Tag Archives: Times Square

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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Happy New Year: Predictably, rang it in with Ham

It’s 2014 now.

Time for me to write 2013 on my rent check until roughly August.

I’m fairly certain that you guys know me well enough by now that you know how I spent my New Year’s Eve: with a pork product. And I DID.

In reality, I spent the evening with my friends Alison, Cagney, and Jennie. We had a relaxed New Year’s Eve, on account of desired laziness and Alison and Cagney’s baby being under the weather. We made dinner, Cagney obsessively watched Miley Cyrus Takeover on Fuse, we got super drunk*, and I was home by 12:20.

*We did not get super drunk even a little bit. No hangover on New Year’s Day? Great start to 2014.

As for the dinner making, our motto was New Year’s Easy. COPYRIGHT ME 2013.

Our menu was as follows:

  • Oyster Cracker Snack
  • Honey-Bourbon Glazed Ham
  • Stuffing with Sausage
  • Roasted Butternut Squash
  • Chocolate Pudding with Espresso Salt

I was responsible for ham and squash. And as promised, they were so easy you could get super drunk and rage all night and still make them without cutting your fingers off.**

**We did not get super drunk at all, we flipped the channels between Jackass the movie, the aforementioned Miley Cyrus takeover, and the New Year’s Eve shows making fun of the people who stood in front of Times Square.

The ham is unbelievably simple, but has amazing flavor. Sticky sweet and deeply smoky because of the bourbon.

I’m hot, sticky sweet.

Why haven’t I put bourbon with ham before? It was a revelation. And all you have to do is baste the ham every half hour. And you have time to get, like, monumentally drunk.***

***We did not get monumentally drunk. I fell asleep for a minute on the couch at like 11:30 because I get sleepy. And this is a picture of Alison PROBABLY asleep in her dog’s bed.

New Year's Easssssy

New Year’s Easssssy

Make this ham. You don’t be disappointed. You’ll have plenty of leftovers. And even if you don’t get drunk, at least your ham did.

Honey Bourbon Glazed-Ham from PopSugar, originally adapted from Southern Living

In the original recipe, the ham is studded with whole cloves; however, speed up the recipe by adding the whole cloves into the bourbon sauce. The clove flavor will still infuse in the ham, plus upon service, your guests won’t have to pick out the buds as they eat the ham.

Ingredients

  • 1 fully cooked, bone-in ham (7-9 pounds)
  • 1/2 cup light brown sugar, firmly packed
  • 1/2 cup honey
  • 1/2 cup bourbon
  • 1/3 cup Dijon mustard
  • 1/3 cup molasses
  • 1/2 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
  • Several shakes of Tabasco sauce
  • 40 whole cloves

Preheat oven to 325°F. Remove skin from ham and trim fat to 1/4-inch thickness. If ham is not precut, make shallow cuts in fat 1 inch apart in a diamond pattern. Place ham in a 13- x 9-inch pan.

In a medium bowl, stir together all other ingredients. Spoon entire mixture over ham. Bake at 325°F on lowest oven rack for 2 hours and 30 minutes, or until ham has an internal temperature of 145°F. Baste with pan juices every 30 minutes as ham cooks. Remove ham from oven and rest it for 15-30 minutes before carving. Strain sauce and serve it in a gravy dish alongside the ham (optional).

Serves 12-15 people.

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