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May 28, 2011

America's Next Great Restaurant: The lost recaps, Episode 7

angr 7Bob 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

Episode 7 – Into the Mouths of Babes

In the previous episode Sandy from the high concept / low quality Sinners & Saints was kicked off for her consistently miserable food. Finally. Now get out of here before we sic Cerberus on you!
Five restaurant concepts remain: Chill grilin’ LA style, soul food lite, Indian lite, meatballery, and pseudo-organic pseudo-Mediterranean. Now let’s get crackin’ with this hour long ad for Chipotle America’s Next Restaurant You Settle For Because You Live in a Subtopian Wasteland of Banality.

This Week’s Challenge

The project for this episode is to create kid-friendly healthier food and design a promotional item (toy) to go with it. Uh oh, SpiceCoast. Kids don’t do Indian (except kids in India).
Soul Daddy is making a waffle sandwich (???) with turkey sausage and apple sauce spread. He later replaces turkey sausage with turkey bacon and chicken breast to be more healthy. It has pointy sticks holding it together ... for four year olds.  Waffle sandwich? His toy is a corn bread muffin man with crayons inside that says “Soul Daddy” when you open it. Cool.
Grill’Billies is serving steak and chicken kabobs. More pointy sticks for small children. They’re going to need a M*A*S*H unit on site. Their toy is a plastic grilling beaver. Wait, it’s a lightning bug with beaver teeth and its butt lights up. Whuck? Much drama between the Wonder Twins and their chef. Chef wins and lame owners lose. Steak kabobs don’t feel like kid food. Can’t wait for the kids to start running with pointy sticks. I so hope someone else is giving out scissors and fireworks.


SpiceCoast is making a spicy veggie burger, French fries, and a milkshake. The toy is a plastic coconut with plastic representations of spices inside. Eh. When I was a kid I don’t remember that spices even existed.
Harvest Sol is serving grilled chicken on whole wheat pita with yogurt ranch dressing and a too tart apricot tart. Later changed to nectarines. The toy is Pete the Pita Man: half a pita bread with eyes and crayons. Cute. If I was one of those kids, my favorite toy would be the pointy stick.
Brooklyn Meatball Co.’s toy is basically Connect 4 that is supposed to look like the Brooklyn Bridge, but does not. The food is a turkey smash ball slider with macaroni and edamame. A smashed meatball? That’s a burger. Edamame? Edamame? Or as Brooklyn Joey calls them, “squeeze peas”.
LOL moment: Chill’Billies’ chef drops half of their food on the floor while wheeling it out to the food court. Five second rule not in effect presumably due to the presence of cameras. Comedy is when something bad happens to other people. Tragedy is when it happens to you. What’s funny is that instead of trying to save the food, he kicks it around the hallway. Got meth?
Due to the floor incident they seem to cut the twelve-inch bamboo skewers in half to serve more people. It has the side effect of making them slightly less eye-gougey.
Flay is skeptical that Americans will eat Indian food because “kids tell their parents where to eat.” Really? The only thing I ever told my mother was, “Dad wants another beer.”
Flay, you think Indian Lite is marginal? How many white suburban kids are going to direct their parents to the healthy soul food joint with baked chicken instead of fried and (gag) whole wheat biscuits.
Flay’s fourteenyear-old daughter Sophie serves as the kid expert. Let the sickening kowtowing to a child begin. Man up, peeps! The budding restauratools suck up to her like octopuses on crack.

Here Come the Judge

Joey wins the customer vote by a landslide. Stephenie is also safe.
Chill’Billies blame their chef. Judges point to a “complete lack of leadership” on their part. Agreed. Note: I don’t think I have ever used their individual names. They are so lame that I don’t think they deserve names.
Sudhir gets whacked for not being kid friendly. He’s a middle-aged Indian man, not married, and has no kids. Do the math. Did I mention that every time I see or hear SpiceCoast I think Space Ghost? Cool.

Jamawn cries. Again. He is like a walking blues song. It is kind of amazing how he evolved from the inscrutable chicken and waffles out of the trunk of his car to healthy soul food. Honestly, still not something I can embrace. It’s like putting a condom on ribs. Or something.
The judges decide to give the boot to Grill’Billies due to their dysfunctional management. They were a couple, they broke up, nobody is sure who is in charge, and the chef has created all the recipes for their concept that Flay bullied them into, and they can’t control the chef. Yadda yadda ... their bong.
Posted by Richard Gorelick at 7:29 AM | | Comments (0)

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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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