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Chomp! Three-course meal to satisfy before the end of the world

By by jessica rodrigo/jrodrigo@vicad.com
Dec. 19, 2012 at 6:19 a.m.

A surf and turf plate at at The Eagleford restaurant in Cuero includes a 26-oz. porterhouse with crab-stuffed shrimp and a side of the vegetable of the day, not shown.

TRY THIS

If 12/21/12 truly is the end of the world, you might as well indulge and treat yourself to the kind of eats you don't eat on a regular basis. Steak, lobster, oysters, chocolate, creme brulee - you get it. Eat as if there are no consequences because tomorrow may not come. And if it does, just make sure you run a few extra miles on the treadmill.

DETAILS

ADDRESS: 604 N. Esplanade St., Cuero

PHONE: 361-524-5033

HOURS: Lunch: 11 a.m.-2 p.m. Monday-Friday; Dinner: 5-9 p.m. Monday-Thursday; 5-10 p.m. Friday-Saturday

I am always thinking about food: What I'm going to eat an hour from now, for dinner, tomorrow, etc.? With the Mayan calendar predicting the end of the world Friday, I can't help but ask myself, "what will I eat for my last meal?"

Who better to chat with than the executive chef at the Eagleford Restaurant in Cuero. Their menu boasts high-end fare you'd expect from a fine-dining restaurant in Austin or San Antonio, but it's right here in the Crossroads. White tablecloths line the tables, black cloth napkins adorn each place setting, and the service is on par. If you're looking for a place embrace the end of days, this might be it.

Eagleford Executive Chef Sam Hess works six days a week, prepping and cooking at Cuero's fine-dining restaurant, so, naturally, I thought he would be the best person to ask about what people would be likely to order for their last meal. His response: a 26-oz. Porterhouse steak served with two crab-stuffed U-10 shrimp (which comes with the vegetable of the day served on the side, but who wants veggies when asteroids are going to come crashing down, dinosaurs are going to rise from the depths of Earth or Mother Nature is going to unleash her fury on us with tsunamis, tornadoes, earthquakes and volcanic eruptions?).

"The last meal is something which you deny yourself usually," he said with ease and without worry about the Mayan prediction. "There are no consequences and nothing to worry about."

Exactly.

Who cares if you eat a gallon of ice cream for dinner on your last day on Earth? Your gut won't, especially if there's no tomorrow to worry about.

I wasn't going to spend my simulated last day on Earth alone, so who better to join me than Kat? Luke had dinner plans with his parents, so Kat took his seat instead. If it came down to it, I am certain Luke would have been there if it really was our last day on Earth, but this was a simulation, remember?

We were in for a treat: grilled oysters, surf and turf, and, of course, cheesecake for dessert.

To me, fresh oysters are a delicacy. I put them in the same category as champagne and caviar. OK, they might not be that fancy, but they're still up there on my list.

Throw them on the grill in the shell, and you've got a whole new bundle of flavors. Hess cooked up our half dozen oysters with Parmesan butter, garlic and herbsand served them with half a lemon covered in cheesecloth to catch the seeds. Classy.

I love those briny little guys on the half-shell as is, but throw in minced garlic and butter, and I am so in. They were juicy, full of flavor, salty and toasty. I wanted to order another half, but opted to save room for the rest of the three-course meal. Kat had never tried them grilled, so this was a new experience. She enjoyed them enough that she said she'd try them raw next time, if there was a next time (Simulation, remember?).

Next, came our surf and turf. We split the plate - keeping in mind it was a 26-oz. cut of meat; plus, we were ordering dessert - though I think I ate a larger portion than she did. Hess cooked the steak to a perfect medium rare and shrimp were on spot - not overcooked and still succulent. The stuffing had big chunks of crab in it and was seasoned well. The broccoli was served with a hint of garlic and butter and cooked to the perfect tenderness. The steak was moist and tender, and made me feel like a million bucks. It's not often I get to sit down to half a dozen oysters and surf and turf. What a luxury, indeed.

The cheesecake we ordered was the cherry on our sundae of indulgence. The Mississippi mud cheesecake had a thick chocolate crumb crust with nuts and a topping to match. The cheesecake was creamy, and the topping had a equal amount of salty and sweet to offset the richness of the cheesecake.

By the end of the meal, we were as happy as a pair of kids in an ice cream freezer in the middle of summer. It was such a lavish meal (Remember, we don't eat like that every day), and it was quite perfect, at least would have been, for our last meal on Earth.

Wielding a kitchen knife and cutting potatoes for service, Hess offered his predictions for 12/21/12: "I think it's gonna be midnight on the 21st, and then it's gonna be the 22nd."

Hess rang in the new millennium at a concert waiting for something to happen, and said he wasn't surprised when nothing did.

"It's gonna be just like Y2K, nothing's gonna happen."

Jessica Rodrigo

Jessica Rodrigo is skeptical that anything out of the ordinary will happen on 12/21/12. She plans on spending her evening with Luke on the couch eating her favorite ice cream - Blue Bell's Dutch Chocolate. What will your "last meal" be? Tweet me, @eatseatseats.

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