Sunday, July 05, 2009

Tastes Like Chicken

On my last night in Orlando while driving around looking for a place to eat, friend and coworker Larry Guinn got a call from one of his employees telling him that he had to try a restaurant that was very different from the normal chain.

After driving 45 minutes out of town past 8 toll booths and well out of the Orlando city limits we drove down several winding trails until we reached the Black Hammock Recreational Area. Once there we saw that there were two bars, one restaurant and an airboat tour company.

We sat down in the covered, screened in patio of the Black Hammock restaurant and ordered some of the local samplings. We ordered a half-pound of alligator tail in buffalo wing sauce. Larry ordered the Florida Sampler consisting of a whole fried catfish, alligator and several frog legs. I thought that the legs would be miniscule, but it turned out that they were the size of a small drumstick.

I ordered a half-pound of blackened alligator. The consistency was tender, the meat flavorful, but the first thing I noticed was that it tasted like chicken. Upon asking I found out that the restaurant procures their alligator two different ways. They either get it from local hunters and in that case the meat ends up tasting pretty gamey, like fish seeing as that is the larger part of the animals diet in the wild. The "free range" meat that I was eating was farm raised and was fed chicken hence the flavor.

Upon telling Jill what I had for dinner and what it tasted like, her response was, "why just not eat Chicken?"

1 comment:

Dominic said...

I spent about 6 months in Florida back in the 80's. At first I loved the alligator dishes, then over time I got sick of them - not because of the meat's flavor, but because of the preparation - the restaurants insisted on piling on coconut shavings!

btw: I thought alligator tasted more like lobster than chicken