27 January 2010

Observations



Why would you call yourself 'Boston Market' and not offer lobster tail, crab legs, crab cakes let alone clam chowda?!?!?

I'm just askin'.

Also, this...

Last October I found myself at the Houston airport, and a bit hungry.

I perused the food court area and came across a barbeque eatery and thought I would partake in some brisket. Mmmm....brisket -- and Texas brisket at that! Can't go too wrong.

There was this, uhm, rather 'portly' Texan in front of me and he too had a hunkerin' for some brisket. As the young gal behind the counter was carving out his side-o-beef, he tells her, 'Don't forget the fat now.'

She then shaves off some thick slices-o-fat.

I was speechless.

That was gross.

Don't get me wrong, I know very well that 'fat' is where the 'flava' is at. But to just 'eat' it???? What???!!!

NOT.

Now it's my turn. I order the brisket. Young gal says, 'How much fat ya want, hon."

"Uh... none."

"NONE?!?!"

"Just the brisket, thanks."

She gives me the 'You must be Obama Bin Laden' look.

"That's where all the flava is at, hon."

"I'll be ok, thanks."

I'm positive she pushed some button alerting the Texas Rangers that I had turned down 'fat' and probably ate green vegetables on a regular basis.

I could swear the eyes of everyone in the airport followed me to my table.

In all fairness... we here in New Mexico have our share of unusual delicacies too.

Like 'chicharone' burritos and 'menudo'.

Chicharones [chi-cha-rone] are basically bits of pork [usually] attached to 'fat', fried, salted and put in a tortilla....especially good with a dab of green chili...mmmm.

Menudo is a spicy soup made with lime, chopped onions, cilantro, oregano, crushed chili peppers and stomach tripe [yeah...stomach lining, generally from a cow].

Tripe reminds me of calamari but MORE GROSS!!!

I could NEVER eat this stuff. My dad and grandmother LOVED it.

It STINKS when it's cooked [it can contain some of the stomachs last content!!!!] and is considered by some to be a great 'hangover' food since the spicier it is the more you 'sweat out the toxins'.

NOT.

I prefer a similar dish called pozole [see previous Christmas post].

I am a basic meat and potato guy; however, I do love Indian food.

I'm sure some of you reading this back east and south have your own unusual dishes....let me know about em.

I'm out.

11 comments:

Bear Me Out said...

Here in NC, we really know how to do barbecue. But, after all that, I think I'll just have a salad.

Bear Me Out said...

Oh, round here, it's PORK bbq.

K-Mo said...

Down here in south Louisiana, we have quite a range of delicacies - ones which I'm hoping to show you someday, Mick Man.

Some of the great things awaiting you:

Crawfish Etouffee
Duck & Andouille Gumbo
Crab & Corn Bisque
Boudin
Chicken & Sausage Jambalaya

MICK said...

It was in Tulsa that my buddy T-Rob took me to one of their best Mexican restaurants, where I had the enchilada plate. Most curious.

It consisted of a flour tortilla, canned 'queso' cheese and a sour cream 'sauce'. It was ok but I was a bit puzzled. It looked nor tasted like an enchilada here in New Mexico.

It has occurred to me that I have never had an enchilada outside of New Mexico so it was interesting to see their version. I would be curious about trying one in North Carolina as I would in Baton Rouge.

I've never pressed T-Rob about what he thought of our in NM. Note to self...ask T-Rob about his thoughts on NM enchiladas.

As for wanting to try some authentic Jambalaya, I am VERY into that, K-Mo!! Jambalaya as I have tried it in CA and here in NM is definitely a unique taste.

I've never tried duck and crawfish are so...so... icky looking, but I would try it.

BR is on my list of places to visit, so it could happen.

[I tried calamari for the first time in CA last year...I did not like it AT ALL. Felt like I was eating thick rubberbands...blech!!]

Joe, I was not aware barbecue/barbeque was special to NCers. I'm most intrigued.

Are chicken n dumplings as big there as they were in the south when I visited a few years back?

Man, I fell for those..mmm.

I'm hungry.

Anonymous said...

Morning
For my two cents worth. In Maine, baked bean suppers are and have been a big thing on sat night. Most of the grange halls and churchs have them as fund raisers. Beans are cooked with big chunks of salt pork for flavor and these are sought after with your servings. Also most mom and pop hot dog stands and diner's serve finely diced and fried salt pork on their dogs..tasty actually buf so bad for you.
When I lived in Denver I went to one of the county fairs and they had liver/fried onion and cheese subs. YUUUCCCKKKK but there was a big line at all the stands.
Here in Maine all the fairs have fried dough with cinnamon sugar. Also all the french fry stands have malt vinegar and kosher salt for their products.

Your friend K-MO is right about the LA food. Crawfish or shrimp etouffee is seriously tasty. Hell, just crawfish boils are great. Andouille is good in most anything.

Have you ever tried pickled pigs feet or Rocky Mountain Oysters? Both are interesting and I will leave it at that. I will try most anything for food. As a chef I sort of consider it part of my ongoing education in food. Only one thing I have encounted I refused, it was someplace in Chicago many years ago and it was roasted spinal column..just not my idea of food.
Tripe and calamari I grew up with. Tripe is just nasty but my grandparents loves the stuff and had it often. Calamari is very particular to cook..if over cooked it is, as Mick said, like a rubber band. If done right it is tender and very flavorful.

Now for your homework assignment..you lobster fans go Google lobster roe and tomalley.
DGC

MICK said...

Do you cook plain old pinto beans up there Dale or is it a certain kind. I really haven't tried anything other then pinto, and when they are cooked with thick slabs of bacon and left whole... mmmmm

I admit I am not one to explore the more left of center foods. I've been a meat and potatoes fella all my life; however, I am very curious to try real Louisiana cooking.

Considering the area has such a varied cultural influence it can't be anything but tasty!!

...but those feet on the crawfish really do gross me out.

I don't like choosing my own lobster either...just bring it to me on a plate already cooked.

I use to watch Andrew Zimmern just for the shock value of his show.

Lately;however, I turn the channel within ten minutes. He can be downright disgusting.

I use to say 'green chili makes anything edible." Not after watching his show, however.

Teezy said...

Since I am in Santa Fe, I probably eat the same stuff you do—none of it seems unusual to me.

What seems unusual now is when one of my friends says that they went to someplace like Outback or Olive Garden—maybe because there are so many interesting restaurants here.

I read K-Mo's comment and have to say that every time that I am in Manhattan I stop at Chez Josephine's for boudin noir. I don't know if it is the same as the boudin in Louisiana but, in spite of the ingredients, it is delicious. Also, you can't beat a bowl of turtle soup from Commander's Palace.

MICK said...

Funny you should mention 'chain' restaurants, I'm constantly having heated discussions with my friends in 'oh so chic' Los Angeles about them.

Having lived in LA for almost 20 years I've been to my share of different restaurants so I know there is life beyond Applebees....but I gotta say, I've been to my share of chain places too and most of the time they are not bad. It is basic meat and potatos American food and that is what I grew up on.

Chili's had this 'fire shrimp' that I REALLY liked. And the steaks at Applebee's are not bad.

It has always driven me crazy when you go to these 'oh so trendy' eateries and they put a small portion on a HUGE plate and charge you up the waazoo!! Arrrrgh!

They try and disguise it by putting this 'drizzle' on the food and plate....I guess they are trying food psychology on me, well it doesn't work.

I grew up a meat and potatoes [and green chili] and places like IHOP and Olive Garden are not horrible places. I would not and do not eat there all the time but I would never rag on them.

I experienced Indian food for the first time in LA and now I LOVE LOVE LOVE it.

I can't wait to try authentic cajun food.

I have not actually visited Santa Fe...I've been to Zozobra and hit Santa Fe Brewing Co when a good gig comes to town so I can not comment on any restaurants there.

The one regret I do have about living in the Duke City is that I can't get a good grilled swordfish for under $25 like I could in LA [I miss you Old Tony's].

But then....they can't get Hatch green chili out there...HA!!

Teezy said...

Okay, I am going to embarrass myself by saying that I had to give up fast food cold turkey in January of 2009 because I really, really like it and was eating it every day for lunch—I haven't had anything from a drive-thru in over a year.

My friends laugh at me because one of my favorite "New Mexican" foods are the southwestern egg rolls from Chilis.

That said, there are tons of good restaurants in Santa Fe, even a couple of very good Indian places. That's why I just never think about going to a chain.

I can't believe that with all the adventures you go on in New Mexico you haven't been to Santa Fe. You are just in ABQ—you should hop on the Railrunner and check out the capital—it's filled with galleries, museums, history and junk.

Who knows, one of these days I may actually go to a gallery or museum or some historical site—if I do I'll post about it on my blog. :)

MICK said...

Actually the City Different IS on my list...in the past when I have made plans to take the RailRunner up, something just seems to come up and I postpone it.

A friend of mine from Maine was in Santa Fe last fall and I drove up to take him to Zozobra [which I had never been to myself]. We walked through the plaza area to get to Fort Marcy Park and that was the extent of my visiting Santa Fe.

As mentioned, I love the Santa Fe Brew Co [the french fries and artichoke dip is awesome].

As the weather gets a little nicer [it's an El Nino year so spring should come early] I will find myself in Santa Fe I'm sure.

Anonymous said...

Menudo is supposedly the hang-over remedy...Just like you stated the stench alone is enough to make me sober, no gracias. Pozole for me anytime. BTW, you're not alone in NOT liking it Mick... -Mike