the contestants to start making in every episode? :hmmm:

So yes, the judges seem to be sending out mixed signals to the contestants.

 

“Peter: Oh my god, Brian, there's a message in my Alphabits. It says, 'Oooooo.'

Brian: Peter, those are Cheerios.”

– From Fox TV’s “Family Guy”

 

Tim Oliver

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Down to the three finalists. Harvest Sol finally got the boot. I don't think she really ever understood what she was doing.

We finally got more details on where exactly the restaurants would be. Looking at it, they mostly are all in locations that cater to tourists. Do local New Yorkers really go to South Street Seaport to have a meal? Maybe just office workers in the financial district? Hollywood and Highland is very tourisity. Mall of America is a big tourist draw, but it still draws plenty of local people. But it's STILL in a giant shopping mall. I wonder if it will be in a food court, or more of a "free standing" place with it's own seating and decor and everything.

Jeff Meeker, aka "jsmeeker"

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Down to the three finalists. Harvest Sol finally got the boot. I don't think she really ever understood what she was doing.

I don't think she did either. At one point she confused veal and lamb. She didn't know if her beef was antibiotic free. And she's serving healthy food? Really?

The indian food is a long shot at this point.

 

“Peter: Oh my god, Brian, there's a message in my Alphabits. It says, 'Oooooo.'

Brian: Peter, those are Cheerios.”

– From Fox TV’s “Family Guy”

 

Tim Oliver

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I live in Manhattan. My friends and I are going to the winners concept regardless a week from today. As long as meatballs doesnt win ill be happy. south street seaport is a trek for me to get to. i really thought the location for ny would be times sq or near rockefella plaza, both touristy but also good for people who live in nyc.

i read these recaps every monday. here is todays:

http://newyork.grubstreet.com/2011/04/americas_next_great_restaurant_6.html

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I think the editors would've had to have committed outrght fraud to avoid this episode's result being telegraphed. I had absolutely no doubt who would be eliminated. She was just not ready.

I live in Manhattan. My friends and I are going to the winners concept regardless a week from today. As long as meatballs doesnt win ill be happy. south street seaport is a trek for me to get to. i really thought the location for ny would be times sq or near rockefella plaza, both touristy but also good for people who live in nyc.

I was wondering about this as I saw their countdown tick down to 7 days. I presume the three locations are hidden behind a big show logo and they'll put up signs overnight after the finale?

[ETA]Would you says that the neighborhood selected is representative of a typical location for, say, Chipotle (which BTW, I've heard that Steve Ells founded)?

Edited by IndyRob (log)
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I get the impression that no matter who wins, the concept will be hijacked by the "investors" and transformed dramatically from what was originally presented. If Spice Coast wins, I suspect it will turn into some riff on a taco joint. Probably with plenty of beef on the menu. :blink:

Jeff Meeker, aka "jsmeeker"

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