Petting Zoo

November 2009     San Francisco

The event billed as “Petting Zoo” was was sold out when I arrived, but of course this did not stop me: “You don’t understand.  I need to be here.”   I stood my ground.  The organizers finally relented, and I weaseled my way in.

Think Meat.  There was a pig on a spit out in the alley off Folsom Street, behind the aptly named Bloodhound bar.  I kind of scowled at it, since it was lacking all legs, shoulders, hams and knuckles, the best parts.  Meanwhile, I savored the complimentary bacon-enhanced whiskey concoction and watched two chefs at two tables butcher a goat and a sheep, in different ways.  Trays of meat floated around during all of this:  blood sausage, fresh chitterlings, rabbit/duck/olive meatballs basted in internal pig fat, beer sausage, chorizo, and other unidentifiable meaty nuggets.   Still, I was thinking “All you can eat? Yeah, right.  I’ve heard this before.”

I learned a thing or two about butcher tools and cuts, while sampling the good beer selection.  The chefs (Ryan Farr from Ivy Elegance and Taylor Boetticher from Fatted Calf) hacked out ribs, tenderloins and steaks from the animals and ground up sausage by mixing the remaining tougher cuts with helpings of pig lard. Many a glutton hovered close by, asking arcane questions and getting specific answers.

Finally the trussed pig made his way through the crowd at shoulder level, looking like a glazed tropical hardwood log, but with a head.  The chef raised his blade, and with one slice, went all the way through.  Oops, my mistake – they had first de-boned the whole animal, and stuffed the prime lower-pig cuts up inside it.  The cross-section glistened and oozed fat like a turducken. Oh, my.  We ate heavily, and elbowed to share the cracklins.

The best part of the whole night:  watching a robust fat girl, sweating profusely from gastronomic exertions, streaming sweat under her eyes, literally jumping up and down while squealing “Ear! Ear! Ear!”  Taylor shrugged, carved out a roasted pig’s ear and handed it to her directly.  I have only fed pigs’ ears to a neighbor’s pit bull, and now wondered what I had been missing.

I was fat and sweating by all of 830, groaning and belching but reaching for another lamb-goat-burger, and finally wheelbarrowing my bloated self out of there with a maple-bacon-brownie in each and every hand.  I could not have eaten a wafer-thin mint afterwards.

Do not miss the next circus carnivorous event.  I will be there.  In fact, this is yet another reason why I will not leave this town until they someday cart me off to a museum in a box full of salt, feet-first and tits-up.


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2 Responses to “Petting Zoo”

  1. tew Says:

    Somehow I think if you’d have made it to South Carolina you’d be enjoying similar delicacies, only minus the pomp and sincere chatter about honoring the animal, but with plenty of said fat girls yanking for the good parts.

  2. pitbull attacks Says:

    That is pretty instresting. I think that pitbulls are just very misunderstood

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