Hello, Gasmii, and welcome to the first real episode of season two of Kitchen Nightmares! In this episode, we are treated to the best of Long Island: a restaurant named after the owner’s mustache, turtleneck sweaters that haven’t been manufactured since 1987, a lady-mullet, and for no apparent reason, Dee Snider.
Will Guest Star for Food
Between the obnoxious owner, disgusting kitchen, and less-than ambitious chef, this promises to be a huge challenge for G-Ram–and a huge snarkfest for me. Will G-Ram finally lose his shit and hit someone? Will someone finally lose his shit and hit G-Ram? Will any of this happen while G-Ram is shirtless? Find out–after the jump!
We open with an intro to Mount Sinai, which is apparently not only where Moses was given the ten commandments, but also a suburb on Long Island, and home to Handlebar, a restaurant owned by Billy and Carolyn LeRoy. They’ve been the new owners for just over a year, and permanent residents of the 80′s for just under thirty.
Which came first, the restaurant or the ‘stache?
Carolyn says that they bought it run-down, but since Billy is so “handy,” they saw potential to turn it into a great place, because completing every item on a “Honey-Do” list and repairing and running and restaurant are super-similar. Billy says that in it’s “heyday,” the Handlebar was a popular place filled with important people like senators and judges, but now it’s become a local watering hole with 70% of the money coming from the bar alone. Personally, this does not seem weird to me, as when I go out, that’s about the drink-to-food ratio that appears on my bill. I likes the sauce.
We are introduced to Mary Jane, Beth and Amanda, a few of Billy’s servers. They claim that Billy needs to “be more involved. Like, answer the phone.” Oh Beth, don’t be silly. He’s busy and his mouth is full.
70% of the money comes from the bar alone. 70% of that money comes from Billy.
Handlebar suffers from the typical problems that the Kitchen Nightmares restaurants suffer from, i.e. dirty kitchens, poor quality of food, and a lackluster chef. Carolyn confidently says “Melissa is an excellent chef!” Cut to Melissa saying “I am not a chef. I don’t claim to be a chef, I don’t wanna be a chef, I’m not very creative…” and then popping things in plastic containers into a microwave. Bwahahahahahahahahaha, amazing.
The violins play as Carolyn tells us that they risk losing everything, including their home, if the Handlebar fails. This is usually the part where they talk about how fantastic G-Ram is, and how they hope he’ll come and fix everything for them and make their lives happy again. I always wonder if these people have seen the show before or if they are just delusional because G-Ram does come and fix things, but they’re always super-surprised that he’s kind of an ass to them and screams in their faces first. I mean, have you never seen the man speak, ever?
Cut to G-Ram driving around in his Hummer (et tu, G-Ram?), following a GPS. Unfortunately, the GPS tells him to go west, but the signs posted claim that both directions in which he may turn are “west.” Silly Long Island. He calls the restaurant for directions, and Amanda sorts him out. Then she freaks out because she thinks he’s superhot for an “older man” and has a kickin’ bod and is “like, really, really hot” and she’s afraid that if she waits on him, she’ll keep talking and talking and talking and say something stupid and I tuned out because she won’t stop talking and talking and talking. She says this all at about 1000 wpm. I can’t say I disagree with her on G-Ram’s hotness factor, but she uses the word “like” about seventeen times in three sentences and that’s inexcusable.
Like, so totally, like, really, like retarded. Like.
Carolyn seats G-Ram and gives him the menus. Yes, plural. They have four menus. G-Ram notes that they definitely have quantity, but is it quality?
Ask that brat.
While he’s waiting for his food, G-Ram notes that bar is quite busy, but the dining room is empty. We get it. People come here to get wasted, and then hit up McDonald’s on the way home. He also says the decor is “ghastly,” and they cut to an arcade game that looks like it was made about the same year as Carolyn’s turtleneck sweater.
Melissa says that G-Ram “came close to ordering the worst things, but everything you get here is pretty much crap food.” I love how she says this all smugly, as though she has nothing to do with the “crap food” being the head chef and all. It’s one thing to have bad food because you can’t help it, but it’s another to just be a lazy bitch who specializes in microwave-friendly fare. Go stick your head in your microwave, Lazy Bitch.
Carolyn says she’s “praying that Chef Ramsay will be happy with everything,” which seems like a pretty silly thing to say because why would you have asked him to come fix your restaurant if he was going to like everything from the start? G-Ram actually does like the clam chowder, and tells Billy, who defers the compliment to Lazy Bitch and says she’s doing a “nice job.” That’s about the end of the compliments, however, as the next course is a seafood crepe that G-Ram says is more like “seafood crap.” Haha, G-Ram, I’ll give you a pass on that one because you’re cute, but seriously. You get one.
Anyway, apparently they put imitation crab meat in the crepe, but don’t mention on the menu or to G-Ram that it’s imitation, to which he says that if he’d been told, he wouldn’t have ordered it. Is it even legal to do that? And what’s with people trying to pull one over on a world-class chef? Maybe he won’t notice that he’s eating rubber instead of crabmeat. Yeah, and maybe he’ll have a threesome with Carolyn and Billy in the back of his Hummer to Bon Jovi’s “Bed of Roses.” Maybe.
Carolyn is a mess in the corner, crying and blabbering inanely into a napkin. She says she wanted him to be happy with the restaurant, but “she knew deep down inside that there has to be something wrong with the restaurant, otherwise he wouldn’t be here.” Ding-ding-ding-ding, We have a winner.
G-Ram sits Billy, Carolyn and Lazy Bitch down and tells them that the problem he sees so far is that the food is just plain terrible, to which Lazy Bitch nods in vehement agreement. G-Ram calls her out on it, and she admits she has no passion for the job and doesn’t want to be a chef. Bill and Carolyn are understandably shocked and confused, and and G-Ram asks why she even bothered to apply for the job as a chef, as desire to get a job is usually one of the qualifying factors in the application process. Lazy Bitch says that the old guy left and she was there so she applied. Bill and Carolyn both want to kill her.
Bitch better sleep with one eye open.
G-Ram holds a dinner service so he can find out precisely why the food sucks. Two words, G-Ram. Lazy Bitch. The food that goes out looks nasty as all hell, and for some ridiculous reason, they use half instant, half fresh mashed potatoes so they don’t have to cook more potatoes all night long.
Three words, G-Ram. Lazy. Fucking. Bitch.
They show Amanda taking a customer’s order for french fries, and the customer adds, “don’t burn them, please.” Favorite customer ever. Cut to Lazy Bitch serving a plate of burned french fries. Worst chef ever.
If that isn’t enough, they run out of regular veggies during dinner service, and Lazy Bitch starts serving radishes. When people complain, she responds, “Yeah, I wouldn’t eat the radishes either.” She then serves up frozen veggies and calls them crap. Then G-Ram takes her face and bashes it into the hottest burner on the stove in frustration. Not really, but this is what I picture in my head so that I don’t throw the remote at the TV.
G-Ram takes Billy aside and tries to explain that the food. is. bad. Billy refuses to agree, because “it’s not bad in everybody’s opinion.”
I ate an empty Pringles can and some styrofoam peanuts instead of your leftovers. But it’s probably not bad in everyone’s opinion.
G-Ram tells Billy that everything sucks, and he’s accepted the suckage and it’s his fault. Billy says that he doesn’t think it’s THAT bad, and he starts to turn on G-Ram. This is the part where I reiterate my confusion as to what these people know about G-Ram and why they thought they’d be the exception to his general rule about screaming at dumb people with shitty restaurants. Billy probably thought G-Ram would be cool with him because of his wicked ‘stache.
G-Ram holds an inspection the next morning to find out just how dirty the kitchen is, and to be honest, I’m tempted to skip this part. Basically, he ends up with his hands full of rotting seafood and slimy, congealed grease and it’s almost as disgusting as Carolyn’s fashion sense. I will mention that in this disgusting montage we get treated to a little G-Ram back-action. That made it worth it.
The most delicious thing thus far.
G-Ram asks Lazy Bitch why the kitchen is a mess, since she’s responsible for keeping it clean, and her answer is that it’s “a hundred times better than it was before” which pretty much confirms my feelings about eating out anywhere G-Ram hasn’t been in the past 24 hours. Lazy Bitch says she takes responsibility for not changing things, but it isn’t all her fault. She says this with a snarky face that I just want to slap right off of her, and you know she’s really pissing me off since I’m generally a fan of the snark. Billy says he wants more credit for the things he has done, like drink at the bar before noon and buy imitation crab meat in bulk.
G-Ram asks Billy to come outside to talk to him about how filthy and repugnant his restaurant is. Billy says he was hoping G-Ram would tell him that he “understands that this isn’t his fault.” Bwahahhahahahahahaha oh Billy, what planet do you live on, and how can I get there? G-Ram tells him the restaurant is so disgusting it infuriates him, and Bill pretty much just shuts down right then and there. He goes inside, and when G-Ram follows him, he tells him to go fuck himself. G-Ram remains surprisingly calm at this point, which makes me respect and love him in a very inappropriate way even more. Billy throws a huge tantrum, takes off his mic, and walks out. He then stands on the corner of the street rehearsing a speech to tell off G-Ram. Nice, good luck with that one. It strikes me as odd, however, that he took off his mic, but we can still hear him. Shenanigans anyone?
Mad libs! Fill in the blanks! I chose chalk for all three.
The waitstaff try convince Gordon that Billy really does want his help, and Gordon asks them to go talk to Billy for him. The girls all tell Billy off for being a dickwad and he walks away again. He calls Carolyn and tells her they’re going to sell the place and go to bankruptcy court to solve their problems because he has a teeny weenie and can’t handle the constructive criticism that precedes positive change. At least, that’s what his therapist tells him.
I just don’t get it. She looks amazing.
Billy drives away and G-Ram and Carolyn sit down to talk. She seems…wasted. She’s crying and slurring and having trouble holding her head up. G-Ram asks, “let me help you” in a kind, gentle voice and have I mentioned I love him? I love him. Carolyn pulls it together, though, and despite the fact that she’s married to a three year old, is determined to go ahead with the Handlebar, Billy or no Billy. Yay, feminism!
The staff have been cleaning all day, and I have a lot of respect for those girls because man, that place was nast-AY. Carolyn calls Billy and tells him that he can fuck himself because she’s doing it with G-Ram’s help and support. And probably a little kickback from the production department.
They run a dinner service without changing much except for one special. I’m not sure what the point of this is, but it seems to go okay. G-Ram is all sexy in his chef’s jacket and calling people “love” and everything is groovy until Billy walks in. He says he came back for his wife, and that he still hates G-Ram.
Things start to fall apart in the kitchen when Lazy Bitch loses her shit. She sucks big time, and people get annoyed and patrons even start to fight with each other. Because they are from Long Island, these fights are all in amazing Long Island accents, and a 12 year old successfully shuts down grown adults.
G-Ram and Billy go outside and Billy rants and raves about how he’s nevah evah EVAH nevah EVAH seen his kitchen fall apart like that. G-Ram doesn’t explain to him that they fell apart because they actually had customers, but does tell him that Lazy Bitch is pretty much to blame for being a lazy bitch. Oh, and also their four menus are too much for anyone to handle, especially a lazy bitch.
They have an after dinner meeting in which G-Ram and Lazy Bitch both agree that she doesn’t know what she’s doing, and that they need to make a smaller, more dynamic menu so that she won’t have to keep track of too many things at once. They decide to have the official relaunch the next day, and G-Ram has his crew redoing the restaurant overnight. Now, they show the before and afters, and to be honest, I don’t think it really looks all that different. I’m pretty sure that this is partially due to the fact that Billy told G-Ram to go fuck himself. They do, however, put a couple of G-Ram’s signature couches in the middle of the restaurant for no apparent reason, so you know it’s going to be a hit. Everyone keeps saying “wow” over and over but the only thing that I can say “wow” about is Carolyn’s outfit, which is half Pocahontas, half Joan Jett, all tacky. At the same time, I finally realize why I feel like Carolyn is so familiar: she is an older, MUCH tackier Stella from Project Runway!
From the fall collection of Zotis and ‘Bones
G-Ram then tells them that they are now the proud owners of Long Island’s first gastro pub. Cut to everyone looking confused because they don’t know what the fuck a gastro pub is. G-Ram explains that it’s a reasonably priced pub with delicious fare and a small menu that caters to each individual customer. They still look a little confused, but Billy says that it sounds about like what he was going for in the first place, so it’s all good.
G-Ram also organizes a PR event for the restaurant featuring himself in leather (yummy) and Dee Snider from Twisted Sister (obsolete). It’s the “first annual” motorcycle rally for the Handlebar. “First annual” always pisses me off because what it means is “fuck knows if it’ll happen again next year.”
Back at the restaurant, G-Ram shows everyone the new menu. “Look at it,” he says, “there is NOTHING. COMPLICATED. ON THAT MENU.” Lmao G-Ram, what you mean is, “EVEN. A LAZY BITCH. CAN HANDLE. THAT MENU.” That being said, it looks delicious, and not that difficult to pull off. Even I can soak a couple of bratwurst in beer or throw a burger on the grill. Lazy Bitch, however, looks like she just felt a warm trickle run down the side of her leg. Then G-Ram totally steals Tim Gunn’s thunder and tells them to “make it work.” Come on, G-Ram, I told you, you get ONE.
Most appropriate t-shirt ever.
Time for the relaunch of Handlebar! It’s super crowded with paid extras–er, customers–and they are ready to rock. Lazy Bitch is being a lazy bitch and not talking to anyone and not producing. G-Ram (in his sexy chef’s jacket) tells her to stop being a lazy bitch, and she suddenly realizes the reason she has sous-chefs is so she can tell them what to do and continue to be a lazy bitch who looks like she’s actually accomplishing something. Brilliant!
Dee Snider shows up with his family in tow, and his wife/girlfriend/whatever looks like a carefully preserved Barbie doll whose skin is about to fall off. It’s sexy as shit. People are clapping, but in that “I don’t really care” kind of way like you clap for the lame-ass DJ at your cousin’s wedding. I have to say, I don’t entirely see the point of a D-list celebrity guest when everyone at the restaurant is being paid to eat there, anyway.
Lazy Bitch says she understands “Chef Ramsay’s concept to communicate,” because it was getting difficult to determine if her vulcan mind-meld was working on her sous-chefs or not, and the night ends on a smooth note. G-Ram stays for a few days and Lazy Bitch says he brings a “new passion” into her job. And all this time I’d pegged her as batting for the other team.
Straight, gay–I’m just not at all particular.
The waitstaff is cleaning daily (phew) and Billy has become a better manager (we’ll see). G-Ram gives them a closing pep talk, and suddenly Billy appreciates everything G-Ram has done. Everyone lives happily ever after. Yawn.
See you all next time, when another restaurant sucks, another home is under threat of being repo’d, and G-Ram still looks sexy as he saves the day.