The New York Times loathes success outside of their liberal world view. While it is OK for the big libs who run Apple, Costco, Progressive to prosper, they bristle when an American success story comes along outside of their thinking.
For example, take the popular celebrity chef Guy Fieri. He runs several restaurants, has a very popular Food Network show as host of “Diners, Drive ins and Dives” (which celebrates Americana) and markets a lot of products. (He even has a line of fresh meat products; I bought his carne asada at Super Target last week and enjoyed it.) Fieri seems to revel in American entrepreneurship and down home humor. He has hit the big time.
What might be his greatest offense, however, is a new restaurant he has opened in Times Square, dangerously close to the New York Times hq. The demented Gray Lady sent over one of her food reviewers to take a look at the interloper. He didn’t like what he saw.
Pete Wells wrote a review of Guy’s American Kitchen and Bar. Would you think he liked it? Would you think he was fair in evaluating it? Well, would you write a review that was nothing but questions, and smart aleck ones to boot?
Here’s how it begins:
GUY FIERI, have you eaten at your new restaurant in Times Square? Have you pulled up one of the 500 seats at Guy’s American Kitchen & Bar and ordered a meal? Did you eat the food? Did it live up to your expectations?
Did panic grip your soul as you stared into the whirling hypno wheel of the menu, where adjectives and nouns spin in a crazy vortex? When you saw the burger described as “Guy’s Pat LaFrieda custom blend, all-natural Creekstone Farm Black Angus beef patty, LTOP (lettuce, tomato, onion + pickle), SMC (super-melty-cheese) and a slathering of Donkey Sauce on garlic-buttered brioche,” did your mind touch the void for a minute?
Wells is just getting started. The guy can’t turn off his snark machine.
Why is one of the few things on your menu that can be eaten without fear or regret — a lunch-only sandwich of chopped soy-glazed pork with coleslaw and cucumbers — called a Roasted Pork Bahn Mi, when it resembles that item about as much as you resemble Emily Dickinson?
Has anyone ever told you that your high-wattage passion for no-collar American food makes you television’s answer to Calvin Trillin, if Mr. Trillin bleached his hair, drove a Camaro and drank Boozy Creamsicles? When you cruise around the country for your show “Diners, Drive-Ins and Dives,” rasping out slangy odes to the unfancy places where Americans like to get down and greasy, do you really mean it?
He finishes with this: “Does this make it sound as if everything at Guy’s American Kitchen & Bar is inedible? I didn’t say that, did I?”
Nothing in this review is really about the food. It’s about taking down a man who is an American success story and who clearly likes himself and the people who get on his show – average Americans, most of them residents of Flyover country.
In the eyes of the Times these are two cardinal sins not to be tolerated.
But the Times didn’t stop there. Food industry site The Braiser found out that the Times held an ad sales party for 160 people there on the day the review was published. Rub some more salt in the wound!
Who knows how these things pan out? As rocky as the NYT is, Guy may have the last laugh. His American Kitchen may outlast the tottering old lady. I hope so.