Jump to content
  • Welcome to the eG Forums, a service of the eGullet Society for Culinary Arts & Letters. The Society is a 501(c)3 not-for-profit organization dedicated to the advancement of the culinary arts. These advertising-free forums are provided free of charge through donations from Society members. Anyone may read the forums, but to post you must create a free account.

Sign in to follow this  
earlgrey_44

How common is this? Tap water in a Perrier Bottle

Recommended Posts

Last Sunday my SO ordered a Perrier at a sidewalk bar/resto. A plastic bottle with the screwcap seal broken arrived at the table. The bottle was wet on the outside, filled to the very brim, and the bubbles were huge: my incredulous brain immediately said "this ain't Perrier" , though I couldn't quite believe it.

I poured a little out - obviously soda water from a bar hose, and then made my final discovery: a free dead fly inside as an added bonus.

My friends look out for this kind of thing in India - happens a lot there - the lesson is, get a factory bottle and make sure you're the one who opens it, not the wait.

The above incident, though, happened in downtown Toronto hence my shock.

So what say ye? Bizarre aberration? All too common? Somewhere in between?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

It probably happens very infrequently. I typically order Perrier and have never ever had this happen. Someone must have been playing a bad practical joke or something because I don't believe anyone would think any person would ever drink tap water and think they had been served Perrier. Restaurants have a hard time of it and plenty of other problems to think about than to deliberately drive off paying customers.

Rhonda

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
It probably happens very infrequently.  I typically order Perrier and have never ever had this happen.  Someone must have been playing a bad practical joke or something because I don't believe anyone would think any person would ever drink tap water and think they had been served Perrier.  Restaurants have a hard time of it and plenty of other problems to think about than to deliberately drive off paying customers.

Rhonda

Just to clarify, I said tap water, but the water was big-bubble carbonated, almost certainly from the bar dispenser.

I was able to talk to the owner about this incident. Turns out she had no awareness of the incident until the health dept showed up later in the week to investigate. Quite a diligent health department in Toronto, I must say. She was unaware even though two employees heard my account.

When I had asked to see the manager, I was told "that person is not on the premises"- no one even tried to take any responsibility.

What motivated it - who knows, but it seems to be some kind of a "cats away - mice will play" deal.

In any case, I was able to give the owner the play-by-play account to maximize her chance of resolving the situation and getting what she wants from her people in the future. Not only did some loose-cannon dolt pull an ugly stunt but people who should have been trusted employees buried it. Hope she able to improve her relationships.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I once had the maids at a relatively swank hotel in Greece refill the vodka bottle from my minibar with water and put them back in, I assume the motive was to keep the vodka for themselves. The manager on duty did not bat an eye, but did have the bottle replaced.

Same thing happened to a friend of mine in a swank hotel in Washington, DC, though suspected the room's previous occupants, rather than the maids.


I'm on the pavement

Thinking about the government.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
I once had the maids at a relatively swank hotel in Greece refill the vodka bottle from my minibar with water and put them back in, I assume the motive was to keep the vodka for themselves.  The manager on duty did not bat an eye, but did have the bottle replaced.

Same thing happened to a friend of mine in a swank hotel in Washington, DC, though suspected the room's previous occupants, rather than the maids.

In these instances of "The Case of the Purloined Vodka" the motive of the perp is obvious enough. In the case of the bogus Perrier, I'd feel a little better about it if the motive was clear as that - not because it would be OK of course, but because I could at least understand it.

I suppose a wait could in theory serve a trash-bottle bubble water, charge the mark for a Perrier, and pocket the bucks, but how in the age of computerized bills and credit cards does this actually work? Plus there is the factor of counting on the diner to be a dope - the risk/reward seems too wacky.

I don't get it...

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
I once had the maids at a relatively swank hotel in Greece refill the vodka bottle from my minibar with water and put them back in, I assume the motive was to keep the vodka for themselves.  The manager on duty did not bat an eye, but did have the bottle replaced.

Same thing happened to a friend of mine in a swank hotel in Washington, DC, though suspected the room's previous occupants, rather than the maids.

In these instances of "The Case of the Purloined Vodka" the motive of the perp is obvious enough. In the case of the bogus Perrier, I'd feel a little better about it if the motive was clear as that - not because it would be OK of course, but because I could at least understand it.

I suppose a wait could in theory serve a trash-bottle bubble water, charge the mark for a Perrier, and pocket the bucks, but how in the age of computerized bills and credit cards does this actually work? Plus there is the factor of counting on the diner to be a dope - the risk/reward seems too wacky.

I don't get it...

Is the cafe a known quantity? There are any number of nickle-and-dime tricks that less-than-honest restauranteurs use to improve their margins. I've had "Bombay" gin that clearly was the cheapest possible rail crap, made rose myself -- white wine with a relatively small bit of red -- and once worked in a place where the veal parmesan was made with pork cutlets.

As a one-off the Perrier makes no sense, but as part of a pattern, that you may or may not have picked up on....


I'm on the pavement

Thinking about the government.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

The simple fix is to not accept any bottle on which the seal is broken.

This is particularly important in countries where the tap water is suspect.

I know this from personal experience after a severe bout of amebic dysentery during a trip to Leon, Mexico in 1987.

My failure to notice at least one bottle of water had been tampered with cost me ten days in the hospital and two months of being unable to work, not to mention that I had to cut my trip short.

The worse part is that we had taken our water with us and someone in the hotel had apparently saved the discarded bottles, refilled them and substituted them for sealed ones.

After this was discovered, we cut the tops off every bottle we emptied. (Two other people also became ill.)


"There are, it has been said, two types of people in the world. There are those who say: this glass is half full. And then there are those who say: this glass is half empty. The world belongs, however, to those who can look at the glass and say: What's up with this glass? Excuse me? Excuse me? This is my glass? I don't think so. My glass was full! And it was a bigger glass!" Terry Pratchett

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
I once had the maids at a relatively swank hotel in Greece refill the vodka bottle from my minibar with water and put them back in, I assume the motive was to keep the vodka for themselves.  The manager on duty did not bat an eye, but did have the bottle replaced.

Same thing happened to a friend of mine in a swank hotel in Washington, DC, though suspected the room's previous occupants, rather than the maids.

In these instances of "The Case of the Purloined Vodka" the motive of the perp is obvious enough. In the case of the bogus Perrier, I'd feel a little better about it if the motive was clear as that - not because it would be OK of course, but because I could at least understand it.

I suppose a wait could in theory serve a trash-bottle bubble water, charge the mark for a Perrier, and pocket the bucks, but how in the age of computerized bills and credit cards does this actually work? Plus there is the factor of counting on the diner to be a dope - the risk/reward seems too wacky.

I don't get it...

Is the cafe a known quantity? There are any number of nickle-and-dime tricks that less-than-honest restauranteurs use to improve their margins. I've had "Bombay" gin that clearly was the cheapest possible rail crap, made rose myself -- white wine with a relatively small bit of red -- and once worked in a place where the veal parmesan was made with pork cutlets.

As a one-off the Perrier makes no sense, but as part of a pattern, that you may or may not have picked up on....

Yes, Busboy, this cannot be ruled out. The place in question was just an inviting patio in the sun to stop for a drink - never saw it before, probably won't again. FWIW, both the health inspector and I myself got the impression that the owner was genuinely unaware of the incident, so she either has a good personality disorder going or her staff is up to something.

I tried to work with her and with the health dept so my work is done.

The owner did expressed gratitude for my help and offered free libations should I journey back to Toronto. As it happened, I walked out with my nose held high and without paying for my very tasty Kronenbourg , so I have already received my reward for saving my sweetie from drinking a fly due to astute capacity for bubble size observation. I will leave it at that.

Andie, your words are wise. My SO and her business associates make it a militant rule to never trust an unsealed water bottle in their travels to India, one of them having witnessed a brazen refiller in the act in an upscale, international hotel. So sorry you learned such a hard way!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

You know it could have been a sorry attempt to cover the arse of the person in charge of ordering. Instead of fessing up, they tried to cover it up! Especially when charging premium water prices for club soda!!

The whole well liquor in premium bottles is all to common. That's why it isn't legal in many places too marry bottles. Even of the same brand. Doesn't stop people from doing so though!

Edit: dang typos!


Edited by ambra (log)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Sign in to follow this  

  • Recently Browsing   0 members

    No registered users viewing this page.

×
×
  • Create New...