When hearing horror stories about various dining experiences, we often associate them with low-end restaurants. This past Sunday, a group of friends and I found out that some of the most popular eateries can be subjected to these types of incidences as well. This was the case with our recent visit to Lucile's Creole Cafe Denver location on 275 S. Logan Street.
The food was overall underwhelming. Hit and miss when it came to seasoning and the preparation of the meat. We ended our meal with two orders of beignets. One of which presented much more than we bargained for, a living maggot! Yes, a maggot crawling over the small side plate.
We quickly informed our server of this shocking discovery. She took the plate back into the kitchen to inform the manager. After about 5+ minutes, the manager came out with a smile on her face and greeted the table. She gave us a generic apology about how that should have never happened in her kitchen. She also stated that the windows are kept open in the kitchen and there are often flies that fly in and out. She ensured us that she would look over the other plates to make sure no other guest had this issue. Then she walked away.
Still, in shock, we gathered around the table to clear our heads. I, nor my fellow diners, had ever seen a maggot in person. Furthermore, knowing that this type of creature isn’t generally on fried pastries caused us to question the manager’s explanation. Maggots are generally found in meats and sometimes vegetables. They are lari of flies that take time to hatch and grow. Her response indicated that either she had no knowledge of where maggots come from or she was lying.
After another 10 minutes, we asked to speak to the manager once again. We demanded a refund of our meals. She returned and proceeded to tell us how she didn’t show much remorse for our issue because her brother had passed a week prior. That had nothing to do with us potentially consuming maggots. This pissed me off even more. As a food blogger, I go out and eat for a living. I do understand that personal issues can affect one’s work performance. Something as severe as maggot infestation is not to be taken lightly. This negligence could have put someone’s health in serious danger.
Our bills were eventually refunded. We tipped our server before leaving. We received a call an hour later stating that they had pinpointed the issue. The maggot came from the towels! Towels that were probably used to wipe down dishes, clean tables, and god knows what else. This again raised eyebrows as Denver is an extremely dry city. The lack of humidity makes it hard to believe that these towels were wet long enough to be subjected to mold or infestation. The next day a voicemail was left stating that the towel distributor is to blame. A comped meal was offered. You have to be a little delusional to think that someone would return to dine at your restaurant after that experience. I am writing this as a warning to potential diners. This post may not stop you from dining at Lucile’s but please be aware of the risk.
“Inspection conducted to assess compliance of previous violations.
Limited inspection conducted to assess compliance of previous 3e and 4c violations. Per the manager, the reach in cooler located on the expo line is waiting on a part for repairs. All potentially hazardous foods were observed moved into an alternate cooler and measured 41F or below. Discussed not using the broken cooler until it is repaired and can maintain items at 41F or below. Sanitizing solution located in the kitchen and dining area measured at approved levels above 200ppm. Violations corrected.” - Denver Health Restaurant Inspection 6/27/2017