Food with Its Head On

Luck and timing are a big part of the Dragon Star experience--and there are days when the luck is rotten and the timing bad: There are no crustaceans, the fish have those milk-glazed, sunken eyes that indicate they might as well be left to their maker, and everything smells like you'd rather be eating unidentifiable slabs of headless protein. Preferably in front of a television. With ketchup.

But I like the unpredictable nature and unsettling contradictions of a place that often has the best and friskiest crustaceans in town, and sometimes reminds me why I like writing about food--because it puts me in daily contemplation of the most essential and banal part of the human experience. I wish I could read a book about the many levels of uneasiness with food: Can vegetarians ever fully sympathize with the cattle-herding heroes in Westerns? What do Hindu immigrants think of a world where you're like as not to see cartoon cows advising you to eat them while you flip through magazines? What are the social goals achieved by a table set with six different kinds of forks? Do religions with more extreme food practices exert a better hold on their adherents? What are Thai burritos really saying?

So maybe I'll invite some pals over, splurge on a king crab, set a fire under my bathtub (or do you have a better suggestion for boiling something the size of a stroller?), and just figure it all out.

Christopher Peters

Location Info

Map

Dragon Star Oriental Foods

633 Minnehaha Ave. W.
St. Paul, MN 55104

Category: Retail

Region: Macalester/Groveland

 

TABLEHOPPING

RAISE YOUR KILTS IN THE AIR and wave them like you just don't care: Tablehopping is proud to announce that Brooklyn Park now leads the metro area in the number of full-fledged Scottish theme restaurants--one: MacTavish's Grill and Pub, in the clubhouse at the Edinburgh USA, a "nationally acclaimed public banquet and golf facility," at 8700 Edinbrook Crossing; (612) 315-8535. It would be easy to make fun of this place for the fact that, while they offer a reasonably impressive list of single-malt whiskeys (complete with a map so you can keep track of your Hebrides and your Highlands), they have only one Scottish ale (Tennents, $4) on their beer list--anyone got $2.75 for a Michelob black and tan? But it's even easier to make fun of their menu. So let's. The "Edinburgh quesadilla?" Grilled tortillas filled with smoked chicken, red-onion marmalade, and pepper-jack cheese, finished with cilantro and red-chili crème fraîche? Scotchos? Like nachos, but, oh, never mind. Someone pass the aspirin. I think I sprained my geography.

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