Saturday, November 8, 2008

Buffalo Wings, Rings, and Food Poisoning

When you eat at a restaurant with with a roll of paper towels at every table, you leave some of your standards at the door. I didn't expect to walk away feeling refreshed, energized, and inspired by the rare culinary experience at Buffalo Wings and Rings in Springdale. I wanted fried food, slathered in buttery sauce, and I wanted to eat until I ran out of room, like a hotdog eating champion. And I did. Later, I found out that I was one order of chicken wings away from a night in urgent care.

I won't name my dining cohort, since I'm not sure she wants the details of her gastronomical troubles released to the public. We like wings, and we like eating them in gross excess on occasion. It's the American way. We'd both eaten at Wings and Rings before without especially bad consequences. It seemed like a natural choice after an hour of intense shopping at Tri-County Mall.

It was something in her batch of fried wings, or it was the 25 cent gumball on her way out of the restaurant, but it was something vicious and it took her down hard.

We should have seen it coming. The fly on my unfinished salad was funny at the time, hysterical even, watching its little nozzle mouth sucking on an unwanted onion. What difference could a fly make? I was done with my food. I'll be done with my Buffalo Wings and Rings food for a long time now, come to think of it.

We laughed in the parking lot about our purchases from the quarter vending machines, oblivious to her impending illness. For my quarter, I got a little treasure from a machine advertising "Cuffs and Stuff," which means you have a chance of getting a tiny pair of handcuffs or... stuff. Stuff, as it turned out, was a plastic sea horse charm on a piece of black string.

I'm wearing my sea horse around my wrist as a show of solidarity with those who fall victim to food poising. While my friend spent the rest of her night in misery, I drank rum and cokes with my mom and fell asleep watching Die Hard. It's unfair. I can only recognize her suffering and remember that, but for the grace of my waiter, there am I. That and never ever eat at that Buffalo Wings and Rings again.


skinny fat chick said...

Ugh... the thought of food poisoning just makes me cringe. I've eaten at the BWR in Norwood twice and had two bad experiences (although not food poisoning, so I can be grateful for that)... but this should seal the deal that I won't be back either!

WestEnder said...

The #1 cause of food illness is employee mistakes (like handling cooked chicken after handling raw chicken, e.g.). That is probably what happened to your friend (but there are other possibilities).

Think about calling the restaurant, asking for the manager, and tell him/her exactly when you ate, what you ate, and what symptoms followed.

If you want to go the whole 9 yards, put it in a letter and send it to the corporate office. Mention that you heard of several others who got sick at the same location as well as others.

The office will almost certainly follow-up because they will realize they are one step away from being shut down.

(Strange but true: technically, anything your friend ate in the past week could have made her sick. We always think it's the last thing we ate but pathogens can take days and sometimes weeks to show symptoms)