February 7, 2012

February 7, 2012

Maybe That D is for Delicious

I’ve found myself watching a lot of programming in the “restaurant makeover” genre lately. This is due partly to the fact that TheBoy is a consultant who loves how these shows dig into processes and procedures and project management, but mostly to the fact that I love food. No matter the conditions in which it is made, and no matter the effect of those conditions. I mean, my favorite Milwaukee restaurant once made me sick, but I still eat there whenever I’m in town. Blood is thicker than water, but sweet and sour sauce is thicker than blood. (Not an ideal metaphor, granted.)

Between Kitchen Nightmares, Ramsay’s Kitchen Nightmares (the UK version), and Restaurant: Impossible, we have learned that there are a lot of dirty restaurants out there. If these places are a representative sample, approximately 100% of kitchens have slime in their ice machines, 80% have mold in their kitchens, and 20% have dead mice in their heaters. One could argue that these places are nowhere near a representative sample, but that one would probably prefer a blog with hard statistics and not involving pictures of Hello Kitty.

Granted, the closest I’ve come to working in a restaurant is reading Anthony Bourdain’s books. But it seems to me like 100% cleanliness is just not possible. Certainly not in home kitchens, which often house pets and small children—veritable germ factories. We hope that restaurants keep things as clean as possible, but y’know how that goes. Unless you’re microwaving everything from frozen (and even if you are), the occasional grit will happen. I’m pretty sure this is the whole reason we have 18 kinds of bacteria living in our digestive systems.

Now, I see you getting all judgy, so let me remind you that millions of people get sick every year while in hospitals. Hospitals, quite possibly the cleanest places in the civilized world. You will never see “Hospital: Impossible” (has a nice ring to it, though), because those things are kept SPARKLING. And yet microbes, bacteria, and viruses are still having keggers all over the place. It happens, people. Those teeny mofos are everywhere, just waiting to become sentient and take over the planet. Or something.

All of which is a roundabout way of saying that a little grime doesn’t bother me in a restaurant, especially one without the benefit of chain restaurant-esque corporate support. I’d never eat at any of the places on the TV shows, because they’re typically a) non-Asian ethnic food b) now infamous for being so gross a professional realized it was reality-TV worthy, and/or c) in the UK. But if my local place gets a B grade from the health inspector? I’ll deal. With my lack of cooking skills, I’m in no position to judge.

0 Fish in a Sea of Diet Coke: