Tag Archives: New York City

Restaurant Review: Guy’s American Kitchen

As you guys know, I non-ironically love Guy Fieri. His unabashed love of embroidered flame shirts. His bleach blonde locks. His phraseology. God, the phraseology. Full throttle!

My BFF Stowe and I share this love. So on my most recent trip to New York, he and I decided to hit up Guy’s first Manhattan restaurant, Guy’s American Kitchen.

Stowe regreted our decision immediately. Understandable. He was not as drunk as I was.

Stowe: This is the most hipster thing we’ve done.

Me: Why?

Stowe: Because people there will be genuinely enjoying themselves and we’re going…

Me:…to make fun of it?

Stowe: Yes.

If I may be so bold, this was one of the worst meals I’ve ever had in New York City.

Now, it wasn’t all bad. In fact, I can give you two positives of my experience.

  • The service was good. The restaurant was very full for a mid-afternoon on a Saturday (fucking Times Square), so we sat at the bar. Our bartender was attentive, but not intrusive, and our food and drinks came out quickly.
  • The space was tastefully decorated, especially when you consider the source. The restaurant is huge–it seats 500+ people at a time and they turn the tables often (fucking Times Square). But it was very actually kind of pretty. They had some wallpaper in the women’s bathroom that I really rather liked. Also, they had TVs in the women’s restroom so I could keep up with the college football games. PHEW. Can’t miss a second of that College Game Day action. Go, Sports Team! 

Onto the many, many negatives. Starting with the worst offender: the food. 

FullSizeRender (1)

Garbage.

  • We ordered 3 apps to share: The California Egg Rolls, the Dragon Chili Cheese Fries, and the Buffalo Bleu-Sabi wings. The egg rolls were easily the best thing that we ate because they were served hot and tasted fine. The Dragon Chili Cheese Fries would’ve been good, guilty pleasure bar food. But instead, they were served stone cold. Should we have sent them back? Yes. But, we wanted an authentic experience. Don’t worry, we ate them anyway because our third app, the Buffalo Bleu-Sabi wings, was inedible. These are Buffalo wings made with a house made buffalo sauce that tasted sour or rancid. Something had gone terribly, terribly wrong. When I asked Stowe how they tasted and he said, “I’m going to let you be the judge for yourself.” Not a ringing endorsement. 
  • We each ordered a margarita. I got the Classic and Stowe got the Caliente Margarita, a spicy margarita made with jalapeno and cilantro. Mine was a decent margarita; not the best I’d ever had, but decent. Stowe’s came with so much cilantro in it that I looked away at one point, and when I looked back, he was tangled up in it like seaweed. 
  • We each ordered a house-brewed beer. I got the Morgan’s Red Ale and Stowe got the Golden State Lager. Mine tasted like skunky Newcastle. His tasted like skunky Yuengling. It might’ve been, for all we know. We poo-poo the Guy-brew.

These three mostly terrible appetizers and four drinks cost $93.09 before tip. Frankly, it could’ve been worse. It’s NYC and Times Square, to boot. If the food and drinks had been better, I wouldn’t have minded shelling out the cash.

I wish I was writing this telling you that my mind was blown. That my socks were knocked off. That my tips were bleached. (Admittedly, that one didn’t make sense.) I really wanted all my pre-conceived notions to be wrong. But, of course, my expectations were correct. New York Times restaurant critic Pete Wells quite rightly trashed the joint in 2012.

Will I go back to Guy’s American Kitchen again? Not for all the flame shirts and bleach blonde dye in the world.

All future visits to Flavortown will be on TV and TV only.

Guy’s American Kitchen is located at 220 W 44th St, New York, NY 10036. But please, go literally anywhere else.

Some photos from our visit. Hover for captions.

 

 

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I ate a kangaroo. What did YOU have for dinner?

Hiiiii guys.

I know, I know. I’ve been away for a minute. Work got rull busy, so fake food fun had to take a back seat. Actually, work being busy caused me to break two of my New Year’s resolutions: blog twice a week (NOPE!) and exercise a bit (does exercising none count as a bit?). 

I went up to NYC (that’s New York City, hayseeds) to shoot some videos for one of our clients. And have do I have some exciting shit to tell you about. I ate kangaroo.

I ate kangaroo. 

…Has it sunk in yet?

I ATE KANGAROO.

Maybe this is not that special to some people. But I’d literally never seen kangaroo on a menu. Let me start from the beginning.

The studio where we were shooting was right next to this restaurant in Soho called Public. This restaurant has a Michelin Star, so you know they aren’t playing around. This might be the first Michelin Star restaurant I’ve ever eaten at. And from start to finish, it was the JAM.

By the way, I had just finished a day of work. So I walked into this really hip, beautiful restaurant with my backpack on. My navy blue Jansport bookbag with pink polka dots. WHAT’S UP, NEW YORK. HOW YA LIKE ME NOW. I’m a 28 year old 3rd grader.

Anyways. I’m there with my friends Emily and Sarah and we get the menu. And I see this:

Grilled kangaroo on a coriander falafel with lemon tahini sauce and green pepper relish

And my metaphorical jaw dropped. And then when I tasted, my actual jaw dropped. I got it for the story, you guys. To be like “oh, yeah, I tried kangaroo. Before I ate him, he used to be boxer in cartoons!” Sidenote: How come kangaroos in cartoons are always boxers? Is that a thing? Was that like a circus attraction where humans boxed kangaroos? I’m joking but I’m also actually asking.

I digress. The kangaroo was grilled—but only barely. So it was sort of like a carpaccio. It was tender. It was a little bit sweet. If I had to compare it to something, it would be similar in to beef in terms of it’s texture, but it was much leaner. And it was so much better than beef because it was so much more tender. And with the spices in and crunch of the coriander falafel? Damn, y’all.

My question about the dish is: what part of the kangaroo was it? Tail? Arm? Leg? Loin? ….Pouch? Do I not want to know? Is that why we’re just generically calling it kangaroo?

I took a picture, but it’s dark. So, I’m not posting it. Look, I couldn’t be the asshole who went to the Michelin star restaurant with a pink polka dotted Jansport backpack AND took flash photography at the table. I mean, as it was, I kept hitting my head on some functional wall art that might have attached to a lamp that could have come crashing down on our heads.

I was NOT cool enough for this restaurant.

For my entrée, I got the porkstravaganza: Szechuan crusted pork tenderloin and roasted belly of Berkshire pork with braised daikon, pickled baby carrots, and slow poached egg in a truffle dashi broth. It was out of control. I can’t even… To try to talk about it would be to dishonor it’s memory. 

But the best comment of the night came when we tried one of the two side dishes we ordered: sweet potato miso mash. Seemingly unassuming. But it was sweet, but savory. So harmonious, with the salty miso balancing out the natural sweetness of the sweet potato. (Please note, I’ve said the word “sweet” 4 times already. Let’s see how many times I’ll say it by the end of this paragraph!)  So. The sweet potato mash. Emily tries it and says “um, you’ve got to try this.” So, Sarah and I do. And then Sarah says the best thing I’ve ever heard anyone say about food. “Oh my god. How did they even get it to do that.” (Total ‘sweet’ count: 5)

And she’s right. Cause it was the perfect bite. And my last bite…of the entrees, that is. 

Cause then, we split this for dessert. Yuzu lime tart, coconut and meringue sorbet, kaffir lime sauce, candied macadamia nuts. It was stunning to look at and exciting to eat. Sweet and tart and soft and crunchy. The perfect end to the meal. And bonus, the only photo that doesn’t look like a super dark blob! What a terrific blog this is. Dessert

The meal was great, the prices weren’t outrageous. But all in all, the whole night has given me something new to strive for in the food department. One day, I hope to cook something good enough to get a comment as awesome as “Oh my god. How did they even get it to do that.”

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