"Flavortown is more than a place, it's an experience"-- words from my friend Caroline. Guy Fieri is undoubtedly one of Food Network's biggest stars. His frosted tips, flame shirt, and goatee have managed to enter America's collective consciousness. New York is one of the best foodie cities and as a self-proclaimed foodie/Guy Fieri fan, I had to visit places featured on Guy's show. I put three places to the test: Pies N' Thighs, Bunker Vietnamese, and Don Antonio Pizzeria. Each place was judged on taste, service, price, location, with an overall score out of 5🔥. Would any of these places take me to Flavortown?
First up was Pies N' Thighs, which I chose because of the name. I managed to drag three of my friends with me, so we were able to order a LOT of food. We went around 7PM, so the place was very busy but we still got our food relatively quickly. The overall vibe of Pies N' Thighs was really cute and aesthetic (+1🔥).
Here's what we ordered:
- A Super Bowl with black eyed pea salad, mac n cheese, and hush puppies with a side of cornbread
- Another super bowl with mac n cheese, baked beans, and chicken breast with a side of biscuit
- Carolina pulled pork box sandwich with burnt ends baked beans
- Chicken biscuit with a side of mac n cheese and cornbread
And although we were stuffed we had to order a piece of pie, so we got a slice of passionfruit pie.
Highlights of the meal were definitely the mac n cheese, the biscuit, and the pie. The mac n cheese was creamy with a slight kick (horseradish maybe?), and you could definitely taste the passionfruit in the pie. The biscuit, which my friend described as being "like a croissant in a biscuit," as it was so flaky and soft on the inside. 10/10. The price also ended up being around $20/person, pretty reasonable for this amount of food in the city.
Favorite item: the pie, with the mac n cheese at a close second
Was I taken to Flavortown? 100%.
Overall rating: 🔥🔥🔥🔥/🔥🔥🔥🔥🔥
The next stop on my journey to flavortown was Bunker Vietnamese. I went to the Dekalb Market hall location- it was more convenient for me but I did struggle to find the stall. Sadly they didn't have what Guy had ordered (Banh Xeo, a type of crepe) so I got the next best thing: a mushroom Banh Mi with an iced coffee, coming out to around $20.
I regret to say the Banh Mi did not teleport me to flavortown. The sandwich as a whole was good, just not good enough for flavortown. But the iced coffee, on the other hand, was FLAWLESS. I usually drink black coffee but even I think the sweetened condensed milk just does not get enough credit.
Favorite item: Iced coffee. Would go back for just that.
Was I taken to Flavortown? Eh.
Overall rating: 🔥🔥🔥/🔥🔥🔥🔥🔥
The last place on my quest to Flavortown was Don Antonio Pizzeria in Hell's Kitchen. I went for a simple margherita pizza and tiramisu and honestly, left a little bit disappointed. The pizza looked good and had a nice charred crust but the sauce was a little too watery and the crust slightly too thick. Good portion size though. Despite trying to go to flavortown, the tiramisu didn't really have a flavor to it- I got a hint of coffee but the overall taste was just sweet.
Favorite item: Nothing, really
Was I taken to Flavortown? Not really. There was no flavor in the flavortown.
Overall rating: 🔥🔥/🔥🔥🔥🔥🔥
Overall I'd say my journey to flavortown was a bit disappointing. To Guy Fieri, I'm really sorry. Flavortown just didn't live up to the hype. Maybe I ordered the wrong thing, or maybe I'm just not cut out for it. The one win? I would totally go back to Pies N' Thighs, and order a slice of every pie on the menu.