>When i was in Paris, little over two years ago, me and my ex transexual girlfriend, Pete Burns were adventuring around side alleys through a very touristy area of the city. Right across from Norte Dame if i remember right.
It was like a not shit Temple Bar and if Temple Bar had been over taken by sleazy Turkish restaurants.
All the Turkish owners of these Turkish sleaze pits, would stand outside and try solicit us in for a meal and blow jobs. Probably not blow jobs, but it definitely seemed like they wanted to feed us more than just their imported culture.
After a long while of denying solicitation we finally got hungry but to be fucked if we were going to go to a Turkish restaurant. I’m not being racist but if i wanted stupid smelly turk food i would have gone to Berlin.
Incidentally, i did discover the nicest Turkish delight in the world on this same day. It came in chunks as big as my huge man fist and in all sorts of colours and flavours. There was blue flavour. Yellow flavour. Green Flavour. And traditional Red flavour. They were covered in icing sugar and had no chocolate covering. I wasnt aware that chocolate covering on turkish delight was an irish thing until i went to paris.
We walked around, waving and denying our crisp cool celtic tiger euros into those filthy poor turkish faces. But the joke was on us- we were starving. Especially me because i am a man and men feel pain more. It’s why we’re better artists.
Walking along we spied an old Parisian looking bar that served food and food on the cheap too. We go in, sit down. It was cool, i guess. Kinda what you’d expect of any bar serving bar food. Working cliental in groups of four to five, enjoying a quick social beverage after work. The bar was three quarters full and all those French people socialising made me feel kind of lonely.
There were few options on the menu but the duck stood out. Mainly because of the plum sauce. I’m a sucker for fruit infused meals. I’ve had duck several times before and i always found it to be a poor greasy turkey. This prejudice is derived from Irish Chinese food. One should never judge the quality of an animals meat based on a take away dinner, i guess.
The duck arrived. It was presented like a lion of roast pork and was covered in the plum sauce described in the menu.
It was the best meat i have ever tasted. It was soft and cut like what i’d imagine softened wet leather to cut like. The juices and texture was beautiful and excited me. I was simultaneously delighted and saddened that my transexual ex girlfriend Pete Burns was a vegetarian. I didnt have to share and she couldn’t experience this taste. Sickened.
It was the kind of meal where you savor every masticating movement of the jaw and wish that moment could stay forever.
Ever since then, whenever at a restaurant- which is a lot less frequent now because of the recession, if duck is on the menu i feel over whelmed into ordering it. Just to see.
I’ve always been let down. That is until yesterday. We had a family meal in Key Largos to celebrate my father being a father. I didnt get him a card or present and he paid for the meal. Because he’s a great father and i’m a poor son.
The last time i had duck i took a vow never to order it again. Dry, pointless, bland meals. No chef seems to care about how duck is prepared and served. Its a delicious water fowl that deserves decent care and attention. Like all good meats. It seems to be treated either like a chicken or a steak and is always served too dry and misunderstood.
I took a chance because the menu said it would be served on a bed of sweet potato puree. I’m a sucker for sweet potato. It arrived looking vaguely reminiscent of the paris version and had a balsamic vinegar sauce. It was delicious. A little dry in certain areas but it definitely retained the juices and the texture was not exactly soft leather- but i did say medium. I would have said ‘rare’ but i was with my parents and they frown down on my adventurous nature.
It was no Paris duck but it did revive my faith in ducks and no doubt i’ll ultimately order it again and again and be let down again and again, always to be wondering- will this be the one? Will this be my duck?