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Scathing review of Guy Fieri's American Kitchen and Bar

Scathing review of Guy Fieri's American Kitchen and Bar
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  • Scathing review of Guy Fieri's American Kitchen and Bar

    Post #1 - November 14th, 2012, 12:29 pm
    Post #1 - November 14th, 2012, 12:29 pm Post #1 - November 14th, 2012, 12:29 pm
    Just a small excerpt, the rest can be found here
    Pete Wells of the NY Times wrote:Is this how you roll in Flavor Town?

    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?

    What accounts for the vast difference between the Donkey Sauce recipe you’ve published and the Donkey Sauce in your restaurant? Why has the hearty, rustic appeal of roasted-garlic mayonnaise been replaced by something that tastes like Miracle Whip with minced raw garlic?

    And when we hear the words Donkey Sauce, which part of the donkey are we supposed to think about?

    Is the entire restaurant a very expensive piece of conceptual art? Is the shapeless, structureless baked alaska that droops and slumps and collapses while you eat it, or don’t eat it, supposed to be a representation in sugar and eggs of the experience of going insane?

    Why did the toasted marshmallow taste like fish?

    Did you finish that blue drink?

    Oh, and we never got our Vegas fries; would you mind telling the kitchen that we don’t need them?
    What is patriotism, but the love of good things we ate in our childhood?
    -- Lin Yutang
  • Post #2 - November 14th, 2012, 12:45 pm
    Post #2 - November 14th, 2012, 12:45 pm Post #2 - November 14th, 2012, 12:45 pm
    Snap.
  • Post #3 - November 14th, 2012, 1:16 pm
    Post #3 - November 14th, 2012, 1:16 pm Post #3 - November 14th, 2012, 1:16 pm
    Chewy Air :D :D :D
  • Post #4 - November 14th, 2012, 1:44 pm
    Post #4 - November 14th, 2012, 1:44 pm Post #4 - November 14th, 2012, 1:44 pm
    On a humor forum I read, there was a long discussion of the review. The whole long thread boiled down to "only idiots eat in times square with the many great places just two blocks away" that it was set up for the tourists who didn't know better. Apparently the TGI Fridays in times square is one of the most visited and profitable places. Yuk. As one person put it "this was set up for the Olive Garden crowd".
  • Post #5 - November 14th, 2012, 2:44 pm
    Post #5 - November 14th, 2012, 2:44 pm Post #5 - November 14th, 2012, 2:44 pm
    exvaxman wrote:On a humor forum I read, there was a long discussion of the review. The whole long thread boiled down to "only idiots eat in times square with the many great places just two blocks away" that it was set up for the tourists who didn't know better. Apparently the TGI Fridays in times square is one of the most visited and profitable places. Yuk. As one person put it "this was set up for the Olive Garden crowd".


    Apparently high-minded New York Times critics eat there as well. I have no donkey beef with the review, but it is so obviously a set up to talk shit about Guy Fieri, his show, and food, from the perspective of a "sophisticated" urban critic. A fucking spectacle - both the restaurant and the review.
    "By the fig, the olive..." Surat Al-Teen, Mecca 95:1"
  • Post #6 - November 14th, 2012, 3:12 pm
    Post #6 - November 14th, 2012, 3:12 pm Post #6 - November 14th, 2012, 3:12 pm
    I support Guy Fieri.
  • Post #7 - November 14th, 2012, 3:24 pm
    Post #7 - November 14th, 2012, 3:24 pm Post #7 - November 14th, 2012, 3:24 pm
    exvaxman wrote:On a humor forum I read, there was a long discussion of the review. The whole long thread boiled down to "only idiots eat in times square with the many great places just two blocks away" that it was set up for the tourists who didn't know better. Apparently the TGI Fridays in times square is one of the most visited and profitable places. Yuk. As one person put it "this was set up for the Olive Garden crowd".


    For the territory, Virgil's Real Barbecue is not bad, and at the very least, not pretending to be something it isn't.
  • Post #8 - November 14th, 2012, 4:29 pm
    Post #8 - November 14th, 2012, 4:29 pm Post #8 - November 14th, 2012, 4:29 pm
    Habibi wrote:Apparently high-minded New York Times critics eat there as well. I have no donkey beef with the review, but it is so obviously a set up to talk shit about Guy Fieri, his show, and food, from the perspective of a "sophisticated" urban critic. A fucking spectacle - both the restaurant and the review.


    Ha, that's what I couldn't help but think when I read it. Which I thought was well written and funny. But why even waste a review when theres so many more worthy choices in what I'm sure he would tell you is the center of the food world?

    I read somewhere on Twitter the reasoning that, he had to let the tourists coming in from less than nothing dining areas and such know. Right like the couple from Missouri who goes to Applebee's for Saturday nights out, Olive Garden for Valentines Day and Red Lobster for their anniversary crowd reads the New York Times...Who You Crappin'?

    Tex Wasabi's, "if you build it, they will come" and that review isn't going to change that. Of course his star will eventually fall and so will that behemoth mess. I had to stop watching DDD bc of the schtick but there's no doubt he's helped a great deal of mom and pop spots thrive. So if idiots want to eat at his place and not the ones he shows love to, let them. They're missing the whole point.
  • Post #9 - November 14th, 2012, 4:45 pm
    Post #9 - November 14th, 2012, 4:45 pm Post #9 - November 14th, 2012, 4:45 pm
    I think the south park episode was a better way to lampoon the food network / guy fieri. I can't say I'm surprised by the quality of this establishment though.
  • Post #10 - November 14th, 2012, 4:59 pm
    Post #10 - November 14th, 2012, 4:59 pm Post #10 - November 14th, 2012, 4:59 pm
    If you spend massive amounts of money to open a high profile, crappy restaurant you deserve to have said restaurant called out as crap. Why should he get a pass?

    Besides, the review was a fun read.
    -Josh

    I've started blogging about the Stuff I Eat
  • Post #11 - November 14th, 2012, 5:17 pm
    Post #11 - November 14th, 2012, 5:17 pm Post #11 - November 14th, 2012, 5:17 pm
    jesteinf wrote:If you spend massive amounts of money to open a high profile, crappy restaurant you deserve to have said restaurant called out as crap. Why should he get a pass?

    Besides, the review was a fun read.


    Fun review. Sure. But there are a million high-profile crap restaurants in Times Square. I don't see the NYT reviewing them. This was an opportunity to jump on the urban foodie-fashionable Guy Fieri bashing bandwagon. After all, what could be more repulsive to a sophisticated urbanite than a bleach blond, spiky hair, Oakley glasses and bowling shirt wearing middle-American like Fieri? Funny part is that half of New York dresses and acts exactly like that.
    "By the fig, the olive..." Surat Al-Teen, Mecca 95:1"
  • Post #12 - November 14th, 2012, 5:30 pm
    Post #12 - November 14th, 2012, 5:30 pm Post #12 - November 14th, 2012, 5:30 pm
    The Times will do a take-down of a really bad restaurant every so often. Anyone remember Bruni's review of Ninja? IIRC, he faced the same backlash over wasting a precious NY Times review slot on what shouldn't be considered a "serious restaurant".

    This is just Pete Wells' turn at bat.

    And Guy Fieri bashing is fun! DadBoner has elevated it to an art-form on Twitter. I mean, this is just epic.

    ASIAN STYLE PIZZA LOAF EXPLOSION
    An old country recipe from the Orient, kicked up Guy's way. We start with a 100% authentic NYC 'za, topped with potstickers, a double helping of 'roni, and piled high with Wasabi Chee-tos (made in house daily), then roll it all up, dip it in our special buttermilk beer batter, and double deep fry it 'til it's extra crispy. Your ASPL is made to order, and sliced tableside for an experience you won't soon forget. (Have it smothered in Guy's Famous Famous Jalapeno Mexicali Cole Slaw for just an extra 3 bucks)
    $37
    -Josh

    I've started blogging about the Stuff I Eat
  • Post #13 - November 14th, 2012, 5:37 pm
    Post #13 - November 14th, 2012, 5:37 pm Post #13 - November 14th, 2012, 5:37 pm
    I dont know, Guy is a pretty easy target. Figured a scribe for such and important newspaper would have better things to write about than a pile on piece.
    R.I.P. jimswside - 5/2/16



    @GrubSeeker
  • Post #14 - November 14th, 2012, 6:12 pm
    Post #14 - November 14th, 2012, 6:12 pm Post #14 - November 14th, 2012, 6:12 pm
    Obviously these corncobs don't understand Guy's bold flavors
  • Post #15 - November 14th, 2012, 7:51 pm
    Post #15 - November 14th, 2012, 7:51 pm Post #15 - November 14th, 2012, 7:51 pm
    also once I got to the end of the article, I started re-reading to see how many different dishes were mentioned, and man, there are a lot. I guess if I had to eat that many things from here I might be pissed too.
  • Post #16 - November 15th, 2012, 12:10 am
    Post #16 - November 15th, 2012, 12:10 am Post #16 - November 15th, 2012, 12:10 am
    Hope someone has the guts to take Sandra Lee down a peg next.
  • Post #17 - November 15th, 2012, 9:18 am
    Post #17 - November 15th, 2012, 9:18 am Post #17 - November 15th, 2012, 9:18 am
    Hi- Guy was just on the Today show this morning talking about this review. He admits that there are things that need to be corrected, but that the restaurant has only been open for two months, and any restaurant is going to have kinks to work out the first two months. After the restaurant has been open six months, it should be running much smoother. The reviewer mentioned that this restaurant only has an average score of 2.5 out of 4 on yelp. Hope this helps, Nancy
  • Post #18 - November 15th, 2012, 2:46 pm
    Post #18 - November 15th, 2012, 2:46 pm Post #18 - November 15th, 2012, 2:46 pm
    Some responses to Pete Wells from a concerned party
    -Josh

    I've started blogging about the Stuff I Eat
  • Post #19 - November 15th, 2012, 2:46 pm
    Post #19 - November 15th, 2012, 2:46 pm Post #19 - November 15th, 2012, 2:46 pm
    Fieri's response via Eater:

    http://eater.com/archives/2012/11/15/he ... -wells.php

    Truly chastening. A lesson to let the one of us who did not make four-course sushi meals for our parents as a kid cast the first stone.
  • Post #20 - November 15th, 2012, 2:55 pm
    Post #20 - November 15th, 2012, 2:55 pm Post #20 - November 15th, 2012, 2:55 pm
    jesteinf wrote:And Guy Fieri bashing is fun! DadBoner has elevated it to an art-form on Twitter. I mean, this is just epic.


    That's pretty much just a Guy-Fieri centered riff on the SNL "Taco Town" skit. (ETA: Link, if you haven't seen it.)

    As for the review, call me humorless, but meh. It's trying way, way too hard.
  • Post #21 - November 15th, 2012, 6:01 pm
    Post #21 - November 15th, 2012, 6:01 pm Post #21 - November 15th, 2012, 6:01 pm
    Me, I'm probably in the distinct minority (here and elsewhere) but I thought for a professional critic, this review was way beyond necessary and wholly uncalled for. You hate the food, fine. Say so. I found the level of sarcasm and snark way out of line.
    Gypsy Boy

    "I am not a glutton--I am an explorer of food." (Erma Bombeck)
  • Post #22 - November 15th, 2012, 9:15 pm
    Post #22 - November 15th, 2012, 9:15 pm Post #22 - November 15th, 2012, 9:15 pm
    I didn't think the review was a great piece of writing, but I'd guess it's fairly accurate description of the restaurant. Most critics aren't out to crush people. They write about food because they like food, and mostly spend their time trying to draw attention to places/things they like, and feel are deserving of more attention from the general public. Every now and then a restaurant or trend annoys them so much that they go off on a rant. I think that's what's happening here. The two things that annoy Pete Wells seem to be:

    1 - Crappy over priced food in Times Square
    2 - An authentically bad experience at the restaurant

    No one can argue with the fact that Times Square is probably the worst place in NYC to go for a meal. Based on the details of his descriptions I can believe that the restaurant is horrible, and he paints a picture of the dishes and environment that give me a pretty visceral sense of why it is horrible (that's the good part of his writing). He does seem to pile on a bit, but I don't think his bile is directed at Guy Fieri's show or persona as much as it is towards trends and a poorly executed concept. Even if it is directed at Guy, and it hurts him, I'm sure he can cry himself to sleep on a pile of money every night. Hopefully it will drive him to focus on the restaurant more closely and improve it.
    It is VERY important to be smart when you're doing something stupid

    - Chris

    http://stavewoodworking.com
  • Post #23 - November 15th, 2012, 9:34 pm
  • Post #24 - November 16th, 2012, 5:15 pm
    Post #24 - November 16th, 2012, 5:15 pm Post #24 - November 16th, 2012, 5:15 pm
    I thought that the reviewer's very legitimate target was the Guy Fieri brand. Did you notice that he specifically mentioned the other Guy Fieri restaurants in the review?

    If you want to sell a brand, then you need to be careful. Fieri has made a name as someone who loves simple food, usually sold at tiny restaurants for low prices. That's his tv personality. If he pins his name on a restaurant that sells $30 plates of bacon-wrapped shrimp, it's not this NY Times review that's going to do in the American Kitchen and Bar (and potentially the Guy Fieri brand); it's the gap between what he presents on tv and what he gives customers on their plates.
  • Post #25 - November 16th, 2012, 5:23 pm
    Post #25 - November 16th, 2012, 5:23 pm Post #25 - November 16th, 2012, 5:23 pm
    Apparently, American Kitchen and Bar isn't his worst restaurant, at least according to Gawker. :wink: http://gawker.com/5961072/guy-fieris-most-disgusting-food-is-not-even-at-his-times-square-restaurant?utm_campaign=socialflow_gawker_facebook&utm_source=gawker_facebook&utm_medium=socialflow
    "Baseball is like church. Many attend. Few understand." Leo Durocher
  • Post #26 - November 17th, 2012, 4:52 pm
    Post #26 - November 17th, 2012, 4:52 pm Post #26 - November 17th, 2012, 4:52 pm
    MariaTheresa wrote:If you want to sell a brand, then you need to be careful. Fieri has made a name as someone who loves simple food, usually sold at tiny restaurants for low prices. That's his tv personality. If he pins his name on a restaurant that sells $30 plates of bacon-wrapped shrimp, it's not this NY Times review that's going to do in the American Kitchen and Bar (and potentially the Guy Fieri brand); it's the gap between what he presents on tv and what he gives customers on their plates.


    I think this absolutely nails both the irony AND the cynacism of Fieri's brand, and his awful new resto.

    Well said Maria Theresa! Thank you.

    Geo
    Sooo, you like wine and are looking for something good to read? Maybe *this* will do the trick! :)
  • Post #27 - November 17th, 2012, 6:02 pm
    Post #27 - November 17th, 2012, 6:02 pm Post #27 - November 17th, 2012, 6:02 pm
    I stumbled across another extremely negative review -- they're not hard to find -- published over a month before Pete Wells' now-famed missive from earlier this week. I think it's much better written than the Wells piece and focuses on some issues that Wells doesn't specifically mention (even though they appear to have fueled his ire) . . .

    at Observer.com, Joshua David Stein wrote:But what makes Mr. Fieri truly reprehensible is that he’s exploited a mythology that appeals to the downtrodden to deliver unto them cholesterol and all its long-tail misery. By advocating an America in which the symbols of our salvation—manufacturing (embodied in those classic cars), rock ’n’ roll (the old guitars), and a return to the rough-hewn America of yore (the vintage flags, the faux taxidermy mounts)—becomes linked inseparably with a place in which pepperoni and mozzarella deserve to be rolled in panko breadcrumbs and deep-fried, where the quantity of sauce on a fry demands even more frying, where chicken alfredo has many thousands of calories, Guy Fieri is using patriotism as a Trojan Horse for his infectious and insidious garbage.

    The Crispy Crimes of Guy Fieri: Junk Food T.V. Star Takes Times Square

    =R=
    I am not interested in how I would evaluate the Springbank in a blind tasting. Every spirit has its story, and I include it in my evaluation, just as I do with human beings. --Thad Vogler

    I'll be the tastiest pork cutlet bowl ever --Yuri Katsuki

    That don't impress me much --Shania Twain
  • Post #28 - November 18th, 2012, 3:31 pm
    Post #28 - November 18th, 2012, 3:31 pm Post #28 - November 18th, 2012, 3:31 pm
    "long-tail misery"?
    "I would gladly pay you Tuesday for a hamburger today."
  • Post #29 - November 18th, 2012, 3:53 pm
    Post #29 - November 18th, 2012, 3:53 pm Post #29 - November 18th, 2012, 3:53 pm
    I saw a Long-Tail Misery at Brookfield Zoo once. I think they're endangered.

    Buddy
  • Post #30 - November 18th, 2012, 4:07 pm
    Post #30 - November 18th, 2012, 4:07 pm Post #30 - November 18th, 2012, 4:07 pm
    Ha ha ha!
    "I would gladly pay you Tuesday for a hamburger today."

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