Some Answers

Readers’ comments to my “waiter there’s plastic in my soup” piece, were varied and interesting. (I wonder if most people are quite as bold and polite as they say they are. After the fact, everything is easy.) 

My feelings remain mixed. But a) I did tell the server immediately, and I didn’t think it was my responsibility to then go tell the manager; b) I was the guest of someone else, who didn’t care about the charge, so arguing about that seemed far more trouble than it was worth (and anyway, the right thing for the restaurant to do was to comp the meal, for anyone); c) no, I won’t go there again; and d) yes, I’ve told my friends the name of the place.  

That’s different from making it public, however, and I remain convinced – if not adamantly so – that I should not. (I might change my mind.) As one reader has said, “That strikes me as an unfortunate missed opportunity for the restaurant to do the right thing – especially if the food was otherwise worth eating.” 

We’re going to give them that opportunity now: I’ve emailed the restaurant, anonymously, and invited them to respond publicly to the post. For what that’s worth – which I’m sure isn’t much. (Interestingly, I received two emails from midtown restaurant owners asking if theirs was the guilty party; neither was.) 

On a not-unrelated topic, of special interest to New Yorkers and visitors, see this piece in the Times about the health department’s new website, which reveals some details about the dirty side of the restaurant business. 

Posted in Behind The Scenes


  1. Anonymous said...

    Very fair of you to give them a chance to respond, though it hardly sounds like they deserve it. If it were me, I’d publish the restaurant’s name, but I have a readership of like 23 (all family and friends). You, on the other hand, wield significantly more power.

  2. Anonymous said...

    Plastic is toxic. The filthy restaurant should be named, if you value your readers and their health. Unless, Mark, you believe that the wealth of the restaurant owners is more important than the health of the people they are poisoning. Feces in your soup would be less toxic. And you can bet the plastic was covered with feces and other chemical toxins, since it most likely touched floors inside the restaurant and on its way there. Would you name the restaurant if they coated your salad with motor oil? Plastic is made from petrochemicals I am sure you know — crude oil and natural gas whose chemical structure have been altered.

  3. ColinDouglas said...

    Ignore plastic, I’d be more worried about the dangerous CHEMICAL 6-(hydroxymethyl)oxane-2,3,4,5-tetrol which is often found in filthy restaurant food. And don’t forget hydrogen oxide.

  4. Anonymous said...

    You did a very polite thing by not mentioning the restaurant right away. I realize other people that may have dined there within the time frame of your experience and others may have since could be in danger on a similar experience. I understand your predicament. Perhaps it was truly a fluke on behalf of the kitchen, but the way they handled the matter was inappropriate. You contacted them via email to no avail. Apparently the restaurant feels that there is no need for concern, perhaps because you never posted their name. I see both sides of the fence on your situation; it’s a slippery slope. If you believe you have given the establishment proper opportunity to come to terms with their faults and correct themselves, then perhaps it may be time for you to let the name out of the bag. I discussed your situation with my boyfriend, and he firmly believes that every person that goes to a restaurant should be treated as if they were a critic, because "you never know" (whether or not you are there on a critique). I think you gave them a fair chance, and support you should you decide to let their name be known. However, if you decide otherwise, I completely respect that decision.

  5. Anonymous said...

    Did you ever hear back from the restaurant?

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *