Searching for Guy Fieri At Guy's American Kitchen and Bar

I started my meal with the Awesome Pretzel Chicken Tenders because I like pretzels and I like chicken tenders. Everyone does. The combination of the two, however, is woefully un-awesome.

Apparently, the chicken is breaded in crushed pretzels. It is so ridiculously deep-fried, however, no taste comes through. It comes with honey-dijon dipping sauce, which is pretty spicy but does little to improve upon the chicken.

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The chicken is presented on top of about a dozen french fries. I'm not sure why these are here. Presentation? You be the judge:

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I remained optimistic, however, because the Awesome Pretzel Chicken Tenders are not a Guy Signature Dish. Who circumvented Guy on this one? Not kewl.

Next up was Guy's Big Bite Burger. My waiter informed me that the chefs ball up the patties and squish them flat on the griddle. He thwacked his open palm with a clenched fist while explaining this. It comes smothered in Donkey sauce, which I guess is something Guy is known for. Remember, I'm just a jerk who makes fun of him because he looks silly. My level of actual, operational Guy Fieri knowledge is low.

The story behind Donkey sauce goes thusly: Guy Fieri mixed together a bunch of stuff. I don't know what exactly because at this point, I was terrified of being seen with my notebook and couldn't write any of the specifics down as my waiter spoke. Guy tasted the sauce and said one would have to be an ass to dislike it. Hence, "Donkey" sauce.

Based on its description, I was hoping the burger would taste similar to one from Shake Shack. The beef comes from the same place, Creekstone Farms. (Creekstone was the subject of a Times piece from two years ago. Lots of restaurants in New York -- many of them hoity-toity -- are getting their beef from the Arkansas City, Kansas, supplier.) The burger is stacked with tomatoes, pickles, onions, and shredded lettuce. My word, is there a lot of lettuce. I daydreamed the cooks furiously stuffing full heads of lettuce into industrial paper shredders to get enough for my cheeseburger.

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Be it from the Donkey sauce, grease, Whiz-like cheese, or the oily spawn of this unholy orgy, my burger came out sopping wet. It isn't horrible, though, and in a way reminds me of a Shake Shack burger. I don't particularly care for the Donkey sauce, identifying me, in Guy's words, as an ass (but you already know this).

I washed the burger down with a "Gimme a Light." This is a beer. A pale ale, to be specific, and a pretty good one. Guy's American Kitchen and Bar is co-owned by Jon Bloostein, who also owns Heartland Brewery. Beer is a safe choice here.


Location Info

Guy's American Kitchen and Bar

220 E. 44th St., New York, NY

Category: Restaurant


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11 comments
Dragon40
Dragon40

Ate at Guy's first restaurant, Johnny Garlic's, many years ago when it first opened in Santa Rosa and found it to be fun. A few months later, I returned with some family a 2nd time and got sick.  I subsequently read that Johnny Garlic's was eventually cited for fecal bacteria in the food. I have no way of knowing if that is what made me sick but I would never set foot in any of his restaurants. Guy Fieri is a businessman and marketer but not a chef.  My overall impression is that he has little respect for food but a lot of respect for making money.  And for some people they have no problem in forking over their dough for that kind of experience.

EricaP
EricaP

I love the tone of this review, love the writer's honesty. Well done.

rlb7
rlb7

Guy may be a little offbeat, but you can't deny that he is successful.  It sounds as if the writer is envious.

Blake
Blake

Guy is an easy target. He's overweight, slightly obnoxious, bleaches his hair and has bad taste in clothing. But genuinely disliking someone for their external features is shallow. I'm no Guy apologist and have certainly dropped my fare share of recycled Guy jokes, but realize a few things:

 

First, he never wanted to be on Food Network. His friends begged him to send in an audition tape for the show he won, and he refused over and over. They finally had to convince him to do it as a joke and then sent in the tape behind his back. As much as he seems to like the limelight now, remember that if it was up to him he never would have even tried out for TV in the first place. If you think of Guy in terms of being your boss, running the kitchen, he'd probably be pretty cool guy to work for and tip back a few after a hard night's work.

 

Also, as far as the "K" stuff goes. That goes back to his love of cars, and "Kustom Kulture." Look it up. It explains a lot.

 

So yes, Guy is Guy. He's easy to make fun of. He's the antithesis of everything haughty, sophisticated food critics stand for. But I've come to realize certain aspects of his personality and aura are pretty refreshing both on TV and in terms of the food world.

ldshockey
ldshockey

@joecoscarelli @NickGreene amazing all around

frantaclaus
frantaclaus

@ericsundy @nickgreene he went without me?!

ericsundy
ericsundy

@frantaclaus @nickgreene He left work early and got there a half an hour after it opened. I don't think he was waiting for anyone.

NickGreene
NickGreene

@ericsundy @frantaclaus I'll make it up to you with a trip to Canz.

frantaclaus
frantaclaus

@NickGreene @ericsundy that's all I wanted, really

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