Kitchen Nightmares
The Mixing Bowl

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The Mixing Bowl

Gordon Ramsay's Bleep-O-Fucking-Meter: 36

Ramsay steps off the LIRR in a town called Bellmore. He's thirty minutes away from New York City and he pulls the collar of his form-fitting black coat up against the chill ocean breeze. Yeah. See, no matter how foul his language becomes, Ramsay is still way tastier than anything these Nightmares serve. I secretly fantasize about a Ramsay-based James Bond villain called Beefy Slicer.

His target is The Mixing Bowl Eatery, a ten-year-old, uh, eatery that is Just! Moments! From! Disaster! Some pre-Ramsay'd shots of the restaurant show us Mike, the Ricky Gervaisian manager, telling the kitchen, "He said Cajun, not Asian." I don't even know how both exist on one menu. The chef and owner is Billy Galetti; he's strong, dark, and fairly silent. He tells us that along with being the chef, he's also the delivery guy and Mr. Fix-It. Going down the list, Billy says, "I do the bills, picking up supplies [sic], I mop the floors if I have to. It's what I have to do to keep the place alive." In other words, Billy is the anti-Peter. Lisa, Billy's wife, would rather the restaurant just close because she has no faith, hope, and certainly not glory. Meanwhile, Manager Mike yells at staff, schmoozes guests, and generally acts as long-suffering as his non-invested pockets will allow. Does it surprise you that the staff thinks he's annoying, lazy, and generally quite worthless?

Lisa tells us that The Mixing Bowl once was a bustling restaurant, full of happy, hungry customers. Now, it's dead and depressing, and if you think that the fake terra cotta tile, hunter-green napkins, and food court-ian chairs have something to do with it, you'd be right. Mike the Manager is so depressed about the lack of money the restaurant's making, he's slobbering and sniffling into his short sleeves. Wow. He's really empathetic. Imagine how messy he'd be if it were actually his own money. Lisa tells us that her and Chef Billy's marriage is suffering and she thinks it might be time to walk away from the restaurant.

Ramsay shows up, and Mike is on him like a roach on Dillons. He grabs Ramsay's hand and pumps it hard, telling him, "It's such an honor." Ramsay, being from out of town, is a stickler for niceties and introduces himself: "Sorry, Gordon, and you are?" prompting Mike the Manager to introduce himself, properlike. Mike the Manager can't stop grinning. Meanwhile, Ramsay takes in the empty restaurant, notes the full staff on the clock, and sits down to grill Mike the Manager on the menu. Mike explains they do "New American-type cuisine, we do salads, some wraps…" All of which Ramsay interprets as "a health spa." Ramsay's craggy face doesn't even crack a smile as he barrels on, "When was the last time you went to a spa?" Mike giggles slowly. Ramsay is still impassive. It's clear he doesn't even understand what about an impending heart attack and profuse sweating that simple breathing brings on is so hilarious. But Americans have strange senses of humor. Mike giggles faster and then asks if Ramsay is trying to say something. "I'm asking when was the last time you went to a gym," Ramsay says blandly. "Not for a long time," Mike giggles. "When was the last time you had a salad?" Ramsay says, pointing at Mike's bowl full of jelly. "Not for a long time," Mike giggles again. Ramsay sort of dismisses him as he spelunks the menu and analyzes the restaurant's décor. Not much meets his approval.

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Kitchen Nightmares

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