The worst thing that can happen to you in a restaurant
Our parents always told us that we had to eat everything. If we had followed his instructions closely at all the restaurants we have been to, we would have already tried mold, crystals, nails, cockroaches, foreign secretions and countless foreign bodies of doubtful digestion.
We go to a restaurant thinking that everything will be fine, that they will take care of us; but restaurants can be dark places and destroy more lives than the episode of Chiquetete disguised as King Magician. The restaurant as a Kafkaan nightmare -for the cockroach-, the terror with checkered tablecloth: many times we have the enemy closer than we think, so close that it can get to be inside the plate ... or bring it.
The rich also potan
Last summer, the waitress of an exquisite and expensive Asian restaurant in Barcelona poured half a bottle of water in the glass and the other half on the tablecloth and part of my jeans. After cleaning the mess, the girl told me that it was my fault, that if I had not moved, I would never have thrown the liquid on me. In a perfect world, I would have to have the Peking duck footwear as a bisoñé and go out of there lightly, but I stopped and swallowed the food disturbed by an episode of psychological terror that I still remember with chills. Humiliated via dim sum.
Restaurants can be deadly traps for the psyche. Its condition of refined hedonistic sanctuaries accentuates its failures with a wild drama. When they hit you, the fall is of nose: your illusions severed by a mucus in the sea bream to salt; your declaration of love destroyed by a band aid in caviar toast; Millionaire's grandmother's birthday frustrated by scallops that sing black metal. Nobody gets rid, even the most reputable culinary critics have indelible psychological bruises.
Not long ago, critic Philippe Regol posted on Twitter the scary photos of a restaurant supposedly cool from Paris that looked like Brody's zulo in Homeland: instead of napkins he had Kleenex (with lotion, yes). Last year, Jay Rayner, critic of The guardian, he put up a very expensive Parisian restaurant and warned that “their gratinated onions were black as a nightmare and sticky as the floor of a bottle.” The distribution of gastronomic traumas is not exclusive heritage of working-class restaurants. Just read Confessions of a chef (RBA Books) by Anthony Bourdain to see that even in the most gastropi kitchens colossal sows are produced and that ordering fish on Mondays, even in the most weighted places of the moment, is more risky than telling Pocholo to cut your puffer fish.
What are the ognis!
Unidentified Gastronomic Objects are the main cause of our nightmares in restaurants. Almost all the people with whom I have spoken to gather anecdotes have been seen with strange entities at some point in their lives. Journalist and writer Juan Soto Ivars had a meeting in the third, fourth and fifth phases. “I once ate an Avecrem pill in a soup from a menu bar. I almost die. It should be an antediluvian dice so as not to be dissolved. My mouth was like a wasteland, ”recalls a Soto Ivars who is still trying to find an explanation for that phenomenon.
Not even our director Mikel López Iturriaga has got rid of unwanted intrusions. In fact, his case is one of the classics of the summer: in a restaurant in Madrid he witnessed how a drip got rid of the waiter's face and dived into his plate of lentils, contributing an extra salt to the stew. “While serving me, we saw a drop of sweat falling from his forehead to my plate, to dissolve in the sea of lentils with the arrival of the next ladle. It was from those scenes that if they happened in the cinema they would be in slow motion, with planes of our faces of disgust. Of course, I did not take the potage: eating foreign fluids may be fine for stories like Call me by your name, but on a normal day you don't feel like feeling an unknown waiter inside, ”says Iturriaga.
I recently participated in a radio program in which listeners explained their nightmares in restaurants. One lady claimed to have found a used band aid floating in the soup: I almost threw up coffee. Our partner Sabina Urraca had a hit that never goes out of style: a “black and very rich” hair in the salad of a Madrid restaurant. When he complained, the waiters set foot in dusty and nobody paid attention to him: it is very possible that at that same moment there was a lively gathering of staff to determine who that hair belonged to and from what body area it had emerged.
Where there is hair there is joy, and sometimes also skinheads. Film director Carlo Padial knows that this insane connection between urban violence, gastronomy and alopecia is possible. “Once I found what looked like human hair in croquettes. When my roommate and I called to complain, came a skinhead with tattoos up to the eyebrows and the broken head for what looked like a punch, telling us that the croquettes were good, ”says the director of Something very fat.
Secretions, hair, dandruff: everything that comes from another human body and goes to your plate is a cause of immediate disgust. However, there is an object that appears in many anecdotes and is the most feared by all, unless you are a great fakir: the crystal. The room manager of an excellent restaurant in Barcelona admits that a client once cut her tongue because of a glass hidden in her salad. Our family nutritionist Juan Revenga had the privilege of chewing a delicious piece of this element in a buffet free from Guadalajara. “The 'maître' approached the tray, rummaged it with a toothpick of those used to eat - he didn't seem to be again - and told me he saw nothing. And there the tray remained. Later, he told me that the cook had confessed to him that a little while ago in the kitchen a glass jar had broken and broke into a thousand pieces, ”says Revenga.
The back leg
The cockroach must be given a prize. Since restaurants exist, the bug has rubbed shoulders with chefs, stagiaires, pinches and waiters, as one more. The kitchens belong to him and the sooner we accept him, the sooner we will learn to receive his presence on the plate with due gratitude and humility. I myself, in an illustrious cocktail bar in Barcelona, delighted with the graceful rattle of a specimen of this insect, which was good to wiggle around the bar, rub its exoskeleton with the peanuts and disappear again in the blackness of the refrigerators.
Our gastronomic critic Jordi Luque also had his chitin ration in a legendary restaurant for guiris in Barcelona. “Suddenly Gregor Samsa invoked himself. He left the bread basket, walked around the table and left without paying. They told us they kept their bread next to the coffee and that there were cockroaches in the cafe. Obviously we don't ask for coffee, ”Luque recalls.
The journalist José Manuel Ruiz Blas also knows the restaurants in Madrid as the palm of his hand. He has been in very hard trenches. You can say that he has looked one of these bugs in the eye and has lived to tell. “My Lovecraft moment has to do with a Chinese restaurant next to Plaza de Castilla, now disappeared. They served me a bowl of rice with a lively topping of… cockroach! Not without sarcasm I questioned the waiter about the ingredient breaker and if it was some madness like René Redzepi, ”explains Ruiz.
It smells like dead here
The meat is weak. And it rots. And sometimes it ends up on your plate: there are restaurants that only throw the fillets in the trash when they have developed several colonies of toads on their surface. Rotten meat is one of the most ancient terrors of the diner, but the most shocking thing is that in the 21st century it is still served with revelry. The gastronomic journalist Lourdes López, for example, was attacked by a piece of radioactive bacon. “In a pretty good restaurant in the outskirts of Barcelona, they served me a rotten Iberian secret. They brought it in bags packed from Guijuelo, but no one perceived the pestufo of the pig. It ended up at my table, in my mouth and on the tablecloth, ”says the journalist.
Our Cook Advocate, Marta Miranda, almost has to call a Klingon translator to communicate with the meat that was served in a Lanzarote slum. “I remember a hunk of scary, hard, cold meat and with days of rest - I hope in the chamber -, accompanied by a garnish of roasted potatoes in the Pleistocene, gray and hard as a rock. I remember that they charged us about 40 euros for giving us trash for three, and also the swarm of flies that landed insane on our table, ”he recalls tenderly.
However, expired meat is nothing more than a crude metaphor of the passage of time, it has a vomitive romanticism, but romanticism after all. Something that is lacking in other types of meat, perhaps more harmful and toxic. Human flesh Live. I talk about piggy waiters with miner's nails. The rude waiters. The waiters unable to respect personal space, like the one who tried to relax our editor Monica Escudero with an impromptu massage. Or disturbed waiters, like the one Carlo Padial found to close this nightmare.
“Having dinner at a pizzeria, I ordered a strawberry strudel and the waiter disappeared: I saw him leave in a taxi from the window next to the table! I still wonder what happened. When I got up to pay, no one at the restaurant could explain it to me. "Neither Black Mirror, nor Stephen King, nor Cronenberg, nor the Ship of Mystery: the most disturbing thing in the world can be restaurants.
The experiences of the readers
María Isabel Maestre López
My parents' moment: fried fish dish, among which there was a cockroach, also properly fried. When claiming the waiter, he had the nerve to charge them the dish. The worst thing is that they have gone again !! The worst of the worst: last Sunday we were invited there to eat.
Bea A Dried Cumbreño
One day I ordered an omelette skewer. When asking the waiter if it was hot, he puts his hand on top of the tortilla and replies: "Rather temperate."
My father found a false tooth with screw in the Russian salad of a tavern in Cordoba, I was there and I saw it with my eyes.
In Seville, after almost two hours of waiting, they gave us a table where two of us had to stand. When we refused, the waitress insulted us, went crazy and threw a jug to the ground shouting of children of p…
We celebrate a family meal in a Barcelona restaurant. Among other drinks, many ordered Coca-Cola. After lunch we ask the waiter for some shots of marc cream. He told us that he did not serve them because the cream of pomace with the coke "is interrupted" (sic).
Eugenia García Barrero
Some friends call the waiter to say that a fish is not in good condition and the phenomenon takes the fork of the lord and starts to taste the dish to check it.
We asked the ingredients of the "chef's salad" and they answered "well what the chef wants".
Palma Marabot Diaz
A waitress broke a plate on my head. Eggplants with cane honey, imagine how I left my hair, in addition to the blow of the plate to break in my head.
I once saw how they killed a mouse in front of half the world in a barbecue restaurant.
Patricia del Río
Once I sat at the tables outside a room, which were empty. The waiter asked me if I was a smoker, I said no. He warned me that this place was for smokers and I replied that the smoke didn't bother me. He told me to leave, that someone could complain if they didn't see me smoking!