Restaurant Revisited: The Main Dish

by in Shows, July 18th, 2012

The Main Dish

When Robert Irvine arrived at The Main Dish in Meridianville, Ala., owners Lynn and Ken Tverberg were in desperate need of help. They bought the restaurant five years earlier because Ken loves to cook, but with no restaurant experience at all, the couple found themselves in debt and working 80 hours a week. We checked in with Lynn and Ken a few months after their Restaurant: Impossible makeover to see how the restaurant is faring.

Lynn and Ken have seen a strong increase in sales since Robert’s intervention. “The new menu and decor has brought in old and new customers,” says Lynn. “Some customers don’t like change, and I have made sure that I explain to them that change sometimes is hard but necessary. For every one customer that is not happy, we have three new tables that come in and love the new menu.”

They are still serving most of Robert’s new dishes. “We are using all fresh products now, no more frozen veggies or fish,” says Lynn.

The Main Dish has cut back on catering after Robert pointed out that it was priced incorrectly. They plan to start it up again, but will scrutinize the costs more carefully.

Though the Tverbergs are still working hard, they have made time to spend with their daughters at home: “We have committed to taking our Sundays off with our girls. We catch a movie in the afternoon or just hang out, sitting on the patio and just talking.”

“We are spending, if not more time, much more quality time with one another,” says Lynn. “Robert’s presence and insight helped us realize what is important in life. Hard work still applies with a little dose of reality.”


More from Restaurant Revisited:

Longbranch Steak and Seafood (July 11)

Horton’s Kids (June 13)

Pollard’s (May 30)

University Grill (May 23)

Ristorante Barolo (May 16)

Pappas (May 9)

Mama Lee’s (May 2)

Pelican Grill (April 25)

Valley View (March 14)

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Comments (406)

  1. Kasey says:

    I have been to the Main Dish twice this week. The food and service were excellent. There was no doubt the fish and veggies were fresh. I have two toddlers who are very picky eaters and they loved the food. I noticed some comments stating that no crayons were provided, but my children were given plenty of paper and crayons to enjoy. The meal was well worh the price. One last note, I have noticed a full parking lot since the show aired two weeks ago.

  2. Dolores says:

    Wie live about a 1/2 mile from the dish
    1. No one have ever seen anybody outside the restaurant in a funny costume, waving at cars
    2. Too many tears
    3. The food was a lot better before the change.

    • Val says:

      Hello neighbor. I totally disagree with you. We visited once before the change. The food was mediocre at best and the decor too busy and cluttered. Now the food is excellent and the decor is simple, functional and beautiful.

  3. RI Fan says:

    Love coming here to read all the comments and seeing the updates. But it would be GREAT if Food Network put the link in an easy to find place, as well as providing a much more detailed update on what is going on with the restaurant. Great show, keep them coming!

  4. Rob says:

    My wife and I went to the Main Dish last Saturday night. The place was better in person. The menu was very comparable to what you would get in Huntsville. I had the angus chopped steak, and my wife had the seared chicken. The food was great, and it was nice to have fresh bread while you wait. My wife knows Lynn, and Lynn made an effort to talk to us. We assured her that we will be back, and I told my dad about this place..

  5. Frank says:

    Finally an episode featuring a restaurant that wasn't a pig-sty and wasn't being mismanaged by arrogance. This place just needed some updating of the decor and menu, some direction for the staff, and some confidence (re)implanted in the family. Unlike other episodes featuring insincere owners looking for a bailout, such as the bbq in Memphis and the cafe in SoCal, this family was an open-minded canvas accepting & deserving of Robert's ideas & direction for success. I do wish the producers would screen potential restaurants for future shows more thoroughly for such worthiness.

  6. karen garnett says:

    To whomever runs the idea that as a tv watcher, I now need to log on to a pc to check current status of ANY of the shows Robert has been acting as a coach/chef/businessman/ etc etc. I feel that it is abusive to EXPECT me to leave the TV to log onto to check and see what has been happening. You are now doing this with all Chef/Help shows. ie, Bobby Flay too. Superior thinking on your part. SUCKS!!!!!

    • Val says:

      Many people have wireless devices such as laptop computers, ipads, etc which allow them to watch television and surf the internet at the same time. Young people do this all the time. The Food Network is just trying to keep up with their demographics. By the way, I do not have wireless in my house.

    • KeithTexas says:

      We are all so sorry that your life is so difficult.

    • Tori says:

      I think they have you go to the website so you can get more current updates. Things will be much different 3, 6 or 12 months after the show airs … It's the best way to be most current.

    • ReturnEndings2Show says:

      i Agree it does Suck and its Unfair to the folks that watch their tv shows and don't even own a Computer or Internet device.

    • ObeseOne says:

      Such an effort on your part to actually get onto a computer to check something youre interested in. Just like the grocery stores that make you get out of your car and go INSIDE to get your food. SUCH a hassle!!
      Im with you sister. Not enough fat people in scooters complaining about such travesties yet. Let the lazy 'mericans triumph yet again. (I'd ask you to raise your banner, but if youre too lazy to log onto a computer, you probably cant lift a banner anyway.)

    • Katie says:

      Well said Karen!!!! I couldn't agree more. Let us know then, when we're in the moment. STOP making it difficult when it doesn't have to be. This is a great idea and a wonderful program. Don't ruin it!!!!

    • Pat says:

      I agree with Karen. I would rather see how the restaurant is doing at the end of the show rather
      than to have to log on to the food network website. I had a very hard time even finding the
      place where I could see how the redone places were doing and it is frustrating.
      Many times I have just shut my PC down unable to find anything. I do think they should put the follow up back on at the end of the show. If people do not want to look at the website they won't no matter
      how interesting they think it might be. Put the follow up BACK on the show or people are going to stop watching shows at some point.

    • Pat says:

      sorry but I think you need a stifle concerning the profanity.
      Most of us would rather not have to hear it. .

    • Alexis1 says:

      Guess what? It works. You have been to the website and so have all of the other people. It gives a better idea of what was happening because the synopsis are longer. Get over it. It is 2012.

    • Alanj44 says:

      Google the term "second screen" There is even a WIKI page about this.

    • Jacki says:

      eye roll here

  7. Jeff says:

    The restaurant is in trouble now, prices are too high and the food isn't good.
    If it doesn't turn things around quickly, it will close. So be it.

    • Val says:

      I totally disagree. I went there on Friday. The catfish was superb even though I do not usually care for catfish. It was moist and flavorful. My husband had the rib eye. It was the most flavorful rib eye that I had ever tasted. I thought they had made a mistake and served him prime rib. The restaurant was full with a line waiting to get seated. Lynn even told me that they need to hire more staff. I am wondering if you even went there or maybe you are one of the former customers who doesn't like change??????

  8. Janice says:

    I was with a group of 10 that went a few weeks ago. It took 45 minutes to get our food. There were 4 appetizers of fried green tomatoes ordered. They did not come until after the entrees were received. The green beans had no seasoning at all. Were not good. The coating on the fried green tomatoes and the pinto beans were sooooo salty could not eat. Overall opinion – none of the 10 will return.

  9. Jimbo says:

    I guess they aren't natives of Alabama by the lack of any noticeable accent thought the young ladies had a bit of one.
    Enjoyed the show and if I am close to Huntsville will definitely try the place, surely they have sweet tea with the catfish and grits?

  10. DON says:


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