I suppose one could argue that devoting real estate in the New York Times to a review of a Times Square “restaurant” serving Southern Southwestern corn dog batter to particularly gullible or intimidated tourists is overkill. But when it’s directed at 1)the profit-taking brand extension of the most Irritating Person in the World, and 2)it’s funny, I say Wells is doing God’s work:
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?
Did you notice that the menu was an unreliable predictor of what actually came to the table? Were the “bourbon butter crunch chips” missing from your Almond Joy cocktail, too? Was your deep-fried “boulder” of ice cream the size of a standard scoop?
What exactly about a small salad with four or five miniature croutons makes Guy’s Famous Big Bite Caesar (a) big (b) famous or (c) Guy’s, in any meaningful sense?
Were you struck by how very far from awesome the Awesome Pretzel Chicken Tenders are? If you hadn’t come up with the recipe yourself, would you ever guess that the shiny tissue of breading that exudes grease onto the plate contains either pretzels or smoked almonds? Did you discern any buttermilk or brine in the white meat, or did you think it tasted like chewy air?
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?
Donkey sauce? SMC (super-melty-cheese)? As a connoisseur of bad early-90s infomericals, the latter seems especially perfect given the shared name with the Tom Bosley-promoted marketing scam that’s not sophisticated enough to rise to the level of being a pyramid scheme:
Before this restaurant closes, I fully expect servers to start pitching worthless merchandise that can be sold in a Las Vegas gift shop for a 300% profit!!!!!! The mark…er, customers would probably be getting a better deal. Anyway, this definitely belongs in the canon with Bruni’s takedowns of Harry Cipriani and Ago.