A lot of very highbrow, very expensive people I work with were in town this weekend. I didn’t open my wallet once. I stayed at a hotel in my home city. I ordered and consumed a $24 personal pizza. I ate veal face.
People, I ate veal face.
On Saturday night, four of us went to dinner at a super-trendy place I thought existed on the set of Sex and the City and nowhere else. A place where you have a lychee martini because it makes you “in.” And I did. And it didn’t. The menu, an almost incomprehensible jumble of words I’ve never seen before — most of them meaning “animal body part which, when consumed by humans, one would assume would mean instantaneous death” — was A Tasting Menu Of The Deranged. Beef cheek. Geese liver (that’s what “foie gras” is, for those of you playing at home). Duck…something. One particular menu item read “tete de veau,” which, literally translated on the trusty Alta Vista, reads, unambiguously “calf head.”
Besides the obvious “BECAUSE IT’S VEAL FACE,” here’s why it’s doubly unacceptable to eat veal face: veal, in and of itself, is not an acceptable cuisine choice anymore. My mom used to cook it for dinner when I was growing up, until a progressive peer of mine brought her a pamphlet featuring pictures of very small cows in even smaller pens, and that was the end of veal for dinner in the Blau house. When my mother got remarried, years later, the first thing she did when planning the reception menu was insist that veal be left off the menu. She’s not a vegetarian by any stretch and she can lift a full lobster right off the plate and tear it limb from limb (which, I have to say, I cannot), but what can I say: she’s a mom and she’s always had a soft spot for kids. So no veal.
Not I, apparently. Because the portions at this most imaginative slaughterhouse came only in “tiny size” and because you’re a total slacker if you spend less than $600 on a meal for four, every item was shared. No vegetarian myself, I took a stab at a, well, meaty looking piece of meat and only thought to ask what it was when its salty slug-osity was halfway down my throat. Tete de veau. It was different colors and different textures throughout, representing what must have been different parts of the face, like a topological map of veal face. Like a mood face. And so unnecessarily salty. At least we shared one thing in common in that neither of us was smiling.
PETA protests can be staged at email@example.com.