A 40 year old restaurant owned by a Greek family is the subject of this episode of Restaurant Impossible. The restaurant is located in Woodstock, Illinois, where the movie Groundhog Day was filmed. Angelo's was not the restaurant featured in the movie that was the Tip Top Cafe. Sorry don't worry, Robert put a sledge hammer to a historic movie set.
Angelo's | Restaurant's facebook page
Problems Robert Had to Address
1. The owner was ineffective at managing his staff
2. The staff did not respect the owner or trust him
3. The decor was old and boring
4. They did not accept credit cards
5. The kitchen could not get the food out for one entire table at a time
6. The menu was way too big and many of the items did not taste good or were frozen
Lamb Burgers | Print the recipe
This burger featured in the show contains 1 lb of ground beef and 1 lb of ground lamb. It features a sauce and feta cheese, the perfect choice for a Greek burger. Feta and beef go well together. I made a Greek style Pot Roast before using feta cheese.
40 Years and still going, but for how much longer? With so many problems it's going to be hard for Angelo to fix them all. He was failing in so many ways as a manager. Robert gave him the inspiration and motivation he needed. But was that equipping him with enough? Not according to the reviews found on Yelp and Food Network's website. Here are some of the Yelp comments I read:
"The Restaurant Impossible make-over was transformational. How they did this in less than 3 days is short of a miracle. The reason to come to Angelo's is for the Woodstock Square, and now there is a beautiful restaurant to go along with it. We were lucky enough to be in on the opening day. This show is amazing. The contractor, Tom Bury, is awesome. He talked to us for 20 minutes and explained all the challenges. We also got a chance to speak with the executive producer who also was a wonderful person. Head up on the parking. It can be difficult to find a spot. Also, they now take credit cards."
There is some positive talk. Wait they didn't mention anything about the food.
"The restaurant definitely needed some sprucing up, and the makeover certainly helped the dining area. Only one row of booths left, and the metal chairs may be uncomfortable for some. Menu really streamlined now, and my favorite Asian Chicken Wrap is no more 🙁 I can't believe the owners did not take it upon themselves to update the bathrooms!! They are still old, dingy, and just plain gross. Finish the job that Restaurant Impossible started."
Several people complained about the chairs and the bathroom. Chairs is the design team's fault. They should have picked chairs for not just appearance but for comfort as well. As regards to the bathroom, RI never makes over the bathrooms and you have to remember this places are all losing money so fixing the bathroom is probably not high on the priority list.
"I was expecting more after a complete makeover. Bread brought out before meal was like hockey pucks. I had a burger, it had good flavor but thats as far as it goes. Wife had the reuben, again good but not great. They didnt even keep the menu that chef irvine created, there back to their old flip menu with many items. I was looking for a new experience by going back, What a disappointment."
Most of the reviews of the food itself sounded kind like this. Nothing out of this world and some things that didn't belong in this world. I am never disappointed to hear the old flip menu has made it's return. I thought he learned from the experience in the high school how ridiculous his menu was.
These are only a few comments since the show but if you go on over to Yelp's site and read so more you will see that Angelo's is still having a lot of problems. I hope that Angelo can stay motivated and get the support he needs to be a better leader and to expand on what Robert has done for him. If not then the family is going to have to bail him out and see the tradition end.
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.