“Rats on the West Side, Bedbugs Uptown”

The latest report out of China that rat meat was sold to restaurants and then plated as lamb gives new meaning to all the fuss about food labeling.  Stateside, there is lots of noise about GMOs and tilapia sold as grouper, but compared to rat meat as lamb?  I mean, gee whiz.

Restaurants indeed are puzzling.

The biggest trend these days, thank goodness, isn’t rodents-to-lamb cuisine, but Stoner Cuisine.  The epitome of this is, “Fat and Salt,” a new place in Queens.  Now there’s a label that sticks.  More broadly, restaurants, staffed by tats as cuffs and piercings like acupuncture, are serving up high fat, high salt, pork laden dishes best enjoyed when one has had too much to drink.  Hence, the term, “libations,” rather than drinks.  At $15 a pop for a cocktail, it had better be a libation.

Here’s a specific example: Bucatini with nettles @ Clink.  Delicious, really, but served with butter.  Lots of butter.  Why?  Well, butter packs more flavor than olive oil and it’s far cheaper than using the good olive oil that is needed.

So maybe it’s better to stay at home.  Look, I got three bunches of ramps for $13.  Used one bunch with pasta last night and tossed it with fava beans and grated parmigiano.  Tasty, simple, well priced–$4.33 for three people–and easy and fast to prepare.

And best of all?  No rats.

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