Five reasons why Guy Fieri should drive to Douchebagistan and never come back
GQ just voted Guy Fieri number eleven on its list of The Least Influential People of 2012. I am surprised he made it to the number eleven spot, especially after the Wells review of his Times Square restaurant, Guy's American Kitchen & Bar. I read the review, in all its well-written hilarity; highlights include "...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" and "Why augment tortilla chips with fried lasagna noodles that taste like nothing except oil? Why not bury those chips under a properly hot and filling layer of melted cheese and jalapeños instead of dribbling them with thin needles of pepperoni and cold gray clots of ground turkey?"
But witty screed aside, the broader point of the review is that the restaurant has Guy Fieri's name all over it -- literally. And what are his customers paying for? His name? His douche-plunging Guy-isms, like Motley Que Ribs and Guy-talian Nachos? The entire menu gives off the whiff of being half a flip-flop-wearing step away from TGI Friday's. Fieri should have stayed at TGIFs, because at least that company doesn't try to hide the fact that it's a douche-farm.
I hear and read Fieri defenders pribble on about how he's the proverbial white knight of normal, average, hard-working, unpretentious Midwestern diners who are oppressed and marginalized by hoity-toity East and West Coast chefs and their expensive, unapproachable, foreign-sounding dishes, and to that I say the geographic and class divides are largely apocryphal. Dining does not have to be a zero-sum experience, and the same folks who like wings, cheeseburgers and fries can be, and often are, the same people who like foie gras, cave-aged Brie and a nice croque monsieur from time to time. A croque monsieur is just a hot ham and cheese sandwich, and Fieri is just a douchemeyer because all he did to build his career was take comfort-food dishes that people already liked, slap his own made-up names on them, scream "Boo-YAH!" a couple of times and then wank his way to the bank.