‘Food Court Wars’: Chip N Wich vs Oasis
If Food Court Wars taught viewers one thing, it’s that previous experience owning a restaurant does not guarantee an easy win. Like Taco Spot, Oasis’s Melania Paser and Diana Hadad, who owns World Cafe, faced stiff competition from newcomers Craig Jones and Jonathan Neely, who both have experience as line chefs and would like to get Chip-n-Wich off the ground.
Chip-n-Wich is the “sandwich with a crunch.” In layman’s terms, Craig and Jonathan place homemade potato chips on their sandwiches. It’s a good idea, but Team Chip-n-Wich need to stop passing it off as original because Bobby Flay and probably a million other people have done it first.
Oasis started off as food from every Mediterranean country, which was way too broad. With the help of Tyler Florence, Melania and Diana were able to narrow their menu down to solely Lebanese food.
For the first challenge, Chip-n-Wich and Oasis had to serve Midland Mall’s regular food court customers. Neither team was without their problems. Chip-n-Wich used too much bread, throwing off their sandwiches filling-to-bread ratio. Other than that misstep, the mall goers seemed to enjoy Chip-n-Wich’s southwest barbeque chicken sandwich with red pop soda floats. Tyler really did not like Craig and Jonathan’s red pop soda because as he said “it looks unnatural,” but they used Faygo Red Pop, which is a Michigan classic and they have no intention of removing it from the menu. While Chip-n-Wich said they were going to take Tyler’s advice to use fruit flavored seltzer and fresh fruit, they didn’t. Surprisingly, Craig and Jonathan may have been right to ignore Tyler’s advice because, after all, they are Michigan natives. Therefore, Team Chip-n-Which has a better understanding of local culture, which includes a love of Red Pop. Oasis’s problem was that Melania and Diana chose to make chicken shawarma, which usually needs to marinate over night. Predictably, the customers found their food to be bland.
The winner of round one was Chip-n-Wich. For winning, Craig and Jonathan received a review of their food court restaurant on Nicole Rupersburg’s food blog, Eat It Detroit. While both teams thought of the review as a huge advantage, the blog receives 30,000 views a month. Those could be unique visitors or the same 1,000 people checking back every day. Either way, Chip-n-Wich’s review was only up for approximately a day and a half, so a maximum of 2,000 people saw it. Yes, it’s an advantage, but hardly an earth-shattering one.
As usual, Day 2 took the teams out of the mall and into the community. This time the teams went to a minor league baseball game featuring the Great Lakes Loons. Jonathan from Chip-n-Wich got to throw out the first pitch, but Oasis received time on the jumbotron, so no one received an advantage. Chip-n-Wich served a turkey club and Oasis served a falafel. Again, both teams needed to improve their food. Once serving the baseball crowd was over and Tyler spoke to the team, Oasis’s personal issues came to the forefront. Melania feels that Diana is a micromanager and doesn’t allow her to change recipes, even though Melania was trained as a chef. Once everything was out in the open, Melania and Diana seemed to work better together.
On opening day, all of the food was ready on time. However, Chip-n-Wich forgot to put their menu up. Fortunately, Craig decided it would take less time to write up the menu and open late than it would to explain the entire menu to everyone. Unfortunately, he completely forgot to mention their specialty of putting homemade chips on sandwiches, but that didn’t seem to hurt them. At the Oasis kiosk, there were communications problems, but the food was coming out fine.
In the end, Chip-n-Wich won Food Court Wars with a total of $1,293, which was $134 more than Oasis’s total.
Posted on July 29, 2013, in Cable, Food Network, Reality TV and tagged chip-n-wich, craig jones, diana hadad, eat it detroit, food court wars, great lakes loons, jonathan neely, melania paser, michigan, midland, midland mall, nicole rupersburg, oasis, tyler florence, world cafe. Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.