Back in Boston from the land of the conventional, the land of milanesas, pastas and pizzas, I was cravin something “bizzarre” – I understand that this phrase is relative, so let’s say “unconventional for the Western palate.” So I called up a friend who is also into weird shit when it comes to food and we decided to go on an adventure. The final choice came down to the deliciously fatty Confit and Roasted Milk-Fed Pig’s Head at Craigie on Main or the ultra-phallic poached geoduck at Chinatown’s Peach Farm, a restaurant known for having pretty off-the-grid stuff on their menu. Since we were craving something marine (and since geoduck is considered by the Chinese to be a sexual stimulant) we decided to go with the latter.
So we journeyed to Tyler St. and took a seat among the families of 10-12 already munching happily on their peking ducks and fried rice. When the tea came, we immediately asked for the geoduck and were hugely disappointed- they were out of it. So we decided to browse the menu for other stuff. Most of what we ended up ordering wasn’t really weird but just delicious.
First up, Spicy Dry Fried Salted Squid. Super-fresh whole squid-lings, covered in a very thin batter and lightly fried, dusted with salt and a lot of pepper. The fried coating was perfect and let the crunchy, fresh body of the squid lead in each bite. Not too weird but delicious.
Next up, Shrimp with Scrambled Eggs. Moist scrambled eggs with fresh green peas and peaces of crisp shrimp adding a fantastic bite to each mouthful. This would be a great breakfast. Again not weird, but fantastic.
Our third order was the the Clams in Black Bean Sauce, a house specialty. Tender, slightly chewy clams cooked in a salty, thick black bean sauce. Not a combination I’ve ever tried before, definitely one I will again.
Smoked duck tongue with sauteed broccoli rabe came last and definitely satisfied the craving for the odd. A bit like crunching on chicken feet but with the constant notion that this is actually a bird’s togue and the feeling of your mouth resounding with the quacks this body part was once responsible for. It’s a weird texture, meaty in some parts, gelatinous and chewy in others, with a strangely tough boney bit in the center. The sweet syrup the tongues were coated in made them slimy and a bit too reminiscent of a live tongue. Definitely not something I’d order again but was worth a try for sure. My favorite part was taking them home (no one really touched this dish…) and then forgetting they were in the fridge until the next morning and having one cold. Yikes….
All in all a search for weird stuff turned into a very pleasant dinner with some delicious bites and some not-so-delicious ones.