VegasEats: Guy Fieri's Vegas Kitchen & Bar at The Quad
Guy Fieri is the Ed Hardy of TV food personalities.
Much like the immensely popular - yet supremely hated - fashion brand, Fieri has gained a dedicated following of fans (and detractors) via his virtual ownership of airtime on basic extended cable's Food Network.
After gaining a degree in Hotel Management from UNLV, Fieri worked his way up through the ranks of well known food chains as chef, manager, corporate wonk and eventually owner and operator of a handful of his own joints in California. Guy launched into the stratosphere of fame and fortune after winning Food Network's in-house talent competition show "The Next Food Network Star" eventually becoming, along with fellow Caesars restauranteur Giada DeLaurentiis, one of the most familiar, friendly faces in food tv.
Guy Fieri's image is of a hot rod loving, super cool, hip, spiky, punky, quasi-douchebag armed with a quickdraw bag of cliched quips. Need some Fieri-isms? Make a withdrawl at Flavortown Savings and Loan.
Shortly after opening "Guy's American Kitchen & Bar" in New York City, New York Times dining critic Pete Wells wrote one of the most vitriolic (and awesome) reviews ever published by the Times, a review which went viral like no other dining review ever has. Wells questioned not only the menu, the food and the service... but called Fieri to the mat as a fraud, bastardizing the food he claims to love on his myriad TV shows. But can we really blame Ronald McDonald for the taste of his fries?
In Guy's post-New York Times review world, with the Vegas spotlight shining bright on Flavortown and Caesars execs breathing down his neck, how bad could it be? At the Quad, Guy's pie is covered with eyes and filled with fingers... the margin for error, one would assume, is nil.
I was joined on this lovely Quad afternoon by VT resident foodie JohnH and the king and queen of Vegas podcasting, Five Hundy By Midnight's Tim & Michele. After a short wait, we arrived at Guy Fieri's Vegas Kitchen to find a mostly packed restaurant and were seated outside, overlooking Harrah's Carnival Court.
Aaaaaargh. Tattooed napkin skullz and swashbuckling utensils. Ready to pillage Flavortown, I? Aye!?
Who wants a beer?
Our second Flavortown sighting. John & Tim ordered Lagunitas IPAs, all the while muttering their discontent about the beer offerings. Other than the Magic Hat 9, the selection at Guy Fieri's Vegas Kitchen & Bar is most certainly not off the chain.
Speaking of Flavortown, who wants some Guy Fieri merch?
Dude. A four pack of Guy Fieri bandanas? A tattooed cutting board? A custom cookware set? Can I bring this on the plane out of Flavortown?
Who wants some yum from the Flavortown 'tender, and I don't mean chicken fingers? This guy definitely wants to taste Guy's tipples:
Michele ordered the Austin Sweet Tea ($12) - deep eddy sweet tea vodka, sweetener, white peach syrup, fresh lemon juice - she had two of 'em. I wonder what "sweetener" means... Splenda?
My decision was easy. I love Van Halen and HATE Sammy Hagar. "I'll have a Flaming Hagar" - 'Sammy's beachbar rum, fresh mint, fresh lime juice, rock candy syrup, topped with Kasteel Rouge lambic' ($12). Sadly, the drink did not arrive en fieri.
Here's the Hagar.
Sweet rum-a-rita with a dash of soury beer, mint garnish sans speed limit. Sharp on the nose and sweet on the tongue.
We're all friends here, let's get something shareable.
Fueled by the fact that the douchey item descriptions rendered the menu unreadable, John made the executive decision and ordered the Guy-Talian Fondue Dippers ($14) for the group to share.
This is what arrived.
Straight from the test kitchen at Bonghit University came this culinary question mark, masked as a trashy chic nightmare. Breadsticks, wrapped in thinly sliced cold pepperoni, shaved parmesian with a "smokey" (HEHAHAHAHAH) provolone dip with tomato, basil, olive oil and sausage spooned on top.
They may look like crab legs, but they tasted like a solo stoned sophmore's saddest saturday night snack.
Michele ordered the Motley Que Sandwich ($19) - straight from guy's bbq krew. pulled pork shoulder smothered in guy's bourbon brown sugar bbq sauce, citrus slaw, pickle chips, aged cheddar + onion straws... stacked on an "awesome pretzel" bun.
As a kid, Guy operated a food cart selling "awesome pretzels" this is a running gag in his menus. Speaking of jokes, hahahah MOTLEY QUE! hahahahhahahahhahahah BBQ KREW! HAHAHAHAHA AHAHAH AH AH uhhhh. Yeah.
I watched Michele's face as she ate her first bite. Her eyebrows raised, face rumpled, squinted and brows furrowed in a thrice repeating loop of perplexitude. She remarked that her sandwich was difficult to manage, and remarkably unremarkable. She also made mention of the trash can fries - an amalgam of all cuts and types tossed in together, she would've preferred to have a choice instead of an array.
I will post a link in the comments to the forthcoming FHBM show wherein Tim & Michele discuss Guy's Vegas Kitchen & Bar.
John ordered the Big Dipper Sandwich ($20) - the mack daddy of all roast beef sandwiches. house-smoked shaved prime rib, pepper jack cheese, creamy horseradish on a toasted garlic torpedo roll. how can you resist?.
As a regular customer of Cole's and Philippe's - the restaurants who claim to have invented the French dip (Cole's is better) - seeing that thick cut beef frightened me. The point of the dip/au jus was (originally) to make the sandwich edible for a patron who didn't have any teeth. The French dip should be tender beyond compare.
Check out the big pink smoke ring on the beef. Also that it appeared to have been cut with the grain of the beef instead of across. John said "this looks like a fork & knife deal." Other than a ho-hum "it's okay?" that was about it for his comments about Guy Fieri's Big Dipper.
I tried desperately to get Tim to order the "Mayor of Flavortown Burger" - honestly, what could be more fun than watching Tim eat something described as a meat blanket? But instead he opted for the "Mac-N-Cheese Bacon Burger" ($20) claiming he was going to take one for the team. The MNCB Burger is - the burger that crushed its competition in the new york city's 2013 burger bash! built with crispy applewood bacon, six-cheese mac, ltop + more super-melty cheese between a garlicy toasted brioche bun.
Tim demolished it, leaving only scraps of bun on his wooden plank plate... he looked angry while eating it and angry after eating it... long before "Crazy On You" started blasting from the Carnival Court stage.
I ordered the Fireball Whisky Wings ($15) - these wings are certainly not for the faint of heart and should probably be illegal. classic buffalo sauce + fireball whisky meet to ignite a flavor explosion of epic proportions.
The wings - more specifically drumettes, there are no two-bone wing flats - were served skinless and Frenched away from the bone (aka 'lollipopped') and covered with finely julienned scallions. Fixins included sliced celery sprig, cross cut carrots, a halved pepper and a dipping bowl of bleu cheese dressing topped with wasabi crumbles.
The wings alone were sweet and only slightly spicy. The sizzle of Fireball Whisky has been cooked off, leaving the sugary faux-cinnamon flavor behind. On the spicy scale, these wings rate about a 4, but that will rocket to a 7 depending how much wasabi you grab from the dip.
Personally, I prefer slopping the meat off the bones and crispy chicken skin is the greatest thing in the world... why remove it? And... dude. Why no flats? Other than the chicken butt, its the most tender piece of meat on a chicken!
Generally, I liked the wings. As a guy who loves to put wasabi on everything, the wasabi flaked bleu cheese was wonderful... but that alone didn't make me fall in love with or see the value added by Guy's reinterpretation.
Our server Lydia was remarkably good, swashbuckling Flavortown jokes with witty retorts of her own, all the while not blinking an eye at the horrid denim on denim on denim on denim outfits she was forced to wear. Yowza.
Guy Fieri's Vegas Kitchen and Bar is just that... Guy Fieri's Vegas Kitchen and Bar. If you have any interest in the fantastic douchetasm that is Guy Fieri, you'll probably want to go here. It isn't an exciting culinary trend, an exotic cuisine or something simply yummy. You will come to Flavortown to get a taste of Flavortown, a place that only exists in the mind of Guy Fieri and his fans.
It is entirely appropriate to re-mint the worst of all cliches re: Guy Fieri's Vegas Kitchen and Bar - been there, done that - but I didn't buy the T-shirt. Or 4 pack of bandanas for $35 bucks.
The bill for lunch for four with three cocktails and two beers came to $164.31 without tip, before applying Total Rewards discount.
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