The NY Times review of Guy Fieri’s Times Square restaurant is trending. The review is over the top. It reminds me of those snarky Pitchfork reviews from a few years back. I don’t know if they still write that way. I got turned off.

Anyway, Sam, Chris and I really wanted to try the restaurant after reading the review. Can it really be that bad? There were a lot of people there for lunch today. I imagine the review sparked some interest. A lot of young hipsters and business folk in suits.

The place is huge. The front of the building has a big loud television screen and fits right in with Times Square. They sat us in the back. It kinda looked like a nicer Applebee’s or Outback with some Tin Can Alley Disney feel.

I gotta say, after reading the Yelp and TripAdvisor reviews, I was a little scared of the service. But they were really attentive today. I felt like our waitress was smiling at me a little too much maybe. But I did look pretty cute today. Also I’m sure Guy came in and whipped everyone into shape after the NY Times review. So I wonder if that also carried over to the food.

We started off with the Fried Calamari. Right after I ordered it, I saw the party next to us leave with a pretty full plate of the Fried Calamari still left on the table. I thought, “Oh shit, it must suck.” But it was actually pretty good. We enjoyed them. I like the Garlic & Pepperoncini Chili Sauce that came with it …which I think is just mayo, mustard and shredded cabbage/coleslaw. It was really good for dipping. I saved the rest for my burger and fries that were to come.

Chris ordered the Cajun Chicken Alfredo Pasta ($21.50). The plate in the photo makes it look really small. I guess it was kinda small for the price, but this photo makes the food look ridiculously tiny or the plate looks ridiculously huge.

Sam ordered the Rotisserie Roasted Garlic-Rosemary Chicken plate ($17.50). It came with mashed potatoes. I think this looked the best and probably the best value out of all our meals.

I ordered the Guy’s Big Bite Burger with Rojo Ring, where the Rojo (onion) ring is on the burger ($17.50 …although it said $19.50 on the bill. Maybe it costs more with the Garlic Fries? I’m not sure. I thought it was coming with the fries, because I had a choice of Seasoned Fries, Garlic Fries or Onion Rings. Maybe their computers are messed up. Anyway, the menu says it’s cheaper). The burger has the Donkey Sauce on it that the NY Times review makes fun of. It was a little squirt on it. I think it was kind of like a sweet BBQ sauce, but less BBQ and more Hoisin. Burger was decent, but maybe seems like a waste to use Pat LeFrieda meat and cook it well done. Burger was better with that Fried Calamari Dipping Sauce. They should just put that sauce on everything. I love mayonnaise.

Overall, the food was pretty decent for the type of restaurant it is and where it is. Much better than other touristy restaurants I’ve been to in the area like Bubba Gump, Jekyll & Hyde and Red Lobster Times Square. The food at Guy’s is overpriced, but in line with those other touristy restaurants.

We had a decent meal and finished everything. The experience was nothing like the review. But maybe they turned everything around after Guy came back to crack the whip.

Here’s Guy’s response to the NY Times review on MSNBC this morning. What’s with the tourist that calls us pompous New Yorkers? Why the hell are you visiting New York if we are so pompous? He really loved the Pretzel Chicken Tenders.

Was the NY Times article unfair? Maybe. But I haven’t eaten here four times yet. I would have liked to see this guy’s review of Mars 2112. I thought the critic Pete Wells was a comedian at first, but I’m thinking of Pete Holmes.

Guy’s American Kitchen and Bar - 220 W 44th St (between 7th & 8th Ave) New York, NY 10036

About The Author

Jason Lam

Food blogger since 2008. Hair model since 2003.

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10 Responses

  1. Dusk

    Mayonnaise is pretty darn good stuff. It can really make a burger, and it’s great with fries. I still want no donkey sauce, even if hoisin is one of my favorite sauces.

  2. ERD82

    Sorry but the article at the bottom makes him seem like even more of a *$&# than even the NYT review!

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