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Guy Fieri’s Restaurant -Everything wrong with Playa Del Carmen

Guy Fieri's kitchen and bar Playa Del Carmen

Guy Fieri’s Kitchen and Bar Playa Del Carmen

The Guy Fieri’s Restaurant has opened in Playa Del Carmen. As we have watched this project progress we have only rolled our eyes because it is the epitome of what Playa Del Carmen does not need. This is another example of investors who do not know Playa Del Carmen and blindly bring Americanism in the tackiest form. This is the reason Americans get a bad reputation in the world, yet many Americans always ask why? So we will spell it out for those who ask.

Bold, brash, unapologetic and overbearing with the pushiness of throwing shiny restaurants, corporate logos and huge, artery clogging food at consumers for a profit. It is the culturally insensitivity that makes this such a glaring example of what Playa Del Carmen should not be about.

This is not Cancun and this is not Any Town USA

What is so glaring with this new restaurant is the contrast between what was here and what is here now. The previous tenant was Yaxche Restaurant, which was a Mayan cuisine restaurant.

We were surprised when the Yaxche Mayan cuisine restaurant closed on Playa Del Carmen’s 5th Avenue. It had been around for years and was one of the only Yucatecan restaurants easily accessible to tourist. Although Yaxche Restaurant was not the best representation of Mayan cuisine, at least it tried and offered guest to Mexico a more regional taste. The storyline here could not be more in your face of what is wrong in Playa Del Carmen.

People come to Playa Del Carmen because it is quaint feeling, slightly chic, international city by the sea with great access to many nearby attractions. While some investors and developers only see $$$$ signs for cashing in on the rapidly developing city, They turn a blind eye to what Playa Del Carmen is and what most people want to see it become. Commercialization usually looks like one thing here, and that is the Hotel Zone of Cancun or a corner of an American shopping mall.

Everyone knows Cancun is not Playa Del Carmen and everyone in Playa usualy says they don’t really like Cancun. The reason in part is because Cancun is tacky, touristy and filled with malls, traffic, and has a different feel. No one really in Playa Del Carmen wants to see Playa become like a Cancun nor like a strip mall in Any Town, USA.

What is the new restaurant like

Guy Fieri’s Restaurant has indoor seating in air conditioning and outside seating. The style is a little like an American Diner and a little like a BBQ restaurant with tattoo art on the walls.

Guy Fieri's Restaurant Playa Del Carmen

Interior of Guy Fieri’s Restaurant.

 

Guy Fieri's Restaurant Playa Del Carmen

Interior of Guy Fieri’s Restaurant.

This is what they will be serving on the menu at Guy Fieri’s Restaurant

This is a very American style menu no matter how hard they try to sell it as a fusion or homage to Mexican food. Here they have big, fat, high caloric foods. With menu headings like “Flavortown Big Eats” and “Big Bite Burgers“, you know you are in for a full plate of food.

In the photo below you can see the Mac-N-Cheese Bacon Burger. Next to it is a basket of fries. We have to ask “What is going to be next? They bring a deep fryer to your table so you can plop the whole basket of fried food on your plate?”

Guy Fieri's Restaurant Playa Del Carmen

Hamburger with a basket of fries.

 

Guy Fieri's Restaurant Playa Del Carmen

Sandwich with fries.

Again, the portions let alone caloric content, is out of control here. This is the “Guy’s Cheesecake Challenge” dessert (It is actually larger in person). This is literally half a cheesecake with pretzels, potato chips and hot fudge. If this appeals to you, you will be happy to know that there is a place where they serve a double portion of this dessert, the grocery store. It is called a whole cheesecake.

Guy Fieri's Restaurant Playa Del Carmen

The cheesecake at Guy Fieri’s Kitchen and Bar. Seriously, that is the portion size!

Prices at Guy Fieri’s Kitchen and Bar

  • Appetizers 129-189 pesos.
  • Soups and Salads 79-169 pesos.
  • Wings 179-189 pesos.
  • Tacos 119-139 pesos.
  • Main plates 179-399 pesos.
  • Sandwiches 189-259 pesos.
  • Burgers 219-229 pesos.
  • Desserts 89-149 pesos.
  • Cocktails 229 pesos.  This might seem a bit high since most cocktails range from about 110-180 on 5th Avenue. At Guy Fieri’s you do get to keep the glass though.

Who will eat here at this restaurant

Since this restaurant is smack dab in the middle of 5th Avenue, this will mainly target tourist.  This will mainly be a restaurant where people that have heard of Guy Fieri’s Restaurants before will stop in. They will be comforted to see something familiar and this is a place for people who have no creativity or aptitude to try local restaurants. There will always be tourist who visit different countries only to end up eating at Burger King and McDonalds. Although Guy Fieri’s Restaurant is a step above the afore mentioned fast food joints, it will attract the same mentality of people.

Since there is a portion of locals that do like trying new places and also splurging on comfort foods, there will be some Mexicans that go here, even though a meal will cost more than what most people make in a day.

Our recommendations

We have to say that the BBQ sandwich is very good here and you can taste the smokehouse flavor. The sweetness of the sauce and tender meat are a good combination. The BBQ sandwich was one thing that really stood out and there are other dishes that are good here but the other factors of the Guy Fieri’s Restaurant overshadow them. The fact this is a commercialized restaurant that has in your face American style and food, really takes away from what Playa Del Carmen is. Yes there are many other tacky restaurants and shops that are open in Playa Del Carmen but this one practically is the breaking point.

Time will tell how this restaurant does in Playa Del Carmen. We do think back to American Joes Restaurant which was on 5th Avenue between 38th Street and 40th Street. We cringed every time we passed that restaurant as well. It did not fit into the landscape of Playa Del Carmen. The restaurant was over the top, American, diner style with American food. It was not the location that failed that restaurant, it was the concept. This is evident because Los Hijos restaurant opened in the same spot and is doing very well.

We are not happy to see businesses fail here in Playa Del Carmen. When some concepts fail though, we are pleased. We will give ideas and consultations to any business who asks us. Even if the owners of Guy Fieri’s Restaurant read this and want to know how they can fit in better to the fabric of what makes Playa Del Carmen special, we will be glad to offer suggestions.

Hours

Open daily from 11:00am-12:00 midnight.

Where is Guy Fieri’s Restaurant?

Guy Fieri’s Kitchen and Bar is on 5th Avenue and 22nd Street.

For more restaurant reviews, see our Playa Del Carmen Restaurant Guide here. There are hundreds of choices for you.

Have you been to Guy Fieri’s Restaurant in Playa Del Carmen? What did you think? Let us know in the comments below.

18 Comments on Guy Fieri’s Restaurant -Everything wrong with Playa Del Carmen

  1. I’ll be there tomorrow and coming from the USA I can say this is NOT why I have been coming to Playa! My heart will be broken if I ever see my favorite places on the beaches, 5th Ave and side streets disappear! It’s heartbreaking to see Playa losing some of its charm. I’ll be bringing my sons for the first time and have always imagined showing them a place that I have enjoyed so much!

    • Thanks for your comments Lisa. We will be hard to cover things here and let you know what is going on. Playa is going to grow, there is no doubt about that but we all have a chance to support the things we like. We try to give people options. There really is everything here, from deep cultural tours, to less so cultural activities. We are not a website supported by businesses, so we are able to talk about everything and are not just mentioning the places that can pay for advertisement. There are both small businesses and large that are doing good things and attributing to the community and tourism.

  2. I agree 100% with your general comments, though we haven’t eaten at this restaurant (and likely won’t). I’d like to add a “but” to the assessment however. We’ve found that while 5th Avenue is becoming more and more over bearing, there seems to be a significant number of restaurants opening up off 5th that are owner operated, cheap and excellent: the strip of 34th between 20th & 30th is one example, 10th Avenue is another. So there is hope for those looking for excellent local spots if you are willing to leave 5th Avenue.

  3. Lorraine Reynolds // November 24, 2016 at 11:17 AM // Reply

    Thanks for the straightforward assessment. It is a shame to see Playa losing its charm. The food at such places may be
    plentiful, even palatable, but the concept of more is better is unhealthy and unnecessary.

  4. darla saunderson // November 24, 2016 at 12:40 PM // Reply

    very well said, I agree with you 100%. I own a local business in Canada, and it is very hard to compete with chains. I have a very strict shop local policy, and I absolutely will continue this frame of mind while in playa. I remember when 5th avenue was a dirt road, and also feeling a little crushed when I saw a Walmart and burger king go up! Progress is good, but at what cost?

  5. Walked buy it several times last week at different hours of the night no more than 3 or 4 tables!
    Tried several places on your restaurant site and enjoyed them all (off of 5th Ave)

  6. Couldn’t agree more! If I wanted this I would of moved to
    Vegas!! Shame! I won’t go! I’ll wait til I’m in Vegas!

  7. Amen!!!!!!!!

  8. Dan Garrioch // November 24, 2016 at 5:42 PM // Reply

    We were in Playa last year and have been for the past 6 years. The vibe is dying. Becoming a commercial concrete jungle. Bad Boys gone, mega malls being built. I just wish the government would get their heads out of their asses and realize they are killing Playa.

  9. Barb from Canada // November 24, 2016 at 5:56 PM // Reply

    Well written article and I totally agree. I for one most definitely will NOT be visiting this restaurant when I’m there this winter. Just another example of Americanism taking over Playa. It ranks right up there with that ridiculous mall on 5th with all the American chain stores that took over the charming Calle Corazon, Tommy Hilfiger, tearing down Bad Boys to build some new building, the list keeps going on! So sad

    • Thank you for your comments. We also made comments in our article about the Plaza Calle corazón Building. We think some of our comments have been heard. We will continue to see how Playa developes and write about it.

  10. Our family is from California and has been visiting PDC for upwards of 15 years. The growth over the years as we all know has been amazing to watch. In Sept of this year we noticed the signage for this new restaurant on 5th Ave. I’m sure our reaction was the same as most, “Why?”. This article is correct, we don’t come to PDC for places like this, we come to explore and enjoy what PDC naturally has to offer. Please don’t lump all Americans into the same pot. That’s the only comment in this article that I think isn’t accurate “tacky Americanism”. Like any country, there are people of all types. Guy Fieri has a bold approach to food and I agree it doesn’t belong on 5th Ave in PDC. However, if you met Guy Fieri, you’d be surprised at what a down to Earth nice guy he is. I would imagine this restaurant is more to do with investors not understanding PDC.

    • Hello Chad

      Thanks for your comments. We really like to hear back from our readers. We certainly don’t want to lump all Americans or even the culture into one pot. We meant to refer just to the tacky part of culture that gets exported. We know that the United States is a very diverse country and some of the kindest and most generous people live there. The United States has some amazing culture as well. The food culture, travel shows and more are to be truly respected. We love highlighting the culture of the world and exposing people to what makes this part of the world different. The cultures of the world have so much wisdom and diversity that it is great to learn from all of them. Some cultures can be a bit overbearing or dominate and in our society today, money can talk and promote or push out others that do not have a voice of the know how to get out the message. It is great that Guy Fieri loves food. So do we! We love exploring and tasting new things. We would love to meet him and show him our area of the world. Maybe if he knew it better he would have a better appreciation for it. We are sure that investors have some say in things with this restaurant. We have seem similar restaurants open and close here. We also hope in some way the voice of many will be heard about the way they want to see Playa develop.

  11. Are you f**king kidding me. Every large city has started small. If you don’t like it get the hell out. This is world growth. Cancun was once a small village. Go to Tulum then. The locals here survive on tourism to grow their country. I agree it is sad to see our little towns grow but suck it up. Nothing stays the same. So pull your own stakes and get the f**k out. It is what it is!!@!!

    • The world is growing and there are always more people. Playa Del Carmen and the Riviera Maya are also popular places to live and visit. We are not referring to growth but rather to how things go and how it effect local culture and sustainability. There are many ways cities can grow. Everyone has an opinion as to the direction of growth and to what point is it sustainable and how things effect the quality of life. To some, it might be a good idea to bulldoze the jungle and build factories. Does this mean it is just simply growth and we should accept it?

  12. Still cannot get over losing the only Mayan restaurant in town over that fancy fast food Amercican restaurant!!! Such a shame! 🙁

  13. T. Minh Tran // November 29, 2016 at 3:46 PM // Reply

    I personally would not eat here but our two kids may enjoy the food and eat at this new restaurant. Not sure why this restaurant is singled out as over-the-top and does not fit in PDC. If you look around PDC, the over the top brand new Grand Hyatt Hotel and the Thompson Hotel just went up and do they look like they fit in the fishing village of PDC? I am not defending this new restaurant but it’s a restaurant. If it does not attract tourists and locals to dine then it will be short-lived but ease up on the negativity just because it is riding the wave of change in PDC.

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