Traumatizing Eggsperience

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I must tell you this story about brunch the other day. Near where I go to school is a diner. We go to this diner often. Many of us are sick of it, but we still go there because it’s convenient and they have many many things on the menu that we can eat. That’s one of the nice things about diners—something for everyone.

So, as per usual, I ordered an omelette. It came to the table and looked nice and omeletty. I took a bite and decided it needed salt. I sprinkled salt on it. I took a few more bites. Tasted better. Then on my 4th or 5th bite I suddenly felt something very sharp in my mouth.

“Ow!” I said. “I feel something very sharp in my mouth!”

I reached in and pulled out a large piece of eggshell. This wasn’t a forgivable tiny piece of eggshell, but a large wall of shell that looked like a shiv a bird might carve in prison. As I pulled it out, I felt that there was a big part of it caught in my mouth.

“What’s going on, Adam?” asked my dining companions.

“Mrrwahyahaha,” I replied, as I dug around my mouth. I don’t mean to be graphic, but there was some blood on my finger.

Eventually it was determined that there was eggshell lodged in the gum behind one of my front teeth. We told the waiter. I showed him the blood, I showed him the shell.

“Well,” he shrugged, “it’s an omelette—it happens–eggshell in the omelette.”

We asked to talk to the manager. He came over. He shrugged. “It’s an omelette, what you expect?” He reached into his pocket and removed a toothpick. “Here,” he said, “Go to the bathroom, dig it out.”

Molly gave me her pocket mirror. I went to the bathroom. I tried to dig it out. I bled more. It wasn’t pretty.

Eventually, I decided to leave it alone and brush it out when I got home. The check came. The omelette was on the check. We found this ridiculous.

(Please note, here, that I come from a family of restaurant complainers—my mother or grandmother can get the entire table comped if they find an eyelash on their plate. I’ve always shyed away from gratuitous complaining, but here I felt justified. We’ll leave the parentheses now.)

We said to the waiter, “This is ridiculous! We shouldn’t pay for this!”

He shrugged and said, “We’ll make you a new omelette.”

“No thanks,” I said, growing bitter. “I’ll pay for it–fine–but I’ll never come back here again.”

There was a dramatic pause.

“Ok, one sec,” he said, and waltzed away. He came back looking stern: “We take it off. We take it off the check, fine.”

He acted like it was a big sacrifice when I was almost killed with eggshell. I left feeling minorly victorious, all the while touching the shell with my tongue on the way home.

When I got home, I brushed and swished and brushed and swished and brushed and swished and nothing happened. Something tiny fell out but I still felt the shell with my tongue.

Then I realized: maybe the back of my tooth is deformed, and what I thought was eggshell is actually enamel?

That is where I currently stand. You may think me a bad person, but let’s not forget that there was indeed a giant sharp shell in my omelette. What have we learned from this? Next time: order a burger.

14 comments

  1. If you order a burger, though, I don’t want to even imagine what sorts of nefarious things could show up in that. It is ground meat, you know.

    Once I went to a TGI Friday’s and got a black fly in my guacamole. It was a rare occurance. But you, with your shards of eggshell and bits of wooden utensils in your salad, seem to attract such things. Chew carefully, AG!

  2. Not comping immediately was unacceptable.

    Trust me. I have worked in restaurants, and that was just BS for them to not bring a new dish to you, and comp it.

    Besides, eggs are cheap.

    And yeah, eggshells do happen in stuff, but not that big–and when they do happen that big, usually, they are happy that you don’t freak out and start screaming at them.

    My husband had that happen at a diner once with a dutch pancake. They were solicitous, and immediately replaced it and comped it, too, even though he said they didn’t have to do it, they did.

    I don’t think I would go back there if I were you. This is speaking as someone who has worked front and back of the house.

  3. A burger? I’m with Lindsay. With your luck, you’ll order a burger and find a shard of bone in it or something.

    How about a Garden Burger? ;-)

  4. My husband and I went to a diner near where we were attending culinary school, and I found a big hair in my food. I immediately took it out, and threw it on the floor. We called over the waiter to tell him about it, and he said he’d get the manager. Manager comes over, and demands to see the hair! Like we’d be lying… I think I had gotten a chili dog, it’s not like a steak that’s $$$. So I said I threw it on the floor, and the manager wigs out. My husband and I are totally calm, and this manager says he’s going to call the cops! It was so crazy. We stopped going there of course, but still laugh about that crazy manager (must have been drinking too much coffee while working!)

  5. Problem with food is that humans aren’t the only living species fancying it: tiny insects do too. (the burger issue: look out for worms, as in apples and lettuce…Some people say that finding worms in your food proves how scrumptious the food actually is. Well, I’d rather taste it myself, thank you little worm).

    And without meaning to offend anyone, the place you went to, well, it is a diner. And it is a New York Diner.

  6. I’m sorry you had the bad experience! Don’t go back there anymore. Tell your friends not to go there too! The staff needs to be changed. Obviously they did not bother to find out the definition of “customer service” before going into the service line. Hope your cut gets better :)

    Just thought that I am, like many others, enjoying your posts!

  7. Adam,

    Hope the tooth is feeling better. Isn’t your Dad a dentist? What did he suggest to get the shell out?

    Stay Well,

    Rhonda

  8. Oh jeez — now i’m obsessing on which NYU area diner it is… waverly? the one on university place? the one on west 4th? i don’t want to go to it, whichever it is…

    cripes.

  9. having now worked in a resteraunt that prizes customer service to the utmost, I will never eat in a resteraunt that did that, and I most certainly wouldn’t have paid, and I would have let them know this as clearly as possible. No tolerance for bad service, especialy from the manager.

  10. The opposite happens as well. I was eating at the Knickerbocker on University Place with a group of friends, and my friend and I had ordered a porterhouse for two, medium rare. When the waiter carved our steak tableside, I mentioned (not even complaining, just noting) that it looked more medium than medium rare. He immediately asked if we wanted the kitchen to cook us another. Since we were pressed for time, we said no, and later when he checked back with us, we assured him the steak had been delicious anyway, which it was (they get their meat from the same butcher as Peter Luger, and it’s incredibly good). He said in a sort of throwaway tone “well, we’ll do something for you.” We thought that he might send a drink or dessert or something to the table, but when we got the bill, he had comped the entire $70.00 entree, after we’d eaten it with no complaints. That’s one place that really knows how to insure customer loyalty — I’ll always go back there.

  11. Once I thought my tooth had cracked and a little piece of it was falling out. It turns out I just had some bran in my teeth. It made me feel better that you had made a similar mistake, so maybe it’ll make you feel better to know you’re not alone too.

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