Strange Foods Guide
Uvalde, Texas: Live Oak Gorditas
(128 S. High St., 830-278-3998)
Zimmern says "Cooked-to-order, fistsize, chewy fry bread rolls are split open while still steaming, smeared with guacamole, and stuffed with house-made pickled peppers and crispy sweetbreads (thymus glands) or crunchy griddled cow intestines. The meats are clean and unctuous, with no off-putting barnyard flavors. This is the place I would take my 5-year-old son to try these foods for the first time."
New Orleans: Cochon
(930 Tc houpitoulas St., 504-588-2123
Zimmern says "Think of it as a loaf of pig-meat Jell-O with bits of pickled and boiled meat from cheeks and other parts of the head. Chef and owner Donald Link makes his own, and the flavor is tart, gamy, fatty, swiney -- it embodies everything I love about Southern farmhouse cooking."
New York City: Congee Bowery
(207 Bowery, 212-766-2828)
Zimmern says "The duck tongues are sautéed with sugar peas and a generous splash of luxuriant and fishy XO sauce. Hold on to the tongues and either crunch them whole (if you are a veteran) or eat the flesh off the bony center of the tongue."
Los Angeles: Hwal A Kwang Jang
(730 S. Western Ave., 213-386-6688)
Zimmern says "Sannakji octopus is served, legs still wriggling, with sea salt and sesame oil for dipping. The first time I ate this I skipped the sesame oil. Big mistake. The oil prevents the octopus legs from affixing to your teeth and gums and crawling out of your mouth. They're crispy and chewy, sweet on the tongue and faintly briny."