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Kabab Café


yvonne johnson
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Okay, one other addition. I wasn't sure if it was "legal" to serve so I was hesitant to post that we had udder. But I am assured by The Woman in Exile that it is ok...

The udder was the last in this succession of unusual meats. At this point I could've easily slipped into a coma.

I don't know, it didn't really excite me like the veal cheeks or sweetbreads did. I thought it was chewy and lacked flavor. I'm of course glad I tried it though.

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Down the mean streets of New York e-foodie-ism a man must go. Yes, I was one of the shady and sinister characters welcomed into the warm bosom of Ali's cafe last night. Joy was there, and we can also mention Toby. I am seeking clarification as to whether I can discuss she-who-once-typed-real-loud-and-will-soon-type-again. As to the other glamorous diners at that lush nightspot, suffice to say I think it was either Howard Hughes or Elvis Presley who handed us chunks of panna forte before disappearing into the chilly Astoria night.

Thanks, Joy, for getting the menu down. And you also have my heartfelt appreciation for coming up with the correct culinary term, "pizzle", thereby at least retarding this discussion's slide into pantomime.

Fantastic meal. What the lovely, beret-boasting Ali can do in that narrow galley is quite incredible. And the care and love: he makes his own yoghurt, then makes cheese from it. He prepares each offal dish to bring out different textures and flavors. With the pizzle came little square pastries (looked like hamentuschen to me, but that may not be the Egyptian term), the pastry made with fat from the offal, a spicy stuffing in the center.

Yes, the crispy onion vinaigrette including fine shavings of the oddly textured veal lips, and provided a crunch to balance the succulence of the cheeks, beans and rice. I liked the cow foot over rice, served in a big coffee cup, but it was comforting rather than dramatic. The brains are about the best you can get.

As for the pizzle, I was more than impressed. I do not claim that because something is a little weird, it's therefore tasty. I have given pig's ears a fair trial, and I have no use for them. Similarly, if I eat cold boiled brains once a year, that is enough. But the pizzle was actually delicious. It came in small chunks which reminded me most of slightly undercooked gizzards. A little chew to them, but no toughness. How they would fare without Ali's saucing and spicing I don't know.

She-who-types-real-loud managed to catch him "cutting up a whole one", and seemed pleased. :sad:

A remarkable evening. Oh, I can remember two wines - the very reliable Fat Bastard Syrah, and a 1999 Vosne Romanee "Les Suchots" from Jacques Cachieux. Help: was the third wine Italian? (Drinking without looking by that stage.)

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Okay, one other addition. I wasn't sure if it was "legal" to serve so I was hesitant to post that we had udder. But I am assured by The Woman in Exile that it is ok...

The udder was the last in this succession of unusual meats.  At this point I could've easily slipped into a coma. 

I don't know, it didn't really excite me like the veal cheeks or sweetbreads did. I thought it was chewy and lacked flavor.  I'm of course glad I tried it though.

Udder is a rare delicacy. Why would it be illegal in the US? Oh, but then you can't even be considered grown up enough to have proper cheese can you?

I love Udder, roasted in a sarnie or shredded and deep fried with tripe and garlic.

I would love to have been at that dinner. if only to take the pizzle. Great term. Let me guess, you are about 6 yrs old right?

S

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To return to Ali's cooking, this was my second meal there, both composed of innards and extremities. He manages to make hearty, rustic cooking somehow delicate, retaining the textural integrity of the main ingredient while pairing it with really lovely and complementary textures and flavors. His cooking is not oddities for oddities sake but real artistry in which the best of each ingredient is brought forward.

My favorites last night were the veal cheeks served (and eaten) in layers of the perfectly stewed, falling apart meat, small tender red beans and white rice with the crunchy vinaigrette that contained the veal lips and other things; the brains; and the cup of calves' foot, rice and bread (I can't remember the Arabic name for this -- if anyone does??), totally comforting on a raw, freezing night. The veal tongue was also delicious, as were the brains; and the yogurt cheese was incredible. Sweetbreads also were excellent with great hot pepper sauce.

My only wish is that he would somehow structure the menu so that the featured course of the evening, in this case the cow udder, were not served last, when you've just about eaten yourself into a coma.

And Wilfrid, that wasn't Elvis.

Thanks again to egullet's outer boroughs ethnics specialist for organizing this wonderful meal.

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Information on the third wine (which was donated by Charles Smith after the wonderful DiFara meal) -- it was a Rivera's Rupicolo 2001, from Puglia (but not all the way down south), aged in stainless steel containers, not oak barrels. Unfortunately, I was so almost comatose by that point in the meal, that I can't comment intelligently about it, other than that it tasted good. Maybe Wilfrid can add something.

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With the pizzle came little square pastries (looked like hamentuschen to me, but that may not be the Egyptian term), the pastry made with fat from the offal, a spicy stuffing in the center.

The little square pastries were wonderful; I think Ali said the fat was used in both the pastry and the stuffing -- was it the fat from the udder?

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With the pizzle came little square pastries (looked like hamentuschen to me, but that may not be the Egyptian term), the pastry made with fat from the offal, a spicy stuffing in the center.

The little square pastries were wonderful; I think Ali said the fat was used in both the pastry and the stuffing -- was it the fat from the udder?

Yes, rendered fat from the udder.

I did love those little pastries too.

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got through to Atelier just now and can tell you that the producer of the bottle I enjoyed so much was Hudelle Noellat. Mean anything to you?

I haven't had enough bottles of Hudelot-Noellat to form a strong impression of the producer, although I know his Romanee St. Vivant and Richebourg have a very good reputation and usually manage to be considerably less expensive than those of some of the more august producers in those vineyards. I looked up the domain in Coates's "Cote D'Or" just now, and it turns out that Alain Hudelot has one of those convoluted family histories that is common in Burgundy. Apparently Hudelot married the granddaughter of Charles Noelllat in the early 60s (Charles Noellat famously had some tracts planted to old vines in some of the choicest vineyards, many of which were eventually bought by Lalou Bize-Leroy), and the Noellat family was against the marriage and tried to strip the granddaughter of the vineyards that were her inheritance. There were years of litigation that concluded with Hudelot getting the land but also being hit up for huge attorney's fees and inheritance taxes. As of the publication of Coates' book, after 30 years of marriage he still hadn't been invited into his mothers-in-law's house.

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Eh, why is any food illegal in the US? Ignorance?

There are many reasons, not the least of which is that we have an obligation to protect other species and so any animal/plant that is endangered should definitely be illegal to consume.

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If you want to order pizzles, you can get them here, in a variety of sizes. Pig ears too (perfect for shredding).

I'm curious whether any of those in attendance noticed any particular pizzle potency after dinner (recipe included)?

Edited by Stone (log)
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pizzles-whole.jpg?

"I've caught you Richardson, stuffing spit-backs in your vile maw. 'Let tomorrow's omelets go empty,' is that your fucking attitude?" -E. B. Farnum

"Behold, I teach you the ubermunch. The ubermunch is the meaning of the earth. Let your will say: the ubermunch shall be the meaning of the earth!" -Fritzy N.

"It's okay to like celery more than yogurt, but it's not okay to think that batter is yogurt."

Serving fine and fresh gratuitous comments since Oct 5 2001, 09:53 PM

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Okay call me the ignorant one, but this has gone to page two and no one else has asked and I absolutely for the life of me figure out what a pizzle is?!!

The pictures didn't even help, actually they confused me even more :angry:

Kristin Wagner, aka "torakris"

 

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