Tonight I ate chicken heart.
Feel free to take a moment to digest (ahem…) that fact. I sure took that moment.
Chicken heart. The heart of a chicken. Cheep cheep. Beat Beat.
But let me explain, because it wasn’t a conscious choice.
It starts with BOOKclub – our monthly food & literary gossip session – and tonight we had our get together at El Loco at the Excelsior, the Mexican offering from Justin Hemmes and the Merivale gang.
Sure, there are other things on the menu, but it’s hard to go past their $5 tacos. So we didn’t. They’ve got pork, beef, prawn, tofu and chicken options and then they’ve got a “secret” option. The secret taco changes daily. They give you no hints and no apologies. I was instantly intrigued. So we placed our orders (three of the four of us went with the “secret”) and headed back to our table.
Just a couple of subtle cactus table numbers…
Not that they drew attention to us for long, coz before we knew it, our tacos had arrived.
We grabbed the waitress before she slipped away and asked what the “secret” was, but they won’t do the reveal until you try to figure it for yourself first. Beware anyone with food allergies!
The “secret” taco
Becko manned up first and tried the “secret”, thinking maybe it was some kind of sausage. It was shaped in funny little circles. I went next and thought maybe it was a tofu of some sort. It had a funny squishy texture. Ames was last to try and thought maybe it was cat food. It had no real flavour.
Oh the irony!
Basically stumped, we grabbed our waitress again. When we said the best we could come up with was some kind of tofu-meat-substitute, she had to hold back her shocked laughter. Aaaah no. It’s chicken heart.
Four jaws hit the tables. Chicken heart? You’re joking! Nope, it’s chicken heart. And off she flew. Leaving us to come to terms with the fact that we basically had just eaten cat food.
Meanwhile, Evans sat back and smiled. She hadn’t been sucked in by the “secret” and could relax in the knowledge that she had not just eaten funny-looking, weird-textured, pieces of heart from a chook.
Lesson learned. Secrets are secrets for a reason.
Still, I’d recommend all of El Loco’s other tacos. Delicious. And not at all resembling major bodily organs.
PS – my brush with the heart of a chook, made me think of the following quote that I came across recently, from the owner of famous New York restaurant Per Se: “Respect for food is a respect for life, for who we are and what we do.” Well said Thomas. I think Foghorn Leghorn would agree with you…