What's the Most Bizarre Thing You've Seen at a Restaurant?
Welcome to Chow Bella's Bites & Dishes, where Valley chefs and restaurateurs respond to a question New Times food critic Laura Hahnefeld has on her mind. Have a question you'd like to ask? E-mail firstname.lastname@example.org. Miss a question? Go here.
The long, hell-hot summer may have many of us feeling a bit crazy from the heat, but that's nothing compared to the bizarre behaviors Valley chefs and restaurateurs have witnessed at their own restaurant -- or in someone else's.
Here, a few of them share their truth-is-stranger-than-fiction tales.
An elderly guest, after eating lunch, paid her bill, left the building, and then proceeded to drive her Cadillac into the restaurant -- yes, into the building. She then got out of her car (halfway lodged in the dining room) and apologized for forgetting to tip her server.
I once had a guy, 6-foot-3 and around 250 pounds, follow a woman in her late 50s to the bathroom and try and pick her up. Then, from his table, he started making vulgar gestures toward her. I didn't wait for backup, I asked him to leave. He wouldn't. I took his hand, twisted it up in a manita de puerco and threw him out myself in a full restaurant on a Saturday night. That must have been a sight.
At a restaurant I ran, we served rabbit ragout with pappardelle. A woman was brought to tears when she discovered we were serving rabbit. She went on to tell the server about her beloved pet bunny as she loudly wept in the dining room.
A ring-tailed cat fell out out the ceiling tiles and landed on a waiter tray of domed entrees in the Ventana Room [closed] in Tucson. The food was returned to the hot line and the surprise visitor scurried out of the kitchen and into the night.