Thursday, May 04, 2006

Wild Ginger Is Lucky I Didn't Find A Finger

Last night I ordered Thai food from a Pan-Asian restaurant in midtown called Wild Ginger. It had high reviews on the NYC Menu Pages so I decided to forego my tried and true Lemongrass Grill (which is fantastic), and try out Wild Ginger. Ordering from Wild Ginger was a HUGE mistake.

I ordered tofu pad thai, steamed vegetable dumplings, and a california roll. By the time I arrived home with the food, Raj had set the coffee table with place mats and chopsticks. I was just in time for us to lay out the food, pour some glasses of water, and start watching Lost. Lost was awesome last night, and as soon as it started I was in my Lost zone so I wasn't paying a whole lot of attention to the food that I was eating. I did notice that the food wasn't all that tasty.

The vegetable dumplings from Wild Ginger were bland, and the soy sauce that they gave us was thick and oily and tasted, not quite rancid, but like it had been kept in an overheated cupboard for far too long. The pad thai, for some inexplicable reason, had piles of soggy mushrooms in it. I wouldn't have minded this that much because I like mushrooms, but I'm not a fan of soggy anything, and Raj loathes mushrooms. The california roll, based on my first piece, seemed the best of the bunch. It tasted decent and appeared fresh.

However, as I was chewing on my second piece of california roll, something unfortunate happened. I bit into something hard, and immediately stopped chewing. I thought maybe it was a piece of fish scale or something organic that had slipped in by mistake. I reached into my mouth and pulled out the hard object.

It was a staple! My california roll had a staple in it, and I had bitten into it!

Looking at the staple between my fingers, I froze in the act of chewing, my cheeks filled with rice and who knows what manner of things, and showed Raj what I had found. I then asked, half leaning over my plate ready to spit out the roll, whether I should keep eating. I have no idea why I asked. I also have no idea why Raj said that he thought it was fine if I kept eating the piece of roll that was inside my mouth.

I feel grossed out admitting this, but I continued to chew the piece of the roll. Gingerly and slowly so as to catch any other foreign objects, but I finished chewing it. Yuck. I feel like retching just thinking about it. It's completely my fault, not Raj's. The two of us were both sort of in shock. It's not every day that you become one of the elite members of our litigious society that has a lawsuit handed to them on a silver platter. We're now right up there in the ranks of all those McDonald's patrons who experienced pain and suffering as a result of the food that they consumed: The woman who spilled boiling hot McDonald's coffee on her lap while pulling away from the drivethrough, the person who found maggots in their McDonald's milkshake, and the person who found either a finger or a mouse in their McDonald's beef ribs sandwich.

Granted, the last two might all be urban myths, but I swear to you my friends, this is not an urban myth. I actually found a STAPLE in my california roll. Doesn't this make you wonder about all those other urban myths you've heard before? Maybe they're all true as well. Maybe the only reason we all think they're urban myths is a result of the advertising capabilities of the mammoth and mighty McDonald's.

Luckily, I don't eat at McDonald's ever (except for occasional McDonald's apple pies, and then only if I'm stuck outside Queens County court and in dire need of sustenance). As an aside, if you haven't already read "Fast Food Nation," I highly recommend it. Good book. Particularly it's discussion about how fast food and soda companies are contributing to the "obesity epidemic" among school age children. From this day on, I also do not eat at Wild Ginger. Yuck!!

A staple!! I can't believe it. If there was a staple in there, can you imagine what else could have found its way into the food? The kitchen staff has got to be incredibly sloppy to allow a staple to get trapped in their california roll. Good lord. Maybe they throw the fish down on dirty counter tops before they slice it? Maybe they don't wash their hands? Maybe I'm infested with germs right now??

I can't think about this anymore. Please, be forewarned: Avoid Wild Ginger, take small bites, and chew carefully. Words to live by.


Gypsy said...

Let that be a lesson to you: never try anything new. No, seriously, that's not the lesson, although it's tempting. Here in T-town the culinary options are severly limited, and frequently when we venture outside our tried-and-true favorites we are supremely disappointed (which, living with a chef, invariably means I get to listen to a lecture about the state of food preparation and restaurant service in our world today).

And Lemongrass Grill really is fantastic. Great, I'm craving it now, and it's a zillion miles away.

But, on to the most important part: A STAPLE?! How the heck does that happen? Ew.

P.S. I can't read your Lost post because I have the episode on DVR and haven't watched.

Bean said...

That is utterly repulsive. Thank goodness you didn't swallow it. Well, no wonder your belly is a little screwy maybe you should take it easy on the Wild Ginger types of foods.

Still have yet to read Fast Food Nation. Defnitely on my list.

Tracy said...

That makes me wonder if their California rolls are prepackaged in bags that are stapled shut. If if their rice comes that way. Either way, it definitely makes one wonder how fresh the food actually is there. Are you going to put in a call to the restaurant? Maybe a letter sent on your law firm's letterhead wouldn't hurt!!! ;)

Buttercup said...

I called the restaurant and asked for the manager but he was unavailable. I then told the employee that I had found a staple in my food. She immediately asked for my name and said that maybe I could call the manager back.

I said that the manager could call ME if he wanted to, and then started saying that I just wanted to let them know because something was clearly wrong in their kitchen.

The woman started speaking over, saying, "I know, I know..."

It doesn't give me a whole lot of confidence. It didn't sound like this was news to her.

K said...

I have a theory on the staple. I'd be willing to bet the roll was not made by wild ginger but was prepackaged and purchased by wild ginger. Everything was probably frozen and not fresh which is why it was all soggy. Yuck.