Restaurant Impossible Follow-Up — Maple Tree Cafe (Las Vegas, NV)

In this episode, Robert travels to Las Vegas, a spot known for it’s many restaurants. 26 year old Ashley bought a restaurant without any prior experience. Her restaurant is full of family members she is afraid to stand up to.

Maple Tree Cafe | Click here for restaurant’s website

The inexperience of the owner and staff shows right off the bat in this place. Service is poor, the food is inconsistent, and the atmosphere is too relaxed. Food comes out too salty, or too greasy, or raw (as in the case with their pancakes). I give them credit for trying to make things from scratch like an apple fritter and red velvet pancakes (which I found a recipe for online). They have the will to do these right but the know how is missing.

The owner really just let people push her around. She lacks the authority she needed. But I thought Robert gave her the motivation to be more authoritative by firing her employees and giving them a chance to come back. I think it was good for her and the wake-up call her employees so desperately needed.

The Recipes
Apple Fritters | Click here for the recipe

These apple fritters are made with a maple syrup glaze, which sounds amazing. He doesn’t give any apple recommendations but I would choose something like a Jonathan, Granny Smith, Rhode Island Greening, Rome Beauty, Braeburn, or Northern Spy.

Cuban Sandwich | Click here for the recipe

This sandwich has pulled pork, ham, and swiss cheese. It is served on a baguette that is toasted first, then ingredients added, and then finished by weighing it down on the grill for a couple minutes.

Follow-Up
Still in business, in fact they have are serving two more locations, a couple lounges in Las Vegas. I think that might be a little early to start venturing out into other things, but time will tell. I do like how their website looks at some things I saw it, like a gluten free menu, serving homemade jam, and a picture of the previously mentioned red velvet pancakes.

In order to keep things consistent a recipe book is now in the kitchen (according to Food Network’s website). Glad to see she addressed that problem. No more raw pancakes, I hope!

If you want more Robert Irvine recipes, here are some of his available cookbooks:

This cookbook contains 111 recipes many with complete timelimes and several that are gluten free. An example of the kind of recipes you will find are Lime-Cured Shrimp and Roasted Corn Chowder, Porcini-Dusted Pork Chops with Cremini Mushrooms and Golden Raisins over Horseradish-Scented Potatoes.

In this book Robert shares his personal stories (including cooking for First Lady Laura Bush) and cooking philosophy. There are also recipes to be had like Black Angus Beef Tartare with Toasted Brioche and Fried Quail Egg, Roasted Duck with White Bean Ragout.

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