Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Trompe L'Oeil Pour La Bouche

What's this? A Chicago style hot dog on a sesame seed bun? With its traditional tomato and neon-green pickle relish? And a side of fries with ketchup?

No! It's cake! Pound cake bun, chocolate chip poppy seeds and more waffle cut cake for the fries. With lots of artery-clogging "ketchup" icing.

Creating this confection at the park district made my girls happier than eating the results.

Ew. And what's this? Some disgusting leftovers from a late night poker game? Can't you just smell the stinky soot? My throat is closing up and my stomach's churning, just from the sight of it.

Well this, my friends, was a savory course at Moto, where Randy and I had our recent eleventh anniversary dinner. A Cuban sandwich made with brined pork shoulder and pickles, costumed as a Cuban cigar. A Monte Cristo with Iberico ham and Manchego cheese disguised as a Montecristo smoke. And a veggie version with smoked and pureed red pepper for the illusion of burning embers. All wrapped in collard green "tobacco" leaves with edible wrappers. White and black sesame seeds were finely ground to give the illusion of ash, then freeze dried so a misty "smoke" wafted up as the dish was served.

A burst of laughter and "That's disgusting!" was my shocked reaction when this Halloween dish arrived at our table. "That's a new one," said our waiter. "Although I have heard, 'I'm not eating that.'"

And I almost didn't. Had to lift my napkin and hold it between my eyes and all the repugnant baggage those little sandwiches held.

"Now I know what the girls feel like when I offer them a new food," I told Randy. I think I could more easily have eaten a cricket. Of course, they were delicious.

And finally, not really an optical illusion, but cute nonetheless. The remains of one of the celebratory lunches for the Optimus 15th anniversary week. They also munched on Big Star with a side of live mariachi band, Donut Vault for breakfast and Lowry's prime rib served from their rolling silver carts.

The day Randy sent this pic, I had a veggie hot dog for lunch and the girls declared their grilled cheese burnt and inedible. Sigh.


Technoprairie said...

Joe once made me a "baked potato" which was ice cream molded into a potato shape and rolled in cocoa powder. Whipped cream was the sour cream, candied rosemary was the chives, yellow frosting frozen and sliced were the butter pats. And it was delicious!

Cindy Fey said...

YUM!! Oh, is he clever!