So, I love the idea of Flourish, the bakery/cafe on Bryn Mawr just east of Broadway. It’s an easily walkable joint that sells sandwiches, coffee, and bread, three things I absolutely love. They also sell pastries (essentially what they are known for, but my sweet tooth is miniscule so I never indulge, although the pastries do look delicious) and cookies and all that. When they opened (like a year ago?) I was so excited about the new addition to the neighborhood that me and my fellow Chi-tilla glutton made a lunch date opening week. Dude had the Pilgrim, I think, which is basically Thanksgiving dinner in sandwich form (including even cranberry sauce), and I had some sort of Santa Fe-ish sandwich. They both tasted somewhere along the lines of this:
Shit was drier than an Amish village.
But still, I like Flourish and it’s Metropolis coffee and homemade (dry) bread in the window. I want it to be the number one awesomest place in Chicago. So I went back today for dinner, figuring that I might find something other than a cotton ball sandwich on the menu. And I did! I went thinking healthy, and, voila!, sitting in the cooler was one last Cobb salad. I probably should have known something was amiss when I lifted it and the supposedly snap-topped lid immediately fluttered to the ground, but I paid little attention. Instead, I paid nearly eight bucks for the thing and walked it home.
At this point I was starving and ready to eat anything. The only reason I’d ordered the damn salad was because it seemed healthy and it had bacon on it. So when I started to pour dressing on it and noticed this shit, I actually spent a good minute or two pondering whether or not I could eat around it.
(Yeah, that tomato has mold on it.)
And then it hit me that the tomato I was about to eat around was wearing a mold poodle skirt and that I was actually considering putting anything near it on my tongue. Gross. Further picking revealed slimy bacon. Slimy is the worst thing meat can be. Ever leave deli turkey in the fridge a few days too many so it gets sticky and slimy? That shit’s grosser than dog period.
So, I brought the salad back, figuring maybe I could trade for something edible, even though the menu at this point seemed as attractive as Schindler’s List. The two people working the counter were very nice. Obviously, they were embarrassed, but they also seemed annoyed. From their comments and conversation with me I gathered that someone had insisted they sell the salad even though it had been made at least three days prior, if not five. In fact, it was clear that they had specifically discussed my particular salad, wondering if it’s unusual smell was due to the bleu cheese on it or something else. I’m assuming a manager or owner pushed this decision on them, but I could be wrong. Either way, what the fuck? I could have made a doily out of that mold.
Ultimately, I ended up trading for another salad, this time a Caesar with chicken, which was cut up into little squares and seemed like it had been baked. And, yeah. there was a gigantic chunk of gristle in like the fourth bite I took. I was so incredulous I actually spit it into my hand and ate around it to make sure I wasn’t imagining the whole thing. It was definitely gristle.
I ended up eating a half-frozen Hot Pocket from White Hen instead. And Hot Pockets suck. They look this: