The reviews of television food star Guy Fieri’s latest New York restaurant, Guy’s American Kitchen & Bar, aren’t just bad, they’re so bad that eating there prompted The New York Times to write its review entirely as a series of questions addressed to Fieri.
A sampling from the must-read review by Pete Wells:
Did panic grip your soul as you stared into the whirling hypno wheel of the menu, where adjectives and nouns spin in a crazy vortex?
Why is one of the few things on your menu that can be eaten without fear or regret — a lunch-only sandwich of chopped soy-glazed pork with coleslaw and cucumbers — called a Roasted Pork Bahn Mi, when it resembles that item about as much as you resemble Emily Dickinson?
Somewhere within the yawning, three-level interior of Guy’s American Kitchen & Bar, is there a long refrigerated tunnel that servers have to pass through to make sure that the French fries, already limp and oil-sogged, are also served cold?
In case you’re not familiar with Fieri, or his Food Network TV Show Diners Drive Ins and Dives, the bleached-haired, bowling-shirt wearing host drives around the U.S. eating greasy fare at the best local mom and pop shops.
However, The New York Times questions Fieri’s dedication to the American cooking he purports to love: “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?” Wells asks.
It’s not just The New York Times that has come down hard on Fieri. New York Post reviewer Steve Cuozzo recalls ordering “turd shaped Awesome Pretzel Chicken Tenders” that do not taste like chicken or pretzels, and malt balls atop a piece of Irish-German chocolate cake that are so hard they can only be broken in half with a hammer.
Gothamist writes under the headline: “Guy Fieri’s Times Square Restaurant won’t kill you (immediately)” and describes the food as making the reviewers feel “like somebody had stuffed a pile of rocks into our gut and told us to run laps.”
On Yelp, one reviewer describes his experience as a disappointing money grab: “Guy’s ‘American Kitchen’ uses sweet, corn-syrup laden sauces to cover up sub-par ingredients.”
So, Times Square tourists, maybe you should do what the Gothamist reviewers recommend and head down the street to Shake Shack, where the food will be American, greasy and good.