When I read the New York Times’ hilariously smart-mouthed review of Guy Fieri’s new Times Square restaurant, Guy’s American Kitchen and Bar, I couldn’t believe that a culinary experience could be so spectacularly frightful. Was the food really as “limp” and “oil-sogged” as the critic Pete Wells claimed? Did the drinks really taste like “a combination of radiator fluid and formaldehyde”? Did Fieri’s spiky, bleached hair and Pauly Shore-turned-youth pastor personality inspire so much ire in the Gray Lady’s reviewer that he could no longer separate the man from his food? Surely this place can’t be worse than your average TGI Friday’s. Or could it? I had to find out.
I wasn’t alone. Wells’s review was so popular—it’s the most read story on the Times’ website this month and it generated so much controversy that Fieri had to defend his reputation on the Today show—that the restaurant has started drawing a crowd. Of locals.
Despite the fact that I think Guy Fieri looks like a rodeo clown, I have to say he played a part in encouraging me to do this. I can’t cosign Tex-Mex sushi or wearing your sunglasses backward, but one time … he got it right. So, as I say this with a trash can under my head in case vomit involuntarily spews out of my eyes, “Thank you, Guy Fieri.”
Chef Eddie Huang on how Guy Fieri helped his cooking career (via NY Mag)
NEW YORK—Dejected by the scathing New York Times review of his new Times Square–based eatery, Guy Fieri was reportedly consoled today by local Bubba Gump Shrimp Co. franchise owner Phillip Grayson, who told the depressed Food Network star, “Hey, definitely been there before, man.” “Don’t worry, bud, I know exactly what you’re going through right now,” Grayson said to a crestfallen Fieri, explaining that he’s “seen more than [his] own share of bad reviews slamming Bubba Gump’s Dixie Fishwich and Shrimper’s Heaven platter.” “No matter how good you’re feeling about the Forrest’s Seafood Feast you just pulled out of the deep fryer, there’s always someone out there ready to take you down a peg. That’s just Times Square, my man. All part of the game.” Sources said Grayson then offered Fieri a plate of Bubba’s Dumb Luck Coconut Shrimp on the house.
When you cruise around the country for your show “Diners, Drive-Ins and Dives,” rasping out slangy odes to the unfancy places where Americans like to get down and greasy, do you really mean it? Or is it all an act? Is that why the kind of cooking you celebrate on television is treated with so little respect at Guy’s American Kitchen & Bar?
How, for example, did Rhode Island’s supremely unhealthy and awesomely good fried calamari — dressed with garlic butter and pickled hot peppers — end up in your restaurant as a plate of pale, unsalted squid rings next to a dish of sweet mayonnaise with a distant rumor of spice? How did Louisiana’s blackened, Cajun-spiced treatment turn into the ghostly nubs of unblackened, unspiced white meat in your Cajun Chicken Alfredo?
How did nachos, one of the hardest dishes in the American canon to mess up, turn out so deeply unlovable? Why augment tortilla chips with fried lasagna noodles that taste like nothing except oil? Why not bury those chips under a properly hot and filling layer of melted cheese and jalapeños instead of dribbling them with thin needles of pepperoni and cold gray clots of ground turkey?
By the way, would you let our server know that when we asked for chai, he brought us a cup of hot water?
When you hung that sign by the entrance that says, WELCOME TO FLAVOR TOWN!, were you just messing with our heads? Does this make it sound as if everything at Guy’s American Kitchen & Bar is inedible? I didn’t say that, did I?
"It looks the Hard Rock Cafe date raped a Cheesecake Factory and they produced some not-so-upscale Nascar/Rock and Roll themed restaurant where the servers are dressed like they know what they’re doing."