It’s not the worst cake I’ve ever eaten, but it’s damn close. The center is nearly liquid, drying to a sedimentary crust where alleged frosting smoothes the whole thing like adobe. The menu proclaims it “better than sex,” which knots my stomach worse than the leaden ball of pastry; what is this person doing in their private time?
And yet my fork keeps moving, bite after horrendous bite, until the entire slice is gone.
I sit back with the exhale of a triathlete crossing the finish line, then check my notes on the ordeal. This is going to be a hell of a review.
My eyebrows shoot up at what I’ve written. Brow furrowed, I look at the rest of the cake revolving in its case. It’s perfectly normal: moist, chocolatey, light. Nothing like the monstrous confection I just ate.
The sinking feeling that follows has everything and nothing to do with cake.
I peer through the counter window at the chef, her head drooped between bowed shoulders, face thick with tear-streaked makeup, jaw set hard.
My stomach churns and groans loudly. As if my gastrointestinal distress is a signal, the chef’s face brightens and her body unbends. She looks around questioningly, but I’m gone.
I toss a $20 at the waitress and duck out, crumpling my notes. I’ll find another joint to write up—right after this lady’s issues settle themselves in my gut. I should have known.
Food critic by trade. Sin eater by fate.
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