"Give 'em Vegas" Guy Fieri debuts Smokehouse
Guy Fieri was there with the hair, the red Camaro and his flair for entertaining to launch the Guy's Smokehouse chain at 4th Street Live Monday.
Louisville, KY - "You got to give `em a little Vegas," Guy Fieri said as he settled into a red Naugahyde booth Monday at his new Guy's Smokehouse restaurant at Fourth Street Live Monday. He was talking about the decor: flames stenciled around the ceiling, fans whirring overhead, oversize exposed bulbs and the chrome eagle sculpture with a 60-inch wingspan over his head on the wall of reclaimed wood paneling. "We are wowing 'em."
Then a glistening pile of ribs caught his eye, piled high on a cart pushed by a kitchen worker straight from the giant smoker puffing outside on the patio.
"When do you ever see the meat get wheeled through? Can you grab me a rack of those ribs that just rolled by?" Fieri said as he hailed a server. "Lemme show you how to eat a rib."
"Rip a chunk of that off there," Fieri said as he thumbed a pork rib free. "Take a bite. It doesn't tear off. This isn't smoked until it falls off the bone. It's supposed to be chewy. It's not supposed to be mush."
"See the smoke ring? You want just enough smoke. You don't want to be biting into an ashtray," the 48-year-old chef added between lip smacks of peppery dry rub. "All that flavor is inside of that bone and that meat. Sugar, granulated garlic, salt and pepper. That's all you need. You don't need any sauce."
One ray of health shines through a menu of "Trash Can Nachos," deep-fried "Pit Smoked Pig Wings," "Triple Crown Grilled Cheese," a platter of "Motley Que," "Chicken Fried Chicken," and "Grilled Bone-In Rib Eye;" entrees that come with sides like smashed fingerling potatoes, jalapeno cream sausage gravy, house-made pickles, "Mac Daddy Mac N Cheese," and "Pit Baked Beans."
Set apart by red brackets on the first page of an otherwise stark black and white menu, "Morgan's Roasted Brussel Sprouts & Smoked Sweet Potato" is a lush pile of vegetables, red onions, raisins tossed in balsamic mustard vinaigrette with a topping of fried onions for crunch.
The red brackets "mark special items," Fieri said of the vegetarian starter. "Otherwise, peoples' eyes might just glaze over it."
Piling on spice, flavor and texture is the Fieri way, whether it's "Sashimi Tuna Tacos with wasabi cream and mango jalapeno radish or "Vegas Fries," with crushed wasabi peas and crumbled blue cheese. Even the cheesecake comes topped with crushed potato chips on top.
"I try not to brand things with "spicy" or "hot." I just try to make it a good seven out of 10," Fieri said. "I want people to try it. With some of this food, the spice will be just outside the box for most people."
But Fieri played it straight with banana pudding pie, a five-inch tall slice with a moist graham cracker crust and vanilla wafers on top.
"My goal is not to get into the menu and say `I have to 'Guy-a-fy' everything," Fieri said with a wink. "I don't have to coat everything in a spicy Asian sauce and fry it and hit it with fresh lime juice. Somethings I like to give a little extra to it. Banana creme pie is a traditional staple. Sometimes people just like things to stay."