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May 29, 2011

America's Next Great Restaurant: The lost recaps, Episode 8

angr 8Bob Swank's lost recaps of America's Next Great Restaurant are a bonus feature on Dining@Large. Enjoy.   RG

Previous episode recaps are available here.
Full episodes are available on Hulu.com

 

Episode 8 – Vini, Vidi, Eh Oh Eh Ooooo

 
The photo above is the worst Benetton clothing ad ever.
 
In the previous episode the SoCal so-so boho sun-dried undynamic duo from Grill’Billies was sent home after they served eye-gouging kabobs to four year olds. They also served half their food to the floor after their crazy-eyed chef tipped over the rolling cart of finished food.
 
Four restaurant concepts remain. I wish there was some kind of cage match and a fight to the death.
 

This Week’s Challenge

 
The remaining four will make three dishes for people in Las Vegas outside Caesar’s Palace. The thinking is that Vegas is a better cross-section of the country than say, Sunset Boulevard. They will be serving 900 people, which sounds untrue.
 
Blah blah blah, I’m tired of their personal stories. Shut up and cook. Jamawn’s Tales of Adversity and Triumph are tedious. I ain’t buying your pity ribs, fool.
 
Stephenie takes the lamb out of a dish because it may not be sustainable. Sustainable lamb? I don’t think I understand that. Nobody eats mutton, so I think the lamb is an almost infinite resource, Me thinks she is an idiot.
 
They have to hire two people and let them be prep cooks in the kitchen and serve the food while the contestants do shmoozy things and bite their nails.
 

On the Menu

 
SpiceCoast – Cardamom and mango milkshake. Chicken mini-taco. (Shakes fist at sky.)
 
Soul Daddy – Cajun salmon, barbecue ribs, and fried chicken.
 
Brooklyn Meathead Meatball Co. – Traditional meatballs with Sunday sauce (I have no idea) and white meat turkey balls with gorgonzola sauce. Lorena Garcia convinces him to change the heavy gorgonzola sauce to a white wine sauce.
 
Harvest Sol – Slow roasted short ribs over kale and a grilled Greek sandwich of zucchini and other things minus the non-sustainable lamb. It turns out that Stephenie has no idea what she is talking about regarding lamb. She admits that she confused it with veal. So lamb is back in.
 
The investors address the crowd outside Caesar’s Palace from a balcony Mussolini-style. Disturbing. Bobby Flay strikes a messianic pose to calm the masses. You know, Las Vegas is the PERFECT place to test out America’s Next Fake Restaurant. It is the capital of fake (except for anything Disney).
 
Emperor Elf Lord Ells dresses like his mother laid out his clothes for him ... when he was six. In 1952. In Dorksylvania. Aussie cartoon chef Curtis Stone looks again like he just came from a cover shoot for Honcho magazine. What is the deal with the untucked shirts? You guys look like a bunch of Towson numbnuts taking your girlfriends to wing night at Looney’s.
 

 

Look, it’s Penn and Teller.
 
Judges don’t like Joey’s undercooked balls of meat. Raw balls are a bummer.
 
The judges love Soul Daddy’s lighter version of soul food. Curtis eats ribs and then licks his fingers like a monkey. What the whuck is this no-name meat puppet doing on this show?
 
Steve Ells loves the SpiceCoast food again, again, again. I think it’s a red herring.
 
Harvest Sol’s food gets a so-so reaction. A major problem is that Stephenie hired drippy employees and didn’t train them. She seems to have chosen her employees based their love of unicorns and rainbows. There seems to be an herb problem and it’s not with the food.
 

Judgment Day

 
The judges pound on Sudhir because he couldn’t identify his weaknesses. Ironically, they have no criticism of his staff or food. The fix is in.
 
Soul Daddy was the customer favorite. Then it’s More Stories of Overcoming Adversity from Jamawn. And more crying. I feel like someone injected 20 CC’s of Oprah into my brain.
 
Stephenie gets slammed for weak leadership, poor judgment in training her employees, and not knowing the difference between lamb and veal. Seriously, it’s Silence of the Lambs, not Uninformed Dumbass Verbosity of the Veal.
 
Stephenie gets the boot. Oh, snap ... girlfriend, your academic over-analysis and lack of real world exposure doomed you from the start. Back to being a self-loathing lawyer for you.
 


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About this blog

You are reading the archives. For updated blog posts about the Maryland food scene, see Richard Gorelick's new Baltimore Diner blog.
Richard Gorelick was appointed The Baltimore Sun's restaurant critic in September 2010. Before joining the paper staff fulltime, he contributed freelance criticism and features articles about food to area and regional publications. Along the way, he dispatched for short-distance trucking companies, shilled for cultural non-profits, and assisted in cognitive neurology research – never the subject, always the control.

He takes restaurants seriously but not himself, and his favorite restaurant is the one you love, too.
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