Friday, February 27, 2009

Cafe Espana and the Uninvited Dinner Guest

A few weeks ago while Chris was in NYC I went to dinner with a friend, Tim. I did a quick google search for a tapas restaurant and found a place with decent reviews. Cafe Espana is just a few blocks from Piccadilly Circus and has been around for several years so I figured it would be decent... what I did not account for was having a third mouth to feed!

Tim and I were just about finished with our meal when I spotted something out of the corner of my eye. I turned my head to the left to check it out and didn't see anything. I chalked it up to nothing and continued my meal. Then I noticed the guys at the table a few feet from us looking in the same direction and laughing. I looked again and there it was... a mouse. Now, I will admit that it was a tiny little thing. However, I think we can all agree that no matter the size of the mouse, we don't want it running across our feet while we are eating dinner! And yes, it ran across my feet.

My immediate reaction was to scream and jump up on the table. Some how I managed to suppress this desire and instead I quickly made my way for the exit. I didn't bother to take my coat or purse, I just left. On my way out, I ran into the manager and suggested to him that he check out the tiny rodent that was wrecking my night out. His response was to follow me outside to gather more detail. Apparently, "There is a mouse under my table" along with me pointing directly at my table was not enough detail for him to take action! He brought a Laotian busboy with him to gather intel. Once he was sure he understood the situation he said "Don't worry he will take care of it. Where he is from they eat things like mice." I had a mental image of the smiley little busboy catching the mouse and then cooking him up in the Cafe Espana kitchen!

Once I had gathered my senses and reduced the bright red blush in my cheeks I returned to the table. Tim was kind enough not to laugh at me but we did share a laugh when the manager came back to the table. He brought us a pitcher of sangria to apologize for our dinner guest and then pointed out this was the first time he had seen a mouse so small. Tim and I immediately thought the same thing... they must usually have larger mice or perhaps even rats running around during dinner! Although we were ready to call it a night we felt obligated to finish the free sangria. The mouse continued to run around the restaurant and torment the diners. Every few minutes we hear someone gasp or see someone quickly whipping their feet off the floor in response to the visitor. The busboy diligently chased the mouse around with a cloth napkin. I couldn't help but cringe every timeI saw the napkin grace the floor or the mouse but resigned myself to accepting that Cafe Espana was not exactly concerned about health code.

Needless to say, I won't be returning to Cafe Espana anytime soon!


Laura said...

I take it we won't be eating at Cafe Espana when I come for a visit in three days?

Tim said...

Just catching up on the blog... wow, yeah, that was an, ahem, "experience" I won't soon forget.