Friday, April 25, 2014

Kitchen Nightmares - Mangia Mangia Update

On tonight's episode of Kitchen Nightmares, Gordon Ramsay is in Woodland Park, Colorado to help out the restaurant Mangia Mangia.  The restaurant has been open since 2009 in a location that once was a fast food restaurant.  The restaurant is said to have bad Italian food and the owner Julie threatens to walk out during the makeover.  Previews of the episode are calling this episode "ridiculous" "dramatic" and "crazy," so the owner will probably be a character.  Probably not as crazy as the infamous Amy of Amy's Baking Company, but we will see.

Kitchen Nightmares visited Mangia Mangia back in August of 2013 to film the episode, and I searched around the Internet to read stories, comments and reviews about Mangia Mangia to get an idea of how the restaurant is doing since Gordon Ramsay visited, and here is what I found (note - all reviews are post Kitchen Nightmares):

Positive Reviews:
  • "I think once the hype dies down they may struggle because of the price but the food is excellent quality and really tasty. Good place for a special night."
  • "BEST MEAL I'VE EVER HAD!!!..Everything I ordered was delicious, even the bread with olive oil for dipping and salad!... I am now convinced that whatever I order here will be wonderful!  This is the best restaurant in Woodland Park, bar none!"
  • "Best Italian food in Colorado. We are from back East where we know Italian. Worth the trip up the pass.... Ramsey's visit was a huge success as we had visited several times prior and were not pleased. Now we look forward to our next visit."
  • "We went to this restaurant simply because they had gluten free pasta but we were surprised by how excellent the whole experience was.  Our waitress was super friendly, efficient and accommodating. She also knew the menu really well. Definitely a great experience, I cannot recommend it enough!"

Negative Reviews:
  • "Trying hard to be fancy, but the depth of flavor isn't quite up to speed.  Waitresses weren't the most attentive. The bread was dried out and lacked quality."
  • "Just left Mangia - gotta say ... Pre Ramsey was much better -absolutely horrid tonite..chicken pram .. Dry,thin..couldn't even cut it with a knife ...even the waitress was surprised !!!"
  • "After the big make over we triedit once again hoping the food would be better. It wasn't. We were a group of women all of whom agreed the food was bland, prices too high, bread was extra  "
  • "All pasta was very chewy..sauces were fine..but nothing special. Gordon Ramsey's name was thrown around a lot..I think maybe he should put a stop to that. Servers seemed very untrained and uninterested."
*Reviews from Tripadvisor, Yelp

Other News and Links:
  • Here is the Mangia Mangia website, dinner menu, Facebook page with 0 posts, and another Facebook page.
  • Mangia Mangia opened in 2009 in a building that was formerly an Arby's.
  • In this status, the restaurant says they are now adding back soups or salads with entrees and bringing back a lot of dishes.  They say they have a new chef Steve, who was hired in November,  with a lot of ideas and that they have actually lowered prices on dishes.  An earlier post says they have switched back to their original ciabatta bread as well.
  • Here is an article about the restaurant makeover which has a lot of comments who claim the owner Julie is the problem and doesn't treat people/employees very nicely.
  • Julie posted on her Facebook page, "Hello all my friends and family. Tomorrow will be a stressful day. I hope as you watch this program you remember this is a television show and we would not be on it if we did not make it entertaining. With that said, you know who I really am and we have been friends for years, even decades. Of course my family, you of all know I always speak my mind! Hope you enjoy the show! Yes…I do swear a lot"
  • Julie has responded to a few reviews on Yelp

The reviews for Mangia Mangia are mixed, with some people liking the food, while others are complaining about it.  It seems like there were some planted positive reviews from insiders on the review sites.  With the episode description and previews, I am surprised there weren't any reviews complaining about the owner.  The executive producer is saying this episode is so dramatic, crazy, and ridiculous, the restaurant belongs in the "Kitchen Nightmares Hall of Fame."

It also seems that the restaurant has added a new chef and has added old menu items back to their current menu.  They also have switched back to their original bread.

UPDATE - Mangia Mangia closed in November of 2014.

*To see updates on all the restaurants from Kitchen Nightmares and to see which ones are open or closed, visit the Kitchen Nightmares Update Page. Plus Follow on Twitter to keep up to date on closings.

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