Categorized | Media

Guy Fieri’s Big Bomb?

 

From Cream City Donuts to the Big Apple Fritter

 

Skippy Massey
Humboldt Sentinel

 

You know Guy Fieri.

The spiky-haired, flip-flop and shorts wearing 44-year-old Food Network star who travels the nation in search of the best greasy spoons for his show Diners, Drive-Ins, and Dives.

Owner of several restaurants like Johnny Garlic’s and Tex Wasabi’s, the casual and laid back Ferndale native has done well on the culinary road to fame, coming a long ways since his youthful days of growing up in Humboldt’s Cream City.

When he was young, Guy panhandled quarters from local passerby to buy the overwhelmingly delicious donuts from the local Ferndale baker.  When the money supply eventually dwindled out over time, he came up with a different idea:  He put his younger and cuter sister out on the sidewalk to beg for quarters instead, giving him the money so he could buy more donuts.

When those quarters also began to dwindle, Guy came up with an even better and brilliant idea.  He robbed a bank.

He held up Ferndale’s Bank of America with a toy gun and demanded… quarters.  It was a sugary-glazed crazy kind of idea only a kid could dream up.

The bank manager came out, promptly took young Guy aside, confiscated his plastic weapon, and called his mother.  Mom came down, picked up the young would-be-robber-for-tasty-treats, and admonished him appropriately.

Enough was enough, Mom thought, and she took it one step further from ever happening again.  She went down to the pastry shop and gave the baker a crystal-clear directive:  “No more donuts for Guy.  Cut him off from all the donuts now.  He isn’t to buy any more.  Period.”

Guy’s donut caper came to an end with both a flambé finish and fizzle.  That’s the story told to us on good authority by the Ferndale blacksmith, anyway.

Thus, a great star was born.  Humboldt’s beloved Guy Fieri started a pretzel cart in Ferndale, got himself off to culinary school, started some great eateries, won the Food Network audition, and became nationally famous foodie— and the rest is history.  Guy’s been on an uphill swing ever since.

But alas.  There’s big trouble in Flavor Town, folks.  All is not going well for Guy in the Big Apple.

Guy’s recently opened New York City restaurant, Guy’s American Kitchen & Bar, was viciously scorched by the New York Times in a burning review published a few days ago.  Some are calling it the Big Apple Bomb.

“Why is the kind of cooking you celebrate on television . . . treated with so little respect at Guy’s American Kitchen & Bar?” food critic Pete Wells scathingly wrote of the Triple D host’s venture in Times Square.  Wells sniped:

“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 you notice that the menu was an unreliable predictor of what actually came to the table?” 

“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?”

Ouch.  These NYT food highbrows don’t mess around.  They mean business.  And they can be sharply to the point.

Wells writes that the watermelon margarita “glows like nuclear waste” and “tastes like some combination of radiator fluid and formaldehyde.”

He describes the fried calamari as “a plate of pale, unsalted squid rings next to a dish of sweet mayonnaise with a distant rumor of spice.”

The critic adds that the eatery manages to “mess up” nachos. “Why augment tortilla chips with fried lasagna noodles that taste like nothing except oil?”

“Does this make it sound as if everything at Guy’s American Kitchen & Bar is inedible?  I didn’t say that, did I?”  Wells opined, praising the ”appealing main dishes” marred by “ruinous sides and sauces.”

Holy moly, Stromboli.  “The sauce is money,” Guy always told us.

Bemoaning the cold french fries, vegetable sides that taste “deadened” and “overcooked” like “school cafeteria vegetables,” and toasted marshmallow that “taste like fish,” critic Wells gave the eatery a “poor” rating with a “chaotic” atmosphere.

Without mincing words, he added of the service:  ”The well-meaning staff seems to realize that this is not a real restaurant.”

Double ouch.

We’re familiar with these New York City types.  You better be who you say you are.  If you claim to be a baker, for example, you better be a proven, skilled, and damned good baker able to deliver the goods every time– or you won’t be in business long.  The same goes for a chef or any other professional.

New Yorkers don’t tolerate pretentions, assertions, casual complacency, or anything less than the genuine article.  Brutally honest and equally abrasive in a New York minute, they take their food seriously
and will tell you about it, in your face.

If it ain’t Gotham magic, it’s tragic.

Guy responded to the searing review last Thursday.

“I just thought it was ridiculous,” the host said.

“I’ve read reviews.  There’s good and there’s bad in the restaurant business,” Fieri explained.  ”That one went overboard.”

Fieri charged that Wells “came in with a different agenda.”

“I’ve been in the restaurant business 25 years.  Do we do it perfect?  No.  Do we strive to do it perfect? Yes,” he said.

“Do I think I’ve fallen short?  By no means.  But do we make mistakes?  Absolutely.”

“People see me as a TV guy.  I’m really a chef,” he added.

We hope so.  We love our own local donut and pretzel boy gone good.

Those New Yorkers are a tough bunch with pretty high standards.  And not the type of high that Humboldt County gets away with in its sloppily haute cuisine. 

They need to know that Guy Fieri isn’t simply a passenger going along for the ride.  He drives that bus home to Flavor Town.

*  * * * * * * * *

You can read the full scathing, boiling, and humorously seething New York Times food review here.

4 Responses to “Guy Fieri’s Big Bomb?”

  1. Plain Jane says:

    I was surprised that the NYTimes even reviewed Guy’s restaurant because it’s a tourist place, not fine dining. The criticism was so over-the-top with snark, including personal digs at Guy, that it’s hard to believe there wasn’t an issue aside from the food.

  2. Skippy says:

    Snarky is a good word to use. Personal vendetta may also apply. We read two other reviews that were good and saw more than a few pleasing looking pictures of the food that is very different. Sort of fancy fare meets comfort grub with a unique twist combined with a famous name for the, yes, tourist trade at Times Square.

    Nonetheless, the NYT review was detailed with Mr. Wells’ dislikes. We have full confidence Guy will tune it up, pull it through, and deliver. Who knows, heads may roll. He knows what he’s doing and has been around the food block– and the nation– for 25 years.

Trackbacks/Pingbacks

  1. [...] a bank robbery.  Only this time it wasn’t Guy Fieri.  It was the real [...]


Leave a Reply

HumSentinel on Twitter

RSS Progressive Review

  • Bizarre Black Friday
    Daily Mail, UK - On the eve of Black Friday, thousands of people across the US have taken to the streets to queue up for the annual chance to bag themselves a bargain.Some shoppers who want a deal, but don't fancy campaign out, are paying people $22 an hour to queue up for them and snare Black Friday deals. 'Every year hundreds of taskers are hired […]
  • What's happening: Thursday
    The police violence cover upBarriers to prosecuting police wrongdoing […]
  • An 8th grade class reacts to Michael Brown
    Steven Singer - Michael Brown has been dead for more than 100 days.Yet he was in my classroom this morning.He stared up at me from 22 sets of eyes, out of 22 faces with 22 pairs of mostly Black and Brown childish cheeks.The day after it was announced Missouri police Officer Darren Wilson would not be indicted in the shooting death of the unarmed Black teen m […]
  • Israeli president opposes proposed law to give ‘national rights’ to Jews only
    Guardian - Israel’s president, Reuven Rivlin, has voiced his strong opposition to a controversial proposed new law that would define “national rights” in Israel as reserved for Jews only.The “Jewish nation-state” bill would recognise Israel’s Jewish character, institutionalise Jewish law as an inspiration for legislation and possibly de-list Arabic as a seco […]
  • Study: US could produce 100 times more solar power
    Washington Post - In a new report, the Environment America Research and Policy Center ... argues that the U.S. "has the potential to produce more than 100 times as much electricity from solar PV and concentrating solar power installations as the nation consumes each year." It adds that every single state could generate more solar electricity than i […]
  • Obama's support from whites without a college degree hits new low
    Gallup- President Barack Obama's job approval rating among white non-college graduates is at 27% so far in 2014, 14 percentage points lower than among white college graduates. This is the largest yearly gap between these two groups since Obama took office. These data underscore the magnitude of the Democratic Party's problem with working-class whit […]
  • Post literate America
    From 50 years of our overstocked archives Sam Smith, 2007Sitting in Manhattan across from an editor at one of best regarded publishing houses, I asked, "Does good writing still matter?"After a long pause, the editor replied, "Yes, I believe it does."It would be the extended silence and not the words that would remain with me over the next […]
  • What's happening Wednesday evening
    Fewer than four in 10 adults in the U.S. (37%) say there is an area within a mile of where they live where they would be afraid to walk alone at night, similar to Americans' attitudes over the last decade and a half. Most Americans continue to feel safe in their immediate communities, with 63% saying they would not be afraid to walk alone there at night […]
  • Morning line
    In our moving average, Romney has a 8 point lead over Bush and Paul. The only other GOP candidates with more than 5 points are Huckabee, Carson and Christie. Clinton has an easy lead among Democrats, 47 points ahead of Warren and 51 points ahead of Biden. She is statistically tied with Romney and has only a single digit lead against other leading Republicans […]
  • Many Walmart workers can't afford to shop at Walmart
    Guardian:A food drive launched by the Dairy Department Manager of an Oklahoma Walmart to assist two employees has again spotlighted the impact of the low wages paid by the nation’s largest employer and, with total revenues of $476 billion, most profitable corporation. Michele Simon, a public health lawyer at Eat Drink Politics, noted in a recent report that […]
  • What banks, academics, the media and politicians don't tell you about money
    From 50 years of our overstocked archivesThe privilege of creating and issuing money is not only the supreme prerogative of government, but is the government's greatest creative opportunity. By the adoption of these principles, the taxpayers will be saved immense sums of interest. -- Abraham Lincoln Most of what follows is the work of the extraordinary […]
  • What's happening
    The U.S. economy grew at a solid 3.9 percent annual rate in the July-September period, even faster than first reported, giving the country its strongest six months of growth in more than a decade.A national poll found that 89 percent of Latino voters support for President Obama’s use of executive authority on immigration. Eighty percent say they are opposed […]
  • Word: Chuck Hagel
    Popular Resistance:Secretary of Defense Chuck Hagel was supposed to steer the Pentagon away from a decade of war, including bringing US troops home from Afghanistan and paving the way for a reduction in the Pentagon budget. Instead, the Obama administration has opted for remaining in Afghanistan, continuing the disastrous drone wars in Pakistan and Yemen, an […]
  • A LED bulb that adjusts to natural light
    Tree Hugger - An ex-Tesla CEO has brought something new and interesting to the smart light bulb market and it could prove to be the most energy efficient of all of them. Neil Joseph left Tesla last year to start Stack, a smart lighting start-up. Its first product is called Alba and it's what would happen if you combined a Philips Hue with a Nest Thermos […]
  • How politicians silence the press
    From Jim Romensko: A letter from the head of the NY Press Club to Mayor de Blasio:Dear Mr. Mayor: Eight months have passed since you took office as New York City’s 109th mayor. This organization, which since 1948 has represented this city’s journalists, is deeply disturbed by a pattern that has emerged in the way you deal with reporters seeking information i […]