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Monday Morning Question: Sending it Back

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I know everyone is probably scrambling this morning to get ready for Fay, but you still need something to take your mind off the impending doom, right? Well here's a burning MMQ to bring those thoughts back to happier places.

Well not so much happy as disgusted.

Last week I had a meal with my father and brother at a particular chain steakhouse. My father and I both ordered salads (hey, I'm watching my weight), while my brother signed up for a 14 oz. New York strip. When it arrived, he jumped into that thing headlong. It wasn't until two or three bites in that he noticed something was off. He turned and asked me, "John, will you taste this steak and tell me if it's bad?"

First of all, I can understand why people ask this question -- they don't want the humiliation of thinking sending something back that might be bad when it's actually not, nor do they want to suck it up and eat the whole thing for fear it might become sentient and revolt in their stomaches. But who really wants to be tasked with determining that? I mean, if it's rotten, I don't want to stick it in my fucking mouth! Being the professional that I am, I sucked it up and took a bite.

Yeah, it was totally rotten.

Not like, kinda off. Not like, maaaybe this is turning. No, it was fucked - like eating a warm pile compost. At this point, we flagged the the manager down and told him his meat was lingering in our mouths, and we did not like it one bit.

To be fair, the manager was completely apologetic and handled the situation like a pro. He removed the offending cow flesh, promised a fresh cut cooked in a timely fashion, and explained the restaurant's process for ensuring the quality of their meat. Apparently at this steakhouse, they never let a steak stay in their chill chests for longer than two shifts once it's unwrapped. He posited that perhaps the steak had come in contact with some salmon they were also serving, though unless that salmon was carrying the plague, I find that scenario unlikely. Once we received our bill we realized he had not charged us at all for either steak, and he offered us free desert. So despite a nasty, rotten, disgusting piece of food, my father left happy that the situation was handled so well.

Which brings me to my question(s) for you fine readers: What do you do when food you've ordered is rotten? In your experience, how did your host handle the news?

- John Linn

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