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Guy Fieri's New York food venture gets failing grade

NYT review proves being a Food Network star doesn't guarantee restaurant success

By Corey Levitan Nov 14, 2012 10:38AM

Only a failing grade from the health department could hurt worse. The career-deciding New York Times has given a thumbs-way-down to the first Big Apple restaurant opened by Food Network star Guy Fieri.

Bing: More about Guy Fieri | 'Diners, Drive-Ins and Dives'

Its review of Fieri's macho-themed Guy's American Kitchen and Bar reads as an open letter to the spikey-haired star of "Guy's Big Bite." It begins by inquiring whether he had even bothered eating at his restaurant before opening it, then gets worse from there. Its questions include “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?” Also: "When we hear the words Donkey Sauce, which part of the donkey are we supposed to think about?" And finally: "Is this how you roll in Flavor Town?"

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Fieri came to fame by winning Season 2 of "The Next Food Network Star." In addition to "Guy's Big Bite," which has run since 2006, he has starred in a Food Network reality show called "Diners, Drive-Ins and Dives," a studio-audience concept called "Guy Off the Hook," and an NBC game show called "Minute to Win It," none of which were deemed successful enough to continue.

Fieri and a partner run five other restaurants -- all in California.

Shockingly, the Times review -- which published yesterday -- has yet to be posted in the "press" section of the restaurant's website.

"Guys Big Bite" airs Sundays at 10:30 a.m. ET/PT on the Food Network.

Nov 15, 2012 11:22AM
I went to NY with a bunch of friends. I never ate at guys But one couple in our team did. They certainly didn't say it terrible but they did say they would not return ?? I personally won't go to these so called famous owned restaurants !! Its all hype and you would NEVER see the actual person who owns the place.  BUT YOU WILL PAY $$$$$$$ as if they were making the dish for you !!! Do not be fooled !! Go to your privately owned and run restaurants for a true meal and Value  
Nov 14, 2012 5:30PM
I was at his place the first week of October and felt the same way as the reviewer.  I couldn't believe if Guy had tasted the food he would never serve it to anyone.  Everything on my plate tasted the same, the meat (pork shank), the rice and the vegetables all tasted of garlic and ginger and everything was brown on my plate.  Very disappointing.  I told many friends that I should write to him and someone sent the think with the review.  Hope he corrects this before he loses credibility.
Nov 14, 2012 4:15PM

a lot of times when i have ate places where Guy has been or said its great, has been a real let down.

either the food was horrible or the staff were slower than turtles

Nov 14, 2012 4:09PM
you should check out "whipped and beaten culinary works" that's a real food site.. they should have a restaurauant.. but don't go if you get offended easily. then it's not for you..
Nov 14, 2012 3:49PM
I ate at Guy's restaurant on a recent trip to NY. You have to know where it is since it is not on a main street, we just happened to see it on a side street. We felt the service was very good and the atmosphere was fun and modern. The food was good, don't remember anything called donkey sauce, but we got the pork, the roasted chicken and a main dish salad. All were good. The pork fell off the the bone and was very good, the chicken looked less than appetizing but was good and the salad was a healthy portion and was also good. If you go you need to make up your own mind,
Nov 14, 2012 3:42PM
Last time I checked, Diners, Drive-Ins, and Dives is still on the air.  Maybe I'm just reading the sentence wrong, but it sounds like the author of the article is implying that DDD has been cancelled.
Nov 14, 2012 3:27PM

reality cooking shows - like reality TV - are BOGUS.  most of the famous "restaunteurs/chefs" dont even hang out in their own places.  food taste?  with all the competitions they have on tv, does JOHN Q. PUBLIC get to taste the food?   these "tv cooks" cook it, put it out there, but who tastes it? give us a chance to say "BLECK" 


DDD is good, nothing wrong with greasy spoons.  but i get discouraged when i hear words like 'authentic, from scratch, the best...etc.'  most of these places are OUT IN THE BOONIES so i have to question the culinary intelligence of these local yokels.  i have gotten to eat in some of the DDD... they are good but not memorable. 


Nov 14, 2012 3:10PM
Hah..Donkey Sauce. Do they bring it out like crushed pepper? Donkey Sauce Sir? HEEEHAWWW!lmao. u all know that guys gonna bust a major arterie soon right? gonna be on a show eatin somethin deadly n be like..." this is sooo good I can't take another Biiiiiiiiiiii!!!!! ACK!"
Nov 14, 2012 3:01PM
These so-called cooks and chefs on tv are laughable. It does seem like they don't even taste their recipes. Paula Deen's 2 sons couldn't cook their way out of a paper sack.
Nov 14, 2012 2:50PM
Never believe what the critics write.  I ate at Guys American Kitchen and loved it.  The atmosphere is cool, the service was good and the food was exceptional.  OK, I didn't try the Donkey Sauce, gotta agree there, bad choice of names.
Nov 14, 2012 2:42PM
You really think a busy "celebrity" like Guy had anything, other then selling his name, to do with this place? At least he drives cool cars!
Nov 14, 2012 2:41PM
I've eaten at one of his California restaurants, the Johnny Garlics in Dublin, and would agree with the NYT's opening question:  Guy, have you ever eaten at your own place?  Everyone I know who has tried it has been disappointed.
Nov 14, 2012 2:25PM
Nov 14, 2012 2:24PM
The interesting thing about this 'macho' character is that the runner up was a gay black guy who, in my opinion, would have probably made a better show but since the Food Channel tries to market itself to a more family-oriented (read conservative) audience, they gave Guy the next Food Channel star title.  You can't replace kitchen talent with a macho attitude.  Good chef come in all sexual orientations.
Nov 14, 2012 2:22PM
May be this restaurant qualifies for another Food Network program "Restaurant Impossible" where another macho looking guy comes with a sledge hammer (and an accent) and breaks down everything on his way.
Nov 14, 2012 2:22PM
So many people line their bird cages and housebreak their pets with the NYtimes that I wouldn't believe a word they say.  Let the public decide.  As for ratings for that newspaper I'll bet they are out of business before Fieris place.  I'm not plugging Fieri , just let the New York public decide, and they will.  They've been pretty good on what works and what doesn't.

Nov 14, 2012 2:15PM
I enjoy Guy Fieri's triple D.  It's a great show  and I'm sure it's improved sales for a number of restaurants and diners..  However, there are a couple of places he's reviewed in the Midwest where I live that I know for a fact from eating there regularly are not that noteworthy.  One of them was "Del Ray's Chicken Basket" in Willowbrook, Illinois.  I have been eating there since I was in a height chair. The food is good but since they were highlighted on  triple D they've tripled their prices.  While I enjoy their chicken and other items on the menu, I can't say what they're currently charging for a meal is worth it.  The restaurant was most notably a hang out for the over 60 crowd but now seniors can't afford it.  They just alianated their entire customer base. I don't know if they're trying to draw in a younger crowd or what.  But hey, sometimes even the best of the best fall short and Mr. Fieri isn't a native of New York so he has nothing to base his menu ideas on. Maybe he should stick with the west coast and be happy with that.
Nov 14, 2012 2:13PM
You are trippin......Triple D is an awesome show and it is still on.  Get your facts straight.  I love Guy Fieri and would cook his recipes over any other Food Network chefs.
Nov 14, 2012 2:09PM
i watched since season 2 when he won i still laugh if he wanted to sell jewelry or food he came out with more gold on and rings that Liberace they told him about that i think of all the dirt that collects in jewelry like a proctologist wearing a ring on every finger and going up your anus  that really turned all show and no blow then hosting a game show (MOVIE star wannabe i finally quit watching food net work soon there aftrer and cook dbeans and cornbread are good i can cook run a restraunt and draw a crowd well thast another show go see gordon ramsey if you think you good enough  i never thought he last this long
Nov 14, 2012 2:07PM
Well just because you're on tv doesn't mean anything except brand coverage for your endeavors. The Food Network has  a lot of "home chefs" with tv shows many of which don't follow safe and sanitary kitchen practices, ie, double dipping,  inadequate hand washing, cross contamination etc. So finally a critic calls it like it is. I am a chef and have become tired of "personality chefs" while its great to get the word out, back off and let the food do the talking. Bam!
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