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 laura.hahnefeld@newtimes.com. Miss a question? Go here.

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Fooyoh.com
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.

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Chef Ephraim Gallor
Taps Signature Cuisine & Bar

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.



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Silvana Salcido Esparza
Chef and Owner, Barrio Café and Barrio Queen

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.

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David Viviano
Chef, The Westin Phoenix Downtown

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.



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Chef Tim Fields
El Santo Restaurant + Patio Bar

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.


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18 comments
a13131442
a13131442

Oh my God! She openly breastfed in a restaurant?! How ridiculously disgusting. What happened next--someone ate chicken with their mouth without wearing a mask? When it comes to raising a child, a breast is just a body part used to nourish a baby. It's not like she was Sharon Stoning it and crotching up the place. Get over it, you puritanical prude.

davelog
davelog

Jay Bogsinske wins this round.

PetiteMaisonAZ
PetiteMaisonAZ

@ChefGross Haha! I may have to steal that line! @ChowBellaPHX

katmcaniff
katmcaniff

@ChowBellaPHX a well-behaved toddler? #bizarre

QstionEvythng
QstionEvythng

@wschutsky My penis is just a body part used to excrete waste so don't mind me while I whip it out at the table you puritanical prude.

ChowBellaPHX
ChowBellaPHX

@PetiteMaisonAZ @ChefGross Teddy Bear Stabber is my new favorite band name.

a13131442
a13131442

 @LegitQuestions  Yes, because feeding a baby and pissing on a table are the same thing. I did not criticize the story about the lady changing a diaper on a table. Pooping and peeing have no place on the dinner table. However, I find it absurd when people demonize mothers who have the audacity to feed their child at the same place where they feed themselves. I am tired of the femme bashing. Let a mother be a mother.

 

You also may be surprised to find out that your penis is not just a body part used to excrete waste. It actually has a sexual function (maybe you're the exception?), unlike breasts which have only been sexualized by a society that objectifies women and turns them into objects rather than accepting them as human beings with physiological purposes that go beyond satisfying misogynistic sexual desires. 

 

She didn't have her labia on the table, so I don't see what the big deal is.

a13131442
a13131442

 @Phyllistine  "There was no modesty generally seen by the use of a blanket." The fact that she references modesty, a term reserved for that denotes the sexualization of breasts, proves she is referencing the breast sexually, which is what I have a problem with. Within the context of the situation, the breast was a vehicle for nourishment. Also, she is using this as the story representing the most absurd/crazy thing she has seen in a restaurant, which insinuates she found it appalling.  

katmcaniff
katmcaniff

@ChowBellaPHX actually coolest bizarre thing was Chef Nobuo @ Teeter "baking" bonito flakes on a fish dish so they danced :)

QstionEvythng
QstionEvythng

 @a13131442

 I love it - science shoots down your political narrative so you start name calling.  Todd Akin and his dumb-ass legitimate rape comment has absolutely nothing to do with and is in no way relevant to me or my opiinion.  In fact, you have more in common with Akin than I do.  Akin is clearly trying to force his version of morality on the rest of us - just like you are pushing yours.

 

The issue is whether the concepts of courtesy, respect and civility are still relevant in today's society.  Apparently you think that don't and that saddens me.  We live in a crowded world.  We (the globale we) have different norms, values, beliefs and mores.  The question is, can you respect those of others or are you going to be a bully and push yours onto them, which you are clearly advocating by referring to the norms, values, beliefs and mores of others as "hangups" instead of respecting them as simply being  different than your own.  Though your politics may be different from his, your approach to the world clearly has more in common with Akin than mine ever will.

a13131442
a13131442

 @LegitQuestions You're right. Other people's hangups should affect how we live our lives. Todd Akin applauds you.

QstionEvythng
QstionEvythng

 @wschutsky

 The point of my post was to point out the absurdity of your "I'm the center of the universe and can do whatever I damn well please despite the feelings of those around me" attitude.  Discretion is the better part of valor - an age old saying that never had more relevance than it does in today's self-centered world.

 

As far as the human sexualization of breasts - no different than female peacocks flaunting their feathers, other displays of plummage and other biological ornamentation seen throughout the animal kingdom.  Darwin was the first to hypothesize about the evolutionary role of biological ornamentation in the sexual selection of mates within various animal species.  Depending on the species, biological ornamentation are not limited to females and can appear on males as well.  So the size of the rack matters - especially to female moose, elk and deer when selecting a male mate based in part of the size of the male's horns.  So while your feminist theory blames the sexualization of breast on a society that objectifies women, the reality is that it likely has deeper evolutionary and biological roots.  Big breasts, like big horns, is probably an innate biological trigger or symbol for virility, ability or capabaility.  Sorry that breasts don't fit into your feminist political theory, but evolution isn't always that convenient.

 

Feed your child at the table.  Please.  My wife did for our two kids.  Throw a birp cloth, blankie or scarf over your shoulder as a courtesy to the wide ranging feelings, mores and beliefs of those diners you know and don't know who are also there enjoying what they expected to be a quiet, peaceful dinner out.

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