Saturday, August 3, 2019

Restaurant Impossible - Chez Olga Update

Tonight on Restaurant: Impossible, Robert Irvine and his crew are in Grand Rapids, Michigan to makeover Chez Olga.  Chez Olga is a struggling Caribbean restaurant that has an outdated dining room, a bland menu, and a terrible kitchen.  The restaurant is also hurting the relationship of the mother and daughter who run the restaurant.

As I normally do with Restaurant: Impossible episodes, I searched around the Internet to read stories, comments and reviews about Chez Olga 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):

Positive Reviews:

  • "The food speaks for itself!!! If you want delicious Caribbean food that warms your soul, this is the right place you are looking for. They recently remodeled the place, but some of the decor are newer compared to some of the older pictures seen on Yelp. Staff are very nice and the restaurant in and of itself gives a very quaint, family restaurant vibe"
  • "All dishes were delicious with a nice spice at your level of comfort. The rice was perfectly made, a bit sticky, firm & gummy, the way I like it. Most people don't pay attention to it but it's a huge part of the meals. The noodle soup, had a wide variety of veggies and a cocinar base which gave it a distinct taste. In the past I had the jerk chicken which is a must. The complexity of flavor is unique. Kids had the tropical fruit drinks and we all loved them. Service was excellent. I think Olga herself was our server & walked us through the food. Five stars people, do yourself a favor & stop by. I know you'll put it into your rotation."
  • "In all honesty this place is authentic with a beautifully unique atmosphere. The food is delicious with healthy portions so you will not be disappointed. Just.. PLEASE proceed with caution if you want to be brave with the spice scale. KNOW YOUR LIMITS. Come prepared with a fire extinguisher on deck should you decide to go over 5. R.I.P. If you decide to go 10."
  • "One of the best places to eat in GR. And the owner is very kind and wonderful."
  • "So delicious! Service was very friendly and helpful when it comes to explaining the spice levels. I normally get medium or hot at restaurants and 4-5 is about my limit here. Plantains, coleslaw, and Creole tofu definitely a new favorite!"
  • "I love this restaurant, Olga is a wonderful, funny lady and the food is always delicious. Spice levels to suit any palate and every dish is tasty."
  • "Always amazing food and amazingly friendly service. The wait time has significantly improved since the remodel. The menu seems to be the same and just as delicious as ever. Practically everything served is bursting with flavor! Also, if you like spicy food, this is the best place in town to burn your taste buds; this place can make your food hot!!"

Negative Reviews:

  • "We were interested in coming because it was going to be on resteraunt impossible . When we walked in, a lady pointed at a table to sit. Didn't speak or lead us there. After we sat down we waited 10 mins for water. And another 10 mins for our order to be taken. I believe I ordered the chez Olga pasta and my bf ordered the jerk chicken. She asked what spice level, 1-10. Why not just no spice, mild, and spicy? Anyway, it came 40 mins after. I also clearly ordered a side of rice and it never came. The pasta was okay but honestly I've had similar tasting things come out of frozen meals. It's sad that it was supposedly turned but was still a dissapointment."

Other News and Links:

  • The Restaurant Impossible makeover for Chez Olga happened in May 2019.
  • Here is The Chez Olga Facebook page, which doesn't post much and hasn't posted anything since right after the makeover.
  • After the makeover, they posted,
Please see below for important information. Chez Olga would like to thank the community for their unwavering support and Restaurant Impossible for their amazing help and guidance. We have learnt a lot as a family and look forward to implementing new changes that allow us to better serve our community and customers who continue to inspire and support us. Please take note of the following. Changes:
CLOSING: Chez Olga will be closed from May 21st through May 31st. We will reopen our doors at 11am on June 1st, and can’t wait to serve you. New Service Hours: Fridays and Saturdays will now only be open for reservations of groups of 4 and up. Regular walk-ins and take outs are welcome during the weekdays on Monday-Thursday.
Monday - Thursday 11am - 9pm : Take Out & Walk - In
Friday & Saturday 11am - 9pm : Reservations Only(Groups of 4+) Thank you for your continued support, and we look forward to seeing you during our new hours.
Sincerely, CHEZ OLGA"
  • A lot of people commenting on that post were not happy to see the 4 person minimum for reservations and no takeout on the weekend as they could no longer have "date nights" or do takeout on weekends there.
  • According to Instagram, the restaurant didn't open until June 5th after the makeover. (Link)
  • Restaurant Impossible received an 'overwhelming" response for volunteers to do the makeover and had a waiting list. (Link)
  • In a local article talking about the upcoming episode, Robert Irvine said Chez Olga had no identity or personality and the food was mediocre.  According to the article, the menu is the same. (Link)
  • Chez Olga had positive reviews both before and after the makeover on Yelp, Google, and Tripadvisor.  Everybody seems to love the food.
  • A Reddit thread about the upcoming episode says the food definitely isn't bland and is good, but the service could use improving. (Link)


The reviews for Chez Olga since the Restaurant Impossible makeover have been very positive with people loving the food and the owner.  The reviews for Chez Olga before the Restaurant Impossible makeover were also very positive as well.  Despite the show description saying the food is bland, everybody raves about the food both before and after the makeover.  The only negative thing said about the restaurant was the sometimes slow service.  It seems like Chez Olga changed rules about reservations on weekends with there being a 4-person minimum, which some people weren't happy with.  This could have been a change suggested by Restaurant Impossible to increase the headcount on weekends because the restaurant is small.

*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

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