[Pigging by Wilfrid: March 2, 2017]
This return bout with The Cannibal was prompted by daughter's remark that she'd never eaten steak tartare. In fact, that's not quite true. What she actually said was, she'd never eaten camel tartare.
Well, neither have I, nor the braised hoof of the dromedary--and we can thank "Chopped' for the revelation. But it did lead to a discussion of whether she'd eaten tartare at all.
She's certainly eaten rare meat, and I may have fed her some raw when she was young, out of sight of her mother, but if she recalls no tartare or carpaccio, she might as well not have eaten. So we had our mission.
The Cannibal, for those who have missed it, is a jolly place; walls lined with shelves and fridges of beer, a butcher shop in the rear, and seating either at the long bar or at the butcher's counter. It is not a place to consume the full food pyramid.
I was surprised that their tartare didn't turn out to be classic. It had been tweaked, I suppose, by the addition of a blanket of cool béarnaise sauce, which was doing too convincing an impersonation of sour cream. Crispy shallot pieces too. The meat buried beneath was tasty enough, so mission accomplished: but I'm concerned my daughter might think steak tartare is some kind of blanquette.
We filled up on excellent sandwiches. One, a special, featured pâté and pork shoulder with melted Gruyère on a soft Pullman toast, with a housemade fruit chutney on the side.
Plus the signature pig's head Cuban, a snack I last ate on a hot day in Madison Park, where it seemed unduly rich and to go on forever.
Shared with a hungry teenager on a winter's day, it went down much more easily. The pig's head, of course, substitutes for the roast pork.
I do like this place when it's quiet, which it often isn't in the evening; and prices are fair--$12 to $15 for each of the items here.