Thursday, March 23, 2023

The Balanced Chef - Restaurant Impossible Update

On this week's episode of Restaurant: Impossible, Robert Irvine and his crew are in Rome, New York to makeover The Balanced Chef. The Balanced Chef's owner Brian is facing multiple issues.  The concept of his restaurant is confusing and he is also facing health issues. Robert will need figure out a plan to help Brian reduce his stress to turn his health and his restaurant around.

As I normally do with Restaurant: Impossible episodes, I searched around the Internet to read stories, comments and reviews about The Balanced Chef 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:
  • "I rarely write reviews but I love with this place. Great food and lovely ladies working. The prices are a tad pricey, but you're going to pay the same or more to eat elsewhere for a decent lunch."
  • "The place looks great! I had lunch with a friend, and the staff was courteous and pleasant, and the food was delicious! I will definitely be back!"
  • "Sandwiches are big, and delicious. Pressed panini was perfectly toasted and so full. Came with chips and a tasty pickle. So much food, best for friend dates hands down"
  • "The Balanced Chef is a great place if you're looking for healthy food and great sandwiches to enjoy in a beautiful restaurant. If you haven't already, please go here and try some of their sandwiches or meals! The owner is a great dude and deserves the best."
  • "Awesome place - go here! They have fresh-made sandwiches, wraps & salads, and ready-to-go pastas and other food."
  • "I love balanced chef!! Such great food, I love their salads and smoothies especially. I also used them to cater my daughter’s birthday party (i.e., wraps and side dishes) and the food was a big hit!"
  • "Lovely little eatery with a cute, inviting atmosphere. Serves a variety of healthy and quality options. I got the chicken caesar wrap and it was very tasty but light on the dressing which some people may prefer. Service was very kind."

Negative Reviews:
  • "It's sad what this place has become. I heard stories and saw images of how aesthetic the building was & how great the food menu was. Now I would categorize it as lazy. The prices are very, very high for essentially everything on the menu. The items are small & oftentimes the incorrect order. The atmosphere is dead. Going for the past two months it's always empty now which unfortunately is a sign of things to come. The women behind the counter is always so sweet however so that's pretty awesome. But everything else needs to be reworked again. Trying to have upscale pricing on very mid quality food in Rome NY is clearly not the move. Quality has to match the double digit price tag for literally anything."
  • "I've been to this cafe several times and it just keeps getting worse. The first time I visited I ordered a smoothie which tasted like nothing but ice. Ended up tossing it after a few sips. The second time I decided to try one of the prepackaged to go meals for about 10 bucks. Salmon and rice. Nothing was seasoned and it was so bland I had to add seasoning to it when I got home. I get the whole idea of portion sizes and healthy eating but if the food doesn't taste good then what is the point? After learning that the place was getting a makeover via a very popular TV show I said ok great maybe this will improve the menu and flavor. Nope not at all. This time I purchased a BLT wrap and a smoothie. I'll insert a pic of the wrap. The lettuce was very bitter, the bacon chewy and the tomatoes weren't fresh. The smoothie tasted ok for an 8.00 drink. Not sure who the guy was that prepped the food and bought it out to me but he wasn't very friendly at all. I will not be returning to this establishment again."
  • "I popped into The Balanced Chef to grab a smoothie. I've come to this shop two other times before the remodel and I enjoyed the meal and drink. Unfortunately, the good food and friendly service that I enjoyed from this store before was not there this day. I got a strawberry, pineapple and coconut smoothie. The size was your typical medium and it had a nice thickness to it but that's were to praises end. The smoothie had very little taste, unfortunately. I could only taste a slight pineapple flavor and protein. I'm not even sure protein was add but it tasted like it did. For almost $8, I would have thought the flavors would be bursting with every sip. I might try them again when fruits are in season, maybe that might be the reason the smoothie fell flat. Fingers crossed."
*Reviews from Yelp, Google

Other News and Links:
  • The Restaurant Impossible makeover for The Balanced Chef happened in November 2022.
  • Here is the The Balanced Chef website and Facebook page.
  • The Balanced Chef offers dietician approved meals ready to heat and eat.  These meals are available for pick-up or can be delivered.
    • They also have an In-Store Menu that is different from the heat and eat meals.
  • In an article two weeks after the makeover, Brian said there would still be a lot of changes operationally to allow more in-house dining such as hiring people and extending hours. He also said, "I can’t stress enough how grateful I am for everything."
  • Here are the reviews for The Balanced Chef from Yelp and Google.


The reviews for The Balanced Chef since the Restaurant Impossible makeover are mixed with people liking the atmosphere, lunch and sandwiches.  There are a few complaints about prices and the smoothies.  It seems that Brian is happy with and grateful for the makeover and extending hours in the future to include dinner may be an option he pursues.

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

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