A Response to Pete Wells, From Guy Fieri

Earlier this week, New York Times food critic Pete Wells, apparently too lazy to call a town car to take him to another hip SoHo gastropub, instead wandered two blocks from his office over to TV star Guy Fieri’s “Guy’s American Kitchen & Bar” in Times Square. Mr. Wells, shocked to find the obvious tourist trap serving anything less than Per Se-quality fare, churned out the scathing restaurant review that everyone and their mother has since shared with you on Facebook.

Because Wells’ now-infamous zero-star “review” is written entirely in questions, we decided to give Guy Fieri a chance to respond. Note: We don’t actually know Guy Fieri, but we’re pretty sure this is what he’d say if he got the chance.

GUY FIERI, have you eaten at your new restaurant in Times Square? Have you pulled up one of the 500 seats at Guy’s American Kitchen & Bar and ordered a meal? Did you eat the food? Did it live up to your expectations? Did panic grip your soul as you stared into the whirling hypno wheel of the menu, where adjectives and nouns spin in a crazy vortex?
P-Wells, seriously…what’s harshing your vibe? Why so many questions? When did you become an angry food blogger? I thought you wrote for a newspaper. What happened, homeslice? Did your editor threaten to send you back to the obit desk if you don’t double your page views, pronto? This is all way harsh, bro.

When you saw the burger described as “Guy’s Pat LaFrieda custom blend, all-natural Creekstone Farm Black Angus beef patty, LTOP (lettuce, tomato, onion + pickle), SMC (super-melty-cheese) and a slathering of Donkey Sauce on garlic-buttered brioche,” did your mind touch the void for a minute?
Yes. You’re right, that sounds like it must have been a really tough moment for you. You have a rough life, don’t you, Pete? Well, now you know what real pain is like. A burger description with too many words. Try reading a restaurant review that’s 12 paragraphs longer than it needs to be.

Did you notice that the menu was an unreliable predictor of what actually came to the table? Were the “bourbon butter crunch chips” missing from your Almond Joy cocktail, too? Was your deep-fried “boulder” of ice cream the size of a standard scoop?
So…first my restaurant’s menu isn’t fancy enough for you, and now you’re complaining that your serving of DEEP-FRIED ICE CREAM is too SMALL?? What did you want, a gallon of it? It’s fried ice cream! Petey, I admit I wasn’t shooting for a Michelin star, but the one thing I can say with certainty is that if you did not get enough food at this restaurant, you have a serious problem. Most of our appetizers have more calories then a four-person family is supposed to consume in a week. Chiiiiiiiilllllll.

What exactly about a small salad with four or five miniature croutons makes Guy’s Famous Big Bite Caesar (a) big (b) famous or (c) Guy’s, in any meaningful sense? 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?
My bad, bro. You must have forgot to look at the back of the menu. That’s where our ten-course foie gras tasting options are.

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?
You ate the whole menu?!? Wow, someone has some extra time on their hands. Not even my mom did that. Is everything OK at home?

When you have a second, Mr. Fieri, would you see what happened to the black bean and roasted squash soup we ordered?
Really, Pete, it’s the New York Times. Is this personal query really relevant to the masses? Perhaps you should have…I don’t know—reminded your server? No, no, never mind—you’re right. An angry online complaint is much more effective than asking in person for your personal problem to be fixed. Have you tried Yelp yet, Mr. Wells? You’d love it.

Hey, did you try that blue drink, the one that glows like nuclear waste? The watermelon margarita? Any idea why it tastes like some combination of radiator fluid and formaldehyde?
Here’s a tip for the next time you go recreational slumming, Wellsie. You order a blue drink at a place like this for one reason, maybe two: it’s probably going to be giant, and it’s definitely going to get you (and your date) hella wasted. It certainly doesn’t matter two shits what it tastes like. People know this. In fact, you are the first customer to ever inquire as to what our giant blue “margarita” might taste like. I’m sorry it didn’t have the subtle cloying notes of a 1985 malbec. We’ll work on it.

At your five Johnny Garlic’s restaurants in California, if servers arrive with main courses and find that the appetizers haven’t been cleared yet, do they try to find space for the new plates next to the dirty ones? Or does that just happen in Times Square, where people are used to crowding?
Oh the horrors! I’m guessing this is also your first time eating at a restaurant where there was no silent waiter on hand whose sole job is to discreetly sweep the crumbs off your tablecloth in between the cheese plate and the sorbet course?

Read More