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 Allahpundit
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.