Mo Mandel / Tuesday, June 2, 2015, 12:11pm
This was one of my favorite episodes to film, mostly because the food in both places was absolutely delicious. Tacos and Pho: sounds like some sort of ethnic food heaven. Add in whisky and margaritas and things just get ridiculously fantastic. (I have a great job)
But in terms of why Steven dominated Kristina, it's hard to say because neither of their business ideas were particularly out there, nor were they really so different from each other. They both relied on upselling and they both introduced a specialty taco. Why did Steven crush it and Kristina go down in slushy tequila flames?! The answer: Steven simply wanted it more.
I've never seen an owner on this show operate with more emotion and intensity than Steven. He marched around South Beach Bar and Grill as though his entire reputation and self-worth was on the line. You saw him lose his temper with the kitchen staff, and that kind of heated exchange was very common during Steven's reign. He was fire and ice all the way. Big excited displays of partying and then even more excited displays of being ticked off and dissatisfied with his new employees. And while this could be a little unsettling, it kept his staff on their toes and forced them to work even harder. He even yelled out to people to buy his drink at the end like a peanut vendor at baseball game, going back behind the bar and whipping up that concoction faster than the bartenders could and thus selling a lot more than the bar would have otherwise.
Kristina also did a great job but she seemed a little more chill and reliant on her staff rather than aggressively seeing to it that they did exactly what she needed them to do in order to win. It was like a boxing match that didn't come down to skill so much as who had more heart. Steven may have emerged with some scars but he stayed on his feet more, swung harder and hit $10,000 before the bell rang at the end of the round.
Also, on a personal note, I too displayed a lot of heart during this episode. During one of the shooting days, I ate 12 tacos, and I think that speaks volumes about my own level of determination and work ethic, as well as even greater volumes about my gluttony and utter lack of self-control.
Next week… If you thought Steven lost his temper, you'll definitely want to tune in to see a young bartender break shot glasses and hurl plates like some sort of 5'2" hurricane!
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