Last year, Guy Fieri's Times Square behemoth, Guy's American Kitchen & Bar, opened in New York City. On Nov. 13, 2012, the New York Times published food critic Pete Wells's review of the restaurant, " As Not Seen on TV, " a scathing questionnaire lobbing insults at everything from the food to the design to the service. Wells called the Awesome Pretzel Chicken Tenders "very far from awesome" and the nachos "deeply unlovable," asking, "When you hung that sign by the entrance that says, 'Welcome to Flavor Town,' were you just messing with our heads?"
The review is as negative as any the Times has ever published, and in part because of its abundance of derogatory superlatives, it went viral. It was heavily shared on social media and written about in countless blogs, with writers alternately praising it, questioning its purpose , or critiquing it. Luckily, unlike restaurateurs without national fame, Fieri was able to respond on as big a stage as "The Today Show." He gave a couple of reasons for the scathing review, mentioning that Wells visited in the first couple of months after the restaurant's opening (which often is not enough time to work out the kinks in a restaurant) and that the logistics of a 500-seat restaurant are complicated. Fieri also alleged an agenda on Wells's part, that he was "go[ing] after a celebrity chef who was not a New Yorker."
Guy Fieri also gave us this statement last week: "The restaurant just passed the one-year mark and it's doing fantastic. There's a great team in-place. We just shared the People's Choice award with my buddy Josh Capon at the New York City Wine and Food Festival. And we're looking forward to hosting a number of big events for the Super Bowl. It's going to be a lot of fun."
So we wanted to know, how is Guy's American Kitchen & Bar one year later? There was only one way to find out: Ask customers who had just eaten there. To see their responses, check out the video.
What did you think of Wells's review? Of Fieri's response? Anyone out there eaten at the restaurant? Tell us on Facebook or Twitter.