24 Hours to Hell and Back - The Trolley Stop Cafe - OPEN

The Trolley Stop Cafe 24 Hours to Hell and Back

In this episode of 24 Hours to Hell and Back, Chef Gordon Ramsay visits Trolley Stop Cafe in New Orleans, Louisiana.

Trolley Stop Cafe is owned by Ragnar and was opened in 1995 by his grandfather.

The restaurant is located on the famous St Charles Avenue and sits on the longest serving trolley route in the world.

Ragnar has an MBA and used to be an energy consultant.

He bought the cafe from his grandfather using all of his savings because he was getting old and wanted it to stay in the family.

The staff do not believe Ragnar can run the business as he is hardly around and works from home most days.

Darren the Kitchen Manager is very honest with Ragnar and doesn't hold back with his opinion.

Ragnar is losing money daily but costs have stayed the same.

Gordon arrives at the restaurant disguised as a police deputy.

He visits the cafe in the company of other officers, where deputies eat at a discount.

They notice the decor is poor, with broken, mismatched chairs and it is also dirty.

They can tell there are no managers present and the owner isn’t there too.

Gordon has one deputy go and get the owner from his house to come to the restaurant.

Gordon reveals that cameras have been installed and the cameras witness unsanitary handling of food, old food debris on the grill.

They all order common diner meals from the menu.

Thirty four minutes later their food arrives and it is not good.

The cheese is sour, spoiled and has a smell.

The oysters are rancid and Gordon begs his companions not to eat anything else.

Gordon removes his disguise and stops everyone from eating.

He asks to see the staff from the kitchen and gives feedback on the owner and the bad cheese.

He then takes everyone outside to the Hell on Wheels truck where he hears more about the owner from staff and family.

Ragnar arrives with the deputy just in time to be grilled by Gordon.

He says he has never done anything in the cafe apart from paperwork and payroll.

The footage of all of the bad practices behind the scenes is shown on the big screen.

The footage shows undisciplined staff, dirty kitchen, flies on produce and open containers of food.

The customers are shocked about the footage and have strong feelings about it.

They say that Ragnar should sell the cafe and in response he is embarrassed and apologetic.

Gordon begs the customers to come back for the relaunch and starts the clock for the renovation.

Back in the cafe, Gordon calls the staff together for a staff meeting.

All of the staff say that Ragnar is the main problem of the café and that he is privileged.

Gordon calls out Darren, the kitchen Manger and says that there is no excuse for how he manages the kitchen.

There is poor communication between staff and the owner.

Ragnar admits that he expected to coast on his grandfather’s history and legacy to keep the cafe running.

He says that he did not envision what he had got himself into when taking it over.

Gordon is shocked he has an MBA in Business but found it hard to even be present.

The team is brought in to take apart the old decor and furnishings.

Gordon inspects the kitchen and it is very filthy and covered in grime.

Darren says the kitchen was last deep cleaned when Ragnar’s grandfather was still the owner.

Gordon finds dirty sieves on the kitchen equipment, rotten bits of food and eggshells behind and under the equipment.

Darren says some of the equipment was cleaned weeks or months ago, which is clearly untrue.

They find mould in the cheese that was served that very day.

Ragnar is brought in and Gordon serves Darren, Ragnar and his in-law a bit of the cheese and they take a bite but want to puke.

There is rancid meat at the bottom of the fridge and Gordon says the kitchen could have killed customers.

He has the kitchen staff start cleaning up the kitchen.

Next Gordon has Darren meet him at the Hell on Wheels Truck Kitchen to show him the new menu.

The new menu will be all made from fresh ingredients.

Gordon wanted to spend time with Darren because he saw similarities between the two.

Both of them came from a poor background and expressing themselves through cooking.

He then takes him through making a porkchop dish and Darren is curious.

He asks a lot of questions and demonstrates cooking the same dish in front of Gordon who is happy with his speed at picking it up.

Darren is emotional over the experience and enjoyed cooking with him.

Mary and her team take over training Darren and his team as Gordon goes on to get some time with Ragnar.

Ragnar says he took over the business to do something his father would be proud of.

Gordon tells him he cannot buy success and he needs to show his staff he is committed to the cafe and lead from the front.

Some hours later, Gordon shows the kitchen staff the new kitchen with all the new equipment that has been installed.

That morning they have last minute adjustments in the final hours while the kitchen staff cook the meals they have learned.

Gordon has a fellow local and MasterChef judge, Aaron Sanchez come give them a few words of support and taste the new dishes.

There are lots of small errors with seasoning and a big one with undercooked fried chicken.

There is a mini carnival outside as the countdown ends.

Inside the restaurant, the interior has been brightened and modernised making it look more like a trolley stop and there is a street car indoors.

For relaunch night, there are local food bloggers and critics that have been invited to the restaurant.

Ragnar is a server for the night and he struggles with being front of house.

He is moving slow and having to be constantly reminded about things.

He is sent to the food critic’s table and he goes to the wrong table.

In the kitchen they are reminded to make sure the food going to their table is checked.

However, they are sent some chicken and pork chops that are pink in the middle.

The two meals are sent back and refired but the chicken sent back to the table is still raw in the middle.

The plate is sent back again and Darren is pulled aside to take control of the kitchen and his team.

They send out a new chicken to the table and it is checked, it is finally properly cooked.

Ragnar confirms from the table and other customers that they are happy with the food.

The customers are happy with the décor, the changes, the meals and the service.



What Happened Next at The Trolley Stop Cafe?

Three months after 24 Hours to Hell and Back, Darren's passion for the restaurant has returned.

Ragnar is spending a lot of time in the restaurant.

The relationships have greatly improved and the restaurant is running smoother.

They returned a number of customer favourites to the menu as they felt Gordon's menu was too small but promised not to return all 6 pages.

The Trolley Stop Cafe is open.

Yelp Reviews since filming are mixed with comments on the food not being hot, a wait for food and the food quality being average. There are also some negative comments on service issues.

Trip Advisor reviews are very good with praise for low prices although some comments criticise service and some dishes.

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

The Trolley Stop Cafe was aired on January 02 2019, the episode was filmed in December 2017 and is 24 Hours to Hell and Back season 2 episode 1.


Click for 24 Hours to Hell and Back

Previous episode - Sandra Dee's Bar-B-Que & Seafood

Next episode - Shanty on 19th

This post was last updated in May 2021.

2 comments:

  1. Ramsay inspecting the kitchen was like kitchen nightmares all over again. Also, love how he motivated the chef there. And finally, has anybody noticed how Ramsay says "Let's go" often with this weird American accent? not judging, just saying.

    ReplyDelete
  2. WOW! Aaron Sanchez was in this episode. Awesome.

    ReplyDelete

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