Yesterday I was at my friend’s house and he was talking about the Internet and Facebook stuffs.
"Several friends in three different cities shared a link about this new Guy Fieri restaurant (Guy’s American Kitchen) in Times Square which got a scathing zero-star review in The New York Times."
Here’s a choice line from it:
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?
I never heard of Guy Fieri because I don’t watch his show, or in general really any shows about cooking because, well, in short, I feel those kinds of shows suck both brain matter and precious life seconds out of me at warp speed. But I like to hear about what’s going on in the world because I, TOO, want to distract myself from important issues and such, or I, TOO, will feel suicidal, but without having to turn on a TV set. And that is why I often will ask friends to read news headlines and stories to me as if I’m a mentally disabled teenager.
Around 3, I headed to 30 Rock to see an episode of The Late Show With Jimmy Fallon being taped live. I’ve met Jimmy a few times and I like him OK as a person, and we have a lot of friends in common. One of them is the warm-up comic of his show, Seth Herzog, who has a great comedy show at the Slipper Room every Tuesday night where you will see very famous, very funny, and sometimes a combination of very famous and very funny people for $5. Seth is really funny and a lovely person, so he gave me and my comedian friend Yoshi Obayashi free tickets to the taping because we wanted to see special guest Katie Holmes! JK, JK, we wanted to see my friend’s buddy Russell Peters (who had just packed the Barclay Center with 12K people) close out the show with a comedy set.
I guess Guy and Jimmy and buds.
The show was funny enough and as exciting as your typical show taping—more enjoyable than getting boxed about the nutsack with knifed fist. And as a weird added bonus, they gave us each a $25 gift certificate to Guy’s American Kitchen. Cool! A free meal. That’s always a bonus in a city that will rape your wallet any chance it gets.
We hustled over to the restaurant after the nearly four-hour taping endeavor, just beating the crowd of hungry Fallon fans from Ohio and Texas. I ordered a chicken sandwich with onion rings which was $18.95 and a spicy margarita at $13 even. My chicken sandwich was actually pretty good. It had way too many onions on it, but the bread was tasty. I’m not sure if the chicken was real chicken or not; I never am. Perhaps it’s dog, perhaps it’s tofu. Who knows? I can only assume the menu doesn’t lie. The onion rings were good and very crunchy, but it’s kind of impossible to fuck up an onion ring. There were only 6 on the plate, which is fine with me; I don’t need 40 onion rings because I care about my girlish figure to some extent. However, the 6 rings had as much grease on them as if there had been 40. It was like they threw in an extra beverage.
We talked to our waitress about the review. She spoke mostly broken English, after all, she was a college student born and raised in America. She was very sweet though, and told us that they all "sided with Guy" and thought the restaurant was doing a great job, though it was new and needed time to work out the kinks. She also told us about the party The New York Times had at Guy’s American Kitchen the day after the zero-star review. She said they all had fun and put their differences aside. Some hermaphroditic set of labia and balls the Times has, huh?
The bathroom was clean enough to fuck in, the food arrived as advertised, and they had a giant pumpkin on display, each worth at least half a point. My big beefs with the place were that at the downstairs bar, there wasn’t enough room to get past our chairs to the server station, so the waitress was a rude dinkus every time she passed, exclaiming loudly, "Excuse me," and "This isn’t a good place to sit." Oh, I’m sorry, in every other restaurant I’ve ever been to, the bar is usually the best place to sit. You get free snacks, the promise of potential genital arousal, and conversation with an array of scumbags and geniuses alike. She didn’t seem to care that our dollars were some of the few that night that were keeping the goliath place’s doors open, helping to funnel money in her too-tight jeans’ butt pocket. My other issue was that a chicken sandwich and a margarita cost a whopping $40. That’s some serious WTF action right there. But that’s the kind of wallet raping I’m talkin’ about: American style.
Though the food was OK enough, no better or worse than any other typical food-in-your-face place, the joint lacks the grit that makes NYC so cool and is overdone with that gross Times Square sheen that real New Yorkers can spot a mile away and avoid unless their boss is treating. I’d never have gone there by choice if I hadn’t gotten a gift certificate or unless there was a holiday party there. Guy’s American Kitchen is a great place to go on a first date with a banker or to have your parents take the family for your younger brother’s birthday. Otherwise, go to Remedy Diner on Houston Street, get your Bahn Mi at that shithole on Grand Street at Elizabeth that looks like it doubles as a bus station, or if you are dying to spend $40 on lunch, hit Babbo.
Ceiling of Guy’s restaurant. A little graphic for tourists, no?