Despite the fact that almost every kind of wild fish is infected with worms, people are still grossed-out when they see a few nematodes slither out of their fish and onto their dinner plate. (Shocking, right?) Well, if I saw a worm bore a hole through my significant other’s main course after she already ate half it, like a man from Middletown, NJ did on Saturday, I might also be a little miffed.
Middletown resident Jim Guinee was less than pleased to see a worm crawling out of a piece of cod that his girlfriend had been eating at Asbury Park’s Stella Marina Bar and Restaurant. In a video of the incident Guinee posted to Facebook on Saturday, he said that they were celebrating his aunt’s 80th birthday. “Not only did we sit through almost our entire dinner without drinks,” Guinee says in the video, “but now, dinner has come to life. After eating half of your fish, that is not what you want to see.”
The restaurant stopped serving the dish once the news became public. “One of our seafood purveyors did send us Saturday’s cod and missed the small worms that were found by two of our guests, located in the center of their piece of fish,” the restaurant said in a response post on Facebook which has since been taken down. “We immediately halted serving this dish. We also compensated the family of 8 generously and expressed our sincere concern and apologies that one our guests had anything less than an amazing experience at our restaurant.”
The restaurant then proceeded to lash out at Guinee on Facebook, claiming it was “very surprised at the callousness and irresponsible reaction of an attorney of law to attempt to destroy our reputation & possible livelihoods due to something that could have happened to anyone, whether cooking at home or in a restaurant.”
Sigh. It’s unfortunate that this happened in New Jersey—and not just because the beautiful mecca of culture, cuisine, and gas pump attendants is my home state. No, it’s simply because New Jersey has great seafood. So give the Garden State a chance.
As the late Anthony Bourdain said in one of his final interviews, “The greatness of Jersey, to me, is the indigenous New Jersey food, the tomatoes, the corn in summer, the steamer clams, the fried blowfish tails that I used to have as a kid down on the shore.” Maybe even worms and all.
This article originally appeared on Munchies US.