Fieri’s Fiery Fiasco

Generally speaking, Passable is a Halifax/Nova Scotia/Atlantic Canada food blog. Sure, sometimes we talk about the places we’ve visisted, or people we find interesting that aren’t located in the immediate area.  That’s where Read Up On It fits in. It’s a collection of links to posts/videos/stories about the food world at large.

In the case of the recent New York Times Review of Guy Fieri’s new restaurant, well… it kind of deserved its own post.

To be truthful, most restaurant reviews are interesting only to the people who live in the city where said review is posted.  To be fair, there are people who don’t live in New York who read the NYT’s reviews: foodies, restaurant people, chefs, and weirdos like me who like to know what’s going on in the world of food.

But this review in particular was soon read by people who don’t read reviews. Why? Because it’s funny. Because it’s rude.  Because it’s a piss take. Because the entire thing is written in the form of questions.

Here’s a taste:

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?

As I continued reading the review, the one word that popped into my mind was : SHADE.

For those of you don’t know of the term “shade” – and I don’t mean something provided by an umbrella – allow me to demonstrate, via Jennie Livingston’s 1990 documentary, “Paris Is Burning”.

And that’s shade.

So then, the review made the rounds on the internet. College Humour decided to pen a satirical response from Fieri. Even Ruth Bourdain got in on the action, asking Fieri, “Would you please once and for all provide the geographic coordinates of Flavor Town?”. Even Lettermen got in on the joke.

Again, as I was saying:

I promise, this will be the last drag queen in this post.

But I think the best and funniest response to all of this has been Fieri’s.  Appearing on The Today Show this morning, Fieri makes mention of the fact that the restaurant has been open for only “two months” at least four times, and accuses reviewer Pete Wells of “having another agenda”.


Let’s take stock of this, shall we, and write in the style of Pete Well’s “questionable” review.

What agenda could Wells possibly have? To express what happened to him at the restaurant? Do you think four separate visits wasn’t enough of a chance for your restaurant to pass the muster of a restaurant critic? Let alone one whose face is relatively easy to find?

You are a “celebrity chef”.  You are – fairly or not – arguably held to a higher standard, especially when it comes to food bearing your name.Would you, Guy Fieri, eat in a restaurant that seats 500 people? Would you expect the food to be great?

Would you expect that after two months, that a restaurant, especially your restaurant, which you state that you care about, would allegedly put out food and provide service that could possibly lead to a review like the one you got?

To my last three questions, can I assume the answer is, “No?”