The Lookout

New York Times’ scathing review of new Guy Fieri restaurant goes viral

Dylan Stableford, Yahoo News
The Lookout

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Food Network host and restaurateur Guy Fieri (Christopher Polk/Getty)

In what will likely be the second-most-read restaurant review of 2012, the New York Times has published a scathing critique of Guy's American Kitchen & Bar, Guy Fieri's newly opened establishment in Times Square.

The review, written by Pete Wells and published on Wednesday, took the form of an open letter to Fieri, the host of Food Network's "Diners, Drive-Ins and Dives."

"Have you eaten at your new restaurant in Times Square?" Wells' review begins. "Have you pulled up one of the 500 seats at Guy's American Kitchen & Bar and ordered a meal? Did you eat the food? Did it live up to your expectations?

"Did panic grip your soul as you stared into the whirling hypno wheel of the menu, where adjectives and nouns spin in a crazy vortex? When you saw the burger described as 'Guy's Pat LaFrieda custom blend, all-natural Creekstone Farm Black Angus beef patty, LTOP (lettuce, tomato, onion + pickle), SMC (super-melty-cheese) and a slathering of Donkey Sauce on garlic-buttered brioche,' did your mind touch the void for a minute?

"Did you notice that the menu was an unreliable predictor of what actually came to the table?" Wells continued.

More skewering:

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 have a second, Mr. Fieri, would you see what happened to the black bean and roasted squash soup we ordered?

Hey, did you try that blue drink, the one that glows like nuclear waste? The watermelon margarita? Any idea why it tastes like some combination of radiator fluid and formaldehyde?

Not surprisingly, the biting review quickly jumped to the top spot on the Times' "Most Viewed" and "Most E-Mailed" lists.

The Times doesn't disclose traffic to specific pages, but the shortened link to Wells' review has already racked up more than 100,000 clicks, according to URL-shortening site bitly.

That figure pales in comparison to the 200,000-plus views the Grand Forks (N.D.) Herald received for Marilyn Hagerty's review of a new Olive Garden.

Hagerty's remarkably earnest take on the newest edition of the chain ("The place is impressive. It's fashioned in Tuscan farmhouse style with a welcoming entryway.") went viral after it was published in March.

The 85-year-old became an overnight Internet sensation. "My son told me that it had gone viral, but I didn't know what that meant," Hagerty told "Good Morning America."

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