Wednesday, August 29, 2012

Restaurant: Impossible - Gusanoz Mexican Restaurant Update

Tonight's Restaurant: Impossible has Robert Irvine going to Gusanoz Mexican Restaurant in Lebanon, New Hampshire.  As in the past, I looked at reviews the restaurant has received since Robert's May visit, as well as local articles about the restaurant to get the real story, because of course sales will go up when the Food Network showcases your restaurant.  There surprisingly weren't too many bad reviews before Robert even came to visit, but it looks like they had 2 locations, and had to shut down the other location due to lack of consistent business, so maybe that is the reason why the owners reached out to Restaurant: Impossible.  One thing that was interesting is that they closed the restaurant May 4th, and reopened May 5th at 7pm, which is Cinco De Mayo.  You would think Cinco De Mayo would have already been a busy day for the restaurant, and they would have liked to pick a different date, but I guess when you are getting $10,000 of renovations and free exposure, you cannot pick your date.


I took a look at reviews from around the internet, and as always, it looks like the people who frequented the business before the renovations do not like change.  Others who have dined at the restaurant just because Restaurant: Impossible was there have given both good and bad reviews.  Lets take a look at the good and the bad:

The Good:
  • "I did not eat at the "old" Gusanoz, so I can't compare the new to the old...The service was excellent. The food was fresh and delicious. I loved the salsa and would eat there again. The menu didn't have as much variety as expected, but I easily found something I wanted to order."
  • "We loved this restaurant! The food was great. Specials for kids were really cheap as were daily lunch specials. Best part of all was how nice everyone is who works here."
  • "Been to this restaurant many times. Glad to see the new remodel, and we noticed some positive changes to the food (new smaller menu that makes sense). Glad to see them embrace change."
  • "I've been twice since the renovations and I must say I really do enjoy going here now. No longer is it a last resort bite before a movie place, but I find myself wanting to go just because I like it so much."

The Bad:
  • "The "old" Gusanoz was such a special place..The restaurant had a really crowded feel but the food was always delicious and the staff was extremely attentive. Every member of our family had their favorites... all of which was wiped...And the food was TERRIBLE! The menu was widdled down to nothing... and lets not talk about the prices!"
  • "Restaurant Impossible" came in and absolutely ruined what little was left. The decor is now bland, sterile, and generic. (At least its clean and new...) 
  • "Why fix something that wasn't broken!??! LOVED this restaurant, used to have an amazing menu, great fun staff.. energy and atmosphere. Apparently some tv show came in and "revamped"... the place has been stripped out. No energy. No ambiance. New staff who doesn't even understand the new menu. All my favorite menu items GONE. What was once 6 pages of delicious options is now a single sheet of bland."
  • "RUINED. So sad. Overpriced, glaring light, what a disaster!"
  • "So my all time favorite Mexican restaurant in the upper valley has fallen victim to reality TV.  What was once a great local eatery has been redone in the style of faux southwestern chain restaurants.  Gone from the menu are my favorites"
  • "My husband and I were so excited about going to the new and improved Gusanoz last evening. The atmosphere that we previously enjoyed is gone, instead it looked like any run of the mill cheap restaurant... Shame on you, Robert Irvine."
Conclusion: 
The reviews before the renovation were not that bad compared to many of the other restaurants that are on Restaurant: Impossible.  It seems as if the service has improved, and some people like the food and smaller menu.  Others do not like the new, smaller menu or the changes to the food or prices.  Some also prefer the atmosphere of a hole-in-the-wall Mexican restaurant over an atmosphere that looks like a chain restaurant.  I guess that makes it feel more authentic.

What does everyone think of the changes made to the restaurant?  Think it will succeed?


(Reviews taken from Yelp, Urbanspoon, and Tripadvisor)

20 comments:

  1. myothercarsthetardisAugust 29, 2012 at 6:05 PM

    "The menu was widdled down to nothing..."  Widdled?  Little baby bunnies are widdle. Koalas swimming to canoes are widdle.  (Don't believe me?  Check it out here:  http://www.zimbio.com/Swimming+Koala/articles/PJL6-UV7TdB/Swimming+Koala+Video+Picture)  But I think the word the Yelper wanted to use was "whittle".  =\

    ReplyDelete
  2. Haha, agreed... I always want to change the incorrect grammar from Yelpers, but then I guess it's not a quote.

    ReplyDelete
  3. Why wasn't the name changed ?
    Gusanoz means "WORMS" in spanish !

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Bugs not worms dumb ass!!! #googletranslator #eastcoasttrash #anonymous4trolls

      Delete
  4. LOL, the word is "whittled." 

    ReplyDelete
  5. The word is WHITTLE down to nothing as in whittling a stick.  

    ReplyDelete
  6. Gusanoz actually means bugs not worms... what's the difference tho. East coast Mexican food sux! Left Coast- Whenever in SoCal try King Taco chumps...

    ReplyDelete
  7. This show obviously helped the owners. Who in the world prefers bland our cooked food to fresh & flavorful? I think the issue is the prices were raised & people are upset? And seriously, people liked the old decor better?? Get out much?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. *pre* cooked, not our cooked. I apologize as my so called smart phone has a very stupid auto correct!!

      Delete
  8. Love the food!...needs more updating like the floors...makes the place look unfinished.....

    ReplyDelete
  9. Gusanos means worms.

    ReplyDelete
  10. Actually no, bugs are insectos the same as insects so there is no exact word for it just gusanos,which meams worms...

    ReplyDelete
  11. It was the whole point of it looking unfinished,it gives it a modern look,and much easier to clean rather than having carpet, yackk!

    ReplyDelete
  12. I think it needs more color, yes they did use color but its like little hints of color here and there and plus on the show chief said "rustic mexican" that does not say rustic at all more like blahhhh. I think by just changing the chair color or adding fresh flowers to the tables would have made a difference,

    ReplyDelete
  13. Gusanos does mean worms, not bugs!..

    ReplyDelete
  14. Who in there right mind would let a ginger from NH decorate a Mexican resutrant. What about that decor said Mexican. Do you not have Mexicans in NH, come on people get with it.

    ReplyDelete
  15. My wife and I had seen the program here in Burlington VT,had to go to White River Jct .to visit family .We then suggested to go to Gusanoz.It was agreed. We enjoyed the Modern/contemporary design and simplicity of the lay out.Our waitstaff was 135% on her game,She Earned her tip with Me Re: I act up for fun sometimes if I can get one to bite.She had the best sense of humor to deal with me.LOL.The Lemon aid was just right ,a little tart just what it is suppose to be The Lemons were nice and bright as should be cleaned on the peel before ever serving..My wife had ordered the Steak Chimichaga,which was better than average and the food was freaken HOT.
    I had the chicken and cheese enchilada plate with mole.It was good and the mole was just right.Ditto on other two dinner quest with us on item selection.
    I would definitely return .

    ReplyDelete
  16. I like that Robert kept saying it was authentic Mexican food. That was Tex-Mex. There is almost no cheese used in interior Mexico.

    ReplyDelete
  17. Alright, authentic Mexican-American food. I've worked with many Mexican-Americans in California and that is the food they eat (and the food that is served in Mexican-American communities) and bring to potlucks.

    ReplyDelete
  18. exactly. It is not Mexican food. LIke calling Cajun food French or African.

    ReplyDelete