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Timidity at the Table: Brains, Anyone?

May 20, 2013

I always say I eat for a living, but once again I've been reminded I might be in the wrong line of work. Yesterday we met up with our informal Asian-eating/eating-Asian group for lunch in Queens and, as always, did so with no research in advance. So far they have never steered us wrong with Hunanese and Yunnanese and Sichuanese and Malaysian and Indonesian etc. They said Bukharian and we said what time? As always, I left the ordering to the experts. And as always, the real food person in this consortium turned out to be Bob, who tried every one of the 17 dishes but the fried steer brains above and the lamb-heart shish kebabs. I, the so-called pro, passed on the veal liver, and I definitely was not braving either the lamb testicles or the grilled cubes of pure lamb fat everyone else was moaning over. Good thing I've been doing this so long or I'd give myself an F for timidity. Maybe an F-minus for not following my own house rule of at least trying. One great thing about any ethnic menu heavy on the offal and my least favorite meat, though, is that the salads, vegetables and bread tend to be exceptional. And I now know the proper condiments for Bukharian: bottles of ketchup and sriracha were on every table.

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