Live From Flavortown: Guy Fieri’s First Midtown Lunch Service

Yesterday afternoon the doors swung open to Flavortown Guy’s American Bar & Grill in Times Square (on 44th btw. 7+8th), but not in time for lunch. Which makes today their very first lunch service. How could we not? Our intrepid reporter @samkimsamkim is on the scene reporting live…

12:02pm – Ready for Flavortown!

12:03pm – Yes, that is a electronic menu outside of the restaurant… complete with Guy Fieri clips. Mesmerizing.

12:05pm – There are a surprising number of solo diners in suits. Surprised there aren’t more tourists. Not surprised that Guy Fieri fans who have to go opening day have no friends.  (This will surprise nobody, but I too found it difficult to find somebody to go with me.)

Alright… let’s take a look at the menu.

12:11pm – “Donkey sauce” seems to be prevalent on a number of the menu items.  Let’s google that, shall we?  A lot of references to donkey semen.  That sounds about right.

12:12pm – Authentic donkey sauce fans will be disappointed.  Server says it’s mustard, mayo, worcestershire, and garlic.  He also said awesome 3 times.

12:18pm – Urgh.  Soup is the only thing on this menu under $10.  Definitely not a Midtown Lunch.  Cheapest burger is $14.   On the plus side it features “super melty cheese” and there’s “hand cut pepperoni” on the menu.

12:19pm – The chicken parm is 25 dollars.  For those of you keeping track at home, that’s 1 1/2 chicken parms at Parm.  Or four of these.

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12:22pm –  We have our first tourist sighting!!! They passed on buying a shirt… not a good sign. Maybe if they had noticed Guy walking by it would have helped. (In fairness to them, he is sporting unbleached hair for some reason.)

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12:25pm – So this is what $15 worth of nachos looks like.

12:32pm – First ironic visitor sighting! The hipsters alternated between staring at the phone and admiring the decor. They didn’t buy a shirt, but they are staying to eat. Maybe on the way out?

12:34pm – Not surprised at all by the great verbiage on the menus. Who wouldn’t like “Cherry Toms”? I am however shocked to see that low fat dressing is available.

12:38pm – Things are starting to really pick up now. Around 20 people in the restaurant… which by my count makes it an almost 1:1 customer to waitstaff ratio.

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12:40pm – Pat LaFrieda blend burger w/ natural cut fries. Smashed? Check. Flavorless? Check. I can’t eat this… I might need to order something else. On the positive side the super melty cheese is indeed, super melty.

12:46pm – Just overheard the bartender explaining to two older businessmen who Guy is. In case you were wondering, Guy is also really nice.

12:50pm – Not many “add ons” on the menu. Except one. You can add chicken to the fifteen dollar bacon mac n cheese for 5 dollars (naturally.)

12:55pm – Do you want to see the bathroom wallpaper? Of course you do!

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I think Sam’s phone died. Or he never made it out of the bathroom… hopefully we’ll hear from him soon!

UPDATE: And he’s back!

1:15pm – Sorry, my phone died… sadly while taking a photo of the chicken parm (which was also pretty bad.)  They have wi-fi but no outlets!  For all the flavortown talk I was expecting super salty, but most of it wasn’t.  They asked me how everything was, so I told them how bad the burger was.  They were very appreciative of the feedback, but didn’t take it off the bill.  (Sorry Zach!  You’ve still got to fork up the $$)

The big news is that Guy has autographed a bunch of the memorabilia, so if you’re planning on buying a t-shirt or commemorative plate now would be the time!

45 Comments

  • Grilled Bone-In Rib-eye for $39

    I’ll pay it if I can get it with a side of Fieri getting donkey punched

  • This place should be closed by Christmas.

    • I don’t want him to get another Lamborghini either.

    • I’d settle for a Chanukah miracle: there’s enough oil in Guy Fieri’s hair to operate the place for eight nights before the DoH shuts it down for using human hair grease to fry saucy donkey balls (Hey Guy, if you use that as a dish name, I expect a percentage – but who am I kidding, in the best of all possible worlds this place won’t operate long enough to get any percentage).

      Godspeed, Sam – I was praised for reviewing Roll and Go’s pizza, doing a public service – but your sacrifice outweighs my humble offering a hundredfold. Come back alive, comrade.

  • is he really that popular to have a restaurant? and why isn’t it a diner, drive-in or dive?!…

    • Yes, he is very, very popular. Each and every restaurant he profiles on his show becomes mobbed beyond belief for a year afterwards.

  • Thanks for the review. I was really curious about the bathroom wallpaper! :D

    Was Guy wearing sunglasses behind his head?

  • You’re a bunch of haters, such vitriol is usually reserved for the profiled luncher

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    honeslty not sure the big deal.. not like he is selling out.. He has always been this way.

    • Pretty sure the theme of this isn’t that a once-great food icon has sold out but that an always-lousy forced-down-your-throat “icon” has made Times Square even worse, and that’s saying a lot, given that even the tourists are probably gonna be confused now.

    • He’s buying-in into the minds and hearts of 40+ audience.

  • Is it money?

  • The whole idea of this place makes my skin crawl. It boggles my mind that people will travel to New York to spend money in a trap like this. Effing ridiculous.

    • hmmm a lot of ppl come visit and HAVE to visit the M&M store or Hershey kisses… never knowing what “real chocolate” tastes like…. ahhh, the power of advertising and marketing =)

  • I’m sad that he couldn’t make this a decent diner with fair prices. I guess it’s going to be in the Neely’s mold instead of something quality.

    He’s hardly forced down anyone’s throat. He has a couple of shows on a food network, not a talk show, magazine, and whatever else some food “celebrities” have on their plate.

    • Still doesn’t change the fact that he’s a walking thin-walled flexible plastic container of vinegar and water that would commonly be used as a feminine hygiene product.

      • Explain why. He’s over the top, but he does it to promote the hell out of good establishments that deserve the press.

      • Errrgh, three-levels-deep comment limit hit. Other than the rampant self-promotion of awful cooking on his early Food Network show, his shilling for TGI Friday’s should be a complete obviation of how he’s as low as it gets in terms of food. Diners, Drive-ins and Dives is a drop in the “Share an appetizer, get two entrees and a dessert from this predetermined list of crappy frozen junk that’s awful for $20″ bucket.

      • I’ll buy that as an explanation (the Applebee’s shilling) for the hatred, but as a worldly-wise consumer, I could ignore that as a paycheck opportunity, one that quickly died off to my recollection.

        I enjoy his current (or current-ish) two shows. When he cooks, or “cooks”, it’s typically just comfort food that looks tasty and isn’t too time-consuming, plus has the added bonus, like most of “TRIPLE D!!!!!”, of being very bad for you.

    • I hear he also has frozen food under his belt… has anyone tried?

  • i wish you guys tried the pretzel chicken tenders or the pepperoni mozzerella sticks or the firecracker chicken wings…now i’m going to have to waste my own $$ satisfying my dumb curiosity

  • The chips look a little greasy. The burger bun looks shiny.

    Are you guys going to revisit in 3 months? You know… for science?

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      The chips got greasier at the bottom. The burger bun was very very buttery. The subpar components when combined though, made for a very mediocre burger (which is a compliment for how bad the burger components actually are).

      • Was the burger meat itself decent? Or did they completely butcher LaFrieda? (No pun intended)

      • That’s a shame. I’m sure the chef & co (like most) really wanted to put out good food, especially for the first few customers of the first ever lunch service. Maybe the kitchen is just too green.

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    The comments he makes on the food on his show lately is very bad. He tries so hard to be cool and hip, but gives me the douche chills. I watch his shows for ideas not for his comments. Also his over the top smile and point. So bad.

    • May I please begin to use the phrase “douche chills” in everyday conversations? It sums up the feeling one gets when douchery is inbound so damn well.

  • “12:18pm – Urgh. Soup is the only thing on this menu under $10″. 12:19 should have read “had the soup” or “walked out the door”. This kind of place is all that is not a midtown lunch.

  • Overpriced and overspiced with douchebaggery. I doubt that this place will last more than 2 years.

    As much as I hate Fieri’s style, I gotta give him credit for rising-up from a dishwasher into the douchebag that he is now.

  • I am still waiting for the Larry The Cable Guy to open up his own restaurant.

  • Zimmern should open a restaurant right next to Ripley’s believe it or not.

  • Why is anyone surprised that this is in Times Square?

  • I almost went there today, but I was afraid someone would see me

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