My new favorite game is reading New York Times celebrity profiles out loud—sometimes just to myself! Nothing is more fun than really hitting home the super congratulatory, handjob-in-words kind of writing that shows up in the arts section of that paper. But last night I thought I might have a heart attack when food critic Pete Wells published his review of Guy’s American Kitchen & Bar, a Times Square joint (well, if "joint" can describe a 500-seat restaurant) eagerly visited by Midwestern tourists and bloggers who have given up on ironic dinners at Applebee’s. It’s quite a review. Here were the best lines that I read aloud in varying accents.
1. "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?"
2. "Were the ‘bourbon butter crunch chips’ missing from your Almond Joy cocktail, too?"
3. "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?"
4. "Any idea why [the watermelon margarita] tastes like some combination of radiator fluid and formaldehyde?" [Ed. note: how does Pete Wells know what either of those things taste like?]
5. "If a customer shows up with a reservation at one of your two Tex Wasabi’s outlets, and the rest of the party has already been seated, does the host say, ‘Why don’t you have a look around and see if you can find them?’ and point in the general direction of about 200 seats?"
6. "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?"
7. "Is this how you roll in Flavor Town?"
8. "Somewhere within the yawning, three-level interior of Guy’s American Kitchen & Bar, is there a long refrigerated tunnel that servers have to pass through to make sure that the French fries, already limp and oil-sogged, are also served cold?"
9. "[W]hen we hear the words Donkey Sauce, which part of the donkey are we supposed to think about?"
10. "Why did the toasted marshmallow taste like fish?"
Soooo, we’re still on for tonight at seven, right?
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