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Wednesday, November 14, 2012

"The well-meaning staff seems to realize that this is not a real restaurant."

Posted by on Wed, Nov 14, 2012 at 8:04 AM

That's just one of the chuckle-inducing lines from the New York Times brutal takedown of Guy Fieri's new restaurant in Times Square. A couple excerpts (the review is written as a letter to Mr. Fieri):

Were you struck by how very far from awesome the Awesome Pretzel Chicken Tenders are? If you hadn’t come up with the recipe yourself, would you ever guess that the shiny tissue of breading that exudes grease onto the plate contains either pretzels or smoked almonds? Did you discern any buttermilk or brine in the white meat, or did you think it tasted like chewy air?

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?

Whole thing here.


Comments (26) RSS

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Asparagus! 1
This review has made my morning. Glad to see it's leading the day on slog.
Posted by Asparagus! on November 14, 2012 at 8:06 AM · Report this
Matt from Denver 2
I've only been to NYC twice, and not since the mid 90s. So I have to ask if any actual New Yorkers will eat at a place in Times Square? Because that sounds like a restaurant meant to lure tourists too scared to venture to where the real food is served.
Posted by Matt from Denver on November 14, 2012 at 8:19 AM · Report this
Sounds delish! Must visit.
Posted by Patricia Kayden on November 14, 2012 at 8:20 AM · Report this
Theodore Gorath 4
Lasagna noodles on nachos?

Posted by Theodore Gorath on November 14, 2012 at 8:22 AM · Report this
TVDinner 5
And pepperoni?
Posted by TVDinner http:// on November 14, 2012 at 8:24 AM · Report this
Pope Peabrain 6
I threw up in my mouth a little.
Posted by Pope Peabrain on November 14, 2012 at 8:28 AM · Report this
camlux 7
I've the misfortune to eat at both Applebee's and Ruby Tuesday, and this sounds like the worst of both menus.
Posted by camlux on November 14, 2012 at 8:30 AM · Report this
@2: I've lived in New York for 6 years (born and raised in Denver, actually!), and you are 100% correct. Everyone who lives in NYC knows that any restaurant in Times Square is overpriced tourist garbage. Not only do New Yorkers not go to any of those restaurants, they avoid the entire area as much as humanly possible. It's baffling to me that people take trips across the country just to eat at Olive Garden and Red Lobster in Times Square, especially when there are tons of tasty, inexpensive, and tourist-friendly restaurants just a couple of blocks away.
Posted by TenrSinger on November 14, 2012 at 8:57 AM · Report this
Cracker Jack 9
@2: There are some good places off on the side streets that would still be considered Times Square, but if you mean a theme or chain restaurant like Guy's, Bubba Gump's, Ruby Tuesday's, Olive Garden, Roxy Deli, etc.?

Posted by Cracker Jack on November 14, 2012 at 9:00 AM · Report this
Joe Szilagyi 10
This made me hungry for Katzs. The #1 place I still miss from back East.
Posted by Joe Szilagyi on November 14, 2012 at 9:16 AM · Report this
@2, restaurant row is near Times Square (46th between 8th and 9th) and can be worth checking out. Hell's Kitchen also has some good places. But NY'ers generally steer clear of Times Square. I try to avoid walking through it or even dealing with the subway station there. It's a tourist trap and not at all representative of the city. I live in Queens and therefore usually go out there but even when I go out in Manhattan it's not to Times Square, never there.
Posted by moosefan on November 14, 2012 at 9:23 AM · Report this
levide 12
"Why does the toasted marshmallow taste like fish?"

Just wanted to see that again.
Posted by levide on November 14, 2012 at 9:25 AM · Report this
gcm 13
I would have enjoyed the review a bit more if it hadn't been taken from the questions-only game from Whose Line is it Anyways?
Posted by gcm on November 14, 2012 at 9:35 AM · Report this
Cato the Younger Younger 14
All because you have a TV show on a network for glutons doesn't mean you know anything about food.
Posted by Cato the Younger Younger on November 14, 2012 at 9:38 AM · Report this
Simone 15
Guy couldn't even bother to frame a real american flag. He has to have a picture of one in a frame. Horrible.

Oh, and the food doesn't look appetizing to me. Nor does the prices.

@8, 9, 11, thanks for the quick info on where to eat and where not to eat when visiting NYC.
Posted by Simone on November 14, 2012 at 9:42 AM · Report this
Matt from Denver 16
@ 11, that jibes with my memory. As long as I wasn't where the tourists were, every meal I ate in NYC was good.

@ 14, he was a chef first. I think almost every Food Network host is. I have no idea how accomplished he was, but there's no need to resort to libel.
Posted by Matt from Denver on November 14, 2012 at 9:43 AM · Report this
Matt from Denver 17
Meant to say @ 8, 9, and 11.
Posted by Matt from Denver on November 14, 2012 at 9:45 AM · Report this
@15, if you're ever visiting and want some actual recommendations feel free to ask. I'm always happy to point people to places I enjoy.
Posted by moosefan on November 14, 2012 at 9:48 AM · Report this
quix 19
"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?"

This may be the best sentence I've read, ever.
Posted by quix on November 14, 2012 at 10:04 AM · Report this
I loved this review so much I laughed out loud over and over again .. sound like a corp restaurant experience worse that The Cheesecake Factory ... amazing as that might be.
Posted by olive oyl on November 14, 2012 at 10:17 AM · Report this
flightlesswing 21
This review totally pales in comparison to the one Joshua Stein at the Observer did on the same awful restaurant. It is the BEST shutdown restaurant review ever, forever:…
Posted by flightlesswing on November 14, 2012 at 10:40 AM · Report this
bleedingheartlibertarian 22
I am shocked--SHOCKED--that a 500-seat tourist trap restaurant in Times Square based around a Food Network "personality" would fail to deliver quality cuisine.

Avoiding restaurants near tourist attractions is generally a good rule of thumb anywhere in the world.
Posted by bleedingheartlibertarian on November 14, 2012 at 10:49 AM · Report this
blip 23
I thought this review was gratuitous and annoyingly pretentious.

Guy Fieri is disgusting. Times Square is a shithole. Guy Fieri's restaurant in Times Square is a disgusting shithole. That's all you need to know.
Posted by blip on November 14, 2012 at 10:56 AM · Report this
Urgutha Forka 24
I didn't eat at the restaurants in Times Square when I lived in NYC, but I DID take people who visited me there just to see it.

Times Square is touristy, but it's also very distinctive of Manhattan, as much as Radio City Music Hall, the Empire State building, and the Statue of Liberty are.
Posted by Urgutha Forka on November 14, 2012 at 11:04 AM · Report this
Fnarf 25
When I lived in New York I ate in Times Square exactly once, because me and a friend (who had lived there much longer than I had) were stuck there, and we were late for a meeting, and we were desperate, and of course since neither of us had ever spent any time in Times Square we had no idea where anything was, so we just said "fuck it" and ate at Sbarro's. Like at any airport or food court, meh.

As far as "Times Square is a shithole" goes, Talib Kweli had something interesting to say the other day on Anthony Bourdain's show, which was in part about gentrification: "I don't like the Disneyfication of Times Square anymore than the next guy...but I remember what Times Square used to be like." Nostalgia for "Murder Avenue" and the gritty bad old days isn't anymore authentic than Guy Fieri.

Funny takedown, though. Fieri is a douche of the highest order.
Posted by Fnarf on November 14, 2012 at 1:10 PM · Report this
McGee 26
Guy Fieri is undoubtedly a butthole but this looks like the writer set out to write a hatchet piece. I'm sure the restaurant is shitty but the NYT wouldn't review an IHOP why would they review and restaurant of Fieri's? Also why does nobody mention that the worst thing about Fieri is that he doesn't like eggs?
Posted by McGee on November 14, 2012 at 6:53 PM · Report this

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