This just in, the battle rages on. I tried going to HEB this afternoon, April 15, 2011, to order General Joe’s Chicken along with mashed potatoes and macaroni and cheese, but once again my plans were thwarted! It turns out that the store did not get the memo and they are not allowing the mixing of food. Once again, ladies and gentlemen, I ask you to lift your voices in support of interracial food mixing! Working together we can triumph and allow Chinese entrees to be eaten with American sides!
Let your voice be heard! Repost this article to your friends on Facebook, Tweet it out, and even call Kim at 1-800-432-3113 and ask for change!
(While this is somewhat tongue and cheek and I think that it would be fun to inundate HEB with this request, I am mainly concerned with being able to order what I want to order.)
Back in December of 2008 I was at HEB and I had what most people might deem the weird idea of mixing General Tso’s Chicken with mashed potatoes and fried okra. I know that this sounds odd, but it is really not all the bizarre at all. I mean, HEB’s General Tso’s (they call it General Joe’s) Chicken is chicken nuggets in spicy sauce, essentially a boneless wing.
The employee informed me that in no circumstance was I allowed to mix a Chinese entree with American sides. What was further aggravating was the fact that they were (1) about to close the food court so all the food was in the process of being tossed and (2) the cost of both meals are the exact same. So in no way did it make sense that I should not be allowed to mix the Chinese entree with American sides.
I was slightly upset, more because to me it just didn’t make sense. This situation was akin to your parents telling you to do something and upon being asked why giving the answer, “Because I said so.” I mean, I am a rational person. Had the American plate been $1.50 more than the Chinese plate, I would have paid the difference, but they were the same price. Why couldn’t I have them?
I was up for the challenge and had some time on my hand so I wrote a letter and sent an email to every HEB email address I could find, sent a paper letter to Charles Butt (CEO), the Corporate Customer Relations Team, and the Store Manager. I actually ended up getting a message left on my machine (which I left for over a year because it cracked me up) from a lady telling me that I could absolutely mix my entrees. She assured me that we would not have this problem again. NOTE: I appended the letter I wrote in 12/2008 at the bottom of this post.
Fast forward to tonight. I had a long day. I had seen a lot of potential clients. All I wanted, for whatever reason, was General Tso’s Chicken, mashed potatoes, and green beans. I mean, I haven’t seen a vegetable in sometime now and was craving one.
I finished my grocery shopping and went to the food court. You could tell that the food was picked over and they were about to fold up shop. I asked for General Tso’s chicken and as the lady began scooping rice, I informed her that I would prefer mashed potatoes. She stopped scooping and informed me, “We aren’t allowed to mix.”
I couldn’t believe it! I let her know that, “Yes, you can mix, they do it for me all the time,” to which she replied, “No, I can’t mix, I’m sorry.” I assured her that I had been through this before and even had a voice message from a lady from the corporate office who said I could do this. “No, you can’t mix.” I ended up sending out a couple of tweets that I hope @HEB will soon notice.
Ugh! Imagine how unfulfilling guacamole would be if you could not combine a Mexican avocado with a Roma tomato? Or not putting a French vanilla scoop of ice cream on that apple pie? Or no French’s mustard on a Swiss and Turkey sandwich? Uncle Ben would not even be able to make Spanish Rice for cryin’ out loud! What type of world would that be!
This is why I am upset. It is 2010. I support interracial food mixing and I hope that you do to. Be sure to leave a comment so that HEB knows that they should allow us to once again mix Chinese entrees with American sides.
God bless food with diverse backgrounds, God bless America.
Original Letter from 12/2008
Sir or Madam of the Customer Relations Department,
Hello, I am a regular shopper at the H-E-B on I-10 and DeZavala. I enjoy your selection of produce (particularly the Honey Crisp Apples that are now in season) and overall I am content with paying slightly higher prices than Wal-Mart because the quality is better.
I do, however, have a problem that I would like to see addressed as soon as possible. I often go to the food court inside the store and often order some of the Chinese or American food. Tonight, I was in an adventurous mood and wanted to order the General Tso’s Chicken along with mashed potatoes w/cream gravy and fried okra. I don’t know why I wanted to order that combination other than the fact that it sounded good.
I was informed by the employee that I cannot combine American sides with a Chinese main course. I asked the employee which combo meal is more expensive, the American or the Chinese, and offered to pay the higher price. He told me that they were the same cost but I could still not combine the American sides with the Chinese main course.
My question is why? I mean, the food court was shutting down; they were probably going to be throwing the food away anyway. This is the 21st century where different ethnic groups get together all the time, why are they not allowed to do the same at the H-E-B food court?
Needless to say, I was not happy. No, I did not want rice and an egg roll. I wanted mashed potatoes and okra! Fried chicken is an American entrée, so I did not see the big deal in getting a chicken entrée from the Chinese menu. I was aggravated and simply decided to leave. Not only did you lose out on my food court purchase (which was roughly $5.00) but also on my grocery purchase for the evening (which was substantially more) as I decided to do my shopping at Whole Foods instead.
Does this not seem insane to you? Why can’t you combine the American sides with the Chinese main course? I don’t imagine that this happens often, however, I can’t be the only one that you have upset.
I hope that you can resolve this issue in the near future, after all, they are the same price! I will be checking back soon to see if I can get my mashed potatoes and okra with the General Tso’s chicken. If you are unable to accommodate this request, I will just shop elsewhere.
Thank you for hearing out my complaint; I have also sent a letter to the CEO, Charles Butt, and to the grocery manager at DeZavala, Rick.