Number 78: Snail

6 Feb

It is very rare that Dan and I go out for a fancy dinner.  Jimmy John’s, Panera, and pizza make up most of our “special” meals, so when we entered the upscale Palm Court restaurant, we felt a wee bit out of place.  I was wearing jeans and salt-stained boots, and Dan…well, when you have hair that’s longer than your girlfriend’s, you don’t look like the most respectable young man.  It was pretty effing fancy there- the food came out on silver platters, a keyboard player was busting out synthesized harpsichord versions of Beach Boys songs, and even the bus boy had a French accent.  For real.  I think the waitress was shocked when we ordered escargot immediately after being seated.

The only knowledge I have of escargot is the episode of “I Love Lucy” where she goes to Paris and orders some.  On the show, the snails are brought out, shells and all, and Lucy clamps the snail holder to her nose because she doesn’t know what to do with it.  Then she asks for ketchup and the head chef nearly loses his shit.  I was expecting a similar experience for Dan and myself.

To my surprise, the snails were shell-free.  Each one was in a separate well in a dish and had a small piece of mushroom with it.  The snails were drenched in a garlic butter sauce and covered in breadcrumbs.  I tried to get a good picture of a snail so I could show you what exactly what they look like- this is the best I could do.  The snail is the dark thing in front and the mushroom is behind it.

After squeezing lemon juice over the top, I took my first bite.  The snails were soft, but not slimy, like I thought they would be.  They had the texture of something between a cooked mushroom and a mussel.  And they were GOOOOOD.  Anything drenched in garlic butter is going to be amazing, and the snails certainly didn’t disappoint.  They had a very slight fishy flavor to them, but other than that, they were divine.  When we were done, we dipped our bread in the garlic sauce and practically licked the plate clean.

THE VERDICT
To say that I was pleasantly surprised would be an understatement- the snails pretty much blew me away!  I’m glad that I didn’t have to deal with pulling them out of the shell or anything like that, though; I think that would have been too much to handle.  And I managed to avoid any major Lucy-esque faux pas, too, so I consider this experience a double win!

P.S. The criollo chocolate giveaway is now over and my random number generator selected commenter #22, Leslie Johnson.  Congrats, Leslie!  I’ll be emailing you soon.

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5 Responses to “Number 78: Snail”

  1. Kelly @ Dare to be Domestic February 7, 2012 at 8:53 am #

    I have been curious about this since seeing Pretty Woman years ago – but I would totally be her [trying to hold the snail and rocketing it across the room above some innocent diners head]. I totally forgot about the I Love Lucy episode!!! CLASSIC! I’m so glad these were delicious. My biggest pet peeve is going out for a fun dinner, or an expensive dinner with high hopes and being disappointed. I HATE spending good money on crummy food! I’m glad this was a success for you guys!

  2. IntenseGuy February 7, 2012 at 11:52 am #

    You got to admit, it was hilarious watching Lucy eat her snails… If you had only actually licked your plates clean!

    🙂

    Never had snails. Sounds like you recommend ’em.

  3. Laura in Cancun February 7, 2012 at 2:16 pm #

    Never had snails, but with all those ingredients it sounds pretty good!

    Jorge and I went out for a romantic dinner on our anniversary this Friday. I always feel out of place at fancy restaurants… like the waiters will notice we’re “frauds” (aka not rich people) or something. Very irrational haha

  4. Cathy February 29, 2012 at 3:45 pm #

    I had snails once. I was on a cruise for a friends wedding and everyone at the table decided we had to try them. It took me about 10 minutes to get up the courage to eat one and then I couldn’t get enough! They were soooo good. They were served in the little dish like yours and drenched in delicious sauce. I still dream about them.

Trackbacks/Pingbacks

  1. Number 62: Sweetbreads | OMNIVORE100PROJECT - February 8, 2012

    […] So basically, I had no idea what I was eating the other night.  But I had just finished eating a big dish full of escargot, so nothing seemed weird to me […]

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