TikTok influencer food critic Keith Lee visited New York City as part of his restaurant tour for the best eateries in town. However, the locals have shared their thoughts on his controversial orders, which they say don’t represent the city.

According to Gothamist, Lee and his family arrived in the Big Apple on Thursday and started visiting different restaurants to review for his 15.4 million TikTok followers.

“Me and my family are in New York, fresh out the plane when I got this DM,” the 27-year-old said in the two-minute clip.


Taste Budz Deli taste test 💕 would you try it ? 💕 #foodcritic

♬ original sound – Keith Lee

The video shows a screenshot of a direct message he received from a woman suggesting he try a salmon chopped cheese called the “2 Smoove” from Taste Budz Deli in Queens.

She insisted the alternative to the classic bodega sandwich was “the best chopped cheese I ever had,” so Lee decided to find out for himself.

He ordered the salmon chopped cheese, a traditional chopped cheese made with ground beef and a bacon, egg and cheese sandwich from the Queens-based bodega.

“I got it. Let’s try it and rate it 1 to 10,” Lee said in the video before taking a bite of the sandwich while seated in his car. “It’s a little salty in my opinion, but it’s good, tastes exactly like what it is, seasoned salmon, with a bunch of sauce, tomato and some lettuce,” Lee said of the fishy spin to the New York staple. “I’m not mad at this, but I’m also not crazy about it: 7.5 out of 10.”

Lee tried the two other sandwiches, giving the traditional chopped cheese an 8 out of 10 and the bacon, egg and cheese a 4 out of 10. He claimed it was dry, and the bread was stale.

The video garnered more than 4.5 million views on TikTok, prompting New Yorkers to share their grievances about the salmon chopped cheese in the post’s comment section.

“And what is a SALMON CHOPPED CHEESE ?!! We being sabotaged,” @hoodieraven said.

No no no no!!! WHO TOLD HIM TO GET A SALMON CHOPPED CHEESE !!!! We are not starting like this !!” @victoriamorales.420 wrote.

Other users shared their thoughts in separate videos, including @thecomedian._, who thought the idea of a salmon chopped cheese was “insane.”

“Who told Keith Lee to get a salmon chopped cheese?” he questioned in the video. “Since when did people start making salmon chopped cheese?”

He continued, “No, no, why are y’all gonna start freestyling when he comes to our city? I’m not gonna lie, fish at the deli is crazy, insane, astronomical, bananas. B-A-N-A-N-A-S.”

Daquon Bowers, co-owner of Taste Budz Deli, told the New York Post they received “at least 100” orders for the “2 Smoove” sandwich due to the “Keith Lee effect” on the business.

Bowers recalled creating the sandwich specifically for himself but decided to add the alternative to the menu.

“It was specifically for me and I just decided to share it with the world,” he said, per the New York Post.

In addition to the salmon chopped cheese, locals were concerned about Lee’s visit to a few pizzerias in Manhattan. In subsequent posts, the users claimed the best pizza is in other New York City boroughs.

During his New York City tour, Lee tried a Black-owned pizza shop called Cuts and Slices NYC and tried its notable sweet chili oxtail slice, giving it 9.7 out of 10.

“On God, that’s the gas,” Lee told owner Randy McLaren in the Instagram video.


View this post on Instagram


A post shared by Cuts & Slices (@cutsandslicesnyc)

Despite the controversial spots, Lee’s presence has led to a surge in small businesses in the city.