If you’ve followed my blog for very long, you remember the whole Amy’s Baking Company fiasco. There was an episode of Kitchen Nightmares with Gordon Ramsay where he supposedly did something he never does – he walked away. The episode went viral in a big way. So many haters came out of nowhere. So many people posted all kinds of bad things online based on what they saw on this TV show. I found it all pretty interesting, and it became a huge thing here in Scottsdale, where I live, and where Amy’s is located. It went so crazy that the restaurant closed for a while, but ended up scheduling a grand re-opening, which I had the opportunity to attend.
I and the group of friends I was with were some of the first people there the night of the grand re-opening. At first we were told not to post anything on social media that night, but after talking to Samy and letting him know that we weren’t there just to be haters, but that we would be fair and genuinely wanted to try the food and experience their restaurant, he said it was ok. So I tweeted about it and posted pictures of my food. Ricky tweeted about it. And the other couple with us posted on Yelp. And, well, we honestly had a good experience. We ordered drinks, appetizers, and meals, and we all split our food with each other. We even had pizza. The only thing we didn’t have were desserts, which was unfortunate because that is what Amy was rumored to do best.
It was an odd night. We were on TV for being there and talking to reporters afterwards. I had a reporter from the Associated Press tweet at me and want to talk to me on the phone about it. We were mentioned in the local and national news. Ricky and I got our 15 minutes of fame, I guess. And we got a lot of interesting and somewhat comical feedback about it. I blogged about it, but since I’ve switched my site over to a new platform you won’t see all the crazy comments that I got. But I am still archiving my old site, so definitely visit the post over there too. You won’t want to miss some of these comments. I have never gotten as much feedback on any other blog post on my site. I was accused of being a plant, paid to be there and say positive things about it, which cracked up all my friends that normally follow me on Twitter and read my blog, since they knew it wasn’t true. The whole situation was pretty wild. It’s crazy how nuts people online will get over a restaurant they’ve never been to and will likely never go to, all based on a reality TV show.
So that was a few months ago. Let’s fast forward to just a few weeks ago. I had friends in town visiting from Philadelphia who had seen the Kitchen Nightmares episode and all the aftermath, and they wanted to visit Amy’s for themselves. I was curious to see how Amy and Samy were doing also, so I met them there to hang out and actually get to try some of Amy’s desserts this time. And I have to report, the desserts are actually really good. The restaurant wasn’t busy when we were there, but Amy and Samy seemed to be in good spirits and gave us great food and good service. Lucky for them, the hoopla seems to have died down. My friends actually went back several times while they were in town because they loved the desserts so much. They also had a hummus appetizer, which they claimed was really good as well. (I think that was one of the appetizers we had at the grand re-opening, if I remember correctly, and I think I agree with them about how good it is.)
Fast forward even more to this past Friday night. The season premiere episode of Season 7 of Kitchen Nightmares, where they decide to make another visit to Amy’s Baking Company. Curiosity got the best of me, and I decided to watch this episode as well. Halfway into the episode, I was pretty disappointed since they had not really shown anything new. It was all a rehashing of the previous episode, plus a bit of “bonus footage” that they hadn’t shown the first time, all still along the same lines as that episode. They did send a reporter (not Gordon Ramsay) back to Amy’s to see how things were, but none of this was shown until the last 10 minutes of the episode. And it was pretty much just more of the same. You could tell that they egged Samy and Amy on to try to catch more of “the crazy” on video. But really, this whole episode was pointless. All it was was a rehashing of the same thing from last time. Are Amy and Samy crazy? They’re a little odd, sure. But having been to the restaurant more than once now… it’s a good place to eat. It’s not a place I visit often, obviously. But I’d go back again. The food was good, the desserts were good, and the service was good. And honestly, I think more highly of them than I do Kitchen Nightmares. Their season premiere “Return to Amy’s Baking Company” was a pretty crappy episode. It was weak and only done for ratings, because they knew people would be interested. But it was far from good TV. Try again, Kitchen Nightmares. And Amy and Samy, just keep doing what you’re doing. You might be a little wild and crazy, but you’re doing just fine.