Savage review of Guy Fieri's NY restaurant sparks online storm

Savage review of Guy Fieri's NY restaurant sparks online storm

New York Times writer Pete Wells’ review of Fieri’s Guy’s American Kitchen & Bar has been called the worst review in the paper’s history. Published this week, the stinging diatribe is written in a series of rhetorical questions that drips with merciless sarcasm.

“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?”

“Why did the toasted marshmallow taste like fish?”

Posted November 13, the story was the most emailed in the paper as of November 15, generating more than 600 comments online and spilling over into the Twittersphere and Fieri’s Facebook page, with camps divided between staunch Fieri supporters and equally staunch Wells fans.

Fieri owns a spate of restaurants across the US but is best known as a Food Network TV host for Diners, Drive-Ins and Dives.

On Wednesday, popular talk show host David Letterman used the story as fodder for his nightly top 10 list, themed as ‘Top 10 Discontinued Guy Fieri Menu Items.’ Among the fictional dishes included seared halibut with intestinal parasite reduction; crust-crusted crust; and suspiciously damp toast.

Outspoken, irreverent and acid-tongued chef Eddie Huang of BaoHaus in New York, meanwhile, put in his two cents on his blog Fresh off the Boat, going so far as to call the article a milestone in the world of restaurant reviews.

“I guarantee in 2 years, we will look back at this review and say ‘This was the moment.’ This was the moment where an essential voice in the food world went on the record and said f*** you food network, f***ck you guy fieri, f*** this system of big box restaurants with Cheesecake Factory food propped up by people who can't cook.”

For his part, Fieri was given a chance to come to his own defense in an interview with US NBC program the Today Show, where he admitted the restaurant was still finding its feet after opening just two months ago. He also hit back, however, saying the article went overboard.

“I just thought it was ridiculous,” he said. “…That to me went so overboard it really seemed to me that there was an agenda.”

Fieri fans also took to his Facebook page to lend their support, with messages like “Stay positive-The New York Times review was bogus! Love your response to it!” and “ no attention to the 'food snobs'."

On Twitter, British food critic Jay Rayner gave his props to Wells’ review, calling it “brutally funny,” while fellow Food Network TV host and friend Sandra Lee, voiced her support by saying she was going to lunch with him this week.

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