Last night at a certain East Village bar-restaurant, we watched a baby roach crawl out from amid the French fries in our dining companion’s currywurst. After some gagging, and the obligatory “that is the worst” jokes, we debated whether to mention this on Grub Street, and whether we should name the place (as if that many eating establishments serve currywurst). After all, a commenter in our gross-foods post made it a point not to name the restaurant that served them sand. Which got us to wondering — why do people feel an obligation to protect the identity of such places? It’s perfectly valid to complain about a restaurant oversalting a dish, but point out that there was a rat in the dining room and suddenly you’re the rat.
When we published what we were confident was a credible account of a roach inside a chicken at Dirty Bird To-Go (the story came from a trustworthy source rather than an anonymous tipster), certain commenters were disgusted — not by the roasted roach, mind you, but by the fact that we didn’t ask Dirty Bird for comment. Ideally, we should’ve waited till Dirty Bird opened so that we could reach them before posting the item. But then again, the food was probably tainted without the restaurant’s knowledge — what were they going to say? Probably something similar to what last night’s bartenders told us — they said they were surprised, since they had never seen a roach in the restaurant before, and comped the currywurst (though not the merguez we suddenly felt icky about eating).
In the end, we’re not going to name the restaurant, though we will publish this photo of a mosquito that died on its postcard as we were leaving (the front windows were open). That seems fair enough.