The Ultimate Duck

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Cask & Larder – Orlando, FL

There is nothing quite like a Christmas ham, or should I say, there used to be nothing quite like a Christmas ham until Cask & Larder created their Christmas Miracle, the Duck Ham. Yes, naughty never tasted so nice. Faithfully emulating the pig that inspired it, the duck version, like any good apprentice, surpasses the master. Guess you could say it is the ultimate “Angry Birds” revenge. Served over a bed of nutty faro, the contrast between sweet and savory and earthy is like getting everything your mouth had on its wish list.

Elan – New York, NY

As if it weren’t bad enough that the duck muscled in on pork’s turf with the Duck Ham (above), now the bird is going after the cow. Perhaps this is retribution for the long-running Chick Fil A campaign? Well, whatever the reason, Elan’s duck & foie gras burger puts about 98% of your cow burgers in the city to shame, save the Black Label and the Bash. Admittedly it’s more of a hoity-toity burger, but if hoity-toity tastes like this, who gives a cow’s ass? Also, if you’re really into self loathing or simply find that you’ve been too healthy lately and want to swing the pendulum in the other direction, I highly recommend getting it with the Bearnaise sauce and a fried egg, coz you’re gonna die anyway, might as well do it with a smile on your face, because as the famous Long Island philosopher Billy Joel once said, “Only the Good Die Young!”

Mizuna – Denver, CO

There is an old saying, “Fuck a Duck.” And albeit crass, I finally understand its true meaning, because if ever there were a duck I would consider for such a bestial act, it would probably be this one. Granted it’s also dead so I suppose I’d be committing necrophilia at the same time. Oh my, has this review gone off the rails. I started with Christmas and now I’ve devolved into doubling down on sexual deviance. Well, getting back to it (assuming I haven’t already lost you), this duck, served with with foie gras dirty rice, is a Cajun masterpiece like no other, with the two poultry-born indulgences teaming up to make a buttery counterbalance to the spicy grains. It might just be the best thing a duck has achieved since Daffy.

 

 

 

The Reel Inn

18661 Pacific Coast Hwy. Malibu, CA 90265(310) 456-8221 • reelinnmalibu.com

 Inside the Reel Inn

It’s a bit of a shack when it comes to décor, but very much with intention, and that’s sort of its charm. Kinda like the restaurant version of a Pug. But the thing I love about this place is that you actually get to choose your piece of fish right out of the case (pictured), as though you were in a fish market, so you know it’s fresh. The other thing I love is that you get to choose how you want it done. I always go blackened with dirty rice and veggies. Oh, and a beer. Or two.

And while this place used to be worthy of the 4 stars you’ll find on TripAdvisor it has unfortunately slid over the last five years or so, hence my lower knife count for a review featuring the word “love” so much. It’s still a solid good, though. But let’s just hope it doesn’t slide any farther or it’ll wind up in the Pacific. Which might be a good thing now that I think of it. A poetic return to its roots, so to speak.

3 teeth