Green Room

Confirmed: New Yorkers now flocking to Guy Fieri’s allegedly terrible restaurant out of morbid curiosity

posted at 3:07 pm on December 12, 2012 by

We all knew it was coming. Well, at least I did.

New York’s newest pastime: Rubbernecking at the 50-car pile-up in Flavor Town.

Brooklyn-based attorney Nneka Udoh visited Times Square last Saturday to, as she put it, “see if Pete Wells was just writing that review to get attention.” She dined with a party of seven, including a sister who lives in New Jersey and likes chain restaurants such as Chili’s and Applebee’s, and is a faithful Guy Fieri fan. “She’s exactly the type of person this restaurant should be marketed to,” Udoh says. But even her sister agreed that the mediocre chicken wings and entrees weren’t up to her usual strip-mall standards. “The drinks were strong,” Udoh says. “We ordered a lot of them to make up for the fact that we didn’t like our food.” The final bill was over $400…

When Gary He, a 29-year-old freelance photographer based in Manhattan, visited Guy Fieri’s with a friend on Thanksgiving, the place was packed with locals. “They were all coming in an ironic way to check it out,” he said. He ordered from a special Thanksgiving menu with offerings that ranged from a “pretty decent” beet salad to “flavorless” turkey that tasted as if it had been cooked in a microwave. “I don’t know what [Fieri] was thinking,” said He. “Maybe he’s just trying to replicate what your drunk grandma would make you for Thanksgiving?”

When I told He that I planned to try the restaurant myself, he offered some advice. “Buy Ex-Lax,” he said. “No, don’t laugh. I mean it.”

I need more precision here. Morbid curiosity and irony are two different things. Are people going there thinking, “This can’t possibly be as bad as the Times said,” or are they going there thinking, “Man, I sure hope this is as bad as the Times said”? The answer, I guess, depends on whether you’re from Brooklyn.

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Dude, That’s Money. (Fist bump)

portlandon on December 12, 2012 at 3:14 PM

Going into the city, which I do at least once a week, is always a case of morbid curiosity.

rik on December 12, 2012 at 3:19 PM

Out of Bounds!

trs on December 12, 2012 at 3:20 PM

Reminds me of a truck stop billboard in eastern-central PA on I-80 that advertises “the world’s worst apple pie.”

CurtZHP on December 12, 2012 at 3:26 PM

So when do people really believe it’s bad and stop going? What’s the time frame for running out of people needing to verify the review.

Cindy Munford on December 12, 2012 at 3:30 PM

If you want to eat schitty food in Times Square, why not walk a couple blocks up 7th Avenue and go to the T.G.I. Friday’s? Shorter wait, cheaper bill, fewer ironic hipsters.

steebo77 on December 12, 2012 at 3:30 PM

It really gets tiring how highly New Yorkers think of themselves.

dczombie on December 12, 2012 at 3:32 PM

The place is full of self-absorbed 20-and-30-somethings making videos of the place, their friends, their server, the food as it arrives, their eating of the food, all accompanied by their self-imagined snarky/witty commentary. After that, they post the videos to YouTube and wait for the views. They live for the day they do SOMETHING, ANYTHING that might go viral and give them 15 seconds of inter-fame.
I know all this without even doing a Google search or looking at YouTube. That’s just the way it is now…

Marcola on December 12, 2012 at 3:43 PM

steebo77 on December 12, 2012 at 3:30 PM


IMHO TGI Fridays are to be avoided in any locale but the one off Times Square serves the same crappy food at inflated prices. A win/win for the libtard urbanites of NYC.

brtex on December 12, 2012 at 4:03 PM

I would reserve the term “morbid curiousity” for actual death traps like the Heart Attack Grill.

But that’s just me.

Myron Falwell on December 12, 2012 at 4:31 PM

The man himself turns my stomach enough, without trying his food.

backwoods conservative on December 12, 2012 at 5:09 PM

Ex Lax is the kicker.

guido911 on December 12, 2012 at 5:19 PM

One of my coworkers went last week. She said it was a pretty good restaurant and very inexpensive considering that it’s in the middle of Times Square.

Maybe she’s not ironic enough. I doubt it’s her pallet, which isn’t likely any less sophisticated than the ‘bag hipsters and pilgrims from the sticks.

HitNRun on December 12, 2012 at 5:21 PM

HAHAHAHAHA good call on BK, AP.

blatantblue on December 12, 2012 at 5:27 PM

I saw a news piece not long ago about how Fieri was making his staff sort and weigh all the trimmings, peels, and other refuse before tossing it out in some BS effort to reduce bio-waste. The staff gave it a shot for a while before giving up. Maybe if Fieri focused more on the menu than on P.C. eco-nonsense he wouldn’t be the laughing stock of the New York hipster douchebag set.

Dead Hand Control on December 12, 2012 at 5:31 PM

Allah ,
Just go ! We’ll all donate to the ” experience ” . Well , ok I will .
Write a review …. we trust you .

Lucano on December 12, 2012 at 6:36 PM

Allah ,
Just go ! We’ll all donate to the ” experience ” . Well , ok I will .
Write a review …. we trust you .

Lucano on December 12, 2012 at 6:36 PM

I’m in. lets send AP.

AP, I’ll put in 5 bucks for your munches, or 10 bucks to your favorite charity, for your review.

Irritable Pundit on December 12, 2012 at 7:04 PM

Morbid curiosity obesity

The real reason they go.

hillsoftx on December 12, 2012 at 8:05 PM

I’m in. lets send AP.

AP, I’ll put in 5 bucks for your munches, or 10 bucks to your favorite charity, for your review.

Irritable Pundit on December 12, 2012 at 7:04 PM

Yeah, set up a tip jar! 🙂

22044 on December 12, 2012 at 8:20 PM

Where do we find you eating, Allah? The T Bone Diner? LOL

xkaydet65 on December 12, 2012 at 8:25 PM

In other words its turning into a cash cow.

rob verdi on December 12, 2012 at 8:59 PM

Let’s hope it’s Allah’s cash cow !
Come on guys ! We need a review !

Lucano on December 12, 2012 at 10:02 PM

IIRC, the original bad review slammed the appetizers but praised the main menu. So I suspect most of these hipster douchebags are just trying to be cool and failing.

Adjoran on December 12, 2012 at 11:25 PM

So now are the critics all sorry they mocked it?

stukinIL4now on December 13, 2012 at 12:09 PM

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