People always say Conde Nast shut down Gourmet Magazine because readership was low, and it was an elitist magazine at a time when the financial crisis had everyone worried about more important things than a last-minute puttanesca. But that’s a total lie. It was because they knew Guy Fieri was planning to open Guy’s American Kitchen & Bar, and once it opened, there was no point in running a food magazine since all its pages would have to be filled with the gourmet findings on Guy’s menu. Alas, after five years, the Times Square beacon that welcomed tourists from Muncie with open arms will serve its last mozzarella stick on New Year’s Eve.
Eater reports that December 31 stis the last day for the restaurant that gave every food critic in Manhattan the heaves. Guy gave no reason as to why he was closing the restaurant, but he said through a spokesperson that he was “proud” to have served millions of people through the years. Even though Gwyneth Paltrow would sooner eat a 20-piece McNugget meal than fathom appearing at Guy’s Times Square restaurant, the place was popular. It apparently won the 2013 Food & Wine Festival Burger Bash and drew thousands at a FieriCon bar crawl as recently as November.
Alas, the restaurant did not exactly get off on the right foot. The New York Times food critic Pete Wells gave the restaurant zero stars, and I was shocked mainly that the Times even knew restaurants existed in Times Square. Pete’s review included such gems as:
“Why did the toasted marshmallow taste like fish?”
“What accounts for the vast difference between the Donkey Sauce recipe you’ve published and the Donkey Sauce in your restaurant? Why has the hearty, rustic appeal of roasted-garlic mayonnaise been replaced by something that tastes like Miracle Whip with minced raw garlic?
And when we hear the words Donkey Sauce, which part of the donkey are we supposed to think about?”
Guy’s menu was also a work of art, with such profound names as “Awesome Pretzel Chicken Tenders” and “Ain’t No Thing Butta Chicken Wing” that made me think the investors of this restaurant agreed to provide funds only if the Pi Kappa Alpha house was hired to write all the menus. The food world hasn’t had such a stunning loss since the death of Julia Child, but Martha Stewart and all other food snobs can take solace that Guy and his Florida Panhandle trailer park sexiness still has oodles of restaurants around the world.