Man Sues Restaurant For Not Stopping Him From Eating An Entire Artichoke

A doctor has sued the Houston’s restaurant in Miami after he ate a complete artichoke that he ordered, including the spiny and sharp exterior leaves. He subsequently suffered “severe abdominal pain and discomfort,” and a “exploratory laparotomy” showed that the artichoke leaves were jammed in his “small bowel.” His lawsuit claims that he had “never seen nor heard of previously” an artichoke and that it was the restaurant’s fault for not teaching him how to eat it.

“It takes a sophisticated diner to be familiar with the artichoke,” says the man’s lawyer. “People might think that as a doctor, he’d know how to eat one. But he was thinking it was like a food he might have eaten in his native Cuba, where you eat everything on the plate.”

A spokesperson for the restaurant group told Business Insurance, “What’s next? Are we going to have to post warnings on our menu they shouldn’t eat the bones in our barbeque ribs?”

For the record, the way you eat an artichoke is to first pluck off a leaf, then place it in your mouth and pull, scraping off the soft part from the fibrous part and leaving the soft part in your mouth. Repeat until you reach the soft inner heart, which can be consumed whole.

Here is the lawsuit:Arturo Carvjal sues Houston’s Restaurant for not advising him on how to eat an artichoke.

Miami Doctor Sues Houston’s Restaurant For Not Teaching Him How To Properly Eat Artichoke [Miami New Times Blog] (Thanks to David!)

How to Eat an Artichoke [Chow]


Edit Your Comment

  1. lukesdad says:

    Once again, I weep for humanity.

  2. McRib wants to know if you've been saved by the Holy Clown says:

    Whenever I see stupidity like this, I wish there was some way the system would automatically recompense the defendants of particularly moronic lawsuits.

    If the plate had pictures of food on it, would this ninny have eaten the plate too?

    • MaxH42 thinks RecordStoreToughGuy got a raw deal says:

      It’s a wonder this guy didn’t eat the linens…you know, some restaurants make a nice tent out of them and put them on the plate when they set the table. You mean they aren’t edible?

    • LadyTL says:

      So without knowing what an artichoke is you would have instinctively known how to eat it?

      • GearheadGeek says:

        If I order something that turns out to be strange-looking I might ask for suggestions on how to eat it. You know, request service from my server.

        • lordargent says:

          Did this guy eat the shells the first time he encountered lobster? Dies he eat the shells of peanuts? ETC ETC

          • haggis for the soul says:

            I won’t even eat the pumpkin seed shells, even though I get strange looks for popping them open and eating the kernels. It just doesn’t seem right.

      • Bibliovore says:

        I may not know the common way(s) to eat an unfamiliar food, but I can figure out not to ingest practically unchewable, fibrous, spiny bits, or at least to ask someone about them before deciding to go ahead and do so.

      • Peacock (Now In Extra Crispy) says:

        Did he peel a banana the first time he ate one? What about a pineapple? I am very nearly speechless at the sheer chutzpa in this man’s lawsuit. HOW did he get through medical school? Life?

        Why order something to eat that you’ve never seen before and are totally unfamiliar with and then not ask for directions on how to eat it? Oh, right. He’s a man and a doctor and they think asking for directions is somehow an impingement on their machismo.


        • Sculder says:

          Wait wait wait… you’re not supposed to eat the whole pineapple? :P

        • giraffeattack says:

          The first time I ate an apple, I ate the whole thing including stem and seeds…when my mom asked me what i did with the core, I had no idea what she was talking about (granted, i was 4 at the time). I could see trying to eat the whole artichoke though…who knows how you’re supposed to eat those things. Oh, and I’m a doctor, too :p

      • OutPastPluto says:

        > So without knowing what an artichoke is you would have instinctively known how to eat it?

        Yes. Been there. Done that.

        Have you ever eaten one before? Ever tried to pull one apart before? Ever?

        This is clearly something that should send warning signs to anyone that has more intelligence than a houseplant. An MD should certainly have more sense than to try to eat something that can’t be chewed and tends to scratch your fingers.

        Yes. It should be obvious to a random person that the bulk of an artichoke is inedible.

    • Shadowman615 says:

      I don’t think the guy was stupid for not knowing how to eat an artichoke. He’d never encountered it before and did what was familiar.

      Suing the restaurant, however, is ridiculously stupid. Or ridiculously something, at least.

  3. sufreak says:

    This is the type of person who needs seatbelt instructions on a plane. And the type of person that keeps ambulance chasers in business.

    I must reaffirm my statement.
    1- repeal helmet and seatbelt laws.
    2- Allow judges to fine lawyers and clients for frivolous lawsuits.

    • daemonaquila says:

      Actually, #2 is possible – it just isn’t done as often as it could be. Every state’s rules of civil procedure allow a judge to impose sanctions for truly frivolous/abusive actions. A lot of lawyers don’t ask for such sanctions except in the most extreme cases because they either don’t think of it, or they don’t want to be on the wrong side of sanctions themselves someday. A few lawyers do it on just about any case, on the theory that if you throw a piece of spaghetti on the wall every day eventually some bits will stick. They don’t get taken very seriously by a lot of judges because of that.

      • agardina says:

        I think that’s what happened to the guy who sued over the ruined pants – the judge turned around and slapped him with a fine.

    • ludwigk says:

      I was going to chime in on #2 as well. You *can* move for sanctions against opposing counsel if their suit was brought in bad faith (lots of statutes include clauses like this), but mere frivolity is typically not sufficient to justify sanctions.

      In some situations, there may be uncertainty as to whether there is any merit to the suit or not, and part of the goal of bringing suit is to force discovery or subpoenas that would demonstrate that whatever the plaintiff is alleging is plausible. So, there ends up being a lot of gray area where a lawyer is legitimately representing their client, but may end up short of the evidentiary threshold to maintain a suit. As long as that effort is in “good faith”, it should not be sanctionable (i.e. a lawyer should not be fined for believing their plaintiff was injured, and it turns out they can’t prove it).

  4. rubicthecube says:

    So this guy eats garnish as well? Usually when something is difficult to eat, you’re not supposed to eat it. Most people know this, right?

    • shepd says:

      Nothing beats the parsley, of course you eat it (serious, I always do).

      Of course, parsley isn’t particularly poisonous (although it can be slightly) and doesn’t rip up your organs.

    • Toffeemama is looking for a few good Otters says:

      I always eat the crunchy tail part of fried shrimp. I know you’re not supposed to, but I do it anyway.

      • rahntwo says:

        Me Too! And I know how to eat an artichoke.

      • JennyCupcakes misses her grandson says:

        I started coughing and gagging as soon as I read this. You’d love softshell crab, if you haven’t tried it!

        • parv says:

          I /do/ want to try softshell crab, but haven’t for the same reason|expectation that tone of your response imply.

        • Peacock (Now In Extra Crispy) says:

          Oh, I lurves me some softshell crab. I can’t wait for it to be in season. Yum!

      • RvLeshrac says:

        I’ll eat shrimp tails, when they’re fried. But certainly not on boiled shrimp, where they’re fibrous, both rubbery and sharp, and clearly unsafe to consume.

        Kinda like the leaves on an artichoke.

      • Fafaflunkie Plays His World's Smallest Violin For You says:

        Speaking of shrimp, I have a 2 lb shrimp tray sitting here in the fridge, that got left behind during the rush to get to my family’s Christmas get-together. (oops…maybe!) If I started chomping on them, tails and all, and got said tails lodged in my throat, requiring medical attention as a result, can I sue the company that made the shrimp platter? The good doctor in question seems to make me think so. But I believe common sense tells me “if it’s hard to bite into, it’s best left not eaten.”

    • Griking says:

      Watching him east sushi would be hilarious, especially when he got to the ball of wasabi on his plate.

    • OutPastPluto says:

      > So this guy eats garnish as well?

      Most garnish is actually much more edible than the outside of an artichoke.

  5. c!tizen says:

    well there goes the notion that doctors are smart.

    • Straspey says:

      I’m thinking the same thing.

      If this is my doctor, and I pick up the paper and read this story about him – maybe I’ll be looking for somebody else to advise me on the correct decisions to make concerning my health and safety.

      Of course, if this were to happen, then the doctor would sue his attorney for not warning him of the possible downside of bringing this lawsuit.

      And finally – it’s always good to remember…

      Practice safe eating – use condiments.

  6. Miss Dev (The Beer Sherpa) says:

    Wow… just… wow…

  7. marc6065 says:

    Does this mean I can sue Hardees for eating the cheese paper just like in there commercials!!!!

  8. ash says:

    I don’t really blame him for eating the outside, as I’m sure many people would not know they can’t eat it. But as for suing the restaurant, that’s stupid.

    • Shadowfax says:

      No, I’m pretty sure that once they got jabbed in the tongue by the spine at the tip of the leaf they’d figure out in short order that maybe it wasn’t the best idea to keep eating it. . .

      • tdogg241 says:

        Bingo. The whole “fool me once…” thing. Also, the main part of the leaves is damn-near inedible. Dude should have known something was amiss after the first leaf. I once made the mistake of throwing a bunch of artichoke leaves into the garbage disposal. I spent the next 2 hours cleaning out the fibrous mess that it caused.

    • Reading_Comprehension says:

      indeed, if you try to eat the bones from a meat dish, you are either drunk or too stupid to function in society, no lawsuit for you

  9. fantomesq says:

    If he didn’t ask how to eat the artichoke, I can’t imagine a waiter/waitress having the gall to instruct a customer, especially a doctor, how to eat an artichoke. If he’d like to point to the line item on his bill that included instruction, I will stand corrected. God, I hope he doesn’t order the lobster!

    • yulingo says:

      My thoughts exactly. If he didn’t know how to eat it, he should have asked.

      Making assumptions in life can always lead to all sorts of bad. I’d rather slightly embarrass myself by asking than be injured by assuming…

    • d67f8g9uno says:

      Was he wearing scrubs and a stethoscope? How would anyone know he was a doctor?

  10. ParingKnife ("That's a kniwfe.") says:

    As someone who couldn’t point out the salad fork to save his life, I sympathize somewhat- that said, if it hurts- stop eating!

  11. makreljohnson says:

    Maybe he’s a Doctor in the way Julius Irving is… or Dre…

  12. FuzzyWillow says:

    Honestly, I never knew how to eat an artichoke. This is why I visit Consumerist – to learn from others misfortunes. Not to make fun of them.

    • MaxH42 thinks RecordStoreToughGuy got a raw deal says:

      Then you probably want to read only the part at the top, with the white background. The part down here, with the gray background, is where we make fun of the people in the article, the editors, and each other.

      Now if you’ll excuse me, I’ve been slacking off, as it’s been a while since someone invoked Godwin’s Law.

    • operator207 says:

      But if you came in contact with one, would you just shovel it in your mouth, and then sue because someone didn’t tell you how to eat it?

      I don’t care if he “thought” it was like something else in his native country. He bought a food that he was not familiar with, it isn’t pleasant eating the full leaf, but decided to not ask a waiter how to eat the food he was unfamiliar with. Even if the pointy part of the leaf is cut off it is still though and almost inedible. I tried to eat ONE leaf once, and I stopped when it did not taste good, and was hard to chew. I am not a Doctor, I just have common sense. He gets what he deserves. Don’t let this guy out in the woods, he will sue the earth because he ate some poison ivy.

      I have NEVER assumed anyone with a college degree is smart. Even doctors. Working with them for a couple years has proven that to me.

    • Applekid ┬──┬ ノ( ã‚œ-゜ノ) says:

      Can’t we do both?

  13. awesome anna says:

    “never seen nor heard of previously”

  14. Mom says:

    So, did he ask for directions? Should everything on the menu come with an instruction sheet?

    I assume that he doesn’t ask for directions when he’s lost on the road either.

    • Merricat says:

      Having never eaten anything other than artichoke hearts, I had no idea that the outside of the plant was dangerous. My opinion is, if something that looks edible requires ‘special handling’ in order to consume it without injury, it may be wise to include that information somewhere as a disclaimer. Just because ‘everyone knows’ something doesn’t mean everyone knows it. I managed to make it 35 years before I even encountered artichoke hearts, and while even older still I haven’t yet seen a whole plant.

      • Brie says:

        But if *you* don’t know it, you can ask. Hi Mom! because yep, I recently went to a restaurant with mine and wanted to split the artichoke appetizer. She said “I don’t know how to eat one of those.” I said “I’ll show you,” and I did.

        Dining gaffes happen, especially when you’re in a different culture/country, and as such the complainant should have extra-special-asked what to do with the artichoke.

        • JayCor says:

          Exactly. I’ve had to show numerous people how to eat edamame when getting sushi (you don’t eat the pod, just bite down and pull the pod out, removing the beans inside) — I don’t remember when I learned that, but it definitely was someone teaching me the right way.

          Also, I didn’t know how to eat an artichoke until I read this article, and I’m not afraid to admit it. Servicey!

          • Merricat says:

            Actually I eat the pod with edamame, but you see, there’s the thing. It’s safe to do so.

            People bringing up the pineapple have a better example but it’s still off. I challenge anyone to actually manage to chew that.

            Also, the point about the spiky part of the leaves at their top, while appropriate for if you are buying it in the grocery store, doesn’t work when you are getting one in a restaurant. It took me about 30 seconds of Googling to find out they normally remove those to make it easier to EAT THE OUTER LEAF.

            Because, you see, you are meant to eat that part. There is just a special way of doing it that involves scraping off the soft part with your teeth and throwing the remainder away.


            And that’s sort of my point.

            To an inexperienced diner, there really isn’t all that much there to warn you NOT to eat the leaves whole.

            The ‘danger danger’ parts have been removed, and while it might not be as pleasant to consume as the heart (and I have to level with you here, if it were me, I don’t find anything pleasant about eating artichoke hearts so I wouldn’t find it at all surprising if the leaves were ‘just’ the same level of unpleasant as well) it would be possible.

            There wouldn’t be any reason for the diner to believe they didn’t know how to eat one, and thus there wouldn’t be any reason for them to ask how.

      • Toffeemama is looking for a few good Otters says:

        If something came to you with a slice of pineapple -rind included-, would you expect directions to not eat the whole thing?

      • Shadowfax says:

        The thing is that artichoke leaves, especially the outer ones, have sharp spines on them that hurt like hell when you prick your finger with them.

        Knowing that, do you really think that we need to tell people “Hey, if there’s a sharp spiny thing on your plate that hurts when you touch it, and hurts even more when it pierces your tongue, don’t eat it.”

  15. Murph1908 says:

    The restaurant should be responsible for teaching the client how to eat! I once went to a seafood restaurant with my new, quirky girlfriend Madison, and when the lobster was set in front of her, she proceeded to pick the entire thing up and chew through the exterior carapace!

    It was almost as embarrassing as when she told me her native name and shattered all the glass within 20 yards.

    She chose Madison as the name I could call her. Heh. “Madison.” At the time I wondered, who would name their kid after an avenue in New York.

    /this sarcastic comment posted to point out the fact that not everything you are served on your plate is edible.

  16. fatediesel says:

    I’m kind of conflicted on this one. I hate frivolous lawsuits but before I read this story (weeks ago) I had no idea that you couldn’t eat the whole artichoke. I’ve never been someplace that served whole artichokes and I imagine if I ordered them I’d possibly eat it whole.

    • ubermex says:

      I feel the same way. The artichoke is kind of right on that line where maybe they SHOULD be at least asking if you need help. I mean, they do it for lobsters and those are way more popular.

      I figure this guy gets a settlement and every restaurant puts a little “please ask the server to show you how to eat this” flag by the artichoke on the menu and we move on.

      • McRib wants to know if you've been saved by the Holy Clown says:

        We do not do it for lobsters. Never once in my entire life in Maine have I ever ordered lobster and been told ‘don’t eat the shell’.

        The waiter will help you if you ask, but you are expected to use your brain.

        • Shadowfax says:

          Yes, but a lot of places in Maine have placemats with eating instructions on them.

          What surprises me is that most restaurants I’ve been to that serve whole artichoke cut the top of it off to get rid of the spiny parts.

          That still wouldn’t have helped him with the massive fiber overdose when he ate the whole leaves, though.

          • Rachacha says:

            The difference there is that they are providing you instructions on how to easily remove the meat from the shell, i.e. if you pull here, you will get nice bug chinks of meat, but if you pull here, you will get nothing but shredded lobster (or crab or…)

        • oldwiz65 says:

          I was a little confused the first time I ordered a whole lobster, but the simple thing to do is watch someone else eat one first and ask if you are confused.

    • OSAM says:

      You know how big a whole artichoke is right? Its at least 2-3 inches round, covered in hard, spiny outer leaves. It’s not exactly appetizing.

    • islandgirl says:

      Artichokes are one of my favorite foods, and let me tell you – the leaves are TOUGH!! You’d really have to work to get the whole leaf down, they’re very fibrous and don’t come apart when you chew them. It should be obvious to the doctor just from the sheer strain of chewing the leaf down to a swallow-able pulp that it wasn’t meant to be eaten whole (not to mention the spines. yikes!) Either that, or the doctor has some fearsome teeth!

      • Gstump says:

        in the article it makes it seem as tho he did not chew them down into a pulp instead just swallowed them whole

    • dulcinea47 says:

      You might try to eat a whole artichoke, but if you have the least bit of sense you’d quickly figure out that something was wrong. Artichoke leaves are tough and pointy. If you started eating it you wouldn’t want to continue. This guy must have been really, really determined to get through the whole thing and not think anything was wrong.

    • XianZhuXuande says:

      I think it is reasonable for restaurants to expect their customers to exercise a degree of common sense when eating their food. If a person tears into meat and finds a bone they’re not going to eat it. Artichokes aren’t so different in that chowing them down, as others have pointed out, would be a horrible experience. I’m amazed a person would go through the whole thing like that…

      They can be accountable for their own actions.

    • SmillaSnow says:

      Nah, you wouldn’t. Imagine eating a pineapple, peel and all.

  17. tanyaandkarl says:

    This moron’s trolling for a settlement; nothing more.

    I gotta tell ya–if you try to eat the whole leaf it immediately becomes pretty damned obvious that you’re doing it wrong.

    You don’t need formal training in human physiology in order to figure out that something that with the texture of a rough cotton cloth (with a little prickly point on the end) is NOT food. Sure, the other SOFT parts of it taste edible. Does the guy eat the whole cob when he eats corn?

    And, yes, I realize this moron has a piece of paper saying he’s got formal training in this sort of thing. Maybe the judge should take his piece of paper away from him at the same time he dismisses his frivolous lawsuit.

    • balthisar says:

      Ah, so he’s Cuban. Actually *from* Cuba. You know, where you get paid whether or not you actually work. It kind of fosters both a sense of laziness and dependency on others. So, no wonder he’s suing! He doesn’t want to work!

    • AustinTXProgrammer says:

      There is a spiny part above the heart and below the leaves. One forkful could mess you up, so I can see how this guy goofed. But I still can’t see suing the restaurant.

  18. awesome anna says:

    OH wait, this was at Houston’s? I love that place!!! Although I didn’t think their grilled artichokes were that great….. But I’m in PHX… perhaps they were better tasting in FL? lol

  19. hmburgers says:

    I have no idea how to eat one either… though if I encounter “spiny and sharp exterior leaves” I’d probably just skip it.

    • awesome anna says:

      Right, you don’t know how to eat one. So would you order something you have no idea about how to consume? Or would you order it and then ask how it is to be consumed? There is some personal responsibility here. Imagine if the waitstaff had told him how to eat it and he felt insulted that they would think he wouldn’t know how to eat a simple food!! It’s a slippery slope, but really… if you don’t know how to eat something, don’t eat it lol or ask for assistance.

  20. absherlock says:

    Well, if all else fails, I guess I can always apply to medical school in Cuba…

  21. humphrmi says:

    So I guess what we’ve learned is… wait for it…

    Arty Chokes When He Eats Too Fast.

  22. anime_runs_my_life says:

    So it never occured to the guy to, oh say, ASK how to eat it? I’ve taught my husband how to shell and eat crab, despite being highly allergic to it (ex-boyfriend was a huge fan of crab and I learned by watching him). We joke that when we go to a restaurant that serves it, he orders it so it’s my entertainment for the evening.

    Honestly, anyone who isn’t smart enough to figure out to ask how to eat something needs to be removed from society and locked away in a padded cell for their own safety.

    • shepd says:

      Bingo! If you’ve never eaten it before, it’s worth asking how to. Sure, the waiter might laugh (in the kitchen) but at least you don’t end up looking stupid and being sick.

      And, think about it, the only place you’re going to come across food that’s unusual enough to warrant asking about is in a fancy restaurant. The waiters there will NOT make you feel stupid to your face. :-) Now, if you go to McDonald’s and ask what part of the nugget is edible… …yeah, they might just ask if you had a lobotomy recently.

    • Merricat says:

      This assumes that he ‘knew’ he didn’t know how to eat it.

  23. Blueskylaw says:

    Where was the royal food tester when you needed him most?

  24. PhantomPumpkin says:

    Can you imagine the lawsuit because the server tried to explain it to him? “He suffered undue emotional duress and embarassment due to the server treating him like a child in public, where many knew he was a local and well respected physician”.

  25. Hi_Hello says:

    Excuse me waiter, this might sound stupid and I’m a little bit embrassed to ask but what is this? And how do you eat it? I have never seen this in my entire life.

    Problem solved if the customer took the first step to avoid the problem.

    And you can eat the whole thing, you just have to chew until completely break down before you swallow. It might take awhile but it’s not going to kill you. He should sue his parent for not teaching him to chew his food properly. I might not be fun chewing but if it wasn’t chewable, spit it out. Who told him to swallow it?

    Hmmm what’s the hard round white thing the food is served on… I normally use a paper version and I normally eat the paper for more fiber in my system. If I bite into this thing called a plate and cut my mouth, can I sue too?? They should’ve told me these hard version wasn’t part of the meal!!

  26. Rachacha says:
  27. Nigerian prince looking for business partner says:

    As a doctor, I wonder what his opinions are on frivelous lawsuits and tort reform.

  28. daemonaquila says:

    Loser. If you don’t know how to eat something unfamiliar, you ask. What, waiters should now be asking every diner “Now, you HAVE eaten these foods before, right? Do you need any advice? We do have a tech support chef in back if you need him.”

    This one is going to be thrown out of court.

  29. kosmo @ The Soap Boxers says:

    Pride goeth before the impacted bowel?

    When I see something strange on my plate, I choose one of three options:

    1) Don’t eat it
    2) Ask a dining companion about it
    3) Ask the server

    If I choose option 4, I realize that I’m doing this at my own peril.

    btw, Ben, you have this tagged as “Hortons” instead of “Houston’s”. Is a hunger for donuts distracting you?

  30. Baxterjones says:

    God bless my damn hippie parents for serving us “weird” foods like steamed whole artichokes and bleu cheese when I was a child.

    I feel *kind of* bad for the guy, but only because those pointy suckers had to hurt going down.

    • Skankingmike says:

      steamed whole artichokes? That is hippie shit. Artichokes should be with garlic and olive oil dammit!

    • RxDude says:

      “those pointy suckers had to hurt going down”

      That’s called a “clue”. Pain has evolved through millions of years as nature’s way of saying “Stop doing that, you idiot!”

    • catastrophegirl chooses not to fly says:

      yes, thanks to the parents who introduce interesting foods! my mom tells me i was eating artichokes in my high chair. they gave me a leaf [with the spines cut off] once to chew on when i was begging and apparently i went crazy for it. i was in high school before i figured out there were people who had never eaten them or even heard of them.
      also, there are no stories of me as a toddler attempting to eat the leaf in its entirety, i just learned really fast all by myself to chew off the soft bit and throw the nasty tough bit on the kitchen floor – most likely followed by smashing my fist on the high chair tray and yelling for more.

  31. ben gardners boat says:

    Not the restaurant’s responsibility to teach a doctor how to eat. Did he even ask for instructions? If not, then he’s got no case. How is the restaurant staff supposed to know that he doesn’t know his ass from an artichoke?

  32. s0s has a chewy nougat center says:

    “It takes a sophisticated diner to be familiar with the artichoke, …”

    Speaking as someone who has been eating artichokes since she was a child (my parents made their own artichokes and dill butter at home!), and whose idea of fine dining still consists of cold pizza and leftover boxed macaroni and cheese, eaten while she sits on the couch in her underwear watching hockey, with a couple cans of Strongbow for company…

    HA HA HA.

    Idiot. The case had better get thrown out; no responsible lawyer should even have taken it on. One whole leaf should have been more than enough to convince this jackwagon that he was doing it wrong. I don’t even know HOW he managed to get the entire thing down.

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

    Arti-“choke”. The blatant warning is in the name.

  34. NeverLetMeDown says:

    This guy is another great piece of evidence for loser pays, like they have in England. Lawsuit’s loser pays the legal costs of the winner. Also, reduces the frequencies of people getting sued and settling, because defending the suit would be costlier than just paying.

  35. Press1forDialTone says:

    Check the plaintiff’s name…
    Possibly from a country that doesn’t encounter whole artichokes
    and is too stubborn and “macho” to ask?
    $10 says he was a doctor of chiropractic.
    Why didn’t he stop whining and perform the
    small bowel extraction right at the table? That’s what
    they teach us to do at med school.
    I too weep for humanity.
    I substitute: The stuuuupppiddddity, the stupiddddity.
    Certainly not up to Marlon’s rendition but the point gets across.
    I hope the case is thrown out and the restaurant send him a self-help
    book on eating various foods properly.
    Litigious moron.

  36. evnmorlo says:

    I don’t see how you’d be able to chew and swallow something that irritating.

  37. Froggmann says:

    Thank you Consumerist for not redacting the name of this “Dr.” so that I can forever avoid his practice.

  38. MurderGirl says:

    Too bad, he was this close to a Darwin Award.

  39. horns says:

    A doctor of all people, Ha!

  40. ThatsWhatSheSaid says:

    first of all this is complete bulls**T! who the hell hasnt heard of a artichoke? i mean jesus christ, he acts like he ate some rare food found only on one continent, in one local city, and is a special delicase to them! all this sounds like to me is the idiot forgot to peel it off, and eat it correctly, and if he had any doubts, how incapable is someone of asking the waiter how to consume something properly especially if they have ” never heard of or known” about something, thats like someone eating a whole blowfish, dying from the poison and the family suing…this litigous bulls**T allowed in america is unreal

  41. DanGarion says:

    What an idiot.

  42. XianZhuXuande says:

    Darwin failed to choke this main.

  43. ForrestWhitakersLazyEye says:

    He got his doctorate in Douchebaggery.

  44. tmed says:

    The combination of stupidity and toughness that allowed him to swallow artichoke leaves is remarkable. The stupidity of the lawsuit matches that of the original act.

  45. Midwest Doc says:

    Shakespeare said it best in Henry VI (Part 2): “The first thing we do, let’s kill all the lawyers”. – (Act IV, Scene II).

  46. HoJu says:


  47. MTFaye says:

    Holy crap! I can’t even begin to imagine what a painful, tedious process eating an entire artichoke would be! At at no point during this horrible process did this guy stop and say “hey… maybe I should stop?”

  48. Rocket80 says:

    Has anyone asked if this poor guy was a) eating alone therefore having no friend to warn him against this? or b) had no waiter stop by and at least glance at what the guy was doing?

    This is so bizarre.

    • jojobreckinridge says:

      That’s my question, too. Even so, you don’t start chewing the outer leaf of an artichoke and not realize it’s a complete mistake. It’s hard enough to cut the damn things with any kind of blade, much less your teeth.

  49. NumberSix says:

    What kind of dumb-ass eat even one leaf; thinks “This is supposed to taste like a shoe, right? OW! What’s this pointy thing!?”; and then proceeds to eat the entire thing?

  50. CookiePuss says:

    The restaurant should use the plaintiffs own “”exploratory laparotomy” evidence to show he’s full of shit.

  51. jimmyhl says:

    Here’s an idea for the restaurant’s lawyer: Bring 13 prepared whole artichokes to court and number them as Defendant’s Exhibits 1-13. Hand them out to the judge and jury and ask them to start eating and not finish until they’ve eaten the whole thing. Then let them deliberate on their verdict.

  52. TheSDBrat says:

    I count myself as just one of millions of people that a) would never order something if i didnt know HOW to eat it – bizarre concept but applicable and b) if i WAS to order something that i didnt know how to eat, id be damned sure i was with someone that did know how. Escargot falls into that category, or perhaps crawfish. But seriously, was this guy so arrogant that IF he didnt know how to eat it, did he ASK??

  53. Me - now with more humidity says:

    This happened months ago. It was widely reported then.

  54. TooManyHobbies says:

    Ugh. I eat out almost never, I’m the most unsophisticated bumpkin you can imagine when it comes to food, I’ve never had an artichoke in my life, and I know better than to try to eat one. What a maroon.

  55. TooManyHobbies says:

    Ugh. I eat out almost never, I’m the most unsophisticated bumpkin you can imagine when it comes to food, I’ve never had an artichoke in my life, and I know better than to try to eat one whole. What a maroon.

  56. ChuckECheese says:

    here’s a cuban recipe for artichoke salsa, just in case you were wondering if they had them there.

  57. crb042 says:

    When did we move to “I should sue someone to compensate for my stupidity” from the age-old tried&true “damn I’d better keep this quiet before my friends mock me to death”?

  58. The Wyrm says:

    So the guy had, in his own words “Never heard of or seen” an artichoke before… yet ordered one. Hmm…

    “Say, I’ll order the whole pineapple. I don’t know what a pineapple is, but I’m going to devour the whole thing anyway, whatever it is.”

    This guy is trolling for a settlement. I wish you could be fined for frivolous lawsuits in this country. Other countries are laughing at us for allowing this sort of thing to happen.

    Or the judge could have a sense of humor. “I find in favor of the plaintiff, in the amount of one hundred dollars, to be paid in gift cards to the restaurant redeemable only for artichokes.”

  59. conscious says:

    I hope when the judge throws the case out it gets stuck in the guy’s small bowel.

  60. stevied says:

    My dog eats rocks.

    Should I sue Mommy-Nature when my dog needs an ex-lap?

  61. jerryambler says:

    what an idiot. I hope he’s not an idiot Doctor too.

  62. tjustman says:

    Well, the Cubans love eating horses too so there you go.

  63. jayde_drag0n says:

    stupidity of the lawsuit aside, the restaurant doesn’t need a warning, it needs to prepare the artichoke properly. This could not have been a very knowledgeable place if it did not cut the tops off that is how you prep an artichoke for proper cooking.

    To be clear,the lawsuit is stupid. But every restaurant needs to prep its food correctly before cooking, there should NOT have been any “spiny tops” in the first place. I would go further to say a good restaurant should also plate the leaves, and prep the heart on the plate.. not because of any human inability to eat the food correctly, but simply to remove the work from the meal for the patron, and make it pretty.. with minimal trash at the table, also allowing one to eat the delicate heart first! YUM

  64. Bog says:

    I learned to eat an Artichoke when I was like four years old.

    Arturo Carvajal is obviously not a functioning adult and therefore should not be allowed to eat at a restaurant without a chaperone. He logically should sue his parents for being negligent in not teaching him how to eat basic produce. The lawyers should be disbarred for filing a frivolous lawsuit.

  65. anduin says:

    God Bless America

  66. italianbaby says:

    where does it say either the server or manager of said establishment has to teach you how to eat an artichoke?
    it’s the doctors own fault on this one. not sure about a food item, then ask. don’t assume anything.
    being italian i learned how to eat my first artichoke at age 4. i learned by watching the family around the dinner table eat theirs and had a quick lesson on what was edible and what wasn’t.
    i was told to avoid the prickly pieces (the heart).
    i love artichokes. and when i had my own family i showed them also.
    artichoke is a funny thing as you do not eat the leaves, you put the whole leaf in your mouth and scape off the soft leaf with your teeth. you get the picture.
    this falls on the doctors own stupidity. should have asked if he wasn’t sure how to eat it…

    • s0s has a chewy nougat center says:

      Dude, your family taught you wrong. The heart is the BEST part! You do have to scrape the prickly fuzz off, but once it’s clean, it’s just meaty, artichoke-y goodness…

  67. JF says:

    A sophisticated diner, huh? I learned to eat them when I was 7. But then maybe that isn’t fair, I grew up where they are grown.

    Bet this guy eats pineapple rinds too….. Probably starts with the green top……. I’d like to see this guy tackle a pomegranate…. that might be pretty funny….. (sorry, just started thinking of all the random food that might be “difficult” to figure out)

  68. WickedCrispy says:

    People wonder why we’re getting so many retarded laws to “protect” us. Let Darwin’s survival of the fittest back in control because this BS isn’t worth it.

  69. lovemypets00 - You'll need to forgive me, my social filter has cracked. says:

    I grew up eating fairly simple Pennsylvanian foods, and as an adult I’ve been to places where I (a) haven’t recognized what a food item is or (b) I wasn’t sure how to eat, which part to eat, etc.

    I quietly asked someone what to do, like a co-worker, or even a member of the wait staff so I didn’t make an idiot out of myself.

    I would never, ever just start eating an odd looking piece of food without asking. This guy sounds like he needs some common sense.

  70. maynurd says:

    I don’t know what concerns me more. That this person actually believes a restauraunt is supposed to treach him how to eat, or that this person is actually a doctor.

  71. FrugalFreak says:

    I’ve never eaten one either and would have no clue. But wouldn’t have ordered it either.

  72. Intheknow says:

    You know those sharp outer leaves had to hurt – even just in his mouth. What an idiot! Welcome to America Arturo. Thought you’d joint the lawsuit lottery? I’m so sorry you won’t actually win a Darwin award this year – BUT, there’s always next year genius.

  73. Intheknow says:

    A doctor huh? Wow! I mean, it would be mind-blowingly stupid anyway, but to think that this guy is out in the world practicing (and I mean that literally) medicine is truly scary!

  74. chaospersonafied says:

    This is absolutely ridiculous. If I’m not familiar with a particular food, I research the proper way to consume it first. Whether that is asking someone or looking it up online, I don’t assume that instructions will be given to me. But then, I’ve known for some time that doctors are not all intelligent and some are quite lacking in the common sense department.

  75. shadmed says:

    I want to call the lawyer and wish him good luck with this case. Oh exploitation of stupidity.

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

    I hope this dumbass never goes to a restaurant and orders a lobster!

  77. mariusvinchi says:

    The attorney and the doctor should both lose their respective licenses as they are clearly too stupid to exist, let alone practice either profession….

  78. mariusvinchi says:

    The attorney and the doctor should both lose their respective licenses as they are clearly too stupid to exist, let alone practice either profession….
    On a serious note, anyone who has ever eaten an Artichoke are well aware of how tough the leaf is. How could he swallowed them is a mystery!! Sounds like a scam lawsuit to me!

  79. redhand32 says:

    This reminds me of a news article from a few years ago.

    My late Irish friend and pub buddy Art McGreyfunkel was telling me about the time he was discovered on one of his jobs, a burglery. Subsequently, during his extended sabbatical at The Big House University, Bubba and his 2 Associates [Art’s wife and 2 in-house bridesmaids] had a dispute about some petty cash issues which ultimately resulted in a settlement by way of their demise in a strangling. There were no witnessess. However, the Daily News headline read “Arty Chokes 3 for a dollar.”

  80. rshea59 says:

    What syllable of an artichoke is so hard to understand?

  81. giantspbpk says:

    In a somewhat related story – I was on date with a woman the other day. We went to museum and she pulls out a pear – proceeds to eat the ENTIRE thing, core and stem included. Now, that’s some roughage!

  82. Keter says:

    I don’t feel badly for this guy. In fact, I will bet he’s going to be famous one day…when he “wins” a Darwin Award.

  83. Difdi says:

    I wonder if he arti-choked on it?

  84. jerrycomo says:

    The edible part reminds me of potatoes.

  85. haggis for the soul says:

    Did he ask?

  86. d67f8g9uno says:

    I’ve never eaten an artichoke and hope I never do. Mayonnaise and scraping with your teeth?! The entire process alone is repugnant not to mention the iodine and urea taste and smell.

  87. Rocket says:

    If you don’t know what it is, don’t put it in your mouth.

  88. VeritasNoir says:

    Disgusting. Too embarrassed to ask how to eat it? Don’t order it.

  89. gmgfarrand says:

    Did someone tell him NOT to eat the plate or the napkin??

  90. cornstalker says:

    I suppose now we’ll have to supply every banana with written instructions on how to peel it.