Happy Saturday! How is your weekend so far? I had a lovely evening last night with a bunch of friends, nearly all of whom I’ve mentioned or talked about on this blog at some point. Robyn was there, as was Lisa, and so was Joe and Giana. In fact, the only person in attendance that I haven’t ever mentioned before was my friend Blair, who I haven’t seen in a few years. So congrats on your first blog mention, Blair!
We met at a restaurant/bar in Burbank called Michael’s. I’ve been to Michael’s many times before, but not in a few years. Michael’s calls itself a “Mardi Gras Steak and Seafood House.” I opted to eat dinner beforehand so I didn’t even have to crack the menu open.
While I enjoyed a few bottles of sparkling water, my companions ordered food, and, a little while later, the food arrived. The waiter started setting down plates, and said, “OK, who ordered the gator?” There were some quizzical looks, because no one had ordered the gator. “Oh, that was my mistake,” said the waiter. “I’m sorry about that. Would anyone like to try the gator? It’s on the house.” I was curious – I don’t think I’ve ever had gator before – and some others were curious, too, so the gator stayed.
According to the menu, the Fried Gator was “Gator nuggets tossed in a light breading and fried crispy. Served with our Cajun dipping sauce.” I wasn’t interested in the breading, which also had a buffalo-like sauce on it, so I took a few pieces of gator and peeled the breading off. It was dark, and I didn’t have my camera, but a got a picture with my cell phone:
That’s Blair’s fork on the right, with a breaded gator nugget. My fork is on the left, with a de-breaded gator nugget.
So how was the gator? It wasn’t bad! A touch on the chewy side. As the picture shows, it kinda looks like chicken, but it’s denser than chicken. The texture is more steak-like, and it wasn’t nearly as gamey as I thought it might be. I don’t think I’d go out of my way to find or eat gator again, but since gator isn’t really on menus very often (at least outside of Louisiana), that probably means it will be a long time before I eat it again, if ever. I’m glad I tried it… you know me, always willing to try something new!
Because I was curious, I just looked up some nutritional information. Per serving, gator is higher in calories than chicken – almost twice as many calories. But gator is also a protein powerhouse, with 46g per serving (over twice as much protein as chicken), so that explains the calorie count (46g, by the way, is almost all your protein needs for the entire day). Gator is also very lean, with about the same amount of fat as chicken, and because it’s free of cholesterol and saturated fat, gator is considered a heart-healthy protein source.
Until you bread and fry it. Which is why I’m glad I peeled the breading off.
Have you ever eaten gator? Have you ever cooked it? Do you like it? Share your thoughts in the comments section!
Keep it up, David!