Sunday, November 28, 2010

Biting Off More Than One Can (or wants to) Chew; alternatively titled, "Boycott Grill'd"

As the fine city of Perth undergoes hundreds of millions of dollars worth of construction in an attempt to catapult ourselves into the upper echelon of Australian capital cities, there are a few elements that city planners have neglected. Little things like effective networks of public transit, CBD activities after 6pm on nights other than Friday, taking full advantage of the prime real estate along the Swan River, and updating the WACA have been cast aside in favor of the much needed sidewalk widening and tree planting on Saint George's Terrace. Perth probably has to do a lil' bit more work to make it into the conversation with Sydney, Melbourne, or even Brisbane, but one area where Perth holds its own is gourmet burger restaurants.

That's right. Gourmet. Burger. Restaurants.

Perth boasts a collection of fantastic places to get a classy burger and fries including Jus Burgers, Flipside, Australia's Finest Burgers, The Burger Bistro, and until last night, Grill'd was included in that number, but nevermore.

Cate and I went to Grill'd with one goal in mind; have a delicious burger with a side of chips. This is something that we knew Grill'd could achieve for us as we ranked it highly in our personal hierarchy of restaurants-that-are-better-than-fast-food-but-not-quite-real-sit-down-meals. In fact, we first came across Grill'd during our honeymoon in Melbourne and absolutely fell in love with their decor, burgers, and most of all, their french fries. Grill'd employs a unique rosemary/ salt flake dusting on their thick cut chips (for the record, I'm alternating between 'chips' and 'french fries' for variety's sake, not because I'm, "becoming Australian.") which endeared them to us at first bite.

Upon sitting down to our meal, we both ripped into our bacon cheeseburgers with delight, finishing them perhaps a bit too quickly, but this meal had only just begun. We still had two 3"X6"X1.5" bags of french fries to consume and we were ready for the challenge. Armed with our aioli and tomato dipping sauces, we went to work on the chips filled with all of the joy that one could take from eating delectable morsels of salty, fried potato. Then it happened.

I bit into a french fry and almost simultaneously, I caught a whiff of the most foul smelling garbage I had ever smelled. (To put that in context, I have encountered some awful scents; I think the worst was the stench of rotting clothes upon opening the door of a washing machine in a home in New Orleans... seven months after Hurricane Katrina flooded the city with near toxic waste; and I was wearing a ventilator at the time.) I thought I saw an employee leaving from Grill'd at the same time, so I just assumed that he must have been taking out some particularly putrid refuse. But, the smell didn't dissipate after a few seconds and I asked Cate if she could smell it because the odor was so oppressive. And she said, verbatim, "No, I don't smell anything. You are crazy!" Or something along those lines :) I really could not figure it out, I searched the other faces in our vicinity to see if anyone else had caught a whiff of whatever this nastiness was and no one else seemed to be concerned. Then I looked down at the half eaten french fry in my hand and thought the unthinkable. Could this french fry, any french fry for that matter, produce such a foul smell when for the previous 24 years all french fries had brought me was gustatory pleasure? I incredulously sniffed the fry, but couldn't really smell anything different because the foulness still hung around me. So I asked Cate to smell the chip in a last ditch effort to restore sanity to my world.

She confirmed my worst fears. It was in fact the chip that smelled and of course tasted so wretchedly horrible. Naturally, by this point, I had already ingested the devil potato and feared for the worst. I was too stunned to say anything to the Grill'd staff, plus I wasn't quite sure what I would say anyway, "Uh, yeah, I was eating one of your chips... and it tasted like the bottom of a trashcan, outside a fish market, on a summer's day." Or maybe I would just suggest that the manager smell the fry in question and make his/ her own decision?

Alas, all I could do was muster enough strength to walk away from the restaurant in disbelief, never to return to Grill'd.

I encourage you to do the same; boycott Grill'd, unless you want to risk the same fate...

1 comment:

  1. this has nothing to do with grid-iron or rugby! i want my money back!