My ex used to work at Amy's Baking Co. (the one with the infamous nuts owner). This was 2010 I think... maybe 2011. Anyway I went to pick her up from work but got there a bit early so decided to grab a coffee. The guy who owned the place made me sit outside in the middle of July in Scottsdale. For those of you who don't know, this means drinking a hot coffee in ~120 degree weather. I couldn't really hang enough to eat food since it was miserable. Turns out he thought I was a spy and trying to learn the 'kitchen secrets' and that is why I was forced to sit outside. It ended up being a hilarious experience because the episode was spot on for how crazy these people were Source
I live in Hampden, a neighborhood in Baltimore. Ramsay filmed at Café Hon, a "Baltimore Hon" themed restaurant, complete with cat eye glasses, beehive haircuts, Elvis statues, and anything else you might find from the musical Hairspray. The food has always sucked. After the show aired, it still sucks. There's a giant pink flamingo on the side of the building, though, so the tourists think it's quirky and "like, sooo Baltimore". It's a depressing, tragic display of kitsch, false charm and manufactured quaint. The owner once trademarked the word "Hon", which had been part of the Baltimore dialect for decades. She also had a gift shop nearby, "Hontown", that closed. Good riddance. There's tons of great food in the neighborhood, and all the locals know it. The tourists go to the place with the big flamingo Source
_Cafe Hon is still open! _
A place that was on Restaurant Impossible. I never thought the food was bad before, it was just your average diner with average food. Certain things were better than others. Their problem was they had a huuuuge menu (300 items), so a lot of stuff was frozen because it wasn't used often. The show came in, yelled at them, stripped down their menu so the food would be fresh, and totally remodeled the building. I think I went there twice afterwards? The food was a little better, but not significantly. The remodel was kinda strange. By the second time I went the menu had doubled in size. Not as big as previously, but bigger than it should've been. They retired very shortly after that, claiming they'd lost the connection with the restaurant after the show Source
I actually had my Rehearsal Dinner at Leone's in Montclair, NJ in 2012. Their episode was on TV about a year earlier, but I don't know when he was actually there. We obviously watched the show before we booked, the problems on the show seemed to be management related, as well as the classic 2 billion items on the menu he seems to encounter every episode. I can not speak highly enough about they handled the rehearsal dinner. The food was great (though to be fair, good Italian food in a setting like that in North Jersey is NOT hard to come by) but the service, especially the attentiveness of the manager, could not have been better.
I can't speak to how it was before other than what I saw on the show, but if that was accurate than Gordon whipped the guy and the establishment into shape. 10/10 Source
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