Caneda’s White Rooster Restaurant is Rescued by Gordon Ramsay

Getty Gordon Ramsay attends the 2018 Fox Network Upfront at Wollman Rink, Central Park on May 14, 2018 in New York City.

Fox’s Gordon Ramsay’s 24 Hours to Hell and Back visited Caneda’s White Rooster restaurant in Tom’s River, New Jersey. Alongside Joey Gannascoli and Vincent Pastore of The Sopranos, Ramsay and crew have to bring the restaurant back from the brink of disaster. 24 Hours to Hell and Back airs Tuesday nights at 9 [.m. on Fox.

Caneda’s White Rooster is a Cuban restaurant owned by Patty Caneda. It has been in business since 2014, specializing in empanadas and party platters.

Prior to starting Caneda’s White Rooster, Caneda owned a brick-and-mortar empanada store called Caneda’s: an Empanada Experience. The empanadas grew in popularity, however, and within three years, Caneda merged with Grunin Holdings and expanded to build the White Rooster.

The Owner is Grateful for the Experience

Ramsay’s appearing at Caneda’s was a life-changing experience for the owner. She has two children at home, and she knew she needed to make the business work for not only herself, but also for her children.

“I think the thing I enjoyed the most about the experience was giving the White Rooster a second opportunity to come to life,” Caneda said in a clip shared on the White Rooster’s Facebook page. “The best thing about working with Gordon was that he reminded me this was a business… and instead of looking at this place like it is a home, I needed to look at it like it’s a skyscraper.”

She went on to say that it was hard seeing everything she built torn down before it was able to be put back together. Going into the restaurant she’d worked so hard to build at 3 a.m. and seeing the dust everywhere was an experience she would not want to repeat, but she acknowledges that the change was for the better and she’s happier with the restaurant now.

“Now that the dust has settled, I come in here every day and I feel the excitement that I wanted to feel this whole first year that we were in business,” Caneda said in the Facebook video.

You can see the new menu for the restaurant on their website here. They offer a selection of empanadas along with Cuban classics like Creole shrimp, Cubano sandwiches and plantains.

Reviews Are Generally Positive

While there is a bit of a discrepancy between reviews on Yelp, Facebook, and Google, the reviews are generally positive. The average review on Yelp is a 3-star review, while the Google reviews put the restaurant closer to a 4-star average.

On the Yelp page, the majority of recent reviews range closer to the negative since filming with Gordon Ramsay. Out of 18 reviews people have left after visiting the restaurant since October, there are six reviews with a rating of four stars or higher. The positive reviews mention the food tasting good and the restaurant looking beautiful.

User Devon M. wrote, “Ambience was lovely and server was friendly and quick. The empanadas trio was absolutely delicious, as was one of the pork dishes (the name escapes me right now). Only complaint was their cucumber gazpacho was way oversalted. Otherwise, we will be back!”

On the other hand, the negative reviews mention chef Ramsay’s makeover in a negative light. User Stuart B. has left four separate reviews for Caneda since 2018, and in the most recent, he writes that he was not happy with the changes made.

“Most of the time a Gordon Ramsay makeover works to put a restaurant on firmer footing. Unfortunately with the White Rooster, it left me disappointed. The decor which was nice to begin with remains essentially the same. The menu, in the Ramsay fashion, has been simplified to the restaurant’s detriment.”

He goes on to say that Cuban food is supposed to be spicy but that the menu has been dulled down to a point where people who don’t like spice can enjoy it.

There are over 50 reviews on Google since the update, with the majority of those reviews being positive. The positive reviews mention good food and delicious empanadas in particular. The negative reviews, on the other hand, mention slow service and higher prices than before the Gordon Ramsay remodel.

Tune in to Gordon Ramsay’s 24 Hours to Hell and Back at 9 p.m. EST on Fox to see what the chef does with Caneda’s White Rooster and follow this author’s page for all your 24 Hours to Hell and Back and Restaurant: Impossible coverage.

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