Restaurant Revisited: Windseeker Restaurant

by in Shows, January 16th, 2013

Robert Irvine on Food Network's Restaurant: ImpossibleFor Windseeker Restaurant in The Dalles, Ore., the problems went beyond a tired dining room and lackluster food. They had been battling negative press for years, and owner Veta Bingman and general manager Patty Taylor faced a constant struggle to attract customers to their out-of-the-way location, despite the breathtaking river views that surround them. In just two days and with a $10,000 budget, Robert Irvine and his Restaurant: Impossible team transformed the eatery into a sophisticated space complete with a high-quality menu that would improve Windseeker’s local reputation. We checked in with Patty a few months after Robert left to find out how the restaurant is doing today.

Comparing year-over-year numbers, Patty says that “Business is up by $30,000″ following the renovation, and she adds that the cost of food and wages has increased as well. Since their Restaurant: Impossible experience, the staff has not borrowed money from the restaurant.

Veta has allowed Patty to run the restaurant within her role as general manager, which recently has become more important than ever, as Veta has been in and out of the hospital. Patty is no longer bartending or cooking lunch, but she continues to be a front-of-house server and has also taken on the responsibility of ordering supplies for the restaurant. Despite these demands, Patty tells us that she was able to take a vacation in October.

More From Restaurant Revisited:

Whiskey Creek Steakhouse (January 2)
Rising Sun Bistro (December 19)
Boys & Girls Club of Southwest Missouri (December 9)
Bronk’s Bar and Grill (December 5)
Rohrer’s Tavern (November 28)
Poco’s on the Boulevard (November 21)
Oleander Bar and Grill (October 17)
Valley Inn (October 10)
Whistle Stop (October 3)
The Maple Tree Cafe (September 26)
Michele’s (September 19)
Paliani’s Restaurant (September 12)
Frankie’s (September 5)
Gusanoz (August 29)

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Comments (442)

  1. Paul says:

    Seeing how many of these restaurants eventually flop or go back to their old ways-it makes it so much less exciting to watch the episodes. Changing the cosmetics of a place in two days is one thing. To think that anyone-Robert included-can come in and in two days heal decades long animosities, deep rooted family issues and borderline pyschosis-is folly indeed. It would take a psychiatrist years to fix some of these characters. Fun entertainment-but not to be taken very seriously.

  2. applestycx says:

    Whatever problems are between the mother and daughter, I hope they work them out. It appears that Patty encourages their disagreement. If the daughter has any interest in the business , she should step up and learn management now . If Patty is not the ogre she appears to be ,she at least needs to be kept in the position of an employee and not allowed so much free rein into matters an owner should handle.

  3. Kerri says:

    Thanks for all the reviews. From the most recent, I have decided NOT to try Windseeker when I'm in the Portland area soon. I was excited to try one of RI's new openings, but don't think it's worth the tension, food quality and service I might be getting when I get there.

  4. Gail says:

    My husband and I stopped to have dinner on weekday. Sadly, it was peak dinner time and thee was only one other table. The view of the Columbia River and the gardens are very nice. Our server had great potential and was very pleasant and eager to please, but it was obvious that management had not provided him/her with deserved training. As for the food, it was average at best and very slow.

  5. debbienails says:

    On September 27th, of this year, we decided to try Windseeker Restaurant out. We were coming back from Washington and remembered about this restaurant being on Robert's show. We passed it, not good signage, and then on top of that, we are pulling a 30' 5th wheel. Then going down the drive way, it was very rough because they were working on it. Finally got turned around in the parking lot and went in. No one was in the dining room, and one couple was walking out as we came in. We were seated, no water given at all. Very small menu for a medium size place. I ordered a chicken sandwich with bacon and cheese and seasoned fries, my husband ordered some kind of fish sandwich. Oh and we were offered something to drink, we both said coffee. A woman brought the coffee out and said she was making a fresh pot for my husband! Wow, couldn't I have a fresh cup also?!!! When he finally got his cup of coffee, his was ok, but the difference between his and mine was unbelievable. His was a lot better then mine because mine was old! My sandwich came, no bacon. When the waiter came to see if we needed anything, I asked him if my sandwich was supposed to have bacon. He said he would check, and of course he brought back bacon. They were slow, sandwich had no flavor, had to put salt and pepper on it. It didn't have any seasoning on it at all. All this time not a single person came in. It was cold, and not very clean. The fireplace wasn't even one. Had fake logs in it with holes for candles to sit in. The only thing that was nice was the garden area and the river. I asked the waiter if that restaurant was the one that was on Restaurant Impossible, he said yes. He asked if we would come back and NO we won't.I realize things happen sometimes about not getting things right, but Robert needs to go back and check it out again.

  6. David Galle says:

    My girlfriend and I watched the show several months ago. Today we took a trip The Dalles and decided we would try the restaurant. Walked in at lunch time to a empty dinning room. The service was OK. The food was slightly better then OK. I would eat there again, but would probably choose somewhere else first. During the hour that we were there not 1 person walked in to eat. My complaints are with the condition of the place. Fireplace is falling apart. Not sure if because of bad construction or lack of maintenance. Several pictures were no longer hanging on the wall. Most concerning was the dishes that were sitting on a table on the deck. The entire time we were there no one bothered to go clean the table. My guess is they were left from the night before. Today was very cold and rainy. I doubt someone sat outside today. Overall unimpressed

    • Tim Foster says:

      I can tell you this much about the fireplace, they told Patti that they built it order to have real slate installed at a later date due to the cost and that the adhesive tiles would only last so long… I know I helped on the project and to be honest there are bigger problems then that fireplace.

  7. Malcomb says:

    are these dates real? It seems like EVERYTHING happened 65 weeks ago

  8. guest says:

    Well Patty has done it again with her nasty ways but in Melbourne Fl now….Bess's Place. The comments are exactly how she treats people and I am no longer an employee because of Patty's my way or the highway attitude. I have been running restaurant for 15 years and i have never seen someone her age so petty in my life!

  9. Annie says:

    We just visited the WindSeeker and wanted to tell Robert to come and shut that place down. We called ahead with a party of 40 and they only scheduled one waitress. It took an hour to get a menu and another hour for food. They were out of half the meat products needed on the menu. The art on the wall was falling apart and neglected, the menu was handwritten in parts as well as scribbled through. The tables were bare and scratched up. The high chairs wobbled.

  10. Chris says:

    I was there over memorial weekend and it was not ada friendly. An elderly woman in a motorized wheelchair had to leave because she could not get over the front stoop and another had to have strangers visiting the rest. come and lift her wheelchair through the door so she could get inside. Noone from the staff came to help or provide alternatives.

  11. M. Cunting says:

    I didn't *see any such bar, is what I meant to say.

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