It’s All About the Flavor Experience

On the one hand I find it appalling that, in a country that already consumes too much meat  we would import “exotic” meats simply to satisfy our culinary curiosity, but on the other I am nothing if not deeply curious.  And, I figure, if a restaurant is advertising that, on a one-time basis, it is offering a burger made from meat I didn’t even know was edible, I’m not causing an animal to be killed to satisfy my curiosity; it’s already dead.  I know, I know, I’m trying to justify my involvement in something akin to genocide, but I’m going to keep at it until all efforts have failed.


Jack Mac’s Swill & Grill camel burger, Cubano, and sweet potato fries.

So, here’s the deal: I at a burger today made of 95% camel meat and 5% pork belly.  And it was unbelievably good!  I mean, really!  I loved it!  It was exceptional.  The burger was topped with house-made harissa, goat cheese, portabello mushrooms, and red peppers.  Oh, man, that was a LUNCH!  The restaurant, incidentally, is Jack Mac’s Swill & Grill.  Jack is the owner and cook and decides on all menu items (every month, he features a new “odd” burger…I love it!).  Next month, he told us today, it will be llama.  Yes!  I’m going to try that, too.

A good friend of mine accompanied us (my favorite wife and I) to lunch.  My wife opted to order a salad for lunch.  My friend opted to order a Cubano sandwich; he asked if I’d be interested in splitting the burger and the sandwich and I agreed, but wished he hadn’t asked after I bit into the burger.  Oh. My. God.  It was magnificent.  Truly.  Oh, we also shared an order of sweet potato fries. My wife wanted a bite of my half of the burger and a bite of my half of the Cubano, as well.  I let her have both.  (I am an incredibly sharing guy.)  I wanted so badly not to share.  In fact, I wanted to order two more burgers just for myself.  But I exercised restraint.  I really did.

To make up for the loss (to my friend and my wife) of half a burger and then some, I allowed myself to have two beers. First, I had a Community Beer Company Pale Ale, which was a tasty brew; I liked it.  Then, I ordered a Real Ale Brewing Company Brewers’ Cut No. 005 Altbier.  OK, but not something I’d order again.

After eating and imbibing, my friend mentioned a relatively new pub just up the street, the Staggering Irishman.  It’s located in the building previously occupied by a place called the Mad Hatter, which failed quickly…my wife and I visited once just after it opened and the next thing we knew, it had closed.  Anyway, my buddy said he was going to check it out after we parted.  My wife and I decided we’d do the same.

So, we went there.  My buddy seemed surprised when we picked a table…he said he had planned only on looking the place over.  But he agreed to sit with us and have another beer…I had a Left Hand Brewing Company Milk Stout Nitro.  Good!

After this unexpected departure from our routine (until I saw Jack’s post about his menu, we were going to have tuna fish salad at home and then go shopping), we zipped by the library so mi esposa bonita could pick up a book she had reserved, then we headed home.  After a quick stop, I left her there and went to Costco, where I bought a 12-pound brisket, a power washer, a large container of peanuts, and a bunch of towels for window cleaning.  I’ll smoke the brisket this Saturday when my friend and his wife and another couple come over for dinner.  My buddy will bring home-made venison sausage (made by another of his friends) and will take his and my growlers to The World Beer Company to get them filled with fine brew.  I may write about this little party after the fact!


About John Swinburn

"Love not what you are but what you may become."― Miguel de Cervantes
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