Saturday, January 29, 2011
Gross + Impressive = Gropressive!
For Kim's birthday last night, the poker people went out for dinner to Mara's Homemade, one of the very few real New Orleans style restaurants in New York. Having never been there before, Team Squeen were pretty pumped. Even more so after a few Abitas and the realization that we were going to be doing some circus eating.
Kim, in true birthday abandon, ordered the giant crawfish boil -- as her own meal, mind you. Now, you don't have to go too far out on a limb to suppose that our Kim wasn't going to finish that big bucket of mudbugs on her own. The real question was whether we could do it collectively, and how much help I'd be after eating my entree and most of Yvonne's.
I should mention at this point that this was the first time I'd ever had boiled crawfish. Just something we hadn't done in NOLA -- probably because we realized that a beer bucket full of 'em was a pretty big commitment. (Again, birthday abandon -- and we salute you, Kim!) It's the perfect food for little boys. You pull these little boogers apart at the middle, suck the spices out of the thorax you're holding in one hand, then peel the tail you're holding in the other and suck out the meat. It's a little labor-intensive, but once you get the rhythm down, you go into a zone, and that focus is essential for making headway when you're elbow-deep in crustacea.
By no means did I bogart the bucket, and yet when everyone else had had their share, still about two-thirds were left. At first, I was totally confident we/I could finish. But after some solid dedication, and really quite enough crawfish for one man, we still couldn't see the bottom and I declared it a lost cause.
But since I wasn't actually in pain yet, I figured I'd keep eating a few just while we wait for the waiter to come around and take our plates and our dessert order. Well, I turned some kind of corner in there, because the next thing I knew, the bucket looked like this:
Good thing that neither of the first two entrees I ate had been fried, otherwise I might've been full!