Restaurant Impossible Follow-Up — Rascal’s BBQ & Crab House (New Castle, Del.) Closes

(Last Updated On: December 31, 2012)

Now that my Restaurant Impossible reviews have been so popular, I am going back and reviewing some of the older shows. I had to start with this 1st season episode where Robert visited a place called Rascal’s BBQ & Crab House. This place looked like it was the home of a hoarder. There was so much junk in the restaurant, even in the main dining area. They had an outdoor dinning space, but it was so cluttered that you couldn’t be used. This was the case of an owner who really has let things go. Robert had to use half of his $10,000 budget just to clean the kitchen and remove the junk.

Rascal’s BBQ & Crab House | Restaurant website unavailable

Problems Robert Had to Address
1. An extremely dirty and messy restaurant
2. A server that didn't know much about the food she was selling
3. Bland food (a lot of crab in the cakes but not a lot of flavor)
4. An owner who didn't want to take responsibility
5. Failure to properly date and label food

The amount of problems in this place was staggering. They pretty much were doing nothing right, besides offer up a generous portion of crab in their flavorless crab cakes.

Lesson for Home
By law restaurants need to label their leftover food. I think this is also a good thing to practice in your own kitchen. If you are going to freeze something for later use, say a cooked chicken breast. Wrap it in foil first and then into a plastic bag. Then pull out a permanent marker and right on the bag exactly what it is and what date you placed in in the freezer. This will help you use up the older stuff first as well as not having to guess what you have.

The Recipes

Crab Cakes | Click here for the recipe
A crab cake that features Panko bread crumbs, ginger, and lump crab meat. I love using Panko bread crumbs, I never use any other kind. They give you a crunch that your grandma’s bread crumbs never could. After you try these crab cakes, give my Take Out Style Orange Chicken a try.

Pork, Brisket, or Seafood Dry Rub | Click here for the recipe
This is a basic dry rub that you can put together in use on all sorts of things from pork to beef to seafood. If your someone who spends money on pre-made spice rubs, making your own is so much cheaper (and typically less salty). Consider giving a dry rub like this as a gift.

This is one of the most controversy episodes of the series. The owner was not happy how he was portrayed. Obviously no one wants to be displayed as a lazy, hoarder, with a disgusting kitchen. He accused the show of painting a picture that wasn’t the truth. According to an article on Delaware Online, people from Food Network were making the kitchen look worse by planting caraway seeds as mouse droppings and exploding coffee in the microwave. The owner also claims he was not allowed to clean the kitchen before hand. While I understand that a TV show looks to entertain and Robert often gets over dramatic (like wearing a hazmat suit, even thought the pro clean up crew did not), I don’t know if I believe that they were really sabotaging his kitchen. The owner was making excuses on the show and never really humbled himself fully to his mistakes. Seems like just another way to pass the buck.

As for the above recipes, the owner said he did not keep Robert’s changes, that he deemed were “too fancy”. Unless he is referring to other recipes we did not see on the show, I can’t see how the recipes I talked about above are too fancy.

The restaurant itself has undergone more changes since the show. It is now called Beach Bum’s Crab Shack. It’s still owned by the same person. They are also planning to offer a “fast-casual” menu in the near future.

The name change didn’t help as this place has joined the list of restaurants that were impossible for Robert to save. A new restaurant called Boomers Tropical Grill has opened in it’s spot.

Want to find out when I post my next RI follow-up. Make sure to follow me on Twitter.

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.

5 Replies to “Restaurant Impossible Follow-Up — Rascal’s BBQ & Crab House (New Castle, Del.) Closes”

  1. Just so you know Rascals/Beach Bum’s Crab Shack is now closed for good. In fact a new restaurant with brand new owners is opening tonight called Boomers Tropical Grill.

    After the show aired it wasn’t long before Steve let the restaurant go back to it’s old ways. You could see the trash piling up once again. I drive past this place every single day. A coworker of mine went there once prior to RI and promptly left after a cock roach walked across her families table.

  2. Just by looking at the owners you can see they are lazy, I do believe it looked like that and nothing was staged, they should not own a restraunt they are just lazy asses, both of them.

  3. I find it hard to believe that episode was staged. I hate to call people out but that man was lazy. You can’t stage NINE trips from the junk removal company! That place was gross. Where did they get the dead mice from if it was staged? What happens after the show tells it all. No other restaurants have failed … TWICE! The owners/couple? Lazy. Those two waitresses? Lazy, rude, and ridiculously incompetent. The public is not giving that place a sympathy vote at all. They don’t deserve one anyway. The inspectors? I think that entire story is bogus. The owner just wanted someone to come and clean up his mess. He had no intentions of changing his ways. Which is why it failed. He was lazy!

  4. Christina Kenyon says:

    I am embarrassed to admit that I worked at Rascals from 2006 to 2010 (before the show did the makeover). I continually tried to get Steve to clean the place up with obvious no results. I just wanted to comment about how he accused the show of making the place look worse than it actually was. I know the place was a wreck. I would come in to work on a daily basis and find dead mice, dead flies and trash all over the place. The only time the restaurant was ever actually cleaned is when someone reserved tables for a huge party…..I even sent an email to the person at the News Journal who published Steve’s article accusing you guys of staging the mess and of course I never got a response. So hopefully this will help. You can publish this if you need to. But to get back to the restaurant itself. It’s a shame because his father owned that business for forty years and it was great. My aunt worked for his dad the whole time he had the restaurant open. It was good when Steve first opened. The place was always clean and busy, but he got lazy. He never wanted to open and when he did open we werent busy because the customers never knew when he would be open so they stopped coming. He would never hire anyone else so I was the only one working there. I was expected to be the server, the busser and the hostess. It just got so bad that I ended up quitting. And to prove the type of person he is. When I quit, after all of those years of dedication and after Steve knowing me almost my entire life, he accused me of stealing over $40k over the four years I worked for him….Ridiculous….because looking at the place…you could tell that he never made $40k…So I just wanted to give you a little input from a previous employee of Rascals….and just FYI….Boomers didn’t last either…the place is up for sale for $800k…..Thanks for listening….hope this helps

  5. This resturant never reopened. it has been up for sale and vacant for years.

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