Monday, November 21, 2005

Alligator - The Other White Meat

generally, i am not what you would call an "adventerous eater." i know what i like and i tend to stick with the same foods day in and day out. frankly, i could eat nothing but mexican food everyday for the rest of my life and be quite happy. but every once in awhile, i will try new things.

seven years ago i was in beirut, lebanon for a business trip. before i left i made a vow to myself that i would try any new foods i was offered. within reason, of course. sauteed monkey brains were out of the question. luckily, beirut seems to be simian free, so i never had to refuse a steaming dish of monkey gray matter. but i did try loads of stuff and most of it i loved. shwarma was awesome and the crepes i had in beirut were the best i have ever had. it's really worth the trip to a war torn country just for the belgian chocolate, banana filled crepes. trust me on this one.

while there, i went to a fashion show and there was an amazing spread of food. i dived right in, didn't ask any questions and just sampled everything.

there were these golf ball sized brown pastry-looking things. it looked like some kind of dessert puff, so i popped one in my mouth, expecting chocolatey goodness. it was a breaded beef meatball. do you know how unsettling it is when your tongue is expecting chocolate and it's really beef?

further on down the buffet line, i saw these croissant looking rolls. i was expecting something very exotic and lebanese. feeling oh so proud of my found adventerous streak, i bit right into one. it was a pig in a blanket. i traveled halfway across the fucking world for pigs in a blanket. oooooo, i felt so continental.

flash forward to the present day. last night, i went to dinner with some friends. we went to what is supposed to be the best, most authentic cajun restaurant in los angeles. oh, it was authentic, all right. take a peek at the menu.

it just jumps right out at you, doesn't it? alligator. i kind of got the shivers when i saw it, and before i could make some smart assed comment, Todd ordered it. and he was serious. so, i tried some. and guess what? yup, it tastes like chicken. hell, i am just glad no one ordered the frog legs, because, seriously, i drawn the line at that shit. that's just nasty.

and in case you were wondering, this is what gator nuggets look like.

as you can see, Cathy was completely horrifed at the wanton gator consumption and wanted no part of it.

this place serves wine, but not in wine glasses. it comes in little mason jars.
i know you are supposed to drink red wine with beef and white wine with fish. having never heard the etiquette regarding what kind of wine to drink with gator, i opted for pinot grigio. three glasses of it, apparently. hey, if i am going to eat a fucking reptile, i am going to need to be just a little hammered.

towards the end of dinner, Damon went to the men's room, came right back out and grabbed my camera. knowing he has the exact same sense of humor as i do, i knew it had to be something good. and it was. in that bathroom was a painting i like to call "the gayest painting ever in the history of the whole wide world."

it's like a maplethorpe, but with football uniforms. and no whips up the ass, but very similar, don't you think?

ah yes, deep fried gator chunks and homoerotic sports paintings. just another saturday night in LA.