Tuesday, December 4, 2007

OMFG!!! So gross!!!

OK, normally I wouldn't call a restaurant and ask to speak to a manager, then call Seamless Web to get a a refund and follow-up with a call to the NYC gov't to file an official complaint, but my food had a freakin' roach in it!!


I know there are two sides to this story:
1. It's New York City. A city whose buildings are practically built on a foundation of roaches. So one got into the food... It's not the first time and it's certainly not the last. So the restaurant didn't have a watchful eye tonight. It happens. No reason to go screaming bloody murder to the Department of Health.
2. That's beyond revolting. There's no excuse and the restaurant should be immediately shut down for such gross negligence.
Granted, those are two extreme reactions, and most people's reactions would fall somewhere between the two, but tonight I was leaning toward option two and it was the manager's reaction to my phone call that pushed me over the edge.
FYI, the restaurant in question is Burritoville at 166 W 72nd St. in New York City.
I had ordered my dinner thrugh Seamless Web like I'd done on many other lazy nights when I either don't have actual food in the fridge or I'm just too lazy to cook. When the food arrived, I took a couple bites and decided that the jalepenos on my "unwrapped burrito" were too hot. Before I was able to pick them all off I saw the offending roach.
My first instinct was to take a photo. (Too many hours spent watching the various CSI and Law & Order franchises taught me to document the evidence.) Then I called the restaurant and asked to speak to the manager. I wasn't messing around!
I explained what I found and said I'd like a refund for the night's order, but the manager offered me a credit to use on my next visit. Honestly, did he really think I was going to eat there again!?!?! They served me a roach!! After explaining that to him (I shouldn't have needed to...) he said he'd do it, but he'd need proof. Fine. I have my photos. Where would you like me to send them? But hung up on me without giving me the address.
So I called Seamless Web. I figured that they'd perhaps honor my request for a refund (they did with no request for proof) and I wanted to file a complaint for the restaurant since a bug in their Website was not logging reviews properly. Score 1 for Seamless Web. Great customer service. I feel bad that they might have had to eat the cost of my meal instead of the restaurant, but they've made a loyal customer very happy. A lesson Burritoville could learn!
My next phone call was to the NYC gov't Department of Helath and Mental Health, the agency that is responsible for inspecting restaurants. I figured they should know. Normally, I wouldn't take his extra step if a restaurant was apologetic and left me with the impression that they actually cared, but the manager at this particular establishment pissed me off and then hung up on me. If you ask me, they deserve the extra scrutiny during their next inspection.
The gentleman who helped me was very polite and understading (not something you often get from government employees answering phones after hours). After he took my complaint and all my contact info to go along with it, he asked if there was anything else he could help me with. Jokingly I said, "Can you point me toward a clean restaurant?" I wasn't expecting an answer, but he gave one anyway. The Dept. of Health publishes online inspection results. Unfortunately, Burritoville wasn't listed, but I imagine they will be soonish (gov't never moves fast...).
Once I finally regained my appetite, I found I did have someting edible in the apartment: peanut butter and jelly sandwiches. But, unless you're a 7-year-old, they don't exactly fill you up like a meal or brown rice and black beans would... After a sandwich, I found some pesto sauce from the summer and some peas in the freezer. With some penne I found buried in the kitchen cabinets, it was much more satisfying than the sandwich!

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