Chef Gordon Ramsay visits The Grasshopper Also, an Irish pub in Carlstadt, NJ run by husband and wife Mitch and Maureen Sandler and also Maureen’s father, a successful restaurateur with over 40 years experience. Maureen is clueless as to why the business is failing, manager Annette blames Mitch, saying that although he works long hours he doesn’t get much done and wastes time. Maureen’s father aka Chief also blames Mitch for not keeping the quality consistent and Mitch feels like everyone is blaming him. Gordon arrives and asks to speak to each owner separately to discover the problems at the restaurant. He speaks to Maureen about the suffering relationship between Chief and Mitch and that her father blames Mitch whereas she stands by him and her loyalty ultimately lies with Mitch. Chief informs Gordon that he has invested $3,000,000 to set up the restaurant and that the biggest problem is Mitch whereas Mitch believes the biggest problem is his Father in Law who blames him for everything, he believes his food is good.
Gordon sits down to order his food and Annette rates the food as 3 out of 10. Gordon orders the French onion soup, Shepherds pie and Fisherman’s platter. Gordon is not impressed saying that it tastes like onions in dishwater. Next he notices the shepherd’s pie is actually a cottage pie as it is using beef mince and he dislikes the taste, saying the gravy is like glue. Maureen tries it and is not impressed as it is also cold. Lastly, he tries the fisherman’s platter and spits out the bland, rubber like scallops and is not impressed. Gordon heads into the kitchen where Chef Mario tells him he thinks the food was okay. Gordon lets rip on him telling him that the food was bland, cooked badly and had no flavour. He inspects the fridge and finds scallops that have been previously frozen soaking in liquid. He also discovers disgusting old chicken, meat blood in with mozzarella sticks and raw and cooked meat stored together. Mitch admits he has never gone through the fridge leaving the responsibility to the Chefs. In another fridge he discovers slimy chicken and salmon that looks like it has been attacked. Gordon lets rip and says he would have never taken a bite of any of the food had he seen the fridges and declares that they should not open for dinner. Gordon storms out for a walk. They clean up the kitchen; Maureen takes leadership of the clean up operation where it should be Mitch.
The next day Gordon goes to the couples home where he speaks with Maureen about how Mitch has been worn down over the years and how they need to help him rediscover his passion and take pride in his work. Next he heads back to the restaurant where he is impressed with the clean kitchen that greets him. He speaks with Mitch and tells him to step up to the task and lead the restaurant. Gordon introduces two specials, a shepherd’s pie and fish and chips, the new dishes are a hit with the staff. The staff however seem concerned on getting the food out as soon as possible focusing on speed over quality, asking whether they should pre fry the fish and if there is a way to cook burgers faster, this makes Gordon frustrated.
Gordon finally witnesses a dinner service and gets the Chefs to listen to Mitch when he is calling out orders but is worried about the outdated, handwritten order system. The service begins slowly but speeds up with the specials being well received but the old menu is a disaster with food being constantly sent back. Gordon realises the problems are the cooks; they don’t know who to cook burgers properly and become lazy sending out poor shepherds pies. After the service, Gordon reveals he has to do something drastic with the food and calls in a local chef called James to help relaunch the menu and train staff. The next day, Maureen, Mitch and Chief arrive to a restaurant makeover, the restaurant is brightened up and more modern. There is a communal dining table in the centre. There is also a new computer ordering system to replace the outdated handwritten system in place. The menu also gets a makeover with new Irish-American dishes including Irish Ale stew and an authentic shepherds pie.
On relaunch night, James is overseeing the cooks while Mitch expedites and takes the lead. The appetizers go out quickly and the customers like the new food. However as the entrées steam through the kitchen Mitch begins to crumble and the kitchen grinds to a halt. Chief steps in believing he is helping but instead ends up arguing with Maureen and Gordon removes Mitch from the kitchen changing him to a server but still flustered he takes the wrong dishes to the wrong tables. He is then removed completely from the kitchen. The dinner service is turned around and customers are happy. After the service, Gordon sits the owners down to tell them that they need to make some staffing changes to make things work and to listen to James. Within days of filming, Chef Mario is sacked and James stays on to train the kitchen staff. Mitch steps up to become the leader he needs to be to succeed.
What Happened Next?
Yelp reviews were mixed after the episode aired. The restaurant was sold in October 2012 and reopened with new management, new staff and a new makeover. It is now a sports bar called the Eastside Ale House.
Grasshopper Also Bar & Restaurant Yelp Reviews
Restaurant review: Grasshopper Also in Carlstadt
'Kitchen Nightmares' takes on another local restaurant
Eastside Ale House Yelp