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The Guy Fieri Review: Your Thoughts?

I’d like to hear what people are thinking about the review of Guy’s American Kitchen & Bar in Times Square [1] that ran in the New York Times today. Quite an evisceration, yes, and truly snarky. But really funny, too.

It’s especially interesting, this utter takedown, considering that just a few weeks ago, Pete Wells, the restaurant critic, wrote a zero-star review for The 21 Club [2], but yet started it out with this sentence:

Readers who look forward to the dark thrill of a public execution on days when there are no stars attached to this column should turn elsewhere to satisfy their blood lust. This is going to be a kind of love letter to a restaurant where the food is largely forgettable and the prices are almost always unwarranted.

Today’s review is no way a love letter.

A few phrases:

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?

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?

But what may be most telling is this paragraph:

Has anyone ever told you that your high-wattage passion for no-collar American food makes you television’s answer to Calvin Trillin [3], if Mr. Trillin bleached his hair, drove a Camaro and drank Boozy Creamsicles? When you cruise around the country for your show “Diners, Drive-Ins and Dives,” rasping out slangy odes to the unfancy places where Americans like to get down and greasy, do you really mean it?

Or is it all an act? Is that why the kind of cooking you celebrate on television is treated with so little respect at Guy’s American Kitchen & Bar?

If Guy Fieri really does celebrate all that is down and dirty, but downhome and delicious, then does he deserve this very public trashing? Helen Rosner [4] thinks so. Read her very smart reaction to the review right here: 1048 Words about Pete Wells and Guy Fieri [5]. (Thanks Sean Mayer [6] for that!)

What do you think? 1048 words or less, please.