Six years later, in the backseat of a cab, I’m finding out that my stomach was subject to “lab rat-type” experiments while in university. You finally graduate from mushy high-school cafeteria food to a varied selection of self-indulgent fast food in university thinking, “Whoo! One of the perks to getting older!” Meanwhile, naïve and unsuspecting of the fact that the older you get the more willing people are to rip you off.
So there I am making small talk with my cabby. He asks me where I went to school, “I went to York University”. He proceeds to ask me if I’d ever eaten at an Italian inspired restaurant in the heart of the campus plaza. I answered that I’d gone there a couple of times, but that I preferred going to a little self-serve fruit and vegetable bar where they charged you based on weight (throw in a hard-boiled egg and you were paying $15 for a salad). You could also build your own sandwiches and smoothies. Loved that place, until one day the lady making my sandwich stuck a piece of cheese with a dead fly on my pumpernickel bread slice. When I pointed it out to her, she simply took the Havarti slice off and continued constructing my tainted lunch. I DIDN’T WANT IT ANYMORE!
I digress…turns out the gentlemen driving my limo cab, was the previous owner of the Italian joint. He and his business partner sold the place for a whopping $400, 000 to an older woman (whom I remember from my years at York and who is still there today). He taught her everything she knows…except how to cut costs. Apparently, this she has managed to come up with all by herself. For example, she will buy rotted vegetables at half the price and cut off the bad bits. She will buy mouldy cakes and scoop off the top layers. And finally, the Alfredo sauce doesn’t exactly have cream in it…
He emphasized, “THAT isn’t even the worst of it”. What’s that saying…ignorance is bliss? I’m sitting there horrified, trying to calculate how many times I’d eaten there and what exactly it was that I ate. Moral of the story: next time you walk into a quaint, privately-owned eatery to grab a quick bite, do yourself a favour and look for this…
…and make sure the “pass” box is checked because sometimes this sign is posted but “conditional pass” is checked off. What the heck does that even mean? That they “kind of, sort of” passed? That they wash their dishes sometimes, but not always? It should be a “pass” or a “no pass”, none of this in between nonsense. I want clean food, on clean dishes! Know what, to avoid all confusion (and possibly hundreds of bucks a year) I’m just going to pack my own lunch.
Happy eating, folks!