Chef Gordon Ramsay visits PJ's Steakhouse in Forest Hills, Queens, New York, owned by husband and wife Joe and Madalyn, they opened the restaurant in memory of Joes brother PJ who once ran a bar in the property. Neither has worked in the catering industry, they come from a construction background. Chef Eric has a huge ego and thinks his food is great but the customers don't agree with him. They have invested everything they have, around $2 million, into the restaurant and they can no longer afford the lifestyle they are accustomed to. Gordon arrives at the restaurant and there is no one to greet him, he approaches the bar where he finds owner Joe. He also meets Madalyn and Eric. Gordon tells them the restaurant is beautiful and is surprised it is not doing well, Joe admits he thought it would be easier to run.
Gordon sits down to read the menu and is surprised that there is only 2 types of steak. Gordon orders the Crab Cakes, shrimp and roasted garlic ravioli and the Filet Mignon. The Crab Cakes are f***ing disgusting with plastic bits of crap running through them but Eric has no idea where the plastic came from. The steak was tough and served with raw onions and the ravioli looks like the biggest pile of s##t and tastes disgusting. Gordon heads into the kitchen to tell Eric his food is bad. Eric says that he is running things, Madalyn objects saying that she is there every day and Joe should be helping out. Joe admits he has given up but Gordon says that attitudes need to change for them to succeed. Later, Gordon meets with Madalyn, she tells him about PJ's death and that they need to make around $17-18,000 a week to break even and they are currently making $4,000. She also divulges they have sold everything to keep afloat but that after they bought the restaurant Joe was no longer depressed about his brothers death.
Gordon arrives that evening to witness a dinner service, the service is busy and Gordon soon discovers that there is a problem with communication in the kitchen but there is also a problem with getting the food out to the customers quickly. Madalyn says that eating at PJs usually takes around 2 hours for customers to dine. After a long wait the food arrives at the tables and most send the food back. Gordon feels he has seen enough of the kitchen and restaurant and heads down to the walk-in where he finds mouldy and rotten food and even a black lettuce. After the service he brings Eric, Joe and Madalyn down to the fridge to show them what he had found. Madalyn blames Eric saying it is his job to check it and their job to make sure he checks the fridge.
The next day Gordon interviews the locals to discover their opinions and shows the video to the staff, the comments were very negative. Before the nights dinner service Gordon introduces some specials including a mixed grill platter. He teaches Eric how to get the right timings and tells Joe to stay away from the bar, he is put on the salad station and Madalyn is in charge of the restaurant. The food leaves the kitchen too quickly as the first mixed grill is sent back for being cold. The dish is popular with many diners ordering it but most of them were unhappy with it when it arrives. Gordon says he has never seen anything that bad and Eric walks out forcing PJ's to shut down for the evening. Gordon says that he is willing to bring in a new chef and will pay for him for the first month to help them out. They make the decision to get rid of Eric.
The next day, Gordon introduces a new name for the restaurant, PJ's Grll and the restaurant that has been decorated with family photos in tribute to PJ. He also introduces a new menu that is more casual including steak frites and Irish stew. He also introduces the restaurants new chef Mark and Edna, a General Manager from one of his restaurants to help Madalyn with customer relations. Madalyn notices a man from the criticism video has come for dinner and she has a chance to turn him into a happy customer. The kitchen gets off to a strong start but Edna finds Madalyn sitting chatting to a friend and tells her to get back to work. She notices the customer from the video hasn't got their meal and discovers that the food was sent to the wrong table. Madalyn uses her new customer service skills to turn the situation around and the customer is pleased. The relaunch was a success with all customers served and leaving the restaurant happy. Gordon is impressed with Joe and Madalyn and Joe tells Gordon he feels his brother is watching over him.
What Happened Next?
Although business had improved, the restaurant closed a few weeks after filming in May 2009 as the takings were low and the debts were high. The owners returned to the construction business. Yelp and Urban Spoon reviews prior to closing were poor. A German restaurant called Manor Oktoberfest has opened in its place, reviews are mostly good.
PJ's Steakhouse Yelp
Chowhound Topic on PJ's (Reviews and comments)
Gordon Ramsay Tries to Be King of Queens, and Fails
Manor Oktoberfest Yelp Reviews
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