A few weeks ago, I saw a bit in the news about someone who claimed that his hamburger was served with a lougie. The reason for the special sauce was that the hamburger was ordered by a Pittsburgh Steelers fan, and cooked up by a Seattle Seahawks fan. (The Steelers beat the Seahawks in the Super Bowl a few years back.)
The thought of finding a big wad o' spit in your burger is certainly a bit unsettling.
I've found foreign objects in restaurant food a couple of times: a bandaid in my cole slaw, a rock in my soup. My sister was once served a fingernail paring in her drink.
But these additions were, I'm guessing, unintentional.
When I was a waitress, the UFO's were sometimes put there accidentally on purpose.
I won't disclose the restaurant's name, as they may well have cleaned up their act, but I worked one summer in a venerable old Boston tourist trap. Tourist trap? Did I say tourist trap? I meant rat trap.
At night, once the customers had cleared out, the waitresses all spent a few minutes hurling soup spoons at the rat holes, since the noise tended to keep the rats from coming out until we'd had a chance to clean our tables off. (If the rats came out, we were allowed to go home and clean up the next day. Occasionally, the rats came out when customers were still being served. If you screamed when you saw a rat, you could be fired on the spot.)
While rats were much in evidence at this place, I don't think anyone ever served rat (which, I bet, does not taste like chicken).
But, just for a laugh, the fry cooks did fry up cockroaches in the Fisherman's Platter, along with scallops, clams, and oysters. Yummy! And the salad guy used to deliberately drop cigar ashes into the salads he prepped - a little bit of extra added flavor.
One time, one of the waitresses - I believe she was stoned at the time - dropped an order of steamed cherrystone clams on the kitchen floor. A number of the cherrystones leapt out of their shells, so we all got down on the sawdust and who-knows-what-else covered floor to help our colleague pick those suckers up and shove them back in their shells.
Hey, they were steamers. The customer would very likely swish them around in clam broth before eating them. Plus they were steamed cherrystones, which were tough and rubbery so no one ever ate more than a couple of them anyway.
At the same restaurant, there was a dishboy known as "The Animal." He had unstopped a sink one day by reaching in and pulling out the drowned rat that was clogging it. With the same, unwashed hand, he dipped into a five-gallon container of ice cream and scooped himself up a big mitt-full. (One of our personal eating rules was that we would only take ice cream from a newly opened container. For customers, we were not so particular.)
I worked in this rat trap more than thirty years ago. I walk by it frequently.
I'm sure things are different there today, but, not surprisingly, I haven't been back there since the summer job ended and I went back to school.
Who wants to chance a fried cockroach? An ash-strewn salad? A steamer that's rolled around a filthy floor?
Spittleburger? It happens. (Next time I'm in NYC and forget to take off my Red Sox cap, I'll have to check my burger just to make sure they don't slip me something I didn't exactly order.)
For those who know that I worked at venerable old tourist trap Durgin Park: I'm not talking about Durgin here. Durgin had its peculiarities, but it was pretty darned clean. I have been back there a couple of times over the years - mostly for its most excellent Indian Pudding, a wonderful glop of corn meal and molasses served warm with a scoop of vanilla ice cream.