Wednesday, October 3, 2012

Restaurant Impossible - Whistle Stop Update

Restaurant Impossible Whistle Stop
Tonight's Restaurant: Impossible has Robert Irvine going to Whistle Stop in Hot Springs, Arkansas to help a former employee of the restaurant who bought the restaurant when the previous owners said they were going to shut down..  To help keep the restaurant open, she has used inheritance money left by her late husband.  As I do every week, I searched around the internet to read stories and reviews about the Whistle Stop to get an idea of how the restaurant is doing since Robert Irvine visited, and here is what I found (note - all reviews are post Restaurant: Impossible):

The Positive Reviews:
  • "Dropped by the whistle stop while on a business trip and i would have to say it was the best! Got a sample of everything on the buffet and all was fantastic. the service was prompt and the waitress was very down home."
  • "The place looks really nice, cheap, but nice. With new lights that blind you if you look up from your plate....Now to the good part... Lunch Buffet was ONLY NINE BUCKS! Of course it was loaded with lower cost Veggie's, but still had three proteins for the meat eaters.....Service was very friendly as I would expect in Hot Springs. Glasses refilled quickly and before you could hit bottom. Dirty plates taken away before you could return from a round at the buffet."
  • "The interior was nicely done, brighter, more open and cleaner. The wait staff was courteous and cheerful - meeting us at the door and providing friendly service. ...Fried and boiled shrimp, meatloaf, catfish ( fried and baked), ribs, lots of veggies and more. All of the food was good, but wasn't " o my God, " great. For the price point it was a tremendous value. If you are looking for a country style buffet with simple food choices and a fair price point this is a good choice."
  • "The food was delicious. The price very reasonable. I would recommend The Whistle Stop to everyone. They have a wonderful buffet as well as a full menu."
  • "The waitress was very friendly and answered our many questions about the makeover and the people from Rest. Imp. Do go; the food is very good and worth the price. We fed 4 for aprox $45. We will definitely go again and again as long as it stays this tasty."
The Negative Reviews:
  • "Now the down side....... Hush Puppies sucked. They were BURNED and should never had been taken out of the kitchen. They did not burn and char setting on the buffet. The Buffet needed to be stirred so items on bottom do not burn and everything is heated...Same story on the catfish...bottom pieces very pieces much cooler."
  • "Terrible...Restaurant impossible didn't help them very much. Its quite a turn off when you walk in and see a buffet and they seat you and don't even offer you a menu assuming you want the $9 buffet. The price would be worth it if the food was good."
  • "My wife and I stopped in for the lunch buffet today and sampled every item they offered. We did not find anything that was properly cooked and/or seasoned....Not only would I not go back and spend $9 for a buffet like this, I wouldn't go back if you paid for the meal and offered to give me the $9 to eat it. Guess this one really is a RESTAURANT IMPOSSIBLE!!!!!"


It appears that most of the people have had good things to say about Whistle Stop and that they like the buffet and the value that it brings.  There are many good reviews about the catfish on the buffet and most have said the service was good and the owner is friendly.   The few negative reviews it has received seem as if they were people visiting just because Restaurant Impossible was in town and didn't know what to expect.  Most people who come to a buffet restaurant are usually there for the buffet, and when paying such a small amount of money for it, should not expect filet mignon.

What do you think about the Whistle Stop?  Think the owner and restaurant has what it takes to make the restaurant a success?

UPDATE - The Whistle Stop has Closed

Reviews taken from Yelp, Tripadvisor, and Urbanspoon
Image Courtesy of Food Network


  1. She is selling all the stuff out of it now.  Guess it turned out to be a flop after all.

  2. Didn' tmean to be negative but when the show spends $10,000 to help someone update their place.....should they sell the stuff out of it?  Sure thought the Whistle Stop would make a go of it after being on the show. 

  3. They have closed and a new restaurant has opened in the building.

  4. There was a lot of attitudes in this episode. If the people don't do as they are suggested that they do, then it isn't anybody's fault when they fail. No food should ever leave that kitchen if it isn't perfect. The cook was a joke when I saw it and was constantly talking behind Robert's back.

  5. This was one of the most pathetic excuses for a restaraunt that I've ever seen. Stopped in once while there on vacation & shortly after leaving became violently ill. Would have liked to try going there again after Chef Irvine came to help them, as I've done just that at other restaurant's he's been to with the RI crew, & they were all excellent! But this joint closed before I had the chance. This place NEVER would've been successful with an owner that blamed everybody else for the problems there when all she needed to do was look in the mirror. From the start of the show, I knew that this b#*@h wasn't going to accept any of Chef Irvine's advice, & he was just wasting his time. Maybe she will b successful in the kitchen @ the asylum she will be working at. Good riddance!!!

  6. Hope the decor stayed the same with the new place, it was such a great make over!

  7. Just watched the episode and while it was fill of problems to start, the owner and staff were receptive to listening to Chef Robert and embracing the changes required for success. They must gave been too far gone by the time RI came to their rescue or they just didn't have the business skills to carry on. I was hopping they would make it, so sorry they didn't.