Kitchen Nightmares - Olde Hitching Post - OPEN

Olde Hitching Post Kitchen Nightmares

In this Kitchen Nightmares episode, Chef Gordon Ramsay visits the historic Olde Hitching Post, in Hanson, Massachusetts.

Olde Hitching Post was purchased by Greek restaurateur Tom Kessaris to give to his daughter.

Although he bought the restaurant for his daughter Andrea, Tom runs the restaurant and has not let Andrea run it even 6 years later.

Tom is supporting the restaurant with his own savings, Andrea says that she wouldn't have signed up to it if she knew 7 years later she still would not be in control.

Tom picks up Gordon at the train station and he is eager to meet him.

On the drive down he gives him a summary of the restaurant.

The restaurant serves mostly American food with some Greek food.

He says he has successfully run two restaurants and bought this restaurant for his daughter’s future but she is not ready or hungry for it.

He has tried serving quality food, generous portions and affordable prices but nothing is working.

Tom tells him that he is buying quality produce but despite this he is losing $7-8,000 a week.

Janice the Manager meets him at the restaurant and quickly tells Gordon not to believe everything Tom told him.

She doesn’t believe he is open to change or will accept any changes Gordon has for the restaurant.

Next, he meets Andrea and she tells him her role is manager of the front of the house but her dad still runs it overall and he is not ready to pass the reigns.

Andrea counters all Tom says, she says that she works hard and it's been her dream to run a restaurant but her father is frustrating her.

Her husband also works at the restaurant. Tom was brought in to help in the kitchen and he reiterates his belief and they butt heads on it.

Gordon is served by waitress Carla, who has been there for 26 years.

He orders a Cranberry Haddock, Meatloaf, Lobster Ravioli and Carla says the food is made fresh because Tom tells them they have to say it's fresh.

The Lobster Ravioli is brought quickly and Carla admits the lobster is frozen and Gordon spits it out on the plate.

Next the Cranberry Haddock and he says it looks like bird cr*p as it is watery, undercooked and bland.

The Meatloaf arrives and he is assured it was made today, it is disgusting, not seasoned properly and bland.

Carla finds out it is frozen from the Chef and tells Gordon it is frozen.

He sends it back to the kitchen and goes to meet the kitchen staff.

Dan, Kevin and Spyros work behind the line in the kitchen.

They admit the meatloaf is made every 2 weeks, frozen and defrosted as needed during service.

Tom is adamant that people love the Meatloaf and come far and wide to order it.

Dan the Chef says he has tried the meatloaf and hates it and Kevin says their food is about a 3 out of 10.

Gordon leaves and Tom lays into Kevin for saying the food isn’t good.

All three of the kitchen members say they do complain about the food and conditions often but they are not allowed to change the menu.

Gordon arrives to see and evening service and observes the kitchen work and sees them serving frozen calamari.

Tom insists that they serve the dish with frozen calamari because customers don’t ask for it to be fresh.

Gordon comes across the frozen Meatloaf they serve and they are as hard as bricks.

He dares Tom to tell customers their Meatloaf is frozen but he refuses to do so.

Gordon says if he isn’t ashamed he should be able to tell customers what their foods are made from.

Gordon meets Andrea and tells her she must have standards for the restaurant if her father doesn’t.

Gordon asks Carla to tell customers which of the food is frozen and which is fresh and customers rethink their orders.

Many customers complain that their food tastes more like frozen TV dinners.

Gordon then goes back in to inspect the kitchen including their fridges, freezers and walk-in.

He comes across some frozen scallops defrosting in milk and they smell off but Tom says they smell ocean fresh.

Tom is insistent the scallops are still fresh and gets Gordon riled up on their frozen and precooking practices.

Andrea is embarrassed by the display and Gordon commiserates with Andrea.

The next day, Gordon goes on the radio to hear from locals about their opinions on the restaurant.

The calls gave very negative reviews with complaints ranging from food poisoning to the dated decor.

Gordon speaks to the staff later and tells them the reason the restaurant is suffering is because of Tom and the bad practices.

Tom admits he is stuck mentally and economically and that's why he instituted the practices but he does want to change so the place can be better.

Gordon has an exercise for the staff where he presents two Meatloaf dishes made using fresh ingredients, a plain meatloaf and a turkey meatloaf.

The staff say they look nice and taste nice too. Gordon reveals the meals were made by customers of the restaurant.

He shows them they must make food better than people can make at home to keep the restaurant in business.

Gordon’s team made some much-needed changes to the restaurant overnight.

The staff are shocked at what is revealed as the cranberry walls are now a bluish grey. The decor is bright with rustic wooden chairs.

The reception area has reclaimed shutters as an art installation.

The booths have been removed, opening the place up with decorative plates on the walls.

Gordon creates a new menu for them made from all fresh ingredients including a clam chowder, a New England Lobster roll and an improved fresh meatloaf

The staff love the taste and they especially love the new meatloaf.

On relaunch night, Andrea is put in charge of the kitchen and new systems and processes are put in place.

Tom is in front of house greeting customers.

Andrea starts well, being the go-between the kitchen and service staff but Gordon spots salmon dish that is still raw in the middle.

The plate is re-prepared and taken out and he reminds Andrea to insect the food carefully and for the chefs to slow down.

Tom is supportive of Andrea, giving her words of encouragement.

After the successful relaunch, Tom sits with his daughter and tells her he is proud of her and hands over the restaurant to her.



What Happened Next at Olde Hitching Post?

In the following weeks, Tom leaves Andrea to run the restaurant as promised and the locals are happy with the new menu and new restaurant.

After Gordons visit Yelp reviews and Trip Advisor reviews are mixed, more recent reviews are mostly positive.

It appears that Andrea is now owner/manager of the restaurant.

Planning a visit to the restaurant? Check out their website for more info including opening hours.

Olde Hitching Post was aired on January 25 2013, the episode was filmed in June 2012 and is Kitchen Nightmares season 6 episode 6.


Read About More Kitchen Nightmares

Previous episode - Barefoot Bob's

Next episode - Levanti's Italian Restaurant

11 comments:

  1. dont rout her. root for her.

    rout
    noun
    1. a disorderly retreat of defeated troops. "the retreat degenerated into a rout"
    synonyms: retreat, flight

    2. a decisive defeat.
    "the party lost more than half their seats in the rout"
    synonyms: crushing defeat, trouncing, annihilation
    antonyms: victory

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Is an australian, and I can say that there is a world of difference between "Rooting FOR her", and "rooting her".

      Delete
  2. Tom: "Yes, I'm cooking it, and I'm freezing it. There's nothing wrong with that!"

    From watching Kitchen Nightmares (both UK and US versions) and Restaurant:Impossible, I'm very convinced that there is a huge difference in food quality expectations between older and younger generations. Frankly, people somewhere in their 60s and over seem to have lower standards and expectations of food quality than younger adults.

    Other episodes that show good examples of this differing standards are The Priory (UK), Fleming, Seascape, and Wagon Wheel (from Restaurant:Impossible). Even with below-par food, these restaurants had no problem retaining diners who began eating there years ago, but could not appeal to a new generation of younger diners.

    I suppose this is one reason why a restaurant's popularity peaks, then dies down over time.

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    Replies
    1. I agree.

      Places that have that regular, older clientele should have a seniors menu to hand them. But, definitely they need to improve their standards across the board. There is just no excuse for serving crap, even if it is a tired old classic dish that only the blue hairs still order.

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    2. That's for several reasons.

      1. The younger generation have availability of food that the older generation never had. The younger generation has the world of food on their door step, something the older generation didn't have.

      2. The older generation have had to do without so they are more willing to eat sub par food because in their childhood it was either eat nothing or eat something that's not so great.

      As for the older generation having lower standards - let's not forget that the younger generation enjoy eating fast food like McDonald's, KFC etc, which is not exactly of a high standard.

      And, let's not forget the countless of younger chefs on this show who serve absolute garbage. In fact, the younger chefs and restauranteurs on this show far outnumber the older chefs and restauranteurs.

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    3. ^ A wise observation anon!

      Delete
  3. One thing that drives me crazy about this episode is that the voice-over narrator (who is also the Executive Producer, Kent Weed) calls the restaurant "The Olde Hitching HOUSE" not once, but twice!!

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  4. Is Andrea still in charge of this restaurant? :)

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    Replies
    1. The article says,"There are new owners as of sometime during late 2015/ early 2016". Makes me think no. I got on here wondering the same thing.

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    2. Yes she is, their website clearly mentions that she and her husband are still in charge of the restaurant

      Delete

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