Thursday, July 7, 2011

gator, y'all?

Everybody here has been raving about a fairly newish restaurant/pub sensation that's recently opened up in this sleepy, little lake side town. Sara, Dave, Keith, and I decided to head on over for lunch. The owner/cook/waiter, amazingly, was the head chef at the Canyon's Resort in Park City, Utah. (Our home state.) Originally from Georgia, Chris moved here at the suggestion of his mother and opened up a place of his own. Upscale menu. Approachable, real, and dang good food, too.

Now, it just so happened that Chris catered a Cajun themed party last night. (Such a coincidence because my dad is a full blooded Cajun himself. I grew up eating good, old Cajun cookin'.) He had a bunch of stuff for us to try. The menu changes daily and he'll pretty much make anything you feel like, or he feels like cooking.

He recommended the grilled alligator kabob. Yes, you heard right: ALLIGATOR.

This was way out of my comfort zone, people. Besides the fact that I don't eat meat these days. Mostly the fact that alligators freak me out. Like... they give me bad dreams. Like... snakes do to me, too.


I got up my gumption. I told everyone how proud Dad would be of us. That Papa Reno and the rest of my deceased ancestors would be so proud that we were honoring our heritage. (I think you can tell I was trying to talk myself into this thing.)

While we were making small talk, this image wouldn't leave my mind.

He finally brought the kabob out. This might not be so bad, I thought. It smelled delectable, plated on a puddle of finger licking good sauce. I placed a little morsel on my fork and hesitatingly brought it to my mouth. All I can say was that it tasted like a mix of chicken and pork. If I didn't know it was alligator, I think I would have actually enjoyed it.

We also shared this grilled romaine salad. Wow, this was really good. I had seen grilled romaine in a magazine and thought it was different and something I hadn't thought of doing.

Here's how he prepared it: He sliced it in half, oiled the cut side, seasoned with salt and pepper and then cooked it briefly face down on the grill. It was dressed with a warm balsamic dressing with caramelized red onions mixed with thickly cut chunks of bacon, and topped with a blue cheese crumbles. (I picked those out.)

Everyone ordered sandwiches. Sara pulled pork, Keith a Reuben, and Dave a Cuban. They were all pleased. Chris modified a Cajun pasta (no shrimp, just veggies) and I was very happy and satisfied.

We were there for over an hour and a half. We laughed. We talked. So much fun. Very much worth the wait for made- to- order, delicious, from-scratch food.

Even if it was alligator.


  1. Sounds fun! That actually reminds me in sort of a convoluted way of a memory from when your father was a brand new mission president and I was a seasoned missionary of two months or so ;-). He and your mom came to Setubal where I was serving and the branch put on a big buffet spread. I remember him walking over to me and Sister Tinney and saying "Sisters, what is 'lulas'?" When we said squid, he decided he'd pass, lol. -Kristina Eide

  2. Brave and good for you!Let never be said you didn't handle a gator! I might never presume to say the same! It sounds like really good food adventure! I love grilled romaine!