**Here's a disclaimer . . .
if you are easily grossed out or eating, you might want to move on to another blog.**
Yesterday was supposed to be my very own mini-utopia day . . . filled with a drive to the nearest city (45 minutes away) by myself (I love going away by myself even if it's just a 45 minute drive), a few errands for work and personal stuff, and a delightful solo lunch at my favorite me-restaurant . . . Panera. I love(d) Panera . . . soup, salad, warm bread. What could be better on a beautiful fall day?
After I ran my errands, I sat down at a little booth in a secluded corner of Panera, turned on my computer in order to do a little work, and waited for my Classic Greek salad and whole grain baguette to arrive. The first bite was delicious . . . the next bite was delicious. I was expecting the entire salad to be just as delicious . . . that is until I looked down at the bite of lettuce on my fork and saw what I thought was a black olive.
Do black olives have legs and antenna and yellow stripes?
Uhm . . . the answer to that is a big resounding "NO!".
What does have legs, antenna and yellow stripes?
A giant, olive-sized beetle does!
*source - This isn't the actual beetle in question, but I can only scan through images of beetles for so long.
I tried to remain calm, but truth be told, the couple of bites that I had already swallowed were tough to keep down. I politely got the attention of the assistant manager who was walking by at the moment. I showed him the beetle on my fork.
He said, "Gross! Can I make you another Greek salad?"
I said, "No, I'm pretty sure I don't want this salad anymore."
He said, "Can I make you a different salad?"
I said, "No, I'm pretty sure I don't want any salad anymore."
He said, "Okay."
Then he grabbed my bowl, fork and beetle and walked away.
That's it! No, "Hey can I get you your money back?" or "Wow! I'm so sorry! Let me get my manager." Nothing! Just, "Okay."
This isn't the first time I've encounter a bug in my food. Five years ago as I dug into a cup of frozen yogurt sprinkled with chocolate chips at TCBY, I was surprised to find a fly among the chocolate chips. When I was eight, I found a fly on top my piece of French Silk pie in a cafe. Both of these times the staff were apologetic and did their level best to make the situation right.
But this assistant manager at Panera only gave me a "gross" and an "okay". Does that seem a bit odd to anyone else?
So my true confession is that I don't like beetles or bugs or insects of any kind in my food. I know . . . shocking, right?! But my other true confession is that as much as I'm still totally grossed out and also a little miffed, I'm frustrated because Panera has been one of my favorite places to grab a quick bite for years and years. And now because of one assistant manager, my opinion of Panera is tainted. I know I shouldn't let one bad experience reflect poorly on an entire company. I know that . . . really I do. But as I ate dinner last night, I was flicking through my food expecting to find a bug. As I ate breakfast this morning, I examined every bite to make sure a gnat or fly or . . . beetle wasn't in it. Really . . . I'm not an overly dramatic person.
Is that weird? Should I just be able to let it go? Have you ever found a bug/insect in your food at a restaurant? What did you do? How did you get over it?