Cat got your tongue? No, I do.


I was a little hungry, and would have to dance in just a couple of hours. I was looking for a place to read my book, have some tea, and maybe a scone… but then I saw Pastrami Queen. Alright, if anyone’s going to name a place something like that, I’m going to have to eat there. And it looked promising.

It was quite the New York experience.

I planned on ordering the lunch special, soup and a sandwich, it seemed light enough. When I examined the menu, I realized that I had the potential to cross something off my list of rare foods I had never tried before, tongue. From the list of sandwiches I had the choice of center tongue or tip tongue. Being naive, I asked the waitress her preference and then went with that, which was center tongue (it made sense to me, the center of the tongue had to be more consolidated muscle… right? And just asking, who’s tongue is this? I guess I’ve never asked who’s butt I was knawing on so why start now?)

My soup was a Mushroom Barley soup. It was fine, quite fine (add a hoity toity accent to that). It didn’t change my life but I enjoyed every drip.

Then it came. Served on a humble white plate with a pickle that had been cloven in two, as if the pickle had been the sacrifice for this god of a sandwich I was about to confront. It sat there on the plate with a certain posture of intimidation. If it had legs it would have been kicking its hooves back like a bull. The rye bread on either side splayed obidiently open allowing for the mass of tongue to lurch out at me. Its chow time.


With images of tongues lapping through my head I bravely drew the beast to my face and bit.

Oooh! Tongue…Mmmm…Tongue, tongue…Yum…More than one tongue in my mouth…Delish…Who’s tongue is this…Almost like cheese… Wow…My tongue is aiding in the consumption of more tongue…I like it!

Surprisingly, I discovered myself chewing through the entire monster. I enjoyed the tongue. It was like a primitive experience for me but with really good rye bread and in the Upper East Side.

Feeling the need to celebrate my triumph, I asked for a dessert. I again chose the thing I had never heard of, Ragula, or Ruggies, some type of Jewish cookie. They come warm, as if they were just pulled out of the oven. They’re like rolls of dough with chocolate or cinnamon and raisens- yummy.


I managed to stomach all six (she only laughed when I asked for just three) and then race through the bitter (I need to emfasize bitter) cold to my last dance class of the day. Luckily, I digested the whole experience just soon enough to start leaping and contracting again.

Tongue? Check!


3 thoughts on “Cat got your tongue? No, I do.

  1. Stephanie says:

    Oh. Wow. I am not sure that I could eat tongue. I have eaten a lot of things, insects included, but there’s something about the tongue that creeps me out. That said, they sure made it look good… I just imagined you’d have this giant mouth-muscle lying between two slices of bread, so at LEAST they have the decency to slice it thin. But kudos to you, because now you KNOW what that’s all about. If I end up at the Pastrami Queen some day, I’m getting a pastrami sandwich ;-).

  2. rita says:

    Tongue! Well done. I think your Grandma and Grandpa have eaten tongue and it never once tempted me. Did they serve mustard with that? I would have to have mustard just to make it feel more like an every day occurrence…”I’ll have tongue, center cut, on rye with mustard please.” I accidentally ate pig brains one time. (I misinterpreted the Spanish menu.) That was frightening. I couldn’t back out either. Once I ordered I was so respected by those around me that I had to continue on as if I did it intentionally. Not bad. Just a little rubbery at times.
    A tongue, eating a tongue?! You crack me up! Good writing.Thanks for the laugh!

  3. Padre says:

    It looks like the slice up the whole tung for your sandwich. My Mom used to cook tung and it does make a great meal.

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