Monday, October 19, 2009

Gastronauts: a great discovery

In our quest for weird food, Kevin and I searched for other likeminded food-crazy freaks who may have already created a list of NYC restaurants worthy of our patronage. Fortuitously, we came across Gastronauts, a club for adventurous eaters.

With a mailing list of over 2000 subscribers, Gastronauts founders Ben & Curtiss organize a monthly outing to restaurants that serve unusual food. Seating is very limited (depending on the size of the place), and RSVP spots go as quickly as galoshes in the Soviet Union.

Receiving membership to the club involves writing a short paragraph about yourself. I think I wrote a book about all the weird stuff I’ve had: my favorite bull penis, bacon-flavored cheerios, marmite, bone marrow, lard, durian, pig and chicken feet, steak tartar, blood sausage, Kobe beef, horse steak, horse sushi, etc. No surprise, membership was granted with a short response from Curtiss: “You had us at bone marrow. :)” I know, I might have come off a bit overzealous.

To all skeptics who believe there are only four places in NYC that serve unusual food, the Gastronauts list of 43 restaurants so far visited contains:

Waterfront International Enterprises, Inc. (AKA Fu Run) – jellyfish, triple pork intestines
Roberta’s – fluke (whale tail), sea urchin, fennel pollen, etc
Lamb and Jaffy – peach soup, octopus, squid, calf brains, etc
San Rasa – polose (Jack Fruit), baby goat ox tongue, etc
Himalayan Yak – all parts of yak, etc
La Fusta – sweetbreads, tripe, tongue, liver, etc
Su San Seafood – live baby octopus, etc
Grand Dakar - knuckle soup, tripe and feet stew, etc
Trestle on Tenth – blood, liver sausage, etc
Mokeytown – rattlesnake, frog leg terrine, warm turtle salad, etc
Xiao La Jiao – rabbit, pig ear, bullfrog, etc
Henry’s End – wild boar belly, quail stuffed with figs, etc
and many more...

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