17 June 2009

Spice Thai, 24 Holyoke Street, Cambridge: DON'T. EAT. HERE.

warning, friends: this is going to get graphic.

as a veteran of the food service industry, it takes a lot for me to discourage anyone from going to any eatery. shit happens: people have bad days and forget to put order slips into the kitchen, fridges break in the middle of the night spoiling produce and dairy, restaurants become short-staffed and frenzied if someone calls in sick with the flu. restaurants, cafes, bars and coffeehouses are especially susceptible to falling apart at the seams over a minute thing, but there are some standards that need to be set and observed, obviously, and serving ROTTING FOOD to customers? definitely not something you do, regardless of how crazy things get in a kitchen or how stressed you are. so, spice thai of cambridge? i'm officially you calling you out as a disgusting restaurant unfit for serving people.

last saturday, we ordered takeout from spice thai outside of central square while we were in the midst of a TPB production meeting. i was the only one out of the four of us who got anything different: gab, milap and jessie all had pad thai, while i went with tom kha gai (coconut chili soup with chicken) and the "special pad thai" (pad thai with wide egg noodles instead of normal ones.) we ate, we finished the meeting, i went home, blah blah blah.

fast forward to noon the next day: i felt DISGUSTING. i felt bloated, feverish, hung over and gross, and i hadn't been boozing the night before so it made absolutely no sense that i felt this way. i couldn't shake the feeling all day, and on monday i was literally doubled over in my cubicle at work feeling like an alien was going to explode out of my insides sigourney weaver style.

long story short: i spent every single day last week feeling like something was very, very wrong. i was told by my doctor that food poisoning, though violent, unpleasant and instantaneous, should only last up to MAX 48 hours and that me having these symptoms for over 5 days was a major red flag. after two trips to my doctor, a day home sick from work and a solid week of eating nothing but saltines and bananas, i just wanted answers. my friends insisted i go to the hospital, my family insisted i bail on the planned trip to maine we had set for that weekeend, and i was getting delirious and exhausted from oh, NOT EATING. i gave the doc a sample (the least pleasant kind you can think of, blaghhhh) and they did the lab work.

my doctor called me yesterday with the results. the verdict? there were "extremely dangerous levels" of campylobacter in my system, which is the bacteria that causes nasty food poisoning and comes from eating rotten chicken or coming into contact with feces. ROTTEN. CHICKEN. OR SHIT!?

spice thai in cambridge: having one of your customers keeling and puking and doing god knows what else and being unable to eat or function or even keep down fluids for over 5 DAYS is UNBELIEVABLE. is it that difficult to keep track of the groceries you prepare? is it that difficult to mark the soups you serve, the chicken you keep and the stock you use? is it that difficult to make your employees wash their hands, clean the utensils they prepare food with and make sure that they, oh, i don't know, adhere to regulations set for them by the department of health in order to ensure the wellbeing of their customers and employees? this problem is so easily avoidable and it has ABSOLUTELY NOTHING to do with the "restaurants get crazy" clause i mentioned above. my sickness was caused by ignorance, laziness and neglect, not stress, an inadequate number of people on duty or demanding customers.

and oh, it gets better! i called spice thai yesterday to tell them hey, i was sick because of food they prepared, maybe they should check out the chicken/potential transferral of poop problem in their kitchen. the woman on the phone hung up on me the first time, and when i called back to speak to a manager she told me that he wouldn't be in until friday. um, i called on a tuesday. i mentioned to her on the phone that i was filing a complaint because i had contracted severe food poisoning from their cuisine and that it needed to be resolved right away. she insisted i call back on friday.

the verdict: if you value your stomach, your small intestine, your colon, and your sanity, do not under any circumstances order takeout or frequent spice thai restaurant at 24 holyoke street in cambridge, massachusetts. i don't know about you, but i'd feel more comfortable checking out one of the other amazing culinary establishments in the area as opposed to going to a restaurant that serves tainted food and refuses to deal with an urgent problem having to do with their neglect to consider the safety of their patrons. spice thai in cambridge? you suck. and your pad thai is mediocre at best.

if you're looking for GOOD, NON-POISONING THAI FOOD: check out pho n' rice, sugar and spice and spice and rice, all within a stones throw of central, harvard and porter squares. they've all been delicious and affordable in the past and i'd gladly send more traffic their way then to spice thai.

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