Gumming Up the Works

I can’t believe this has happened to me twice in my life.

The first time was at El Torito about 10 years ago. Bill and I were munching on our complimentary tortilla chips and salsa while waiting for our meals. We ate chip after chip, not really paying attention to anything except the crunch of the corn and the spice of the salsa. Then…at the very bottom of the chips, stuck to the basket lining paper is…a chewed up wad of chewing gum.

After controlling our gag reflexes, we reported this to the manager; he acted like WE had put the gum there to try to get some kind of free meal out of him (had he bothered to look closely, he could have seen it was an old, dried-up piece of gum, obviously stuck for awhile). This is part of the reason I never eat at El Torito anymore.

Then, a few months ago, we were dining at our very favorite Mexican place El Cholo. Again innocently munching when Bill looks up at me and says “Guess what?”. This time the gum was stuck between the side folds of the paper. Again, an old dry piece, obviously not from us. But this time we were treated with respect and were comped a free meal and a dessert. The manager immediately called a meeting of the busboys and lectured them about throwing out the paper and putting in new paper before delivering chips to a table.

Obviously, I am now slightly cautious before I dive into a bowl of restaurant chips. I check the folds of the paper; I look under the last chip. Paranoid? Maybe. But you know the old saying: Fool me once, shame on you. Fool me twice – shame on me!

photo by danielgreene

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8 Comments

Filed under Life

8 responses to “Gumming Up the Works

  1. glorious

    I once found a ladybug in the lettuce in my sandwich. I too reported it and was treated as though I put it there. I got another sandwich but it took an hour!

  2. That is just too gross. But I love El Toritos. Well, their brunch anyways. Once we were out to eat at a little Mexican restaurant(what is with us Mexicans?) and there was a screw in my burrito. I actually bit into it and it hurt like hell. They took the coke off my tab. Gee, thanks!

  3. If it was the El Torito just up the street from us I could have warned you-never had a good experience there, finally stopped going. And forget Acapulco, ANY of them! But El Cholo, I am surprised it happened, but not at how it was handled, they really do treat their customers right… Boy, and now I want to go there… But forget the chips, give me those cookies they make… Yumm…
    PS Cory likes the pics of you, and sends his love (he is leaning over my shoulder now)…

  4. twice same thing!
    I once found a dead cockroach in a pepper grinder at an italian place…..I was grinding on top of my pasta and I looked down and saw a peice of leg….opened it up and saw the cocky…..someone had put it in there because it was too big to get in by itself…

  5. glorious – if not for the questionable practice of how the insect got in your sandwich, I don’t mind a ladybug in my food too much. Mom always said they were good luck!

    Manual – Yikes! The grossout factor is bad enough, but to add injury to insult is inexcusable. You could have been seriously injured. A free Coke? How generous.

    Candace – Yes, El Cholo has ruined me for any other Mexican restaurant. I can’t even bear Don Jose anymore. Hello Cory!!

    Shaymus – I must say that an experience like that would have made me ill – I detest cockroaches with every fiber of my being. Sounds like hoons got their hands on the pepper grinder!

  6. I have never eaten at either of those restaurants but when I am served chips & salsa I either pour the salsa on the chips or put the chips in the salsa so they can’t reuse it!

  7. I don’t think your a fool. You shouldn’t have to be on the look out for things like that.

    It’s good that at least the second resturant took the matter seriously. But it would have been nice if it didn’t happen in the first place.

  8. seb

    Glad you include that saying at the end, seems to be one Bush has trouble keeping straight…

    Very nasty, this is one of the many reasons I’ve never liked eating out. I like to see my food made, I like to see how it’s made, which is why I like making it myself!

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