Tuesday, August 14, 2018

24 Hours To Hell And Back - Sandra Dee's Bar-B-Que & Seafood Update

On this weeks episode of 24 Hours To Hell and Back, Gordon Ramsay is in Sacramento, California to try to save Sandra Dee's Bar-B-Que & Seafood.  Sandra Dee's serves authentic Creole food and has been open for 19 years. While Gordon Ramsay is there, he discovers the owner's lack of discipline with her family members is negatively impacting the restaurant.  He also discovers that a lot of the food being served is coming from cans rather than being fresh.

Let's take a look at some information, reviews, and updates for Sandra Dee's since 24 Hours To Hell and Back and Gordon Ramsay made all of the changes to the restaurant (note - all reviews are post-makeover).

Positive Reviews:
  • "Per usual, the food here was delicious! I would recommend this to anyone that loves soul food/BBQ. I took some friends and they left COMPLETELY satisfied. It would have been a 5 but there was a mixup with a few of our orders. But it's expected to happen with such a large group. I've been here multiple times and they usually have pretty good service."
  • "Been hearing a lot of good things about this spot, it definitely lived up to the hype. Great customer service, seated right away and our waitress was excellent. Happened to come in during happy hour I took advantage of the all you can eat rib tips, while my girlfriend had a po boy shrimp and we split the fried gator tail and fried Oysters. Will definitely be coming back and would recommend this place to anyone who happens to be in the area"
  • "Right down the street. So much yes!!! I go here to often and I haven't had one bad experience. Thanks for bringing some authentic souls food to Sacramento"
  • "Love this place. Every time I go here I ended up getting way more then I planned because I everything is so good I want to eat it all. I will end up leaving with left overs and buying more food to go so I can eat it for my next few meals. I cant get enough of this place."
  • "Hadn't been the Sandra Dee's in years so seeing the changes caught me by the surprise and a good way. The place looks more open and the ambience is soothing"
  • "Food was delicious! I'm new to Sacramento and was worried about not finding real authentic BBQ that taste like a home meal. I'm glad I found this place. It was real authentic BBQ food and I felt at home."

Negative Reviews:
  • "This place is so overhyped. Compared to South the food is trash. Why else would they have so many Groupons."
  • "Seriously some of the worst food I've had in a long time. Their hushpuppies are excellent and another person really enjoyed the corn. The fish was overcooked, bony filets with lots of Cajun seasoning in piles rather than evenly distributed. The Cole slaw had no flavor. The cornbread had a good flavor but was extremely dry and is not served with butter. The worst was the barbecue pork. Cubes (what the heck?) Of pork fat"
  • "Food order arrived very much incomplete. The items that were delivered were dry in appearance, taste &/or overcooked. Unfortunately, I don't think I am able to sample Ms. Dee's culinary fare again."
  • "I gave SD a second chance. Again service was NOT there. Food was luke warm with cold greens. While finally getting the attention of our waitress. She informed us she can reheat our food but it would be awhile."
  • "Wanted to really like this place. Have been twice recently, the second time wishing it would be better. The side dishes are good, but the meats are tough, had gristle, and hard to chew. If you go, the fried chicken is probably the best."
  • "Everything there is fried and meat, and way too salty. So if you're a vegetarian and/or you do not eat fried foods then this isn't the spot for you.Great happy hour specials, but unfortunately the mark of a failing business is there $10 minimum limit on debit/credit cards. "
  • "So sad that they had the chance of a lifetime to revamp the business and chose NOT to use the guidance of an expert like Gordon Ramsey. I live about two blocks away so I have given Sandra enough chances but felt hopeful after I heard of Gordon's visit. Nope. Still the same sad Sandra from before. Same rude staff at the front of the house, same nasty tea, same bland food, same cafeteria Mac and cheese.  I go more SOUTH for my soul food if ya know what I mean. "
*Reviews from Yelp

Other News and Links:

  • The 24 Hours To Hell And Back makeover happened in December 2017.
  • Here is the Sandra Dee's website and Facebook Page which does not post much.
  • Sandra told the Sacramento Bee right after the makeover that she rejected the menu recommended by Gordon Ramsay.  She said, "My customers don’t want me to change the menu....As to changing to his menu, I will not be doing it. I’m Creole and I don’t know how to cook without spice." (Link)
    • Sandra also said she didn't seek apply to be on the show, but the show reached out to her.
    • While the menu was changed back, Sandra Dee's did keep some of the cosmetic changes made by Gordon Ramsay.
  • Sandra Dee's offers multiple Groupon deals such as $25 worth of dine-in for $17 and $75 worth of catering for $49. (Link)


The reviews for Sandra Dee's Bar-B-Que & Seafood after the 24 Hours to Hell and Back makeover by Gordon Ramsay are mixed with there being a good amount of negative reviews.  People seem to like the authentic food while others complain about the food saying it is salty, dry, and bland.  Sandra Dee's was probably chosen as the season finale due to the controversy and the fact that the restaurant got rid of all of the menu changes suggested by Gordon Ramsay.

UPDATE - Sandra Dee's closed in July 2019 - More information on the closure.

*To see how the restaurants from 24 Hours To Hell and Back are doing, visit the 24 Hours To Hell and Back Updates Page. Also, if you are interested in the restaurants from Kitchen Nightmares, visit the Kitchen Nightmares Updates Page.

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