[Resolution] #47 Eat an Exotic Food

First of all, wow, it’s been a while.  It’s just been a whirlwind of action and adventure for the past couple of weeks. The infamous SXSW blew through Austin over the last couple of weeks and for the first time in a couple of years I was actually right in the middle of it with a badge for SXSW Interactive from my company, and braved the crowds to check out the music festival over the weekend.   By the way, Anthony Bourdain is just as badass in real life as he is on TV, and the singer for Counting Crows does not age…really.  Also, in the spirit of the insane meal I’m about to describe, I got to see my food-idols (this may erase my rapport as a foodie), the cast of Epic Meal Time.

The best thing that has come out of this ‘resolution’ adventure is how supportive my friends have been.  They make recommendations and send me groupons, and then the lovely Jake and Jenn (whom you may remember from the themed party post) went all out and offered to treat me to an exotic dinner, the likes of which I’ve never seen.

So, rather than eating one exotic food, in one meal I consumed:

  • Elk
  • Wild Boar
  • Rattlesnake
  • Alligator
  • Frog

Hudson’s on the Bend is a gorgeous upscale restaurant…in the middle of nowhere.  Okay, not quite in the middle of nowhere, but way out in the hill country in a tiny converted house.

Like so.  Would you know this was a restaurant?  Nope, me neither.  But it’s a nationally acclaimed Austin gem, and for good reason.

By the way, in case we’ve fooled you with how much expensive food we’ve been eating in the first few months of the year.  We really aren’t snobby rich kids.  See?

We’re budget foodies, who like to add things to canned soup and pretend its fancy, and will sometimes shop the grocery store for ONLY things we can find with in-store coupons attached.  But, this resolution list somehow makes us okay with blowing up our credit card debt to eat food like this:

How was it?  Well, I do believe Nick’s previous hypothesis about anything tasting good if you have to break the bank to eat it might very well be correct.  I’m not sure if elk and alligator would taste quite this good if caught and cooked over a campfire or something, but at Hudson’s on the Bend even something named “The Swamp Platter” had our eyes rolling in the back of our heads.

I’ve always been told that frog legs taste like chicken.  That is now a confirmed fact.  Same taste, texture, everything. The only thing that convinced us we were eating amphibian was the slightly more translucent color and the big blue veins throughout.

Rattlesnake, somehow, tasted just like rattlesnake. (You know I’m really starting to admire Andrew Zimmerman for being able to describe food on television.) I don’t know how to describe it other than when I ate it I thought “Yep, I can tell that’s snake.”  It was probably one of the items that felt the most exotic.

Alligator is a tough cut of meat, and a little chewy, with a slightly fishy taste. Elk is full of flavor, and as you can see a very dark red meat (we weren’t fully convince it was cooked, but it was). It’s tender, melt in your mouth, delicious. And, wild boar is actually a lot lighter than I thought, light cut, light flavor, light meat, but went wonderfully on a cracker with some pate.

Overall, I’m now a believer in wild game meats, amphibian, and reptile as the new ‘white meat’. I am also left wishing that going back wouldn’t cost half a week’s pay!

Thanks again Jake and Jenn for this amazing and way-too-generous gift, it was an experience I won’t forget.

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