Staten Island's Phunky Elephant Restaurant Serves "Roofie Colada" As Dessert, Groan
Restaurants often come up with interesting names for their menu items, but you don't usually expect them to reinforce rape culture. Unless, that is, you're talking about Staten Island's Phunky Elephant restaurant, which serves "Roofie Colada" on its dessert menu. Seriously guys? Seriously.
The dessert name was a reference to an episode of Family Guy in which the name was coined. However, it understandably didn't go over well with a lot of patrons at the Staten Island gastropub. After customer Jeremiah Jurkiewicz and several friends celebrated his 24th birthday at the restaurant, the group took issue with the name, but the restaurant wasn't initially responsive.
Later, one of his friends tried to reach out to the owners via email but received no response. Once she posted something on Facebook, however, the owners messaged her criticizing her decision to post something publicly and explaining that it was a joke out of Family Guy.
They also, rather patronizingly asked, "For the record, you know there aren't any date rape drugs in the dessert right?" Which, obviously because that would be illegal. Though personally, I feel like anytime you find yourself in a situation in which you might reasonably be expected to clarify that you aren't putting illegal drugs in your menu items, you might want to reevaluate your choices that led to this moment.
The restaurant has since apologized and removed the item from the menu. The dessert itself will be back once they've come up with a new (hopefully not rape-y) name.
"We certainly did not intend to create an impression of reckless or negligent behavior by presenting the desert at question to our guests nor did we mean to make anyone feel uncomfortable or insulted," a Facebook post reads. "We humbly apologize if we have offended anyone and we appreciate the community around us and its awareness toward the cause." The post sparked further debate in the comments.
Still, it's fairly disturbing that anyone would ever think it's acceptable to name anything, let alone a food item, after a date-rape drug, one that has enabled violence against who knows how many women over the years. Even though the owners thought they were simply paying homage to a favorite TV show, it's worth noting that, first of all, not everyone watches Family Guy and therefore has no opportunity to be "in on the joke" in the first place. But perhaps more importantly, menus and comedy shows are different. Menus do not have the ability to subvert and challenge the way that comedy does. Menus are occasionally clever and sometimes have moments of humor, but they are fundamentally ordinary objects. And putting "Roofie Colada" on a menu is therefore a way of normalizing roofies.
And that is obviously not okay, no matter how sweet the dessert tastes.