31.8.09

Saturday Night in Chinatown: Bug Bites and Eyeballs

I really shouldn't spend any more time pondering my odd little Saturday evening Chinatown excursion, but...

After picking up a few necessities at Asia Market Corp. on Mulberry near Bayard, I discovered a shiny new and seemingly clean vegetable market further up the street, closer to Canal. But, while I was shooting the photo of the Jelly Fish Satay, my foot received a nasty little bite from a teeny tiny mystery bug. I have no idea what it was (hopefully a flea and nothing worse), but it kind of turned me off from the happy new store, and I had to get out. Oh well. Some discoveries just aren't all they're cracked up to be...

I'd heard raves about Nha Trang (87 Baxter) for years, so I accepted a last-minute invite to join the Smith family for dinner there. It was nice to finally go. While I have yet to discover a restaurant that serves Vietnamese egg rolls like the amazing ones I grew up enjoying (Nha Trang's were just OK), the rest of the food was high-quality and nicely done. We ordered a number of dishes, and among my faves were the Suoun Heo Nuong (barbecued pork chops), the Bo Luc Lac Salad (beef cubes sautéed in spice and onions with salad), and the Tom Ran Muoi (jumbo shrimp in salt & pepper sauce).

We also dove into a beautiful whole Red Snapper, which was flavorful and perfectly done...and eventually proved to be the biggest adventure of the evening. As we sat discussing cultures who consider eyeballs a delicacy, I decided to dig one of the eyes out of the fish's head so we could get a closer look. Then Jimmy dared me to eat it...and I did. It was too hard, didn't taste like anything, and squirted a bit of something when I chewed it. Otherwise, it did nothing but gross people out (and land like a little lump in my tummy). Maybe I shouldn't have gone for a fried eyeball my first time out, but in the meantime, I don't really get it.

1 comment:

Catherine said...

I love the fact that you ate the eyeball on a dare. Cool factor, off the chart!