November 15, 2007 02:35 AM by Joe Blackmon
Written By Jennifer Brown. Gordon finds family restaurant, Finn McCool’s, definitely not-so-cool. Ahh, the Hamptons! The surf, the sand, the,greasy shepherd’s
pie,? That’s right, Gordon’s at Westhampton Beach this week, but this
is no pleasure trip. He’s off to fix up and bail out Irish pub and
restaurant, Finn McCool’s.
Owned by an ex-cop named Buddy (who has smiling Irish eyes and a heart of gold), and his two sons, Jason-the-tearful and Brian-the-ungrateful, this family restaurant is doing an Irish jig right down the tubes, and fast.
It’s Gordon to the rescue, driving into the snowy town on its off-season, wasting no time in giving us our,Quote of the Night: “Bloody hell, it looks like a funeral parlor!”
Buddy’s first impression of Gordon is that he’s an “intense man,” but waitress Carol doesn’t share that opinion. She, like so many others, finds him “adorable” and admits she’d love to get her hands on him (purrrr!). But Brian’s the territorial type, and it doesn’t help when right away Carol lays the cards on the table and says the problem with the restaurant stems with Brian’s bad attitude.
Everyone agrees – even Buddy, Brian’s own dad, calls Brian “an arrogant little bastard” and admits that were he not his son, he’d have fired him long ago. He’s even given Brian the nickname “Chef Shortcut,” because of the way Brian likes to cut corners in the kitchen.
Gordon tastes the food and Buddy worries that they’re “going to get really blasted.” Worse than that – after digging into Brian’s greasy shepherd’s pie, Gordon races to the bathroom to vomit! Right away Gordon lays into Brian about how bad his food is. Brian’s response – “I don’t care.”
Gordon decides to take a different route with Brian and goes to the local fire department to drum up business. None of the firemen seem especially keen on going to Finn’s, mainly because it’s “a lot of fried food.”
Gordon comes back to the restaurant for a little investigation of the kitchen, which is, of course, disgusting. “This kitchen is a disaster,” he says, but then laughs when he finds one of his cookbooks on a shelf. He confronts Brian and the rest of the family about the state of the kitchen and makes them all work to clean it up. This doesn’t thrill Jason, the bartender, who doesn’t think he should have to clean up Brian’s mess. Brian isn’t thrilled, either, but is impressed with the way Gordon gets in and helps out, too.
They open for business and the firemen show up. Brian is too busy talking on his cell phone to put any real effort into cooking, and the food takes a long time to get to the table. What’s worse – when it does get there, it’s less than impressive. Gordon has Brian come out and face the music as the firemen give him a laundry list of all the ways his food fell short. “I have a big problem with Gordon hanging over me and watching every step,” he says bitterly.
But Gordon does watch over every step, and that’s bad news for Finn McCool’s. Gordon catches assistant chef, Francis, dropping a chicken wing on the floor, picking it back up, and putting it back in the deep fryer! Francis explains that he was “sterilizing” it with the hot fryer, which grosses-out Gordon (and me. Ew!).
It’s time for the heart-to-hearts, and Gordon sits down with Buddy, who gives him a better idea of just how deep in debt Finn’s is. Then Gordon hits the kitchen and whips up a shepherd’s pie. He brings his pie out for taste-testing, alongside Brian’s. Of course, it’s no comparison, which embarrasses Brian. In response Brian hits the bar, and then the kitchen, and when his dad nags him he yells at Buddy to “shut up” and “get outa here!” Then Brian storms off, leaving Buddy and Finn’s in the lurch.
Gordon doesn’t let inexperience be an excuse for not getting the job done. He has Buddy run the kitchen, and Buddy’s lost. Buddy and Gordon both have a new respect for Brian. Even Jason admits, “I couldn’t do what he does.”
When Brian comes back, he gets a chat with Gordon, who talks to him about finding the passion for cooking once again. Gordon pumps him up and sends him inside where the design team has made the place look like a true cozy Irish pub. He takes the team out front and unveils a new sign he’s had made for the restaurant as well. Everyone’s in tears – it’s just the “family moment” this family needs to get their “family restaurant” a new kick in the behind.
Finn McCool’s re-launches with a new “contemporary Irish” menu, including Gordon’s family’s own recipe for shepherd’s pie. Buddy leads his team with a pep rally before opening, and they hit the ground ready to rumble. But they didn’t expect to get slammed like this!
The place is P-A-C-K-E-D, and even the firefighters have come back for another try. What’s more, the local food critic has stopped in, adding that much more pressure to the staff. Next thing you know the kitchen has gotten bogged down, the food is slow to come out, and customers are getting hacked off. People are waiting for more than an hour to just sit down, much less to get their food. The fire chief gets ticked and storms out. The food critic gets mouthy. But Gordon steps in and gives the team the boost they need to hear. They get it together and get it done. In the end, the food critic deems the food, “actually worth the wait.”
After dinner service, the staff applauds Gordon. Brian gets emotional, thankful to Gordon for helping him find his passion again. Buddy’s proud, “as a restaurant owner, but also as a dad.” And Gordon leaves, saying this restaurant “was a joy,” and that they deserve to be successful.
2 months later, Finn McCool’s is still hopping and the family has bonded like never before. And the shepherd’s pie is flying out of the kitchen like mad!
Next on Kitchen Nightmares: A fine dining restaurant needs Gordon’s help!