So I have been writing a lot about Stew Leonard’s lately. This is a place my wife and I have rediscovered for the time while we’re commuting to work in New York City and plotting our next life’s jaunt. However we are commuting from Connecticut so the trip can be pretty exhausting. Food preparation is the last thing on our minds at the end of a day.
One of the great things about Stew Leonard’s is that in addition to their ‘farm fresh’ food choices, they also have prepared foods for you to buy and eat on your own. Stew Leonard’s has a sushi bar, they make calzones, pizzas, soups, pot pies, stews, and more. Stew Leonard’s also has a salad bar (for the really lazy like me) with foods for you to take and enjoy right there.
However Stew Leonard’s also has a problem. Many customers who come to the Stew Leonard’s which I am familiar with (Federal Road, Danbury CT) have…I’m not sure if it’s a feeling of entitlement because they’ve been customers so long or just that all the rules of the road don’t apply to them. They pick from the salad bar with their hands.
This is just one of the problems with a store as massive as Stew Leonard’s; they have a lot of samples, they have a lot of freebies, and they have a lot of customers. So even when they are policing the area, it’s impossible to be everywhere at once. This most recent incident only further illuminates that and makes me fear for my salad bar choices from here going forward.
I was recently getting some food from the Stew Leonard’s salad bar with my dear sweet wife. I was just getting ready to seal up my food tin and this elderly gentleman happened by. He passed the salad and fresh fruit portion of the salad bar and I watched as he eyed it noticeably. I paid him no bother until I watched in one deft move as his hand went in a beeline into the fruit for a heaping piece of honeydew, he placed the fruit in his mouth, and he was immediately stuck in some of the same gridlock where I was standing.
Disgusted I turned away. What the heck, he was just some old guy, it didn’t matter. Then I looked down at my food. He had taken from the same food which I was buying; that made me mad. Stew Leonard’s has honeydew; they even have it sliced in packaging or whole if you want to slice it yourself. They also offer different sized containers if customers just wanted to get themselves a small serving of honeydew or whatever they’d like!
I was going to let it slide but when I turned front he was still there and savoring the food. The same food for which I was going to pay for, he had taken for free. Moreover he’d contaminated what was already a place probably rife with germs. What can you do about that? But the collective un-cleanliness of a salad bar is not the issue here; the issue here was this guy who’d just taken some food. With the Sunday afternoon shopping cart traffic still heavy, I confronted him during the interval.
“Hey nice one buddy!”
His eyes perked up; I continued.
“That’s really disgusting, putting your hands on the food ya know.”
Then he did something which made me maybe more furious than his rule breaking. More furious than his introducing his germs to the public’s food.
He made a cute old man face.
Just because you are old doesn’t give you the right to be disgusting.