Friday, April 17, 2009


I know this blog is supposed to be about writing, and often it is, and I'll duly note that I've done a lot of writing this year, and have new projects very actively in the works that I'm more excited about than I've been about anything before, I think.

But this post is about the tongue sandwich at Momofuku.

It is gross. If you don't want to read a disturbingly gross description of food, don't read it.

Tom and I went there last night. (Before Tom saw The Escapist at my recommendation. Great movie!) The Noodle Bar (ugh, we should've gone to Ssam). We sit down at the bar and are about to order basic goodness, pork buns and soy sauce egg and so forth, when the waitress, who has that distasteful hipster I-Am-Wearing-a Low-Cut-V-Neck-American-Apparel-Top-and-I-Hate-You look down perfectly, tells us the specials, one of which is a tongue sandwich cooked in some way I can't remember that sounded good, with some stuff on it that sounded good. It was $11.

Me: "The tongue sandwich... what's that like?" [Having had, and liked, duck tongue several times in the recent past.]

Momofuku girl: "AWESOME."

Me: "Really? The tongue, is it chewy?"

Momofuku girl: "No, not at all. It's AMAZING."

Me: "Well, then I guess I'll have that."

Tom (casually): "Oh yeah, I'll get that too."

Momofuku girl: "Wow, you guys are easy."

Some time passes and the tongue sandwiches arrive. It's a hunk of tongue, covered in bread crumbs just like a Mrs. Paul's fish stick, and some disturbingly pink onions (pink like bad ham), and some slivers of rubbery liver-like stuff on top of that.

Momofuku girl: "The slivers are the tip of the tongue, and the big part is the back of the tongue."

Tom: "This is tongue?"

Me: "What's wrong with you? Weren't you aware that you ordered this?"

Tom: "I don't know why I ordered this. I just said 'I'll have that too.'"

I take a bite of the sandwich. The inside of the big fish-sticky hunk is dark, slimy, wet, and thick. I can see membranes of wet tendon or fat inside. It's like breaded dog poop smeared with half-cooked chicken fat.

Me: "I can't eat this."

I turn the part of the sandwich that I bit into away, so that I won't have to see the inside of it. I feel like I'm about to throw up.

Tom: "You're just bothered by the concept. How is the tongue of an animal any different than, you know, a muscle from some other part of its body, which you would eat without thinking?" [He takes a bite.] "I can't eat this."

We ask for it to be taken away, and the Momofuku girl accusatorily says, "Is something wrong with it?" and "Neither of you likes it?" like we're fucking criminals. Look, I'm an extremely promiscuous eater. I'll eat anything from ants to alligators. But this was stomach-turning. So, instead, we got beet salad and pork buns. And yeah, still paid for the tongue hunks.


Sabra Embury said...

"membranes of wet tendon or fat inside" is the best part. Wet tendon. Reminds me of 80's hair bands names. Whitesnake. Thin Lizzy. Wet Tendon. Motley Crue.

Little Miss Nomad said...

I can't eat body parts that are explicitly from a certain section of the body. Thighs, legs, ribs, tongue, any of that. Breast meat is a little easier to lie to myself about. Gah.