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Thursday, August 18, 2011

Cleveland Restaurant Gets 'Restaurant Impossible' Treatment, Hopes to Cease Being Awful (Updated)

Posted By on Thu, Aug 18, 2011 at 12:00 PM

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Update: The two-day makeover is complete, the Food Network camera crews have wrapped filming, Robert Irvine is now off screaming in another zip code, and the new Mad Cactus is open for business, this time hoping not to suck so much. The "Restaurant: Impossible" episode will air on November 2. In the meantime, what did folks think of the Mad Cactus version 2.0? Strongsville Patch reports the new (daring!) menu "offers seven appetizers and 11 entrees, including a few Tex-Mex meals — soft tacos, quesadillas — and some more standard fare, like seared flank steak, spiced ribeye, grilled mahi mahi and a mesquite grilled chicken sandwich," but that the sacred, fan-favorite chicken wings that were a staple of the Mexican restaurant's offerings are now gone. As are the other approximately 173 superfluous non-Mexican items that the Cactus once served.

"There's no way the wings aren't on the menu," one man said in the report. Shortly after, someone informed him of the literally hundreds and hundreds of other places to get chicken wings in Cleveland, and he seemed to calm down.

***

The Mad Cactus in Strongsville is, um, how do we put this nicely ... a restaurant that serves food of vaguely Mexican flavor and texture. That's being nice. Yelp and Urban Spoon reviews aren't so kind: "Great Mexican NOT!!" "THIS IS THE WORST FOOD EVER, MEXICANS OUGHT TO REVOLT." "I ate here once and it was one of the worst meals I've ever had. We now refer to it as the Sad Cactus."

Well, you get the point.

NewsNet5 reports that the Mad Cactus is in such dire straights it will be featured on the Food Network's "Restaurant: Impossible," a show where "celebrity chef" Robert Irvine brings $10,000 and a crew to revamp a restaurant in two days. How do you qualify for the magic TV treatment? Just be deemed one of America's most desperate restaurants on the brink of impending failure. There you go. Not the kind of foodie press Cleveland is used to, but the Mad Cactus really isn't Cleveland nor food.

Crews began work this morning and will work in earnest over the next 48 hours to prepare for the grand re-opening and launch on Wednesday.

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