Bobby Flay Mends My Broken Heart

In Columns, Just My Bellybutton, Opinion by Nathasha Alvarez


Photo of Nathasha's Burger made at Bobby Flay's Bobby's Burger Palace, burger on a bun, tooped high with cheese, tomato, chips.

Nathasha’s Burger made at Bobby Flay’s Bobby’s Burger Palace

Last Thursday, Anthony and I went back to the scene of the crime, Bobby’s Burger Palace. You can read all about the day Bobby Flay broke my heart here on this  link. With your help, our concerns reached Bobby Flay’s people. We met Bob Mundell not Bobby Flay but that’s ok. Bob Mundell is Director of Operations for Bobby Flay’s restaurants, a gracious host and little did we know but also a chef with a great memory. He gave us a tour of the kitchen and listened attentively to my concerns.

We came to an understanding that I think really helps elevate Bobby’s Burger Palace to better standards of the Americans with Disability Act so you and I can enjoy his delicious burgers. YES! Delicious burgers. And I want you to enjoy them too but, more about that later. Keep reading.

Concerns addressed by Bobby Flay’s Director of Operations, Bob Mundell.

#1. At first glance, a person only sees counters and stools. I never saw any sign outside of the restaurant informing me that wheelchair seating was available. Bob said that would be fixed very soon. Look for signage outside of every Bobby’s Burger Palace.  While the verbiage wasn’t specific, it would be something like “Wheelchair Seating Available Upon Request” or something like that.

Nathasha and Bob Mundell, the Director of Operations for Bobby Flay's Bobby's Burger Palace.

Bob Mundell is the Director of Operations for Bobby Flay’s Bobby’s Burger Palace

#2. The curvy counter actually has removable seating for a person in a wheelchair. Neither the employees nor the customers knew about this. Bob said a small disabled sign will be placed on the border of the table where a person in a wheelchair can sit. Sounds good right?

#3.  But even with the moveable chairs, the curvy counter was about one inch too high for me to eat with someone without feeling like a 6 year old looking up at her parent. One inch. That’s all it takes. You know, every inch counts. Am I right ladies?

The restaurant also has two straight long tables that are about an inch higher than the curvy counters. There’s no way, I would feel comfortable eating at those tables. However, on this particular day, a funny thing happened. The restaurant had three customers with motorized wheelchairs and one gentleman in a scooter, a very rare sight for Miami to see in one restaurant. The higher counter worked fine for them because their motorized wheelchairs were very high up.

I suggested that since there are two tables, one can be at the present height and the other can be the height of a regular table found in other restaurants. Bob said he is going to look into that.  To be honest, it doesn’t seem financially astute for them to change the tables already in place so I doubt they are going to change the current tables in the restaurants that are presently opened. But I think that they might do it for future Bobby’s Burgers Palace. I think it is financially feasible and a smart move for them after being made aware of the height problem. It’s not going to be easy for little people who walk like my friend Jenny Arnold and her family to enjoy Bobby’s Burger Palace because the seats are too high up for them.

#4. Believe it or not, this entire fiasco wouldn’t have occurred if the staff had been properly trained and educated on how to seat a person with a manual wheelchair or physical disability. As it turns out, there is seating inside the restaurant for people who use wheelchairs. Unfortunately, the employee who answered our questions didn’t know. From the comments I received from you guys, it appears other employees in other cities didn’t know either. But that won’t be a problem anymore! Bob said that he has already started taking care of this situation. I believe him. He’s a man of action.

#5 Now that the inside and outside of the restaurant’s physical barrier issues had been hashed out, I discussed the social media issue. You know, the way Bobby’s Burger Palace Twitter account handled my inquiries. If you don’t know what I’m talking about, click on the link.  This was a sensitive topic and their tweets felt very nonchalant. Bob’s response to the lackadaisical attitude of their social media account @bobbysburgerpal was that it was already handled.

It was a successful meeting. At least I think so.  Or it could be the amazing, O-M-G secret sauce that came with the fries or maybe the personalized burger talking. Bob made the burger my own way. From now on, I’m calling it the Nathasha Burger, grilled onions, Swiss cheese, lettuce and tomato and it was crunchified with potato chips. Anthony said it was the best pistachio milkshake he ever had. You should taste it.

Anthony Monzon enjoys a pistachio milkshake at Bobby Flay's restaurant

Anthony Monzon enjoys a pistachio milkshake at Bobby Flay’s restaurant

Since I can’t be everywhere at once to see if Bob kept his word, I need you. You get to be my new Audacity Magazine Ambassadors! (woo hoo! See the confetti falling from your sky and the marching band playing in the background!)

Throughout the month of September, go to your closest Bobby’s Burger Palace. Make sure to register for their rewards program before hand. Take a photo of yourself, enjoying Bobby’s Burgers. The photo must show any of the changes discussed in this article, along with a sign saying “Audacity Magazine Ambassador” with the date of your visit. Then email the photo to me at nathasha @ audacitymagazine . com. I will be posting all of the photos on our Facebook fan page. Get your friends to like your photo. They will have one week from the moment the photo goes up to like your photo. The person with the most likes will win a Bobby’s Burger Palace Gift Certificate!

Oh, I forgot to mention this teeny tiny part of the meeting. While eating my Nathasha Burger, Bobby Flay called. I got to speak to him.  Yes, I did stop breathing for a bit. Yes, he sounds really nice. Yes, I am still in awe. Yes, I still love Bobby Flay.

If Bobby’s Burger Palace keeps its word to me, I can consider myself healed from a broken heart. And I will have won this “Throw Down with Bobby Flay” because you know, there’s no way I can beat him in the kitchen.