There were quite a few tourists at Guy Fieri's new Times Square restaurant. Literal tourists, sure. But also quite a few New Yorkers stopping by because, well, everyone loves to bottleneck around a car crash. Not that they filled the place up, mind you. Though you can't tell from the street, Guy's American Kitchen and Bar has a massive downstairs dining room ready to roll for when the eventual onslaught begins. So what to expect when your Uncle Sherman and Aunt Yvonne come into town from Kansas and insist on taking you there, their treat? Fat, sugar, grease and merch by the bucketful.

Still, if you order carefully, you'll be fine. We promise: we survived! So, let's review what we learned in our visit last night—which, to be fair, was the restaurant's second night in operation:

The Decor: Mix the host of Diners, Drive-Ins, and Dives with the team from Heartland Brewery and you get a pretty run of the mill Times Square theme restaurant. Each room has something! There is a music-themed room (that includes an old Apple "Think Different" poster featuring John Lennon and Yoko Ono rather than, y'know, a regular picture of them), a bar room, a room with animal heads mounted on the wall, and of course a gift shop up front! You want some trendy features? No worries, they have a few Edison-style lights to keep it real. Mostly though the space is filled with all new, kind of cheap, furniture and carpeting that will clearly get worn in fast. Oh, and don't worry: there are lots of TVs stuffed in every corner—even in the bathrooms!

The Service: Look, they know where they work. A job is a job. Be nice to them, m'kay? It isn't their fault.

The Drinks: Hope you like sugar, because the drinks at Guy's are suh-weet. Even the special Guy-branded Heartland Brewery beers have a slightly sugary taste. Curiously, however, the sweetest drink we tasted wasn't "Jimmy Fallon's Boozy Creamsicle" (which wasn't awful?) but the "Ginger O.C." which boasted Sauvignon Blanc, Hendricks gin, Midori, ginger liquor, pineapple juice as well as (not muddled) cucumber and basil. Our tasting notes on it read "viscous, green, sweet." If the sugary drinks ban goes through this drink might as well be illegal. We didn't get a chance to try any of the California wines on the menu, but if you are stopping by we'd recommend sticking to the hard liquor from the bar.

The Food: In order to give Guy a chance we ordered a whole lot from his epic menu (below) and some of it wasn't bad. Seems that when they say the dishes marked with a little "Guy!" logo are the signatures they have good reason—those dishes were consistently better than the regular menu items.

So what was good? As far as apps, the ahi tuna tacos were arguably the best dish we sampled. The tuna was fresh and the fried wonton shell added a pleasing (if greasy) crunch but, then again, it's kind of difficult to mess up a tuna taco. The pretzel-crusted chicken fingers, while described as "Awesome" on the menu, failed to live up to the hype. The chicken itself was dry and overly salted (a common theme), the pretzel taste all but non-existent. The honey-mustard dipping sauce was pleasingly piquant though so it wasn't a complete wash. As for the Malibu Oysters? Just say no—unless you enjoy mushy, gooey, greasy oysters.

As for entrees? Equally inconsistent. The Pat LaFrieda custom blend burger wasn't horrible, although consensus deemed it "like Burger King." If you want a solid Pat LaFrieda burger you'd probably be better off going down the block to Shack Shake (it'd be cheaper, too). The accompanying regular fries were tasty, thin and crisp—although, as with everything, way over-salted. One thing you can't get at Shack Shack is Guy's signature "Donkey Sauce"—composed of mayonnaise, mustard, Worcestershire and garlic—"so good you'd be an ass not to like it!" A side of garlic fries however did not work out so well. Despite some promising flavor we were sidelined by literal pools of grease pouring off them (see photo). And while we worried the Tequila Turkey Fettuccine would arrive a soggy pile of limp noodles swimming in thick cream the reality wasn't so messy. The kitchen used a restrained hand on the Alfredo sauce, which had a nice zing—if not much tequila flavor. Sure, the turkey looked canned but overall you could do worse.

Which brings us to the Crispy Braised Pork Shank With Gremolata. There are few words for that baby which was distinctly not a "signature" dish. The mashed potatoes were (possibly) prepared from real potatoes and were flavored subtly with a hint of butter, and that's where the praise ends. The head-scratching "gremolata," comprised of golden raisins, capers, herbs and lemon, did little to offset the dry salt lick pork shank. If you are a deer, you would like this dish. If you are a slug, this thing would be fatal.

And the desserts? They are chain restaurant desserts.

Kewl? Would we go back? Not unless Uncle Sherman and Aunt Yvonne insisted on going before a show and we couldn't persuade them to try anything (ANYTHING) else. Which honestly could well happen. Our problem with the food wasn't so much with the eating it (well, besides the salt) as it was with the feeling it left us with afterwards. Like somebody had stuffed a pile of rocks into our gut and told us to run laps. In any case, we'll remember: stick to the signature dishes and ask them to hold the salt.

With Tien Mao and Nell Casey