One of the prices of being a TV personality is getting examined a lot closer - and a lot more critically - than the average Joe, or in this case Guy. The Food Network's Guy Fieri recently opened a 500-seat restaurant in Times Square and judging by the reviews it's seriously bad. Forget about stars - the NYT graded it "poor," which is a rarity. "Guy Fieri," writes critic Pete Wells, "have you eaten at your new restaurant in Times Square? Have you pulled up one of the 500 seats at Guy's American Kitchen & Bar and ordered a meal? Did you eat the food?"
At your five Johnny Garlic's restaurants in California, if servers arrive with main courses and find that the appetizers haven't been cleared yet, do they try to find space for the new plates next to the dirty ones? Or does that just happen in Times Square, where people are used to crowding? If a customer shows up with a reservation at one of your two Tex Wasabi's outlets, and the rest of the party has already been seated, does the host say, "Why don't you have a look around and see if you can find them?" and point in the general direction of about 200 seats? What is going on at this new restaurant of yours, really?
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? How, for example, did Rhode Island's supremely unhealthy and awesomely good fried calamari -- dressed with garlic butter and pickled hot peppers -- end up in your restaurant as a plate of pale, unsalted squid rings next to a dish of sweet mayonnaise with a distant rumor of spice?
Actually, the NY Observer's review was more scathing. Critic Joshua David Stein said the restaurant "would be indicted for crimes against humanity, if only that crime fell within the Department of Health's purview."