It's furry. It's got a long-ass tail. It's thick as hell. It's the rat or mouse that allegedly nose-dived into a vat of rice early Saturday at Stella's Fish Café, prompting the popular Uptown restaurant to close for the rest of the day. Let's have a look at that lil Remy in this video, which has been viewed 18,000+ times on Twitter.
Gross! But, as with all elements of life in this dystopian deep-fake world, we must ask: Is it true?
The person who recorded the video, RaLasia Wright, certainly thinks so, telling WCCO: "It was a huge rat. It was a really big, huge rat. Like the rat was thicker than me, like it was big." Incredible stuff. (The entire segment strikes a similar tone to this classic from Alabama, perhaps the greatest local TV news piece ever produced.)
An emergency pest management visit yielded signs of mice, the city told 'CCO—droppings and a departed mouse in a trap.
A representative from Stella's tells Racket that the restaurant is "still exploring the validity of the video," adding that a "nationally known" pest control company has been enlisted and that Stella's passed its most recent routine city health inspection with flying colors.
That last bit is accurate, as Stella's logged a 96 out of 100 in its June inspection. The only high-priority ding came via its lack of documentation regarding frozen sushi-grade fish. (Post-rodent video, Stella's requested an ASAP inspection from the city, which concluded Sunday.)
You might be thinking: Yuck, frozen sushi? But you'd be a fool, as I just learned, since most sushi is frozen at some point to kill parasites, a process that's dictated by the U.S. Food & Drug Administration. ''I would desperately hope that all the sushi we eat is frozen,'' the FDA's George Hoskin told the New York Times in 2004.
"Even I cannot tell the difference between fresh and frozen in a blind test," NYC sushi chef Shin Tsujimura told the Times, while one of his peers, Masa Takayama, claims "only my American customers are so concerned with fresh fish."
Bringing things back home, vermin-wise, the Times piece headlined "Sushi Fresh From the Deep... the Deep Freeze" concludes with this quote from Terrance Powell, the chief environmental health specialist for Los Angeles County.
''Frankly,'' he said, ''warm sushi rice that sits out for hours is a bigger public health threat than raw fish.''
Pray for that thick rodent's tummy!