There’s something about the way Nusret Gökçe, AKA Salt Bae, sprinkles seasoning that just gets everyone going. Not only is he pretty hot, he’s got some high profile celebrity friends, and, now, a NYC restaurant. He looks great doing what he does and while we could watch him all day, apparently not everyone was fully pleased with their visits to Salt Bae’s steak house.
According to reviews, the food is largely “aight,” but the experience is definitely one to write home about. Actor Luke Evans recounted the story of his visit to the restaurant on The Late Late Show With James Corden — likening the Turkish chef to the Messiah because of the way people were fanning out over him and passing them their babies as if he might to bless them.
Everything is much more funny when it’s said with a British accent, and Evans’s account of people going to the restaurant to see Bae do “this bizarre thing which ten and a half million people love” instead of visiting because of the food creates a visual that’s as hilarious as it is accurate, according to quite a few other reviews.
Vice noted that Instagram-ability is very important. If you didn’t take dope pics of your food and/or the celebrity chef did you even eat?
“Flamboyance is part of the brand and customers appear happy to get their money’s worth at least by the number of photos they can snap.”
Even heard of dinner theater? You go for the entertainment, not the food, and you’ve saved yourself some gas money, at least, by getting your food and entertainment in one place.
This dude Nusr-Et sounds economically prudent — he passes the costs on to you!
“Service was included on our tab, which had zoomed to $320 for two, including a rather small glass of red Turkish wine for each of us. We went away still hungry. Even for a steakhouse, that seemed expensive. Though for dinner and a play on a date night, maybe the price is right.”
It’s unfortunate that the food isn’t exquisite to some, but being compared a movie character from The Godfather is super swaggy, for the Bae.
“Salt Bae is as swift with a knife as villainous “Turk” Solozzo in “The Godfather.” But his tableside, butcher’s blade attack on a $130, ‘mustard-marinated Ottoman steak’ failed to sufficiently tenderize the shoe-leather-tough bone-in ribeye, which, for extra fun, was loaded with gruesome globs of fat.”
It seems like people know that they are not going to Nusr-Et for a nice meal, they’re going for the experience, the theatrics of it all, and they’re not ashamed of it. Whether they ought to be is yet to be seen.
“Is the steak transcendent? No, the steak is mundane, somewhat tough and rather bland. The hamburger is overcooked. The tartare is over-chopped. The cocktails are terrible and the water—which we ended up buying—is $9 and does little to quench our thirst. Does that matter? It does not matter. One does not visit Salt Bae for steak alone any more than one goes to Mass for the wafers. One visits Salt Bae like one kisses the Torah as it passes or touches the barnacled-skin of blue whale in the water as it drifts by: to connect to the infinite. One visits Salt Bae to see for oneself that that the mythic creatures of the internet also walk among us, that the endlessly replicating realm of memes can include us, too.”
We’re living in an age of social media and who wouldn’t want to meet a meme in person, let alone have it prepare you a meal? Granted, the meal may not be the best thing you’ve ever eaten and it may be overpriced… but when life gives you raw meat, let Salt Bae season it.