(Originally written November 15, 2012)
I gotta say, “Diners, Drive-Ins and Dives” is one of my favourite shows on TV. Not so much for its host, Guy Fieri—a bleach-blond, pot-bellied, tattooed broseph with a Camaro, who heads across the country to see what’s cookin’ at local eateries—but rather for the immaculate assortment of greasy, unhealthy dishes on display. It’s all about the food, yo! Mind you, it seems that Fieri didn’t do much more than expand his waistline over several seasons of Triple-D, if the New York Times’ review of his new restaurant in Times Square is any indication.
Writing for the Times, food critic Pete Wells goes kamikaze on Guy’s American Kitchen and Bar, leading one to believe that it serves nothing but fancified, overhyped slop with a variety of disgusting sauces and sides. Speaking directly to the celebrity chef, Wells exclaims “Were you struck by how very far from awesome the Awesome Pretzel Chicken Tenders are? … Did you discern any buttermilk or brine in the white meat, or did you think it tasted like chewy air?” Wells even questions the names of the food, noting that the Roasted Pork Bahn Mi, which he calls “one of the few things on your menu that can be eaten without fear or regret,” “resembles that item about as much as you resemble Emily Dickinson.”
Even the cocktail menu gets the thumbs-down, Wells demanding to know why “that blue drink, the one that glows like nuclear waste … tastes like some combination of radiator fluid and formaldehyde.” I guess that as a restaurant critic, he’s actually tasted both radiator fluid and formaldehyde before—and I’m sure that automotive fusion cuisine spot didn’t last more than six months…
Mind you, it seems that Guy’s American Kitchen might not be in it for the long haul, either. They’ve even committed the cardinal sin of screwing up nachos! As Wells writes, “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?” Maaan, just reading those words makes me a sad panda! 😦
Of course, Fieri could answer most of these questions with a simple “Nah bro, I’ve been crusin’ in my Camero… Straight down to Flavortown!” Which seems like someone Guy Fieri might say. In any case, I think I’ll stick to watching him stuff his face like an idiot on TV rather than letting his kitchen confirm that the man has no living brain cells. Thanks, New York Times!
(Hmm, I don’t think I see the formaldehyde martini on the menu…)