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TV Makeover for Mad Cactus Seemed Tame, Viewers Say

If there were fights between chef and owner, they didn't make the show

Last night's episode of Restaurant: Impossible on the Food Network promised a prickly situation as chef Robert Irvine made over the

Instead, the show was less than spicy.

One viewer called it the least controversial episode he'd seen.

"Robert Irvine looked desperate when he tried the bash the manager and the restaurant. Much ado about nothing," he said.

Another called the makeover mild. 

"There's usually more fighting," she said. "This one was pretty boring."

owner about the show for five days after it airs, so we'll have his reaction next week.

in August, revamping the decor, staff and menu. Krukemeyer said last week he likes the new look of the 25-year-old restaurant, but returned many favorite items -- like chicken wings and ribs -- to the menu shortly after Irvine left.

Here's how the Food Network promoted the show: "This dark, dirty and disgusting Tex-Mex themed restaurant, along with its lackadaisical owner, upsets Robert to no end, but it's when he finds out that they're not even cooking 'real' food that things really get heated."

But on the episode, which aired at 10 p.m. Wednesday, things weren't all that "heated."

Irvine did criticize the food -- he called the taco meat "yucky," said the refried beans were "right out of the can" and the barbecue sauce "tastes like ketchup" -- and shook his head over the interior, which he said was dark and dirty.

His biggest complaint was the freshness of the food, which was cooked in the morning by a chef, then kept warm for the next eight hours and assembled into meals, rather than being prepared fresh for dinner patrons.

"Prepping food is not cooking," Irvine chastised Krukemeyer.

He also focused on the fact that since the long-time general manager left, the restaurant was run by a group and needed someone in charge.

And he took away the buffet, saying by charging $7.25, the restaurant was losing money on every meal.

Irvine replaced that with a salsa bar.

Krukemeyer, who complained on the show that he was losing money every month, said business is up 20 percent since the makeover. He said customers have responded well to the salsa bar and the new, lighter decor.

 

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