Guy Fieri may be rethinking his career choice after a merciless review in Wednesday's New York Times.
The hyper-caffeinated host of Food Network's "Diners, Drive-Ins and Dives," was on the receiving end of a critical roasting courtesy of Times reviewer Pete Wells that would have left even the most hardened culinary maestro reaching for the serrated knife. His savaging of Fieri's Guy's American Kitchen & Bar in Times Square was delivered in a series of sardonic questions that poked fun at the celebrity chef's limp french fries, flavorless sauces and blue cocktails that "glow like nuclear waste." Even the crouton allotment on salads is met with derision.
"Were you struck by how very far from awesome the Awesome Pretzel Chicken Tenders are?" Wells wrote in The New York Times. "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?
"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?"
It's enough to make Fieri's signature frosted tips fall out. But there's more.
"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?," Wells wrote. "Why did the toasted marshmallow taste like fish?"
Just in case readers missed the point, the New York Times helpfully summed up Wells' reaction to Guy's American Kitchen & Bar in a single word: poor.
Welcome to flavor town, indeed!