Welcome back to Behind Closed Ovens, where we take a look at the best and strangest stories from inside the food industry. This week we've got stories from customers who knowingly chose to ate their food in the most bizarre way possible. As always, these are real e-mails from real readers.
"I love my boss dearly, even though he's the most inappropriate man on the earth. His long and sordid history cannot be detailed here, and even though he's clean and sober now, his struggles with substances probably aren't worth the stories, no matter how much I love them. They took their toll. He has no brain to mouth filter, no short term memory, no ability to drive, and apparently, no taste buds.
My best example: we ate lunch at a diner in a building we managed. The special of the day was creamed chipped beef on toast with mashed potatoes, which he ordered by telling our waitress loudly that he'd "have the shit on a shingle, why don't you just call it what it is?"
Fair enough, I think, but he did get some nasty looks. When it arrived at our table, though, that's when shit got real. He asked the waitress for a handful of sugar packets. With both fascination and disgust the server and I watched him pour at least four packets of sugar over the entire plate and smash it into a congealed mess of starch and sugary gravy.
He ate the entire thing, making happy noises. I hardly touched my lunch."
"At one point, I was working at a steakhouse in Buffalo, NY. This place was very old school supper club, right down to the dusty fake wine racks and the fact that nothing except the lettuce was fresh. Yep, only canned veggies and frozen food for these people!
One evening, during my first week there, I had a couple order two rare t-bone steaks, but they didn't want them just rare...they wanted them basically uncooked. I go to the chef with their request and that is when I learn all our meat is frozen. The chef would usually just microwave it to defrost and then grill it. So he sent me back to the table to inform the couple it would have to be defrosted. They then tell me to just bring it to the table as is! As in FROZEN! I replied, "And would you like a stick in your Steaksicle?" They both looked at me like I was crazy and said no, they would like them on plates. Deadpan, no humor at all.
They left nothing but the bones! GAH!"
"I worked at a movie theatre for years and I will never forget the guy who ordered a hot dog, took it over to the condiment counter and proceeded to add ketchup, mustard, relish, the usual stuff.
Now, this was an art house cinema back in the 90's so we had fancy popcorn seasonings (before Kernel Seasonings came along) such as parmesan cheese, brewer's yeast, garlic salt, cayenne pepper, he added a generous dash of each…not too weird.
Then he started in with the coffee condiments: sugar, honey, cocoa powder, nutmeg, cinnamon, he put it all on his dog! I think if he could have accessed the butter dispenser he would have had some of that too."
Do you have a crazy restaurant story you'd like to see appear in Behind Closed Ovens? Please e-mail WilyUbertrout@gmail.com with "Behind Closed Ovens" in the subject line (or you can find me on Twitter @EyePatchGuy). Submissions are always welcome!
Image via Brent Hofacker aka My Goddamned Shutterstock Hero/Shutterstock.