by David Mendez
I know that we at the Weekly tend to be as honest as possible when it comes to restaurant reviews, resulting in occasional hurt feelings from some folks, but man, the New York Times' Pete Wells completely brutalized the Times Square restaurant of celebrity chef/television host/hedgehog-lookalike Guy Fieri, Guy's American Kitchen & Bar.
An excerpt from the Times review, which takes the form of a "do you understand what is going on here?" series of questions addressed to Fieri:
What is going on at this new restaurant of yours, really?
Has anyone ever told you that your high-wattage passion for no-collar American food makes you television’s answer to Calvin Trillin, if Mr. Trillin bleached his hair, drove a Camaro and drank Boozy Creamsicles? 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?
Read more, as well as some stunningly positive customer reviews, after the jump.
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?
The piling-on of incredulous questioning just doesn't stop: Wells continues by taking down the waitstaff, the desserts, the decor and some mystical concoction of Fieri's called "Donkey Sauce" which, in all honesty, doesn't sound like anything I want to taste.
For the full review, which includes the question "why did the toasted marshmallow taste like fish?", check out the Times website.
Oh, and for the sake of balance, Gawker posted a series of positive reviews from folks who checked out Fieri's Times Square joint and loved it. You can see that here.