Wednesday, November 26, 2008

I Think I Ate A.....(meow)

So, we left off with the Cabo story yesterday. As I was saying, we were strolling down the street and decided to just wing it and find a restaurant on our own. As we were approaching the Hacienda del Cuervo, there was a lively mariachi band playing at the entrance to beckon us to come in. We hesitated, but after glancing at the daily special posted, we decided the price was great, the atmosphere looked great, and the band was great. How bad could it be? And we might have a new favorite restaurant logged in our travel memories.
We were quickly ushered through an open air courtyard and seated. There were about 30 tables and exactly three of them had customers seated; including us. We ordered the special right away (3 tacos, chicken, beef, fish and one beer: $5) and as we waited for them, I looked over to the nearest occupied table and the American couple seated was arguing with the server about his bill. Details are sketchy, but American couple was standing their ground, despite the 9 mafia-looking servers standing to the side, hands behind their backs, watching the patrons every move, and taking turns approaching the table to find out why they were being so "difficult".

Suddenly, the happy, festive music stopped. I looked to the entrance of the courtyard where they had been playing, and realized, they weren't the Hacienda del Cuervo band; they were roving from one eatery to the next. For some reason, it gave me a crystal clear signal that things were not as they appeared on the other side of the courtyard gate.

It was very quiet, and the two other tables of customers had very worried expressions. I looked at Hubby and said, "Let's get outta here. I have a creepy feeling." If it weren't for the beers we were drinking and the food we'd already ordered (oh, and a dozen mafioso looking dudes staring at us), we'd have bailed.

Then came the bizarro exchange. One of the waiters, very young, maybe 15ish, came to the table and Hubby asked him a question. Bizarro laughed really, really hard. Hubby laughed along with him, to sort of soften the awkwardness of what we thought was a language barrier. Bizarro's eyes suddenly turned e-vil and he mocked Hubby's laugh, as if Hubby had been firstly mocking his laugh. Un. comfortable. Bizarro walked away, El Ticked Off-o.

Our food arrived and the presentation was actually good. There were three rolled tacos, stacked and garnished in such a way that would make Ramsay proud. Bizarro had a weird smirk on his face while he gave us our food, however. I tried to brush it off and chalk him up as "not right". Now, there were supposed to be three kinds of meat, chicken, fish and beef. The first one I took a bite of was stark white meat. I chewed, and chewed and chewed. The mafia was watching every bite we took...(*imagine crickets chirping*) More chewing, no swallowing. It was not fish. But it definitely wasn't chicken. Or even pork. I looked at Hubby. He was still chewing his first bite as well. We had panicked faces, but decided to try the next taco. I had to discreetly spit my food into my napkin. I just couldn't swallow it, it was like a tough piece of steak that just wouldn't go away.

I bit into the next taco, and the meat was identical looking. I cut open the third taco. Identical stark white, stringy meat. We chugged our beers, and asked for the check. They totally overcharged us by double, but we were so uncomfortable and sick to our stomachs, that we just paid and left. The whole time, the servers and kitchen crew were standing on the stairs watching us. It was the craziest restaurant experience I've ever had, and I just had a terrible feeling I couldn't shake the rest of the trip.

Later that night, we finally discussed it. It was like the experience was too hideous to talk about for several hours. We analyzed the white meat. We went over and over what meat it couldn't be, because of the missing obvious characteristics of poultry or fish. It was unidentifiable. There was no other meat like it that we've ever had.
And that is when we decided, it was probably cat.
PS. If you click on the link, you'll see the restaurant is now out of business. Hmmm...wonder why?
PPS. Who here thinks I did eat a cat? Could anyone help soothe my soul by telling me another less repulsive possibility?


alexandra's kitchen said...

oh what an incredibly awful experience. I feel sick to my stomach just thinking about it. and it's not even the idea of you eating cat that weirds me out the most — it's the restaurant and waiters and the whole thing. I would have no idea what cat would taste like, so I can't offer any opinion on the matter, but the meat surely sounds mysterious. yikes!

Cris, Artist in Oregon said...

Oh how horrible. Just the creepy atomosphere. Who knows what it could have been. Makes me think they didnt like Americans much and took it out in that manner. I guess one should only go to places they are recommended to. Or never order anything with meat of any kind. This creeps me out more then the cockroaches and that was pretty bad. LOL

Denise said...

That is so awful....UGH...and I could not handle sitting there while those people stared. Creepy creepy.

Nanny Goats In Panties said...

Oh. My. God. THAT is the creepiest story I've ever heard. Sounds like a surreal scene from a movie. The only thing missing is that your waiter didn't turn into a scary clown.

Freaky! And I'm sorry to say if it wasn't a cat, then it was a previous "problem" customer.

There. Does that make you feel any better?

Paula said...

That is so horrible! Although, as always you tell the story with humor :) Bravo! :)
Happy early Turkey Day!

Cassoulet Cafe said...

You are SO CORRECT...I seriously could handle the cat eating thing, if it weren't for the absolute creepiness of the whole setting (if you click on the photo of the patio, you'll see ONE guy in that stance on the steps, but when we were there it was 9 or 10)

I felt like I was in the Twilight Zone or on Candid Camera. Very creepy. Very disconcerting for sure.

Again, CREEPY is THE word for this story. We cannot overemphasize this :)

Cassoulet Cafe said...

Nanny Goat,
Seriously if that guy had turned into a clown, (and I'm imagining the horror movie type) I would not be telling you this story. I'd be dead from fear.

Yep, I can't tell a weird story without trying to make it funny :) Because it's just too...CREEPY.

~TessaScoffs said...

Not hungry for thanksgiving now. thanks.

Le laquet said...

Oh dear god! I ... umm ... guess you might have eaten cat?!? I couldn't have swallowed - no way Jose! Ah the joys of holiday food eh?

Anna Lefler said...

Oh, my God - you're killing me! Any chance at all that it might have been rattlesnake?

Yup. I'd go with rattlesnake.

BTW, just gave you a shout-out over at my "pad"...

Happy Thanksgiving!

:^) Anna

Deb said...

Was that roving band playing the theme from the Twilight Zone? Ugh. What a horrible experience. According to the Chinese restaurants, cat needs to be soaked in MSG and buried in rice to be palatable.

thepreppyprincess said...

This is truly horrible. Awfully creepy Miss Cassoulet; it seems much beyond any Twilight Zone story because of the thugs hovering nearby. I counted four in the photo.

Were you the last to leave?

thepreppyprincess said...

Duh on the preceding question -- you all dashed out before the other two tables.

Fifi Flowers said...

YUk... I have wondered if I was eating cat at an Asian restaurant... it didn't seem liek "chicken"... hmmmm
When in Cabo... stick with FISH!

Vicki said...

Oh, I'm sorry, but I don't have any uplifting ideas...I'm just glad you spit out your meat. These are the moments that you (well at least I do) have to remind myself that vengeance is the Lord's and it definitely wouldn't be appropriate to go back down there, hunt those guys down and shove dead rats in their mouths. Oops, did I say that?

Laura said...

I think in this situation a don't ask don't tell policy would be best. So sorry and I have also felt like this when I was visiting Rosarito Mexico :)

sassy stephanie said...

Puuuuukke! OMgosh. I can't believe that! I sure hope the beers were capped and not on tap!

MuseSwings said...

I popped over from Anna's just in time to read a scary Steven King story. I wish I could help you out with some mystery meat ideas, but you instinct is (erp) probably right. I'm glad you survived your creepy experience with a sense of humor!

Blicky Kitty said...

Yikes meow.

Well in my travels I've eaten, boar, mutton, tripe, alligator, snail, worms and sparrow. I guess it's all a question of food culture. Like goat grosses us out and some cultures are good with it. I knew some people in Italy that had to eat cat during WWII in order to survive.

Actually the evil smile thing would have creeped me out more.

La Belette Rouge said...

Must remember not to eat breakfast before I read your posts!!;-) I hope that was not a kitty taco. What a horror!!

Anonymous said...

yikes...that sent chills down my spine..

Goat? Any chance it was goat?


Braja said...

Now would be a good time to become a vegetarian. I mean holy crap.... CAT MEAT????