Restaurant Impossible Follow-Up — Rohrer’s Tavern (North Bend, OH)

(Last Updated On: July 31, 2013)

A local staple in North Bend, Ohio for about 60 years is looking to not become a distant memory. The current owner took over the place having no experience herself and is losing about $2000 a week. She needs Robert to come and help her to figure out how to return this place to it’s glory days.

Rohrer’s Tavern | Click here for the restaurant’s website

Problems Robert Had to Address
1. Old worn out and smelly resturant
2. An owner that doesn't know how to run the business
3. Food that is microwaved
4. Food that is not prepared right
5. Server hovering over guests

Lesson for Home
One of the biggest problems at this restaurant was out of control food costs – up to 51%. Problem was the owner was paying more money for frozen foods than she would for fresh. I find it sad to see this same thing happening in households across America. It’s sad to see the money wasted on bags of frozen fries. Let’s say you find a 2 lb bag of frozen fries on sale for $2.00. Might seem like a deal. But at the same time the store is selling a 5 lb bag of potatoes for $2.00. You are getting more than twice as much potato for your dollar. Take the time to save some hard earned money and make your own fries. You can freeze them with you like for convenience later.

The Recipes

Cod Sandwich | Click here for the recipe

The cod sandwich which was suppose to be their featured item gets re-worked by Robert. This one uses fresh fish breaded with crispy Japanese Panko bread crumbs.

Sauteed Flank Steak | Click here for the recipe

Flank steak is a really inexpensive cut of meat that is probably the best steak for marinating. An overnight marinade in balsamic vinegar, oil, salt, and pepper with give this steak a rich flavor.

Still open for business. The food cost lesson really helped out. She has gotten her food costs down to 34 to 36 percent instead of the 51 she was at. That combined with the publicity with being on the show has helped her increase revenues. So what are guests say? Not positive things. Some complained their chili was as good as Wendy’s. That same person did like their hamburgers and said they are sticking with the fresh fries. This place is never going to serve the latest and greatest gourmet food. They have a long ways to go. Hopefully they can continue to work and improve and never rest on their laurels.

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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.