Classic American was featured on Kitchen Nightmares with Gordon Ramsay last night. Been there lately?
I've been there twice since Ramsay's visit, and once a month or two before.
In a very general sense, I am again bemused by how disconnected "reality TV' is from reality. It wasn't as utterly silly as last year's visits to Peter's Pasta in Babylon or The Mixing Bowl in Bellmore--and I have plenty of stories about those--but there was enough fakery. There's some insider info that I can't share, but suffice it to say that the food wasn't nearly as bad as Ramsay let on (yes, I'm explicitly stating that Ramsay overdramatized things). I hadn't been to Classic American as much in recent years as in the past, but that was mainly due to a change in my own circumstances and not in their food. I used to stop by there with a friend from time to time several years back. He was a fish and chips fan, and every couple of months would have to fly to England, staying near Oxford. He said that the fish and chips at CA were every bit as good as what he'd had over there.
So, how's the food now? I enjoyed it. I missed some of the items from the old menu which, for all intents and purposes, doesn't exist anymore. The new menu definitely has that celebrity chef feel, with unnecessarily complicated flourishes (why must all sandwiches have cheese on them now?) --and I in no way prefer plain, simple items, but I think there can be a real elegance in quality ingredients prepared well and those flavors highlighted, not hidden.
Most recently I had the smoked half chicken, which was moist and had a very nice smokiness, but too salted for my taste (my palate simply prefers less salt than the average).
When I'd heard he was going there, I'd been certain he would pare down the menu--that seems to be SOP for him on this show. I didn't count on how much he'd gut the menu, which you can see here
Side note: when I'd gone there right after his visit, I saw that they'd added blackboard specials (using that erasable blackboard paint on a wall). Compulsive editor that I am, I pointed out several misspellings. It wasn't until I saw the show that I realized it was Ramsay's team that had made those multiple misspelling.