Sunday, May 26, 2013

Restaurant Impossible - Bryan's Smokehouse Bar-B-Q Update

Restaurant Impossible Bryan's Smokehouse
Photo - Food Network
Tonight on Restaurant Impossible, Robert Irvine and crew are going to Lufkin, Texas to help out Bryan's Smokehouse Bar-B-Q and Catering.  The owner Lynn is dealing with 'a staff of misfits' and too much competition.  Poor service and a barbeque recipe that is not good are some of the key issues of Bryan's.  As I normally do with Restaurant: Impossible episodes, I searched around the Internet to read stories, comments and reviews about Bryan's Smokehouse to get an idea of how the restaurant is doing since Robert Irvine visited, and here is what I found:

Good Reviews:
  • "Been a customer of Miss Lynns for years and have never gotten bad service or bad food. You get the same kind of service at ANY OTHER BBQ JOINT IN EAST TX. The whiners are haters and just want a business to fail."
  • "Me and my husband had dinner at Bryan's Smokehouse...of course we was curious if and how the food had improved and we was pleasantly surprised with our meal..... Everyone was nice and made us feel very comfortable. The owner came over and talked to us and it was really comforting. I love the new look and feel. I wish them the best"

Bad Reviews:
  • "We ordered at the drive thru, horrible service. The lady looked unclean that served us with slicked back bleached hair and dirty t shirt.. She did not know prices. We asked for an item and she said they were out and just stared at us....Oh the prices are too expensive for that low quality food and service."
  • "I rarely got a drink refill and if I got a chance to order, I spoke quickly as I knew they might not come back to the table. I went a second time and the same problems were still there, except on the return visit I found the food had no seasoning."
  • "Sorry Chef Robert, but this place still needs a lot of improvement. My guess is that they've backtracked quite a bit since his renovation. Although, the best decor in the world can't make up for bad food and bad service."
  • "Not one customer there and no one wanted to wait on us, so we left. I have been looking forward to trying this place since the makeover, but probably will not go back :("
  • "Very disappointed.  Price was outrageous for 1 sandwich, tea and 1/4 cup coleslaw. Over 11 dollars. ????   I guess they have to pay for makeover.  Not with my money ever again.  Sorry, I know they have been here a long time but pay attention to your competition."
  • "Well, we found out what 10k and an Englishman did for Bryan's today. Raised prices. Food is still cold. Service is still horrible. I do believe it's time to turn out the lights. This party is definitely over." 
  • "The service the night of the grand opening was pathetic over an hr wait for our food it was nasty and expensive. " 
Reviews from Google+, Yelp, Urbanspoon

Other Stories:

From a Blog Review of the restaurant, the owner Lynn supposedly responded with a comment stating:
 "You are sad person and taking those pics was a Big Big Mistake you will no what I mean soon enough lol hope your evil ways pay off for you lol Bryan's smokehouse is a great great place Christian ran ,locally owned, they feed the hungry and help family's who are in need , donate to everyone who's in need , put kids thru church Camps and help the kid that are sick so you being ugly will only hurt you in the end you sad person !!!' Learn to only speak good things for a change be happy not a sad mad jerk"

A few days ago (May 22nd), someone from Bryan's Smokehouse replied to a bad Urbanspoon Review with:
"Johnathan, my name is E.G. Mathews. I am truly sorry for your BAD EXPERIENCE as far as the "reservations" that was done for the first couple of days for the staff to get the feel and flow of the menu and store.  I have taken over a month ago as General Manager and have brought in a knowledgeable and well trained staff I would like to invite you back in for Lunch on me so as to see this restaurant is not a so-called TURD, and we are returning Bryan's Smokehouse to it's glory days.  Thank You, E.G. Mathews"


The reviews of Bryan's Smokehouse are overwhelmingly negative.  They still seem to have problems with terrible service, bad food, and now high prices.  They are definitely not taking advantage of trying to turn new customers into repeat customers with the way they seem to be treating them.  Also, there is a lot of barbeque competition around there which people seem to prefer.

With a barbeque restaurant, I think decor doesn't play that much of a factor as people care more about the food than what the place looks like.  Who knows if Robert knows how to barbeque with the best in Texas, but it is hard to change a barbeque process in 2 days, as it takes hours to make good barbeque.

It looks like they have hired a GM, who claims to have brought in a new staff.   Who knows if that will help at all, but at least they are trying.  This is going to be another restaurant that we will have to watch.

UPDATE 2/2014 - Bryan's Smokehouse has been sold.  More information on the sale.

*Visit Our Restaurant Impossible Update Page to see all Restaurant Impossible Updates, and which restaurants are open, closed, or have been sold.  Also Like Us on Facebook  and  Follow Us on Twitter


  1. Lynn needs to work on her Crazy Amy act in responding to criticism on social media :)

  2. I got a very strange vibe from her GM who was "just out of the military." He doesn't work there anymore, according to the update, but if someone gets out after 15 years (5 years shy of a full retirement), then it's a good chance that the Navy told him to leave (i.e., bad performance leading to non-selection for promotion and mandatory separation) or he committed some form of misconduct.

  3. "Been a customer of Miss Lynns for years and
    have never gotten bad service or bad food. You get the same kind of
    service at ANY OTHER BBQ JOINT IN EAST TX. The whiners are haters and
    just want a business to fail."

    Was that signed "Amy and Samy from Scottsdale"?!

  4. On the show they mentioned the new GM had no prior restaurant experience, it could just be that he left due to not being qualified for the job. Creepy vibes aside, best to not make assumptions about his character without all of the facts.

  5. Lynn Marie BryanMay 27, 2013 at 5:40 PM

    Seem to be some X employees posting some bad reviews which is funny ,X staff means they was fired for a reason mostly theifs , trash , drug users , or just dont have a pot to pee in So consider the sorce So any way we are so blessed to have had the show come and visit us , We have been booming new place new food and all new well qulified and trained staff and we will forget the past and looking forward to the new blessings !!! God is good even on bad days looking forward to meeting you at Bryan's Smokehouse

  6. learn_how_to_spell_lynnMay 27, 2013 at 6:04 PM

    jeepers! i mean jeepers!

  7. Lynn,
    It is a very, very bad move to call your employees 'trash'. It does not matter why you call them trash, but let me tell you this from an employee's point of view.

    I used to work in an establishment which I will not name. I did not want to socialize on the job as I was being paid to WORK, not TALK (and then when I did pause to stop a question the management was quick to leap down my throat and remind me that they were 'wasting money' on me.) and so I was eventually fired. A friend who worked there with me has told me that the reason was indeed my lack of talking.

    I have since heard my ex-boss call me 'trash' and a 'waste of money' among other things, and all I did was work hard for my ex-boss. So, whenever someone asks me their opinion of my ex-place of work, what do I do? I tell them the darker side of things that they don't know. I deter them from the place, knowingly doing so. I have personally stopped over twenty people from going to the place where I used to work.

    All because my boss called me trash. Be careful because an employee could do the same to you.

  8. learn_how_to_spell_lynnMay 27, 2013 at 7:22 PM

    "The reviews of Bryan's Smokehouse are overwhelmingly negative" ...Those X (ex?) employees sure are busy all over the internet. Someone is in denial...

  9. I'm watching the impossible show right now and I must say I have been a customer of Bryan's for many years.. I haven't been since it reopened but I will say I have never ever been served bad food there. Everything was always good and had good friendly service. My kids took part in waiting tables to raise money for school functions there. I can't wait to see it since its made over!!

  10. For the first time since watching this tv show I wanted to change the channel.. This lady is so annoying. She gave up on her restaurant and left her restaurant to her staff. Then she accuses them of stealing. Some people shouldn't be business owner. Not everyone knows how to run a business. She talks too much shit. And makes no effort. Just give up again lady. Feel sorry for your husband. What are you going to do if his not around.

  11. I can understand being burnt out and needing a break, but 3 years?

  12. It shouldn't matter that there are a few more BBQ places in the area. Don't blame that on poor food and staff and management. It is just an excuse for incompetence on your part as manager and unable to run the place. These people that are saying they have never had bad food or service. When were you all there last? Probably not for years and don't admit to that.

  13. learn_how_to_spell_lynnJune 11, 2013 at 8:46 PM

    not doing too good with the locals if you go by the comments on this story the local tv station aired. Damn they got alot of "X-employees"

  14. learn_how_to_spell_lynnJune 11, 2013 at 8:47 PM

  15. Become familiar with stolen valor. It was almost like he didn't want to answer the questions on camera, and he honestly didn't look old enough to have served 15 years. I just think there is more to the story.

  16. Quite possibly there may have been more to story, but unfortunately we have no evidence. No one appreciates falling victim to the rumor mill by uninformed busy-bodies.

  17. Amen! You nailed it!

  18. The Barbecue FiendJuly 2, 2013 at 11:49 PM

    I am the blogger referenced in the "Other Stories" section of this article. Just to be clear, I am not an ex-employee of Bryan's Smokehouse. Denial is an ugly thing.

  19. Well I am not an ex employee of yours.. I am a one time (and it will be the only time) customer. I came to your resturant after the show. Did you actually take any of the advice from Robert? or were you just looking for a free makeover and free publicity? I have to think so because the food was horrendous. Cold, dry and nasty. Not fit to eat.

  20. Just because they're "Christian-ran" restaurant doesn't justify the owners talking down to the staff and name-calling people with dissenting opinions.

    And yes, it sounds like we have an Amy and Samy 2.0 here.

  21. I live in Lufkin. Two months later the new manager and staff are gone and when you drive by the place is deserted. Maybe 1 to 2 cars there including employees.

  22. He was upset because he knew not having any experience Chef Irvine would likely recommend jettisoning him. He's 33...

  23. Visited Bryan's this week.....fantabulous food and awesome service..... loved loved loved...will be visiting again soon :)

  24. Thanks for the update, Lynn

  25. Judging from what I'm reading, Texas does not seem to find it necessary to teach the basics of English grammar in its schools.

  26. That is not true the military is cutting back ei so they are pushing people out and there is a strict time for ranking up and if u do not rank up by then because there are not enough slots in the rank that u are up for on promotion board and u dont get it then u are out just like any job that there is out there so for u sitting there bashing on a military member u have a huge problem and need to be put In your place.

  27. Indiana kid here. Just watched the episode & I can comfortably say my friends & I will be making a special trip to Bryan's Smokehouse around March just to try it out. I'm so excited & ready for March to be here! I can't wait Lynn!!

  28. Lynn appears to be a testament to the quality of the Texas educational system.

  29. You better get there before March...I drive by there every day and I can comfortably say that they have no customers.

  30. So a good review can only come from the owner ?? The guests on the reopening seemed to love the food and the BBQ expert gave them 9 out of 10.

  31. emotional peoples houldn't be a business owner, they should be an employee

  32. I go up to east texas every six month for a meeting and I can't leave with out stopping in to get those ribs, I dream about them and just can't get enough when I stop in, keep up the great work thanks for some of the best ribs I have ever ate.

  33. Charlotte Denning OgdenDecember 27, 2013 at 6:20 PM

    I went by this restaurant Christmas Eve, it was the worst food and overpriced. I hate to say this but they need to close there doors.