Warning: do not watch this episode or read this review if you have eaten at Ann Maria’s in Dunmore, PA before Robert Irvine showed up. You may become sick at what you are about to see or read. But if you want to learn how to make chicken francese, then you can just skip to the bottom, otherwise be prepared to hear the tail of “clean kitchen…impossible?”.

Anna Maria’s Resturant & Catering | Click here for restaurant’s website

Anna Marie’s has been around since 1985. Sadly, the original owner passed away before the airing of the show. His wife and son are now in charge. This time around Robert was faced with fixing a restaurant that included pink table cloths, ugly wallpaper, and a kitchen that was so disgusting it made Robert throw up. Yes, he actually blew chunks. The kitchen was so bad, he stopped service immediately when discovering the depths of it’s dirtiness. He had to hire a deep cleaning crew and they had to work through the night to get the place clean. Makes you wonder how bad a restaurant’s kitchen is, since you never see it for yourself. I think if the dinning area is dirty, you don’t want to know how bad the kitchen is (and you don’t want to eat there).

We never got to see what the restaurant’s food was like. Robert had to take the chef to another location to show him his skills while the kitchen was being cleaned. Their chef then made a chicken francese, which did not meet Robert’s expectation, so he received instructions on how to do it right.

Chicken Francese | Click here for my review of this recipe
This is a pretty simple dish with ingredients you probably have on hand. It’s a chicken that is coated in breading and then fried in a pan. It is all topped off with a chicken stock/butter sauce, along with a bit of lemon and parsley. The key is to make your pan is hot enough, when you place the chicken in, otherwise you end up with a soggy mess.

Tomato Herb Mussels | Click here for the recipe
This recipe features sun dried tomatoes that have been re-hydrated in some wine with some herbs. Then the mussels are added.

Follow-Up
Chicken Francese was a recipe that Anna Maria’s was using before, so I imagine they would still be using it with Robert’s better technique. I checked the menu on their site and didn’t see this dish listed anymore same as the tomato herb mussels. I don’t know if they are using any of Robert’s menu ideas. Robert did have to spend a lot of time with cleaning this time. I don’t know if enough instruction went into making good food. A year after the episode aired I still have not read a positive review online. The place is still in business. If you have visited Anna Maria’s since the makeover, please share your experience in the comment section below.

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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Comments for This Post

  1. i p daily February 26, 2012, 3:54 am

    doesn’t the state send inspectors out and if so who is the state leach that was responsible for anna marias he should be looking for a job

  2. Catherine March 1, 2012, 2:19 pm

    I watched the episode last night and was gagging at the garbage found under the stoves… Where is the inspector to see that this does not occur? I think folks should take it upon themselves to call if something is amiss… the ice cube dispenser suprised me the most… who knew such a poison lurked there?

  3. cyninpa March 8, 2012, 11:17 am

    Pennsylvania does not provide inspections in towns where there is a local health department. And yes, you guessed it, the town of Dunmore where the restaurant is located has their own health inspectors.

    The restaurant passed their annual inspection in February 2011, about 9 months before the show. The report shows Anna Maria’s was “in compliance” in several key areas, including contamination prevented during food preparation, storage and display; food-contact surfaces: cleaned and sanitized; toxic substances properly identified, stored and used; food and nonfood contact surfaces cleanable, properly designed, constructed and used; nonfood contact surfaces clean; and physical facilities installed, maintained and clean. The restaurant was not listed as being out of compliance in any areas, nor were there any repeat violations or compliance problems corrected on-site.

    Long story short– the inspectors in Dunmore are not doing their job and the evidence is there for all to see. The crud viewers saw did not build up since February. Even their own cook said the restaurnat had been that way since he started working there 4 years ago.

  4. sally boyle April 5, 2012, 12:26 pm

    I watched this. I was in shock I couldn’t believe how dirty it was. Ok question? On sat they only had 6 customers? What was the employees doing. If that would have been me. We would have been cleaning cleaning cleaning need i say more.
    On a good note I pray all goes will for this family . Now they are on the right track for success. They can all do it. Love this show.

  5. admin April 5, 2012, 1:17 pm

    Thanks for leaving a comment. Good to hear what others are thinking.

  6. stuckinpa June 6, 2012, 5:54 pm

    I have called the local health department numerous times on places clearly dirty and out of compliance flagrantly out of compliance, and no one bothered to check anything out. The only time an inspection is done is when someone has a grudge and wants to close someone down.

  7. Rita Ryan January 27, 2013, 1:42 pm

    Here’s the thing Health inspectors need to show up unscheduled. Prime example the Mc Donald’s in Mount Pocono’s know when they are going to be inspected and what the owner will do is bring out key equipment from storage that is kept in new condition and switch them out for each store they own so that it all looks good for inspection when in reality they place old food on top of new food and reuse dirty dishes and if the dishes are not washed right the first time then oh well they will still use it. The workers will also handle food after touching their hair or money or things like that. It is practices like this that restaurant are allowed to practice in order to get the passing grade from the inspector. Now I have never eaten at Anna Maria’s but there have been many places that if I walk in the door and the dinning room was dirty I turned around and walked out cause yes it the dinning room is dirty you can bet the kitchen is dirty. So yes the inspectors should stop making appointments for inspection and just show up unannounced and get the truth, from family run to fast food.

  8. Eric Samuelson January 28, 2013, 5:06 am

    Very good points. Thank for your comment and insight. Sad to hear about what is taking place at McDonald’s, although I am not all that surprised.

  9. Jim May 18, 2014, 7:18 pm

    It closed about 6 weeks after the show aired.

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