By now (and by “now” I mean “five months from now,” since I’m sure no one checks this blog for updates anymore), you’ve probably heard about the New York Times’ review of Guy Fieri’s new restaurant in Times Square. If you’re just joining us (the conscious), let me sum it up for you: they hated it. As Stephen astutely pointed out to me, it’s basically a takedown in the form of SNL’s “REALLY!?!” segment from Weekend Update.
The review addresses Guy throughout, essentially questioning him as to why this abomination even exists. “Hey, did you try that blue drink, the one that glows like nuclear waste?” they ask. “The watermelon margarita? Any idea why it tastes like some combination of radiator fluid and formaldehyde?”
It goes on: “When you hung that sign by the entrance that says, WELCOME TO FLAVOR TOWN!, were you just messing with our heads?”
Hey, New York Times, feel free to let me know if you have any other questions about Guy Fieri’s restaurant. No, I haven’t been there, but I did once go to the Elephant Bar in Concord, so I’m sure I can tell you anything you want to know.
Here’s a question for you, Pete Wells. What the fuck were you expecting? Do you know who Guy Fieri is? Have you seen his show or even his face? Were you thinking you’d walk into a 500-seat restaurant that slathers its sandwiches in something called “Donkey sauce” and be served a deconstructed apricot clafoutis with a glass of lightly chilled sauternes? Anyone who’s ever heard of Guy Fieri knows that the man is the walking embodiment of our collective worst regrets about that one night at Señor Frog’s in 1996. To expect anything more of his restaurant is just ludicrous.
Also? The place is in MOTHERFUCKING TIMES SQUARE. What was the last Times Square restaurant you reviewed, Pete? Red Lobster? The Olive Garden? The people who eat in Times Square are the people who WANT to eat shitty food. “Guy-talian nachos” may sound scary to us coastal elites, but for everyone else in America, it’s far less scary than going to a strange city and trying some ethnic restaurant they’ve never heard of from the tee-vee. People don’t visit the big city for new experiences. They do it to shop at M&M’s World and buy the same crap they can buy at home. I know because that’s exactly what we did on family vacations when I was a kid. The wait for a table at that Olive Garden can be a killer, by the way.
Yes, I know Pete Wells is probably well aware of all this and was just looking forward to shooting wasabi-encrusted fish in a tequila-soaked barrel. Well here’s some advice for you, Pete: shake two ounces each of orange juice and pineapple juice with one ounce of light rum and a dash of Donkey sauce, strain it into a highball glass filled with ice, and top with some freshly grated nutmeg. Now take a sip of your Donkey Punch and hope that it KNOCKS SOME FUCKING SENSE into you. Doing a review in bad faith is stupid. I don’t complain that ice cream is too cold, and you shouldn’t get paid to tell us that shitty restaurant is shitty.
Before you get the wrong idea, let me be clear that I am in no way defending Guy Fieri or his glorified TGI Friday’s. He, along with Paula Deen, Rachel Ray, and those two racist caricatures make me think that the Food Network is actually part of a secret government program aimed at solving the obesity epidemic by making us hate food. Think about it: every time you see delicious food on the screen, it’s paired with a personality so stomach-turningly annoying that it will eventually make you associate food with being nauseated and you’ll never eat again. I had to stop watching Barefoot Contessa before Ina Garten’s fake laugh and Valium-voice turned me against ridiculously gigantic portion sizes. Nice try, Food Network, but you’ve got to get up pretty early in the morning to keep me from overeating. Or just put Donkey sauce on everything. Either one.