Restaurant Express, Season 1: Top Moments of Episode 2

Get an inside look at the contestants' challenges and relive the most-memorable moments from the second episode of Restaurant Express, Season 1.

Photo By: Paul-Michael Carr ©Paul-Michael Carr

Photo By: Paul-Michael Carr ©Paul-Michael Carr

Photo By: Paul-Michael Carr ©Paul-Michael Carr

Photo By: Paul-Michael Carr ©Paul-Michael Carr

Photo By: Paul-Michael Carr ©Paul-Michael Carr

Photo By: Paul-Michael Carr ©Paul-Michael Carr

Photo By: Paul-Michael Carr ©Paul-Michael Carr

Photo By: Paul-Michael Carr ©Paul-Michael Carr

Photo By: Paul-Michael Carr ©Paul-Michael Carr

Photo By: Paul-Michael Carr ©Paul-Michael Carr

Taking On Temecula

Robert greets the finalists at their second location in Temecula, Calif., and fills them in on this week's challenge: Launch a restaurant in a town already packed with eateries. Each contestant will first present their idea to the mayor of Temecula, Mike Naggar, then open a pop-up concept for 500 people with just $400.

Second-Best Menu

Most contestants are forced to abandon their initial menu ideas when they realize the grocery store isn't stocked with what they need. "I have to rethink everything that I'm doing ... because I was counting on fresh shrimp or oysters or something that would work for a po' boy," Jan explains.

Sandwich Central

Following last week's success with his sandwich concept, MF Tasty, Eric opens the restaurant again, this time serving chicken salad and Cuban sandwiches, as well as shrimp rolls. "I think there's always a need for a tasty quality sandwich place," Mayor Naggar tells Eric. Sure enough, the customers flock to his station, and Robert deems the Cuban creation to be a "great-tasting sandwich."

Inflated French Fete

Adam is the only finalist whose initial restaurant concept is refuted by Robert and Mayor Naggar. He eventually launches Temecula Toulouse, serving multiple French dishes at high prices with the hope that customers will opt for the cost-effective combination plate. "'Cause you had a high price point, the diners were curious to see what it was all about," Robert tells Adam. "That price point actually saved you this week."

Seafood Sensation

After chatting with locals about their dining wishes, Jan opens a fish-focused restaurant called Hooked. She's serving shrimp-scallop chowder with salmon and sweet tea, and each proves to be successful. Robert reveals later, however, that her inexpensive menu almost cost her the competition. "Although you sold a lot, you didn't sell enough to make up for your low price point," he explains.

Finding a Niche

Seonkyoung notices that the Asian food scene in Temecula is sparse, so she wastes no time in launching Chop, Chop, featuring a Bulgogi Steak Sandwich, a Lemongrass Chicken Sandwich and milk tea. Robert's once again impressed by her ability to turn out well-executed dishes, as Seonkyoung has no professional culinary training.

Wild Ride

Although Johnathan's restaurant, Eddie's Quick Draw Saloon, is risky in that it specializes in wild game like venison and bison, customers are excited about the concept. His food doesn't meet guests' expectations, however, when the venison proves to be "sawdust galore," according to Robert.

Hot Streak

With newfound confidence after winning last week's challenge, Patrick opens Ringgold Southern Farm, serving customers pork and chow chow, plus Shrimp and Grits, and Pan-Seared Tilapia. "The fish is cooked beautifully," Robert says of Patrick's tilapia, and locals agree. He's ultimately deemed safe from elimination and earns a seat on the bus.

Breaking Point

A near-fatal oversight of forgotten eggs means that Bianca cannot make two of her dishes at her restaurant, Home Sweet Home. Her long line of customers and the little food she has to serve becomes overwhelming, and she's forced to step away temporarily amid tears. Although she places among the bottom-three finalists, she's given another opportunity and avoids elimination.

Expense Reporting

After tallying each finalist's earnings and hearing from local guests, Robert announces that Eric's restaurant was the one "they would most like to have back" in Temecula. Eric's guaranteed a seat on the bus, while Johnathan is sent home after bringing in the least amount of money. "My idea just didn't work out, but I enjoyed every moment of being here," Johnathan reflects.

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