The Food Network's "Restaurant Impossible" and host/chef Robert Irvine hits Sweet Tea's to film on Dec. 4-5, and the restaurant will have a "grand re-opening" at 7 p.m. Dec. 5. The show's premise: Irvine swoops in for two days with $10K and sees if he can save "desperate restaurants from impending failure."
Owners David and Dana Cohen have had Sweet Tea's for three years; for the first 2 1/2, it was located in Landis, just north of Kannapolis. David Cohen said he's contractually obligated to not answer questions until the episode airs, which associate producer Nicholas Smalarz says should be late February/early March. According to Smalarz, "thousands" of restaurants apply for the show's help, it's the network's top-rated show, and of the 63 places they've done since January 2011, he knows of four that have closed permanently.
The restaurant is at 9101 Pineville-Matthews Road, and its web menu includes fried green tomatoes with "reduced balsamic glaze and buffalo ranch dipping sauce"; Dave's Famous Potato Puppies; sandwiches such as a honey-wasabi BLT and "inside out burgers"; chicken and waffles; sesame encrusted tilapia, shrimp and grits; and corned beef hash and eggs. 704-855-1803.
Tapas to tacos, foie gras to fries, Helen Schwab has written about food in and around Charlotte for more than 20 years. Her related experience includes traveling (pizza in Naples to pizza in New York), waitressing (she understands about tipping from both sides), journalism (a B.S. from Northwestern University), and cooking at home, the less said about which the better.