The Restaurant Gods Don't Like Me Anymore...
...I think they're angry at me for writing about McDonalds food for a couple of blog entries last week. And we all know that McDonalds is the king of chain franchises, so it only makes sense that they're the biggest influence on the Restaurant Gods.
There's an old saying DH was telling me Thursday night in the car: 'There's one thing worse than finding a bug in your food... finding half a bug in your food.' I almost blurted out at him an alternate answer: No, eating half of your fajitas from a beloved neighborhood diner and then finding a hair in your food is worse.
Yup, that's what happened to me on Thursday night. I didn't eat for a good 24 hours after that, and I didn't trust food for a good 48 hours. I'm still carefully looking at what I eat, even if it's prepared in my own house. This isn't the first time that I've had misfortune in a restaurant, but the proximity to the McDonalds blogs is just too eerie to be discounted as coincidence.
The Restaurant Gods don't like me. I don't think they've liked me for years, but I think they've got the Kitchen Gods in on it too. After all, why else was my pantry invaded by some strange sort of flour beetle and made me throw a bag of Toasted Corn Doritos away, and have made me paranoid about any food DH or I make that comes from the pantry. Yes, we threw a bunch of food away, and put a whole slew more into the freezer for a couple of weeks.
Ah, but I'm digressing away from the Restaurant Gods, which is the focus of this.
A few years ago, pre-kids, DH and I went down to Monterey and we ate at a local Carrows restaurant there. I happily ordered something (I cannot recall what, but was anxious to dive into it), and got my salad to start. Just as I was chewing my first bite DH noticed that there was a bug on my plate. An aphid - ewwwww. Then we looked a little closer and saw that the lettuce was dirty and there were more aphids. The waitress was less than apologetic when she took the salad away and returned with another that was equally bad (personally, I think they spritzed the first salad and brought it back to me). I didn't touch it and complained when she came to clear and bring our main courses. I barely picked at the main course, and yelled when they brought the check with the salad still on it.
Upon leaving I loudly made the comment that Carrows doesn't care about it's customers (remember the old "Carrows Cares" slogan) and have never eaten at a Carrows restaurant again. And its likely that I never will.
There was one lunch place that I went to a couple of years ago and tried to order the lunch special, but they were out. So I ordered another favorite of mine, and they were out of that too. It took 4 tries before I finally managed to find something that they weren't out of (and it wasn't even the height of the lunch hour yet, since I tend to eat lunch early). That incident was still fresh in my mind when I went back a month later and tried again, and after two unsuccessful tries, I told them that I was leaving and left a couple of dollars for the Coke I drank on the table. I couldn't believe the insults I heard when I was walking out. Needless to say, I never ate there again either.
Then there was my favorite breakfast place that DH took us to one day a month or so ago. The kids had never been there, and it was time to try the place out on them. This place is rather popular and has a unique breakfast speciality - bacon fried rice.
Yup, you read that right - with mushrooms and egg and all sorts of other things in it. To say that I love that dish is a great understatement. So I order the bacon fried rice. The waiter trots off with our order and comes back about 10 minutes later and says they're out of fried rice. And they didn't know this when they took our order? Or when he came back with our drinks? Or the bread he brought to the table? As that was the only thing I wanted, I had to settle for something else, and was less than pleased about the whole thing. The food was excellent, it just wasn't what I wanted, and I was left wanting.
Then there was a day about two weeks ago when I went to a Chinese place that's within walking distance of the office and got their kung pao chicken. It was pretty darn good - good heat level, good flavor, good and slight sweet spiciness to it. I'm pretty sure that it's to blame for some significant intestinal distress that I started experiencing about 3 hours later that lasted for just over 24 hours.
And then there was last Thursday night. Last Thursday night I watched DH eat his kabobs, and the girls ate their chicken fingers and french fries, while I ate nothing. You see, I was about 1/3 of the way through some very tasty chicken fajitas when I noticed something and started staring carefully at my food. I plucked with the fork, and then with my fingers, and as the waitress started to approach, I pulled out a 7-8 inch long white hair out of my food.
The waitress' reaction? That no one there has grey hair. I just stared at her until she took the hair, and took the plate and apologized (sort of) for all of that. When she came back she said it didn't belong to anyone there, including the guy who cooked my meal - but it might belong to the person who cut up the chicken.
Oh goody, like I really needed and wanted to know that. I was turning three shades of pale green. At least she didn't say that it was clean or santized since it was cooked through. For that I would have made my family walk out of the place without paying a cent for the food and would have reported the incident to the BBB and the Health Department. Heck, part of me still wants to report it to the Health Department.
I think what the topper on the whole thing was the waitress asking me if I wanted them to prepare anything else, and I replied with a distinct no, and that by the time they could finish cooking anything my family would be done with their food and watching me eat (a definite poke at the fact that it took about 20 minutes before our order was taken, and another 25 minutes before we got our food). Of course I don't think she heard me because she was talking over me that I probably wouldn't want to have anything else they prepared. B offered me a french fry (which I ate), and DH gave me a cube of beef off his kabobs (which I also ate, despite them being very on the medium side) and then I couldn't do it anymore. The rest of the time I sat there I sipped water, sipped a little Coke, and fought nausea.
The waitress took the fajitas off the bill, obviously, but ignored me for the rest of the meal. I didn't touch the tortilla or the beans and rice plates that were still on the table as the complement to my fajitas. I didn't trust a darn thing on the table. It's going to be a really long time (if ever) before I go back to that restaurant again. Now, in light of thinking about all of this history, I think the McDonalds blogs were the last straw. I think I've finally pissed off the Restaurant Gods to no end...
...makes me wonder if burning a Whopper in effigy would appease them?