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Update on Flamangos Restaurant in Whitehouse Station, NJ — After Kitchen Nightmares

By February 2, 2010

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Flamangos on Kitchen NightmaresWhat do you get when you introduce Gordon Ramsey to a stubborn restaurant owner? A tense episode of Kitchen Nightmares, that's what.

On Tuesday night's episode of the Fox reality show, Gordon Ramsay tried to save Flamangos Restaurant in Whitehouse Station, NJ. But one of the owners of the family-owned, tropical-rain-forest-themed restaurant was resistant to Gordon Ramsay's changes -- which included a completely new menu, a new decor, and the new name The Junction.

But who was right and who was wrong when these two butted heads? A website called JerseyMenus.com has some post-Gordon reviews of Flamangos/The Junction.

One customer review that jumped out at us suggests that Gordon Ramsay was wrong about the changes he made to the restaurant. "Just lunched there. Much preferred Flamangos," the reviewer wrote. "Food was totally boring. The place was deserted and I know why. Sure do miss the old Spiottas."

Another reviewer thought the new restaurant was disappointing, but better than the way it was. "Not very good. We were not impressed. Though it was a step up from the garbage that was the Flamangos, it wasn't very good considering a famed chef came in and revamped them...I don't give this place more than six months."

"Gordon Ramsey should have given up on this one," another diner wrote.

Hmm. Looks like this reality TV restaurant makeover didn't quite work out. But if you would like to visit The Junction in Whitehouse Station, NJ, the address is:

157 Main Street

Whitehouse Station, NJ 08889


February 3, 2010 at 7:20 am
(1) noone says:

I dont think you can say GR was ‘wrong’ he has no control after he leaves, the old lady was so contrary the question I would like answered is how did she deviate from his plan, is same cook there etc. that is more interesting after the fact than trying to prove GR wrong.

February 3, 2010 at 11:05 am
(2) Michael says:

I do not understand why you left out the positive comments that were also available when you wrote this blog, such as:

“service was great and food terrific! I will definitely go back. Try the Ahi tuna w/Soy Ginger noodles…it was terrific!”

“So we dined there right after Ramsey finished and the menu was awesome, service was great and the food was perfect.”

“We had the best pie ever; it was part apple/pumpkin. My husband still is talking about it!”

“Food was excellent.”

“Five of us had dinner at the Junction. What a nice surprise! The Ribs were tender and lean with a great tangy sauce. The Salmon was fresh and cooked to perfection. …”

“Two of us had the chicken with cherries sauce and real mash potatoes! It was fantastic! Someone in our group had the salmon and he commented that it was “cooked to perfection”. …”

“After reading everyone else’s comments I had reservations, but I was pleasantly surprised. The service was good. Servers were very attentive. The place was a little busy at the time. …”

“Every appetizer and meal was perfect. I was tentative about having the event here, but service was great and food terrific! I will definitely go back. Try the Ahi tuna w/Soy Ginger noodles…it was terrific!…”

Obviously there were plenty of positive comments that you could have included and it is disappointing that your review was so biased.

Shame, shame, shame on you.

October 8, 2010 at 9:58 pm
(3) Adam says:

@ the shame, shame, shame on you person.

Odd all the positive comments you gave seem like they came from the same person. Cooked to perfection it was terrific!

February 3, 2010 at 12:21 pm
(4) realitytv says:

Michael, I am sorry if it appeared that I was being biased. I chose reviews that seemed to be comparing both restaurant experiences (before Gordon and after) to make a point about what former Flamangos diners felt about the new restaurant after the change. My point was: “Who was right and who was wrong when [Gordon and the owner] butted heads?”

Thanks for your comment and I do suggest that readers check out the reviews page that I pointed to in the blog post for all of the reviews. Thanks!

February 4, 2010 at 6:47 pm
(5) JerseyMenus says:

Thank you Latoya for utilizing our site as reference for reviews for The Junction as featured on Gordon Ramsay’s “Kitchen Nightmares” that aired on February 2, 2010. Plenty more reviews since your article have been added. Unfortunately, most of the reviews that people were submitting were based not on their personal dining experience, but on the show and the perception of the owners and staff. We welcome people to post their personal dining experiences at The Junction. Thank you for using JerseyMenus.

February 17, 2010 at 4:30 pm
(6) sandy says:

>My point was: “Who was right and who was wrong when [Gordon and the owner] butted heads?”

Hmmm, yes, could it be the professional chef with many *successful* restaurants, or the clueless amateur with a pu pu platter? I strongly suspect the former.

June 18, 2010 at 8:39 am
(7) Jack Schitt says:

You can never have a successfully revamped restaurant if the ghosts of the past still have a strong presence and disagree with the changes.

Of course there will be negative reviews if the disgruntled and slowly going bankrupt owner is bad mouthing the changes whilst the revamper is still there.

What negative comment about their own establishment and the changes made have been said since the Consultant left?

It will never be a success if a format and style that promotes success is being torn apart the moment a senile deluded old lady can get the chance.

Is the menu changed back to 1001 options, and what menu items that Ramsay put in place are being prepared and cooked badly on purpose, just to appease the ego of little Dorothy from Bambooland.

Click your heels Dorothy, and get back to the basic formula of a successful restaurnat

1. Contemporary Decor.
2. Simple Menu.
3. Fresh food.

That’s what all those makeover restaurants have been missing before they ask for help.

add to that the hygiene issues, bad customer service and bad service systems.

When it’s closed, everyone will know who was right by what and how they were serving in the month before the doors shut.

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