Pop culture obsessives writing for the pop culture obsessed.

Read the scathing review of Trump Grill that inspired the president-elect’s new Twitter beef

Inside the Trump Grill (Photo: Trump Tower Facebook page)

Donald Trump threw yet another Twitter hissy fit this morning, this time directed at Vanity Fair magazine.


Why, the internet wondered, would Trump decide that today’s the day to shit on Vanity Fair? What could they possibly have done to him, other than make fun of him for… let’s just say, the past 10 years?

As it turns out, what the magazine did was make fun of his restaurant, The Trump Grill. Located in the basement of Trump Tower, the Trump Grill is the source of the infamous taco bowl that Trump tweeted about on Cinco De Mayo (“I love Hispanics!”). It is also, at least according to Vanity Fair reporter Tina Nguyen, a solid candidate for the worst restaurant in America.

In a scathing review on VanityFair.com, Nguyen lays into the Trump Grill, which she said made her nauseous and uncomfortable, each dish arriving worse than the last. Noting that the restaurant seems like “a cheap version of rich,” Nguyen writes that the restaurant—which is swamped with people proposing to their partners, because yuck—has a menu that’s “chock-full of steakhouse classics doused with unnecessarily high-end ingredients.” “The dumplings,” she writes, “come with soy sauce topped with truffle oil, and the crostini is served with both hummus and ricotta, two exotic ingredients that should still never be combined.”

Nguyen goes on to review a number of the restaurant’s menu items, including the aforementioned taco bowl, which she says includes guacamole “which NASA might have served in a tube labeled ‘TACO FILLING’ in the early days of the space program.” She really lays into the hamburger, for instance, saying:

Renowned butcher Pat LaFrieda once dared me to eat an eyeball that he himself popped out of the skull of a roasted pig. That eyeball tasted better than the Trump Grill’s (Grille’s) Gold Label Burger, a Pat LaFrieda–branded short-rib burger blend molded into a sad little meat thing, sitting in the center of a massive, rapidly staling brioche bun, hiding its shame under a slice of melted orange cheese. It came with overcooked woody batons called “fries”—how can someone mess up fries?—and ketchup masquerading as Heinz. If the cheeseburger is a quintessential part of America’s identity, Trump’s pledge to “make America great again” suddenly appeared not very promising. (Presumably, Trump’s Great America tastes like an M.S.G.-flavored kitchen sponge lodged between two other sponges.)


The booze also fails to pass even the flimsiest of muster:

The one thing required to save the meal—booze—turned into its greatest disappointment. Trump himself does not drink alcohol, a possible explanation for why the cocktails seemed to be concocted by a college freshman experimenting in their dorm room. The Tower was a tall glass filled with three types of rum and several types of fruit concentrate. (One person named it “The Cancun,” and slowly nursed the spring-break-colored drink over the next two hours like morphine.) The You’re Fired, an oversized Bloody Mary, appeared to be a chunky shrimp-cocktail sauce, heavy on the horseradish, mixed with ice and a lot of vodka. The Fifth Avenue—Grey Goose with Cointreau and a “splash of cranberry”—tasted like vodka mixed with Crystal Light, the ultimate drink for an 18-year-old pledging a sorority. The alternative to these cocktails—which we could not bring ourselves to finish over the course of two hours—was Trump’s own branded Trump Wine, which came with one red option and one white option.


In the end, Nguyen concludes that, while she wants to be optimistic and say, hey, maybe the fact that Trump can’t even get a restaurant right doesn’t mean he’ll be a bad president. Unfortunately, she writes, Trump’s actions don’t reflect that. “Watching Trump parade his enemies through the nearby lobby, taunting them with prestigious appointments only to cruelly humiliate them,” Nguyen says, “I had to look over at the human cattle herd at the Trump Grill, overwhelming a well-meaning staff with their dreams of a meal fit for a president, and wonder if he cared about any of them, either.”

Share This Story