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TOM TOM TRIES: Eating Odd Food

See what happens when our staff members take a turn at tasting some Twisted Cuisine.

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While brainstorming ideas for this magazine’s Tom Tom Tries, we decided we wanted to do something out of the norm. Instead of trying a sport we both knew we would fail at, we decided to step out of our comfort zone and try weird foods. Twisted Cuisine is a restaurant located in Kenosha, Wis. that cooks food with weird ingredients, catching many of their customers off guard.

Lauryn Hugener

I’m not going to lie–on my way to Twisted Cuisine, I stopped to order fries and a Coke because I knew I wouldn’t be able to eat my entire meal. I was right.

I’m a vegetarian and have been for a few years, and I wasn’t planning to break that streak for Tom Tom Tries, even though the menu was almost entirely carnivorous. I normally prefer raw vegetables, but for my entree I settled for a cauliflower steak, which was essentially a large hunk of cauliflower that was grilled like a normal steak.

The cauliflower steak didn’t look like I thought it would–it was very puffy and hard to cut (even with a steak knife) because of the multiple branches of the cauliflower. It had a jade-green pesto sauce, but also a red seasoning that was almost undetectable by taste but bright by sight. The seasoning didn’t look like much, but its extreme spiciness added a kick to the cauliflower that would’ve otherwise been bland. The steak itself had the texture of undercooked hashbrowns, which was slightly unappealing, but different; I think if it had been cooked to a crisp (in terms of a real steak, well done), I would have been more willing to eat the rest of it.

Allison Smith

For dessert, we ordered crème brûlée, which has the texture of pudding on the inside and is coated by a caramelized topping. To reach the creamy pudding, one has to break the top layer of hardened sugar–we all agreed the pudding was better than the topping. The top layer was too sweet to eat more than a tiny portion at once, paired with a much larger portion of pudding. However, it was a normal and refreshing ending to a meal full of new experiences.

After scanning the menu, I was pretty nervous by the choices I had for dinner. I am not the biggest fan of seafood, so I knew going in that I would try to avoid fish and sea creatures. After showing my concern to our waiter, she suggested ordering the marrow butter as an appetizer and trying the pig cheek as the main dish. Because Lauryn is a vegetarian, I knew I was going to be on my own for trying both of these entrees.

The bone marrow butter arrived first. It was served in a small cup with rolls on the side, and looked like whipped cream. It grossed me out knowing that the butter came from an animal’s bone marrow, so I tried to pretend it was normal butter. After the first bite, I was taken by surprise; it tasted like a creamier version of normal butter, and it was really tasty. The entire time I was eating my appetizer I was thinking about having to eat pig cheek next– it scared me the most.

After chowing down on rolls, the pig cheek finally arrived. Knowing I had to face my fear, I cut into the tender meat and took a quick bite. I expected it to be tough to cut and chewy, but in reality it was tender and soft. It tasted like normal pot roast, and paired with the mustard, it was really good. I wasn’t a big fan of the aftertaste it left, but with the spicy mustard it was easy to get over. Overall, I loved that Twisted Cuisine got me out of my comfort zone to try new foods; without taking on this Tom Tom Tries, I would have never willingly tried pig cheek or bone marrow butter.

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TOM TOM TRIES: Eating Odd Food