"I went to Mangia Mangia, before it was aired on Kitchen Nightmares. You could tell the food was microwaved and that was about 2 years before that episode. A couple of coworkers actually were on set of its airing. The place doesn't exist anymore. Now it's a Jimmy Johns...
I believe the drug addict was added because someone like that, living in my small town, would be known for sure and nobody seemed to know who he was before that episode aired."
"I was in Nashville on Fat Tuesday and my wife and I were looking for an authentic Cajun meal and hopefully some good Zydeco to go along with it. I did some research and found this place called Chappy's On Church. Initially, it was the background story that got me interested. It was a feel good story of how the first restaurant in Mississippi was ruined by Hurricane Katrina and they decided to move to Nashville and start all over again.
The reviews were mostly good and they were even better from the old Chappy's in Mississippi so we went. They did have live music which was nice, it was over-priced and the food wasn't terrible, just not memorable either. A year later and I see the episode on TV and I was disgusted to see how dirty this place really was. In my opinion, Chappy just didn't have the motivation to change and he blamed everything on Gordon and Kitchen Nightmares. I never went back but the place soon closed after the show aired."
"I live near Capri Italian, and have dined there pre and post Kitchen Nightmares. The restaurant was featured on Season 4, Episode 10.
Before the show, it was dingy, dusty, and in dire need of redecoration. It was exactly as it looked on the show. We have restaurant letter grades in Los Angeles, and it was rated B at the time (you have to make a concerted effort to be filthy to earn a C). The food was meh, the caesar salad was pale and sad.
Then came Kitchen Nightmares, and honestly, yes, the place turned around. It's not the best pizza in the neighborhood, but it's nice, and yes, the garlic knots are tasty. They are still going strong."
"I cannot speak to the before, but I did go to Amy's Baking Company in Scottsdale, AZ after the episode aired. I was there on a business trip and thinking, 'this is a once in a lifetime opportunity to see how f---ing crazy these people really are.' My last day there, I decided to have lunch at noon. Like a normal person. Nope, they're closed. Well, f---. My plane was leaving at 6 pm. I could try to have dinner or something there before I go.
I got there at 4:30 pm, and I saw they were open. I walked in and immediately saw Amy and Sammy, sitting off to the side looking at their phones. They looked up. They were the only two people inside. I was alone...with these nutters. So this was how I end. My heart drops into my stomach.
'Hey... are you guys open?' Sammy hopped up and smiled, gesturing to a table. 'Yes, of course!' He left me to a table, all smiles and charm. 'Can I get you anything to drink? Coffee? Tea? My wife makes an excellent vanilla bean vodka! Would you like some cake...' He kept babbling. I was feeling overwhelmed. I never thought I'd say this, but I looked over at Amy for relief. She was also all smiles. I asked for some of the vodka (because who wouldn't right now) and went up to look at the cakes after Sammy left to get the drink. I realized I had to play dumb or I would be eaten alive.
'You make all of these? They look great!' I asked Amy. She started babbling about her dreams of being a cook and how she makes all of them (BS!) and how she just finished her cookbook and if I would like to look at it. I acted impressed... The cookbook was 75% fluff. I thought this would be the best souvenir I could possibly bring back. As I was looking through it, gagging at the $40 price tag on the book, she started talking about her fur babies. She got her phone and started showing me her Instagram that has cat pictures. 'Oh, here's one of his birthday!' It was a cat picture with, I f---ing s--- you not, a little party hat painted on it like it's from MS Paint. I died a little inside.
Eventually, my vanilla bean vodka arrived and it took all of my reserves to not chug it. I asked for some of the overpriced chocolate cake and told her I'll take the cookbook, but only if she'll autograph it! She happily obliged.
I finished my pretty-good-but-not-eight-dollars-good piece of cake and honestly really good vodka with them hovering over me. Do you want something more to eat? More vodka? Before I left, I asked to take a picture with her. She obliged, a bit hesitant, with Sammy who was jumping up to take the picture. I figured I'd pushed it just as far as my 'ignorance' would let me, without them getting entirely suspicious of my real motives for being there. I said thank you, left and immediately call my husband to tell him what happened.
My plane ride was pleasant, mostly because I was tipsy thanks to the vodka. Would I go again? Hell f---ing no."
Oola, king of food on the web! From recipes for new drinks and fast snacks to foodie tales that will make you laugh-out-loud or wince in awe, Oola is an endless buffet of food and fun.