My Parisian Restaurant Map

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

A Little Anecdote

So I've been lazing away in Greece on summer vacation, hence the lack of posts. I've been too boozed up on ouzo and sun to even think about sitting in front of my computer.

But before I get back into full swing blogging (which I will, I promise) here is the story of a fun fiasco to make you laugh.

The night before I left for vacation, my lovely man decided to take me out to one of our favorite little bistros on the rue Monmartre, called Le Tambour. We've been here countless times, and in fact it is one of my primary sources of inspirational French food. (see duck fat potatoes, snails in garlic butter etc.)

By now I know their menu pretty much by heart, so I tend to go for the specials. The specials are to be found on a tiny piece of photocopied paper, scribbled in the scribbliest pompous French handwriting youve ever seen. (As if to say, if you can't read me then you're the idiot, not me.)
But it's safe to say by the time your waiter comes around, you'll have gotten the gist what it says and know what you want to order.

So there I was craving lamb and garlic duck fat potatoes (duh) when low and behold, one of the specials is 'rice scribble of lamb, scribble in the pan, scribble whiskey sauce with potatoes.' YAAAAAAY!

So now I'm a real happy girl, waiting for my lamb to come, somewhere in the back of my mind vaguely wondering why there would be rice and potatoes in the same dish, but whatever, the thought of the potatoes makes my mouth water so I take a sip of wine and step back into the conversation.

Our dishes arrive, and I immediately dive in. At this point I could hardly contain myself, let alone stop to look at what I was actually eating. "Mmmmmmm, mmmmmm, mmmmm" I tell my friend, who asks me how it is. Once again, somewhere in the back of my head, I'm wondering why all the pieces of lamb are in such perfect little oval shapes. "Mmmmm, mmmmm, mmmmm" I continue moaning to myself. Slowly, these little thoughts in the back of my head start creeping up to the front. "Why is the taste of this lamb so mild? Usually lamb has a really strong taste. And seriously, why is this meat so white? Lamb is usually brown!" Slowly I start waking up out of my duck fat potato stupor and give my meat a closer look. It's white, unlike lamb, and has a very spongey constitency, unlike lamb. But it does taste of lamb, vaguely.

The sponginess immediately tips me off that it's definitely not flesh, but probably some internal organ. But then I'm thinking, nooooo way, they've made a mistake and given me someone else' s order of liver or something.

So I ask the waiter, "Excuse me, this isn't the lamb is it?" "Bah oui! Ze lamb!" he says. "Exactly what part of the lamb is it?" I carefully whisper. "The riz!" (Note: riz in French means rice.) "What exactly is 'lamb rice'? I ask. And the waiter points to the two sides of his neck, right under his jaw line.

"Ze glans, ze glans!". Some translation ensues and the mystery of my lamb rice if finally revealed.

Sweetbreads in English, aka lamb growth glands. Taken from the throat and the armpits of the little lamb.


The waiter notices I look a bit...pale, and tells me "dont worry, eat it with a nice glass of red (wine) and everything will be fine!".

Thankfully, my friend trades me his rossini steak-steak on toast topped with foie gras- and all's well that ends well.

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