my deadly dinner at burgermeister on 3.25.07
staple. a fucking giant industrial staple was in my cole slaw. how does that happen?! luckily it didn't cut me. luckily it didn't chip a tooth. luckily i didn't swallow it. burgermeister... you're so damn lucky.
the day was pretty busy. the entire afternoon my family were at the cemetery for chinese version of 'day of the dead' which we honor our passed family members. afterwards, we were wondering what's for dinner. we happened to be around the westlake village where a new burgermeister restaurant opened. "i'm dying for a burger," i said to my parents.
"but we're eating at grandpa's for dinner," my mom replied.
"oh, yeah. i wonder if grandpa would eat burger."
"i want a burger."
my dad chimes in, "yeah grandpa eats hamburgers. and i want a hamburger too."
i guess the urge for a burger hit us all.
after a phone call to grandpa, we pick him up from his house. he was napping after the cemetery visit. along the drive, he was reading the burger meister menu. he says "the last burger i had was dry. this better be good."
we sat down my parents and grandpa ordered a regular hamburger with fries. my dad also added a plate of buffalo wings. i ordered a cheeseburger with a pint of fat tire and a side of cole slaw. yes, i like cole slaw. besides there were three plates of fries to pick from. ten minutes later, our dinner arrives. we all were hungry. i even took pictures of the food before we took our first bites.
i steal from fries from my mom's plate and lefted a wing from my dad. watching my grandpa eat a buffalo wing was so funny. i don't think he ever had one. "SO HOT!" he was scrapping the sauce off.
after awhile, i could see the reaction to the food. my mom said "it's good. but a little over cook. i wanted medium and it's well done." my dad agreed. my grandpa didn't look too happy. mumbling in chinese "it's a bit dry."
my mom said " i have to order medium rare next time." my burger which was ordered medium was half pinkish on the medium rare side to well done on the other. how is that possible? no idea. their grill must be wonky.
i already had a few bites into my cole slaw during the meal. with my burger two thirds finished... i need a break from beef. i took a scoop of shaw... chew... "what's this? a bone." chew. "weird." i spat the entire scoop.
"WHOA! what the hell is this?! a freaking staple?!" i was staring at an inch long industrial staple that's typically used for crates. now how the fuck did something like that get into my cole slaw? i tasted metal in my mouth now.
my mom freaked, "did you cut yourself?!"
"get our waiter. show someone!"
"ok... that's just weird."
i walked up to the counter where i was greeted by three staffers. one of them being the manager, he said "hi." then looked at me with a "holy shit" expression. "are you ok?! are you bleeding?"
"no. i'm ok. i was just chewing and just noticed something weird. how did a staple get into my cole slaw?"
"i'm so sorry. are you ok? are you injured?" he pauses then answers my question. "it must have been in the package of our lettuce. i just don't know what to say. the dinner is on us."
"just so weird!" i said with probably a bewildered expression. i sat back down. i pushed the cole slaw away.
"but you love cole slaw," said my mom with a laugh.
i took another bite from my burger but i lost all desire to eat. i push away my plate. i taste metal. i taste zinc.
the manager and our waiter comes by and apologizes again, tearing up our check. we eventually walked out. however we left a tip of ten dollars since our waiter was attentive before the incident... also the manager was very heartfelt. it's no fault of theirs but it's so disgusting to discover an unwanted surprise in your dinner.
on the drive home, i felt puke-ish. i taste metal. the idea of a staple and the possibility of swallowing it made me nervous. i gagged a bit. my dad dropped me off at the house before we dropped my grandpa back to his home. i walked into the bathroom and threw up a bit. i rinsed my mouth with three full cups of mouthwash. i taste metal. and i kept thinking about the possibility of swallowing the staple. i kept thinking about the possible dirt and germs on the staple. i taste metal. i walk into my kitchen area and pour a glass of bourbon. i rinse and swallow.
i still taste metal.
burgermeister @ westlake village, you're so damn lucky. whoever is your supplier of chopped lettuced should be scolded. even your cooks should be scolded for not noticing an inch long staple! burger meister... you're so lucky that i didn't cut myself. burger meister you're so lucky i'm didn't create a scene. sorry, but i'm not going back for a long while.
worse, i'm giving up cole slaw.
[writer's note: sorry for the grammar... i'm typing on the fly while the experience is still fresh in my mind.]