Scathing restaurant review

Pete Wells' review of Guy Fieri's new restaurant is worth reading even if you would never dream of eating out in Manhattan or, indeed, have never eaten food at all. [New York Times]


  1. OMG I needed that!

    Not sure if my favorite part is:

    “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?”

    1.  Like everybody else here, the Donkey Sauce part really jumped out at me. How…HOW? does this get brainstormed and finally put on a menu without somebody not pointing out the mental image this conjures up?

      I wonder if people torture the servers with Donkey Sauce double entendres?

  2. I probably would never have eaten there even if offered the opportunity, but I am glad to have read the review because from now on I want my nickname to be “Donkey Sauce”.

  3. So an NYT writer is miffed that he got the wrong salad dressing?

    Can you imagine the NYT tone if a war were launched on some country for the wrong reasons?  I suppose there would be two question marks after every sentence instead of just one??

    1. Are the scrollbars on your web browser broken? He was bitching about a heck of a lot more than salad dressing.

      1. Gee, i just guessed at the salad dressing thing.  He was even more predictable and trivial than I thought.

        Of course I didn’t read the whole thing.  It’s a restaurant review. It’s preposterous, self-important foaming.

        About a $12 meal.

        Somehow that review was within the NYT’s journalism standards, but it Nate Silver, outside his NYT column, tweets a bet to Joe Scarborough, that merits a public reprimand from the NYT org.

    2. I believe that OP is saying that we must regulate all concerns, dissatisfactions, and probably humor, to the bottom of the pile because war.

    3. What’s bizzarre is that I can’t even find any mention of salad dressing anywhere in the article. Were we reading different articles?

    1. Take solace.  You’re the first to use “donkey sauce crack”.  You’ve discovered the source, man!

      1. Yet it is I who have first used “Donkey crack sauce,” which is a delectable concoction derived from the anal cavity and perineal areas of a donkey, or several donkeys. Ask for it by name!

      1. Arguably, the restaurant has to be both bad and self-important.

        Hammering the quietly lousy of the world verges on poor taste. Puncturing the horribly engorged egos of the lousy and delusional, though…

      2.  He should be invited onto The Daily Show to give an in-person reading of it, as a beat poem, backed up by Tom Hanks.

  4. I love this line from Salon’s review of the same place: “Also located far, far away on the West Coast are two locations of the Fieri and Gruber–owned Tex Wasabi’s Rock n’ Roll Sushi BBQ, a name that sounds, first of all, like nothing but a string of words and, second of all, actually insane, as if the restaurant itself suffers from some schizophrenic identity crisis.”

    1. I lived in Santa Rosa CA for many years, starting long before Guy hit the big time. I think I probably ate at all of his Sonoma County restaurants at one time or another, but no more than twice at any one. Why? Because after every meal I felt exactly the way the the NYT reviewer did — questioning how the restaurants could possibly stay in business. They’re all terrible in every way — the menu, the food, the service — all of it. The home town boosters in Sonoma County won’t admit that the emperor has no clothes, so I’m beyond delighted to see that the Times has called Guy out, and on a national stage to boot. 

        1. Santa Rosa isn’t a very big town, and I bet I’ve eaten at more than 90% of the restaurants there. The good ones (or at least the good ones I can afford) I’ve been to many times. The bad ones, like Guy’s, I’ve only been to once or twice. People like me wouldn’t keep his restaurants in business — one visit from everyone in Sonoma County wouldn’t keep you in business for more than a couple of years — so the explanation must either be locals who like swill served by waiters who don’t care, or tourists.

      1. Perhaps Fieri’s next venture could be named “Arbutus Unedo”, or the Strawberry Tree, after an ornamental shrub popularly planted in Sonoma County.  It is a pretty plant, with reddish-orange fruit that looks impressive and tastes like nothing much at all..   

        The name is said to translate from Latin as “I ate only one.”

  5. Hilarious!

    “SERVICE (:) The well-meaning staff seems to realize that this is not a real restaurant.”

  6. So many good Tumblr names.
    radiatorfluidandformaldehyde dot tumblr dot com
    bigfistofslowroastedporkshank dot tumblr dot com
    distantrumorofspice dot tumblr dot com

    Also, am I the only one who really only heard of Mr. Fieri when he showed up in Homestuck as one of the harbingers of the apocalypse?

  7. I’m so glad I read this…great laugh in the AM. Slam-tastic!

    If he wasn’t already a successful, famous rich person; I’d almost feel bad for the Guy.  Almost.

    ‘Why does the marshmallow taste like fish?’  Well…what kind of fish?  

    Maybe sashimimallow could catch on!

  8. Does this remind me of a book I picked up and hurriedly put down again because every sentence was a question? Did it seem horribly contrived in something the size of a book, but actually really works in a short article? Did I love that every single sentence was a question, except for the very last? Yes.

    1. My suspicion is that these were originally notes, notes the author really enjoyed making – and that when attempting to reformat them into an article they concluded, “What’s the point?”.

  9. The best part (after Donkey Sauce) is that it’s also a literary homage to Donald Barthelme, whose short story “Concerning the Bodyguard” was also written as a series of questions.

    1. Maybe. There have also been other things written entirely as questions, such as the book “The Interrogative Mood” (which, as I mentioned above, I flipped through and it seemed terrible, but who knows, it might be good.)

      I think this is slightly different than either of those Every question is rhetorical, and it serves to convey the author’s mounting sense of incredulity at each turn.

  10. I’m not a fan of Gordon Ramsay, but if ol’ Gorgar decided to do a *Very Special 2 Hour Episode* ripping that place to shreds, I’d definitely tune in.

    1. This would be fun in two ways:
      – Ripping a plastic TV personality’s cynical enterprise a new one.  But the NYT has already done that.
      – Any show that does the “Next time, on a very special (Blossom, Fresh Prince, Who’s The Boss, etc)” is jumping the shark as we speak, right in front of our eyes.  Jumping-the-shark-spotting is a sport I guess, like mullet hunting.

      BTW, my nephew went to Six Flags Over Kentucky, spotted over thirty mullets, then on the same trip a week later, he went to Six Flags Over Georgia, where there were only three mullets to be found.

  11. My SO obsessively watches cooking/travel shows.  I hate ’em.  Guy is the douchiest of the lot. I really can’t describe the schadenfreude I’m feeling, but I’m certain it’s more delicious than anything served at that restaurant. 

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