Hello, fellow Gordon fans! This episode of Kitchen Nightmares follows Yanni’s Greek Cuisine, a family restaurant in Phinney Ridge, only one of the awesome neighborhoods in my beloved Seattle! The Emerald City is my one true soul home, a place I love more than any other, and where I can never again live, so it’s nice to see it on my TV, at least. Mr. Canary can’t abide the long, gray winters, so unless he someday dies or wises up and leaves my ass, my ideal Seattlelite lifestyle will exist only in my memory. FYI, the local commentary I’ll likely throw into this recap may get a little obnoxious.
You’ve been warned.
Yanni’s is family-owned, run by the loud patriarch, Peter, and his epic eyebrows. He inherited the place from his dad, but his daughters, Alyce and Tariya, and his wife Karen, admit that business has been tapering off. They think the neighborhood is evolving and want to evolve to keep up, but here’s a shock! Peter doesn’t take criticism well and refuses to change what is obviously the best working model of a restaurant in the history of the Northwest. Which explains why it’s doing so well, right?
Right? Oh, leave her alone, I’d be done with this argument, too.
But really, Peter seems like an okay dude. He’s not the type of asshole Joe from last week is, and he’s definitely not the only one with issues. Alyce seems to have modeled her abrasive personality after Daddy’s, and Tariya is unable to stop crying. About anything. Ever. She cries if a customer complains, or if there’s too much garlic in a dish, or if the sun slants in the window at that angle, just so. Usually a triat like this would be one a tvgasm writer might exaggerate, but there’s no need; Tariya spends most of the show looking like this:
Karen says that the restaurant has one main problem above everything else, though: Peter refuses to change. He insists that his methods and his daddy’s methods from decades ago are not the problem—the problem is the attitude of the public, and they’re the ones who need to change. Well that may or may not be true, Pete, but it’s not going to help you sell more hummus, is it? Alyce says things have gotten so bad financially that they no longer have health insurance and have trouble paying bills on time.
But not to worry, because here comes Gordon, trudging through the misty streets to meet Peter at Caffe Vita, a delicious local coffee shop. He gets the rundown over cups of sweet, sweet nectar: Yanni’s is losing about $10,000 a month, despite the family working its collective ass off. Peter does admit that there are problems with the lack of changes in the restaurant, and I applaud him for at least admitting that, because it’s more than most of these dudes cop to on this show. But then he says the problem with him as a boss is that he’s not strong enough and gives in to everyone. Isn’t that the opposite of the problem, according to his wife and family? Especially since his food rates a nine out of ten, as per usual when you ask these people? Here’s a tip, folks: if your food was really, truly that delicious, you wouldn’t have a problem filling seats, old décor or no old décor.