Thursday, June 10, 2021

Turnpike's Rest Stop - Restaurant Impossible Update

Tonight on Restaurant: Impossible, Robert Irvine and his crew are in Springhill, Florida to makeover Turnpike's Rest Stop. Turnpike's Rest Stop is known for its large sandwiches and these sandwiches are part of the reason they are in financial trouble.  The restaurant is family-owned, and the owner and her daughter have communication issues which is negatively impacting the restaurant.

As I normally do with Restaurant: Impossible episodes, I searched around the Internet to read stories, comments and reviews about Turnpike's Rest 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):

Positive Reviews:
  • "We finally got to try this part Tuesday and it was amazing. We ordered the cheese steak and Reuben with fries and onion rings. The sandwiches were enormous and definitely enough for 2+ meals each. I took some of my meat off and made it into another sandwich the next day so I actually got 3.5 meals out of the Reuben. My boyfriend got the fries with gravy and cheese: salty and savory."
  • "I wanted to see how the "refresh" of this place was done after the March 2021 visit by Chef Robert Irvine and his Impossible Restaurant staff. Hubby is always on the lookout for a good steak sandwich, so he came along for a late breakfast. He wasn't disappointed - and enjoyed his steak sandwich served with a HUGE portion of fries. I wanted a light lunch, and because they sold out of bread earlier that day (busier than expected), I chose the Greek yogurt and berries. I was pleasantly surprised - it was served with a flair expected of a first-class restaurant in our small town setting. If you're a foodie, run - do not walk - to this unassuming restaurant!!!"
  • "great food, lots of it, good is excellent...we were visiting from NJ and went here with our son and daughter in law, who come here a lot"
  • "As far as locally owned joints go, this one is doing thing right. The service is great, the atmosphere is cool, the food is excellent, and the portions are HUGE! Turnpike's is serving up some of your traditionally favorite sandwiches, sides, burgers, salads, and breakfast all day, but each dish looks like it has been supersized! "
  • "This was our first visit to Turnpike's. We heard about the restaurant from the "Save Hernando Restaurants" group on Facebook and it was very good. The industrial decor makes it difficult to hear conversations as the place is quite small and it was pretty crowded, but the food is amazing!! As you can see from our pictures of the Broadway Biscuit and the Blueberry Cheesecake French Toast that we split, the food is presented exactly as it is advertised. You don't get that often. Despite the decor and the sound problems, we will certainly return."
  • "Tiny place, but very worth the visit. The food is absolutely delicious, and there are plenty of wonderful options for every type of diner. Portions are HUGE and a great value, whether from their general menu, or the menu designed by Robert Irvine. You need to check this place out"

Negative Reviews:
  • "I gave this place 5 stars before their menu change. Their oversized sandwiches were the best in the county. They replaced a great menu with a lot of breakfast foods and cut portions way back. Very disappointed to have lost such a good restaurant."
  • "I used to like this place but not now. The sandwiches are smaller no more cheese and bacon fries. The menu is smaller and seating is to close together. BRING BACK THE BIG SAMMICHES!!! Thanks Robert Irvine for ruining something good"
*Reviews from Yelp, TripAdvisor, Google

Other News and Links:
  • The Restaurant Impossible makeover for Turnpike's Rest Stop happened in March 2021.
  • Here is the Turnpike's Rest Stop Facebook page that has plenty of posts and pictures of food.
  • Here are photos of the current menu, which has a Robert Irvine and Restaurant Impossible section.
  • Right after the makeover, the restaurant posted, "Well it has been a whirlwind weekend for us. There is a lot you will learn about us and our journey when the show airs (we will post when we know the show is going to air). We are all extremely exhausted. There is a lot of work and reconfiguring we need to do before we can open. So we have decided we will not reopen till Friday. We will be posting more on that over the next couple days. There is a lot of speculation about what we are going to do. DON’T PANIC! We always gave you great food and that will never change. We have new food to add to the menu and some work to do to the old menu. In the mean time know we are working hard to put to get here a amazing experience. We can’t wait to show you the new restaurant!  Thank you for your patience and understanding. See you soon."
  • Here is a link to their recent restaurant inspections and there are barely any violations for the restaurant, which is pretty rare for restaurants that appear on makeover shows.
  • In a local article, owner Jodi Parresol said about the makeover, "It was an incredible experience, and it changed our lives."
  • Here are the reviews for Turnpike's Rest Stop from Yelp, TripAdvisor, and Google.
    • Most of the reviews before the visit were positive and comment on how large the portions are.


The reviews for Turnpike's Rest Stop since the Restaurant Impossible makeover are mostly positive and they were also positive before the makeover.  Pretty much all of the positive reviews talk about the food and the large portion sizes.  The few negative reviews seem to be just old customers complaining about changes to the restaurant.  Owner Jodi said the experience of being on the show was incredible and changed their lives. 

*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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