The Top Ten Questions From Pete Wells’s Brutal Takedown Of Guy Fieri’s Times Square Restaurant


Forgive these children, for they are innocent and the offspring of tourists, and know not what they eat.

Last night, New York Times dining critic Pete Wells somehow crossed a bitchslap and The Talking Heads’ hit song “Once In A Lifetime” to write a review that Twitter has fallen in love with: in his official review of Guy Fieri’s American Kitchen and Bar, he gave the Times Square Brotemkin village a rating of “poor”. (Others are shocked that Wells can actually be funny.)

How poor is poor? Wells answers this question with a series of questions, all rhetorical, all stinging. Here are some of our favorite questions from the review, and one real sentence, which should indicate exactly how sicknastyburnyo this review is:

“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?”

“Why is one of the few things on your menu that can be eaten without fear or regret — a lunch-only sandwich of chopped soy-glazed pork with coleslaw and cucumbers — called a Roasted Pork Bahn Mi, when it resembles that item about as much as you resemble Emily Dickinson?

“When you cruise around the country for your show ‘Diners, Drive-Ins and Dives,’ rasping out slangy odes to the unfancy places where Americans like to get down and greasy, do you really mean it? Or is it all an act? Is that why the kind of cooking you celebrate on television is treated with so little respect at Guy’s American Kitchen & Bar?

“By the way, would you let our server know that when we asked for chai, he brought us a cup of hot water?”

“When you hung that sign by the entrance that says, WELCOME TO FLAVOR TOWN!, were you just messing with our heads?”

“And when we hear the words Donkey Sauce, which part of the donkey are we supposed to think about?”

“Is the entire restaurant a very expensive piece of conceptual art? Is the shapeless, structureless baked alaska that droops and slumps and collapses while you eat it, or don’t eat it, supposed to be a representation in sugar and eggs of the experience of going insane?”

“Why did the toasted marshmallow taste like fish?”

To be fair, Wells does write one sentence summarizing the service: “The well-meaning staff seems to realize that this is not a real restaurant.”

More questions without satisfactory answers can be found in his review below.


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