After reading Pete Wells’ scathing — and hilarious — review of Guy’s American Kitchen & Bar in The New York Times, EWers Denise Warner, Erin Strecker, and Lanford Beard jumped at the chance for a night in Flavor Town. So was it really as bad as Wells’ made it out to be? Well read our post-dinner conversation and watch our reactions to some of the food below!
Denise: Okay! So Guy’s!
Erin: BLAND ALERT!
Denise: I was going to ask what the first thing that came to your mind was, but you beat me to it!
Erin: Denise, here’s a fact that Lanford can corroborate: I have NO TASTE when it comes to being a foodie.
Denise: You said as much last night.
Erin: I’m very easy to please and I very genuinely thought that all the food was really, really bland. Can we do this dish by dish? Because I have some feelings about the nachos. Namely: Where were they? Because I just got some chips with lettuce.
Denise: And grey meat! And some hidden salami — who does that?
Erin: I’m unclear what your appetizer was: Fish tacos?
Denise: Sashimi tacos. They tasted like salsa.
Erin: They had more flavor than the nachos
Denise: That’s not saying much. Lanford had the pretzel chicken fingers?
Erin: Yes, which was good, in that it was different, but not good, in that it didn’t taste yummy. The chicken was really dry, and the pretzel taste was just salt. I had to dunk it in ketchup.
Denise: YES. Ketchup was key. The chicken fingers you get at a movie concession stand smell better than these tasted. (But honestly, I’ve never eaten chicken fingers from a movie theater.)
Erin: There’s a first time for everything!
Denise: Maybe I’ll have some tonight at Twilight!
Erin: Spoiler alert: No one sitting with me is ordering chicken tenders
[Ed note: Erin and Denise are going to see Breaking Dawn Part 2 with Lanford. Naturally.]
Denise: But speaking of Twilight — Lanford is watching the marathon of all the movies and cannot be in this conversation today. But she sent me notes. “Matthew McConaughey oysters. We Didn’t Start the Fire and Addicted to Love. The atmosphere reminded us of Cocktail. Nachos do not equal Flavor Town.”
Erin: Oh the oysters! We passed on those. Maybe we should have ordered them.
Denise: Yes, how could we not when Fieri originally created them for McConaughey? (Hence Lanford calling them “Matthew McConaughey oysters.”)
Erin: Return engagement?
Denise: I don’t think my skinny jeans could handle that right now. Actually, this was your second time at the restaurant, right?
Erin: Correct! And I clearly did things properly the first time. I was there two weeks ago during Hurricane Sandy, because it was the only place open, and I got the burger. Which was by far my favorite item from last night. I didn’t really taste any of whatever “special sauce” they were touting, but it was flavorful and I would order it again
Denise: I didn’t have any of the burger. But you couldn’t taste the donkey sauce?
Erin: There wasn’t anything different about that burger than a regular burger with the typical toppings on it. But I also scraped off some lettuce/cheese (because I’m the world’s pickiest eater?) so maybe I lost some donkey sauce in the process. We can’t know for sure! The burger, however, was much better than the mac & cheese, which was my least favorite dish of the night.
Denise: That tasted like cardboard
Erin: It should have been called Mac & No Cheese or Bacon (which was promised).
Denise: It looked like it had the Kraft macaroni powdered cheese sprinkled on top
Erin: It tasted like nothing. Like, boiled noodles, with a crusty top layer.
Denise: I found a bite of chicken in there.
Erin: I had three not-impressive bites.
Denise: So I ordered the General Tso’s Pork Shank…
Erin: SO BIG!
Denise: As I said last night, it tasted like Chinese food you’d get at the mall.
Erin: Yes! Again, if you know you’re ordering Chinese at the mall, it’s fine.
Denise: Definitely edible.
Erin: Yes, but when you’re expecting more. Oh, we also ordered garlic-y fries. At the risk of being contrarian, they were too garlic-y.
Denise: I didn’t think they were garlic-y enough!
Erin: Conflict! Agree to disagree — we probably ate from opposite sides of the plate.
Denise: Fair enough!
Denise: You know what I did like?
Erin: All of your drinks?
Denise: What drinks? You mean the soda I ordered?
Erin: Yep! Okay, seriously, what did you like?
Denise: The desserts!
Erin: OOH, I FORGOT ABOUT THOSE UNTIL RIGHT NOW.
Denise: We had the fried ice cream and the ice cream pie.
Erin: They were delish! The ice cream pie was what I call grasshopper pie (anyone?), but it was mint chocolate chip ice cream on an oreo crust, and we inhaled it.
Denise: I’ve heard of grasshopper pie.
Erin: And the fried ice cream, while pretty standard, was a nice treat — and more flavorful than our entrees.
Denise: It’s hard to f— up ice cream.
Erin: Truth bomb.
Denise: Oh, I forgot the best part! I was so upset when I tried to order the watermelon margarita, which the New York Times review said “tastes like some combination of radiator fluid and formaldehyde,” only to find out that they had already taken it off the menu.
Erin: And the waiter said you weren’t the only one who tried to order it that evening!
Denise: Overall impressions?
Erin: The food had Times Square prices: I would be a lot more forgiving if this stuff was served up at a dive bar at 2 a..m when I’m drunk.
Denise: Agreed. It’s not even close to being worth the money. Would you go back again?
Erin: You mean for a third time? No, because what I enjoyed was the burger, and I can get that literally anywhere. Would you?
Denise: Not even if I were paid to, which was how I got there in the first place.