Cafe Hon’s "Kitchen Nightmares"

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This has got to be the most counter-intuitive PR gambit available to American restaurants: invite Gordon Ramsay to film an episode of Fox’s Kitchen Nightmares at your establishment, get berated by the foul-mouthed celebrity chef on national TV for serving rotting food and keeping unsanitary conditions, and hope that all publicity is good publicity.

Apparently, it’s a gambit that Cafe Hon owner Denise Whiting was willing to take. The well flamingoed Hampden eatery’s episode of Kitchen Nightmares is slated for February 24 at 8 p.m., and Cafe Hon’s website sports a banner proudly announcing the fact. It strikes me a little like a crooked auto shop advertising their appearance on 60 Minutes, but, hey, what do I know?

Typically, Ramsay comes to restaurants that are so mismanaged, they’re on the verge of shutting down: disgusting food, pests in the kitchen, that kind of thing. Refresh my memory; was Cafe Hon failing? Is it unsafe to eat there?

Maybe this episode won’t center around bad food and unhealthy conditions. Maybe we’ll see Ramsay tear into Whiting with a string of expletives over her infamous hijacking of the city’s most sacred colloquialism. That would sure be a cathartic experience for a lot of Baltimoreans.

With a $12 burger, it’s not like I’m heading there anyway. But I’d definitely wait for the report from Kitchen Nightmares before heading Bawlmer‘s kitschy, spensive torst trap.



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