I went to a Sweetgreen in New York City on my lunch break and what follows can only be described as the stuff of nightmares.
I'm sure you remember the time you found a hair on your plate at a restaurant. Maybe a piece of another dish got mixed in with yours. Maybe your chicken was undercooked. Maybe you asked for a runny yolk in your eggs and they were fried all the way through.
This is not like one of those times. This is what I found in my Sweetgreen salad.
That's right. This is not just a "bug." A bug is that fly buzzing around your living room, bouncing harmlessly off your window trying to escape. This is a fully grown beast of an insect.
After posting it on my Instagram story, I thought I would answer some of the questions I got in my DMs.
1. Which Sweetgreen location was it?
Broadway and 38th Street. Avoid at all costs.
2. What kind of bug was it?
I wasn't sure at first. A kind bug expert who saw my story gave me the details. It's a praying mantis. Google it. These insects are straight up VICIOUS PREDATORS who eat the biggest and most terrifying bugs you can think of like they're light snacks. And I found one IN MY SALAD.
"Larger mantises sometimes eat smaller individuals of their own species, as well as small vertebrates such as lizards, frogs, and small birds." - Wikipedia
3. Did you try to contact Sweetgreen?
I tagged them in my Instagram story. Sweetgreen was one of the first accounts to view it. No response. Was the picture not clear enough?
4. How big was it?
F*cking enormous. This was not your typical bug-in-your-food fiasco. I feared for my life and for the lives of others. (But it was probably 5-6 inches long.)
5. What kind of salad was it?
It was a guacamole with mixed greens salad and cost me $13.61. The side of protein was free, apparently.
6. When did you realize something was up with the salad?
I peeped the leg in my salad before I mixed it all up and thought it was a hair or something.
7. Uh... Did you bite into it?
I will never forget the sound of crunchy mantis between my teeth. Consider me scarred for life.
8. Well, did you finish the salad?
I didn't eat anything else all day.
9. Some cultures eat insects all the time. What's the big deal?
Yeah, but those cultures would have ordered their bugs off the menu. Sweetgreen doesn't serve bug (until now), nor did I ask for bug in my salad.
10. Is praying mantis gluten free?
I guess so. It's not vegan/vegetarian, though.
11. Did you ask for your money back?
I'll forget the $13.61, I'll never forget the sight of me pulling a 5-inch predatory insect out of my salad. And I think I'll enjoy posting this article more than a refund.
12. Did you scream?
I was in complete shock. I froze. I couldn't speak, move, or react.
13. Did you call the police?
No, but in hindsight maybe I should have.
14. Would this ever happen at a Chick-Fil-A?
Absolutely not. And if it did, I imagine I would now be a major shareholder in Chick-Fil-A's company and be getting free spicy chicken sandwiches for LIFE.