Blue Orleans in Chatanooga Is Featured on ‘Restaurant: Impossible’

Edgar's Restaurant Update

Getty Chef Robert Irvine onstage during a culinary demonstration.

Robert Irvine and the Restaurant: Impossible crew renovated Blue Orleans Restaurant in Chatanooga, Tennessee. The episode airs on Thursday, February 27 at 9 p.m. and is 90 minutes instead of the usual hour.

The episode, titled “Chatanooga Blues,” promises to be one of the most explosive episodes of Restaurant: Impossible, and Irvine tweeted that it’s one viewers won’t want to miss.

The owners of Blue Orleans, chef Michael Adams and his wife Cherita, moved to Chattanooga after the devastation of Hurricane Katrina. Prior to the hurricane, Michael was in corporate sales in New Orleans while also having started his own catering company called Mo Gumbo.

According to the episode synopsis, Michael and Cherita are going through a divorce, and their children Dallen and Jolie are caught in the crossfire. An episode teaser showed Cherita walking out of the restaurant saying she was done while Irvine followed her and asked if she was going to give up.

Blue Orleans Was Established in 2007

Blue Orleans opened in 2007, and the Restaurant: Impossible renovation and menu update took place in December 2020. The restaurant brings Cajun and Creole food to Chattanooga.

When asked by the Times Free Press whether the menu sticks to the Cajun favorites, Adams said it wasn’t necessarily all that type of food.

“The current menu still has its roots in New Orleans types of dishes; however we do offer tacos with some of the New Orleans proteins,” he said. He picks up some of the ingredients and spices when he travels home to New Orleans since they’re harder to get and sometimes too expensive in Chattanooga.

On December 22, 2019, Blue Orleans posted on Facebook to announce the redesign of their restaurant.

“Chef Irvine and his dream team of executive chefs created fabulous dishes to go with the look of an urban-chic restaurant for the Southside of downtown Chattanooga,” they wrote. They also said they were hiring awesome people and urged residents to stop by for an application.

The menu is available online and includes appetizers like crawfish bisque, fried gator tale and seafood gumbo ya-ya. Entrees that are available include a smoked brisket open-faced po-boy, crawfish etoufee and rice, yakamein and shrimp and pimento cheese grits. They offer French Quarter beignets for dessert.

They offer private events, dine-in and to-go orders.

Post-‘Restaurant: Impossible’ Reviews are Positive

Out of more than 50 reviews since Restaurant: Impossible on Google Reviews, less than 10 are 3-stars or less. In total, Blue Orleans has a 4.2-star out of 5-star rating based on 575 reviews on Google.

When it comes to the negative reviews, they mention the bathrooms being in a shared space in the mall rather than inside the restaurant, and they sometimes mentioned slow service. The owner or management has responded to many of these reviews with explanations about downtown Chattanooga being busiest on Saturday nights and apologizing for the wait.

Positive reviews on Google mention the food being spot-on and on-par with what could be expected in New Orleans.

“Let me begin by saying that my family has been to NOLA many times. With that being said, the gumbo and jambalaya are on par with what we have had in New Orleans!” one reviewer wrote. “However, that is not the only reason I am leaving 5 stars. The staff was extraordinarily friendly and made our visit a pleasure! We will definitely be making another visit to Blue Orleans!”

Reviews on Yelp are less positive, with an overall rating of 3.5 out of 5 stars based on 216 reviews. All four reviews left since Restaurant: Impossible are positive.

One user wrote, “We decided to give this a try since it has recently been remodeled…and I’m SO glad we did! We wanted somewhere different and were ready to try it again. The last experience wasn’t great, but this one? Outstanding.” They mention the fried gator tail and the Etoufee as both being delicious.

Tune in to the special hour and a half episode of Restaurant: Impossible to see the renovations and changes to the menu.


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