This Giant Grasshopper Does Not Belong In A Tuna Melt

The Bluebird Cafe in Culver City sold Seth a grasshopper home gussied up us a tuna melt. A waitress deftly handled the very-live and confused grasshopper by picking him up and tossing him on the ground. That’s it. No apology, no replacement sandwich.

Seth’s friend Josh writes:

I visited Los Angeles a few weeks ago and met up with my friend Seth at the Bluebird Cafe in Culver City. While we were there, Seth ordered a delicious tuna melt sandwich. When it arrived we were startled to see a cricket come hopping out (see attached photos). It was huge, several inches long! We immediately called a waitress over and told her what happened, showing her the cricket on the table. She proceeded to pick the cricket up and throw it on the ground, and then went back to work as usual. We were dumbfounded that she didn’t offer to replace the sandwich. I believe that Seth was quoted as saying, “Did that just happen?” We tracked down another waiter who finally took back the sandwich, and gave Seth a free cupcake. You know what they say, the only thing worse than finding an enormous cricket in your tuna melt is finding half an enormous cricket! Their website says that they only use organic food grown at Rainbow Creek Farms, and I believe it!

Free cupcake:

Comments

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  1. mom22bless says:

    extra protein……yum

  2. Ihaveasmartpuppy says:

    It looks like a grasshopper to me….

  3. Grrrrrrr, now with two buns made of bacon. says:

    Hey, come on, he wasn’t eating much! Besides, that looks like a 100% organic free-range grasshopper there..some people pay extra for that!

    You would have thought the original server would have immediately replaced the sandwich. I think the cupcake was at least something, but they should have given him the replacement sandwich and then at least comp’ed the meal.

    Seth seems to be enjoying that cupcake!

  4. tedyc03 says:

    I dunno that I’d eat *anything* from this place…but the cupcake looks delicious.

  5. ElizabethD says:

    Oh, RETCH! What a way to start my day! LOL

  6. Skankingmike says:

    never had a cricket that looked like that!!!!

    Listen just throw some chocolate on there and it’ll taste just fine, high in protein

  7. 6a says:

    So what was in the cupcake, hmmm?

  8. dlynch says:

    there’s no way it came like that from the kitchen – it’s no different than a fly landing on your food (except cleaner). when you eat outside, you run the risk of errant grasshoppers in your food. certainly no need for a consumerist story here…

  9. HollerJoller says:

    Man, he looks excited top get that cupcake!!!

  10. There's room to move as a fry cook says:

    A more customer focused restaurant would have taken the sandwich back to the kitchen, rearranged the plate, waited a few minutes, then brought it back with an apology.

  11. axylfyre says:

    Poor cricket. I guess Bluebird will have to get a new head chef! Maybe a rat can take over where the cricket left the kitchen staff! :P

  12. PinkBox says:

    I think the problem lays with the waitress, not with the restaurant itself.

  13. crashfrog says:

    That’s a grasshopper, not a cricket, and it probably just jumped off that huge tree behind you while you weren’t looking. It didn’t come from the kitchen because that’s not where grasshoppers live.

    It’s not clear what responsibility the restaurant has when bugs land in food after they serve it, when you’re sitting outside. That’s kind of where bugs live, you know. Anyway grasshoppers are vectors for no human diseases, they’re not dirty or gross, it probably wanted a bite of your lettuce.

  14. Maybe the server was just taking cues from the waitress in the classic GEICO mayo ad (starts at 00:17).

  15. Dobernala says:

    I would have eaten the sandwich. Maybe I would have cut away part of the sandwich, but certainly most of it is still good.

    Of course, the restaurant should have replaced it for the sake of customer relations.

    Now they’re likely to lose a potential repeat customer because of their arrogant stinginess.

  16. oneswellfoop says:

    @crashfrog, you’re probably right. Yes this is a valid customer service story, but people get crappy customer service at diners all over the country. Oh Noes!

    People also find bugs in their greens and salads…You know why? Because it usually means that the greens are fresh. Amongst the many folds and leaves of lettuces and baby greens there are many spots for frightened bugs to hide, which they will do until refrigerated for shipping. They warm up on the other end surrounded by their food source so they stick around.
    You don’t have to be happy when you find bugs in your salad, but really, STFU up about it already. Go pick your own cord and be horrified at a worm in the tip, pick your own peaches and apples and gasp as you find a worm in it. Go outside, get your own food, and start to understand that food does not grow in pristine labs tended by people in white labcoats.

    ..I’m just reacting this way because I recall seeing several posts about a beetle in the salad or something similar recently…Give it up, it happens.

    • ShizaMinelli says:

      @oneswellfoop: Are you serious? Because crappy customer service happens all the time it should be accepted and nothing done about it? I guess that means this website should be shut down.

      “..I’m just reacting this way because I recall seeing several posts about a beetle in the salad or something similar recently…Give it up, it happens. “
      Murder happens, should we give up on that one as well? “it happens, let it go” is a reply for the lazy and/or unintelligent. Feces happens in the natural world as well, shall we accept that if it’s served on a sandwich without complaint.

  17. Perhaps, outdoor restaurants should bring food covered in cellophane, when serving outdoors near trees.

    This way there is less chance of blame game about whether it came before it was served

    There is also a possibility that the Waitress may have misunderstood and assumed that Bug just landed on the table.

  18. oneswellfoop says:

    *pick your own corn I meant, but we have no edit button.

  19. somesoma says:

    I think the complaint is less about finding the insect and more about the waitress not reacting appropriately. Her actions remind me of this commercial in which a diner patron tells the waitress he asked for no mayonnaise; she responds by picking up the mayo’d slice of bread and scraping the mayo off on the edge of the table, then plopping the bread back on the sandwich and walking away.

  20. JulesNoctambule says:

    Thanks, Consumerist — now I really, really want a cupcake!

  21. Morac says:

    I once found a dead lady bug in my creamed spinach from Boston Market (fortunately before I ate it). Since I had gotten take-out there wasn’t much use in complaining at that point, so I just scooped it out and ate around it.

  22. 5h17h34d says:

    Hrdly cnsmrst-wrthy stry.

  23. BeeBoo says:

    I can’t decide which is cuter: the grasshopper in the sandwich or Seth with his cupcake.

  24. smarty says:

    What’s the problem with the grasshopper?
    [www.ent.iastate.edu]
    Yummy!

    Customer service did appear to suck though.

  25. fredmertz says:

    Any chance to limit consumerist posts to only those that people not directly involved in care about?

  26. 23221 says:

    Eating an insect won’t hurt you. Certain bugs are a dietary staple in many parts of the world. Fact is, they may be healthier and more sanitary than some of the processed food you’re eating.

    That said, the waitress definitely gets a D- for the way she handled this.

  27. Dansc29625 says:

    Now that is what I call a tuna surprise.

    “Their website says that they only use organic food grown at Rainbow Creek Farms, and I believe it!”

    Tuna? (I’m sure grasshopper came from there)

  28. brokeincollege says:

    I’d call the health department on their ass after the waiter refused to replace the sandwich. And made sure the restaurant got fined up the ass. Either that or shut down altogether. But then, I’m highly vindictive like that.

  29. brokeincollege says:

    Of course, I’m not sure if I’d want to eat there even after they got me a new sandwich. So I guess I’ll just call the health department. If they didn’t get fined or shut down I can at least console myself in the fact that the manager would have shit his/her pants when the health department calls concerning a complaint made by a patron.

    • crashfrog says:

      @brokeincollege: If they didn’t get fined or shut down I can at least console myself in the fact that the manager would have shit his/her pants when the health department calls concerning a complaint made by a patron.

      What, exactly, do you think the health department is going to do about a complaint that there was an outside bug that got on food being served outside, besides tell you to go bother someone else?

      It’s the outdoors. There’s bugs out there, surprise! A grasshopper can jump ten feet and fly, and they’re attracted to succulent leaves.

      Sure, get the health department involved, but I’m pretty sure bugs landing on your food after they’ve served it, outdoors, isn’t something they have an interest in regulating.

      • brokeincollege says:

        @crashfrog: Nobody knows exactly what happened. The bug could have been in the food for all I care, and spawned itself in the lettuce. What I know from the facts of the story is that someone ordered a tuna sandwich and got one with a bug. When he asked for one sans bug, they gave him a cupcake instead.

        Maybe they should cover all food being served outside with those dome cover thingies so bugs don’t accidentally land on food. Of course If I were to find a bug in my sandwich (I’d never eat outside-New York City air isn’t all that nice you know) I wouldn’t be eating there then or ever again. And yes, the health department WILL be involved, because Manhattan isn’t a hospitable climate for bugs, and the kitchen should have been fumigated anyway.

        If I wanted a sandwich with a big bug like that on it, I would have ordered one. I order sandwiches sans bug because I don’t want a bug with my sandwich.

        • crashfrog says:

          @brokeincollege: Nobody knows exactly what happened.

          My wife’s an entomologist, so we can pretty confidently state that the grasshopper landed on the food when it was brought outside, because there’s really no way that a grasshopper would be in the kitchen, or would have been caught up in any kind of harvesting from the field. They’re agile and skittish, and there’s really nothing in a kitchen to attract them. They certainly wouldn’t lay eggs there, so there’s no way that a kitchen could have a population of grasshoppers (the way that it might have a population of cockroaches or other pest insects.)

          And yes, the health department WILL be involved, because Manhattan isn’t a hospitable climate for bugs,

          In fact insects occupy every single environment on Earth save one – the depths of the ocean.

          If I wanted a sandwich with a big bug like that on it, I would have ordered one.

          Might I suggest that if you don’t want bugs in your food, but are eating outside, don’t sit under trees.

          • Techguy1138 says:

            @crashfrog:
            You asked where you are going wrong. Well for a start you are making an argument that supports the actions of the first waitress.

            You are also arguing that bugs should be a natural part of salad. That is the same as arguing that shit should be a part of steak. Properly cleaned and washed greens should have no bugs on them. Just like a steak should be free of fecal matter.

            I have never seen a grasshopper in LA. LA is not natural habitat for grasshoppers, although it is for crickets.

            More than likely this did come from a farmers field. LA is an extremely unfriendly environment for grasshoppers given the continual draught and complete lack of overgrown areas. Unless the grasshoppers have a secret deal working with the roaches.

            This kind of thing should not be to hard. If there is a bug on a customers dish before they start eating the dish should be replaced. Once you do that determine if they are just fishing for a free meal. If they are not comp them the plate and appologise.

            Why spend so much time defending someone who didn’t do that. You are seriously advocating for wait staff that is okay with bugs in your food.

            • crashfrog says:

              @Techguy1138: You are also arguing that bugs should be a natural part of salad.

              It didn’t come with the sandwich. It landed on the sandwich after it was served, because the patrons decided to eat outside, under a tree. (Don’t you see the tree, there in the background of the photo?)

              Bugs live outside. Some of them, in trees. Some of them are attracted to the sort of succulent leaves found in sandwiches. This grasshopper clearly was.

              LA is not natural habitat for grasshoppers, although it is for crickets.

              Crickets are irrelevant, because that’s not a cricket. That’s a grasshopper. (It lacks the prominent cerci.)

              But of course LA is a habitat for grasshoppers. Anywhere there’s grass, or trees or plants with succulent leaves, you’ll find grasshoppers. Grasshoppers have a huge flight range, too – locust swarms during the depression could travel hundreds of miles – so there’s no reason to think that a grasshopper in the food came from anywhere but outside, where they were sitting.

              LA is an extremely unfriendly environment for grasshoppers given the continual draught and complete lack of overgrown areas.

              You don’t know anything about grasshoppers.

              You are seriously advocating for wait staff that is okay with bugs in your food.

              When harmless insects land on my food after its been served, because I chose to eat it outside, it’s hard for me to see how that’s the restaurant’s mistake or problem. Like I said, though, explain to me where I’m going wrong.

              um… insects live in antarctica?

              Absolutely. Antarctica is host to a kind of flightless midge, plus a number of species of lice.

          • katylostherart says:

            @crashfrog: um… insects live in antarctica?

    • enderx says:

      @brokeincollege: ohh aren’t you just Mr. Powerful! It’s a cricket. You’ve probably eaten worse.

  30. Parting says:

    That happens. They replaced the sandwich and gave a free cupcake. Case closed.

  31. Triterion says:

    I eat at the Bluebird Cafe a lot, and I’ve even had that Tuna Melt before a couple of times, it was delish. I’ll go again too- this kind of thing probably happens 100s of times a day all over the US, but all those people don’t take pictures and email them to the consumerist. If I took a photo every time a fly landed in my iced tea I could make a giant scrapbook!!

  32. benh57 says:
  33. RenRen says:

    I like my grasshoppers like I like my women… All-natural and au naturel, hehehehe.

  34. axylfyre says:

    hmm..does this mean they will charge more for it being “organic”

  35. ShadowFalls says:

    The point of all this is not pointing out that this happened, these things do happen, we all know it. The point is how it is handled, that is what matters to most people.

  36. MBZ321 says:

    Actually, it wouldn’t bother me to find something like that in my food. I mean, cockroaches, other decomposers, no, but seeing that tells me the food is actually fresh.

  37. katylostherart says:

    it would be like putting potato chips on your tuna sammich like when you were a kid. crunchy with a bit of a saltiness to it!

  38. crashfrog says:

    The point is how it is handled, that is what matters to most people.

    Sure; I just don’t think it’s reasonable to show the server a grasshopper on your table and expect a fresh new sandwich for it.

    Can anyone explain where I’m going wrong?

  39. peter_in_paris says:

    This guy got a real deal. They would charge double whatever he paid for a cricket/grasshopper sandwich at Whole Foods!

  40. ruzel says:

    What!? A Grasshopper could hardly hurt you and certainly wouldn’t carry any germs that would either. Don’t be a baby and eat the sandwich instead of wasting food. I don’t think the waitress is at all the jerk in this scenario.

  41. jimmydeweasel says:

    In west Africa that would have cost you 25 cents extra. Quit complaining, and eat your cupcake…..very carefully, they made it just for whiners like you.

  42. friedduck says:

    And you continued to eat there?! ((shudder))

    Was this lunch directed by Quentin Tarantino?

  43. BiZarRroBALlmeR says:

    Um…Cricket [en.wikipedia.org]

    grasshopper-[en.wikipedia.org]

    You sir do not have a cricket there. Perhaps a locust. Is LA currently experiencing a plague?

  44. NotChoinski says:

    Um, if you just got a sandwich from a kitchen with a giant bug in it, and reaction from same kitchen was ‘Meh’, they why oh why would you insist on another sandwich from same kitchen?

    WALK OUT. Dont Pay. The End

  45. nosehare says:

    When you wish up on a star!

  46. crashfrog says:

    Also – they pack lettuce and other greens for shipping in airtight bags with the air removed and replaced with CO2 and nitrogen, because it keeps the lettuce from wilting.

    It’s also fatal to insects. If this grasshopper was still alive, and the OP says that it was, there’s no way it came with the food.

    Also, if it was actually in the sandwich, not just on it, wouldn’t it have been covered in mayo? It’s not, though.

    The evidence here is pretty conclusive – this is North America’s most common species of grasshopper, you can find it anywhere leaves are, it landed on the sandwich after it was served. The patrons are dining outside. Unless you think the waitstaff should be on hand to swat insects away constantly while they dine, I think the patrons need to accept the reality that the restaurant wasn’t in the wrong here, and they probably got more than they deserved.

  47. Eels says:

    This happened to me once when I was eating outside, except that it was one of those big river bugs. The chef came out to apologize and comped our entire meal.

  48. Gopher bond says:

    Eating raw grasshoppers can give you tapeworms.

    ~_~_~_~The More you Know….

  49. jeejum says:

    > That’s a grasshopper, not a cricket, and it probably just jumped off that huge tree behind you while you weren’t looking. It didn’t come from the kitchen because that’s not where grasshoppers live.

    Grasshoppers don’t live in tuna melt sandwiches either, last I checked, and I’m going to check every single sandwich I eat from now on, thanks to this consumerist article.

  50. hexychick says:

    I like good stories like this. I’m glad to see this guy didn’t make a scene in front of everyone out there. He was nice, polite, didn’t ask for his meal to be comped – just replaced, and got a second person of the waitstaff to handle the situation. Oh! And he got a free cupcake! How adorable is that picture?