We had dinner at Columbia Steakhouse last night. We have been going down for dinner more frequently ever since we adopted one of the rooftop-born kittens. We sat in our regular booth with our usual cocktails and traded photos of cats and kittens with Flo. Flo took in Midnight, the mother cat, after she gave birth to a litter of kittens on the roof of Columbia's. I guess that makes our kitten, Celie, Flo's granddaughter. Photo swapping and tale telling is an essential family thing.
I really wanted to be adventurous with dinner last night because I can be predictable at times. Michael ordered his usual Nighthawk Special with assorted sides. I bit the bullet and ordered their famous Lamb Fries. Confession: I have never had Lamb Fries, Mountain Oysters, or fried balls of any kind. I can eat anything. There is nothing I won't try. But, I always thought it took balls to eat lamb balls. Period. I have heard that people love them and know that anything deep fried is good. Sold!
As I finished my garden salad, drenched in thier fantastic blue cheese dressing with bacon, tomatoes, and deep fried crunchy croutons, my plate of lamb fries arrived steaming and piping hot with a small dish of cream gravy to the side for dipping. A heaping plate of fried lamb testicles. All for me. Hmmmm.
They looked like chicken livers, my favorite fried internal organs. Good start, I thought, until the right side of my brain kicked in. "Oh, wait!", these aren't internal organs. Back to business. I ate the first one dry without any dipping sauce.
I ate with my hands. Who needs utensils when eating balls, for heavens sake. They are not haute cuisine.
My first deep fried ball.
The stiff hard crust snapped between my teeth and gave way to a creamy salty mouthfeel with a silky mineral taste. Familiar. Tasty, even.
I took a second ball and swiped it through the creamy side sauce. Perhaps too much sauce, it seemed, as it dripped and oozed down my chin. I grabbed another fried morsel to wipe the dripping face cream and stuck it in my mouth. Oh so good.
The pile of lamb fries had the appearance of something to be eaten quickly, like drive-thru fried meat popcorn bits, but these fried balls had a hard smooth texture that invited a slow chew. A salty melt-in-your-mouth swallow. Something to be savored and not rushed. That's how I ate them, with each bite and gulp warming my lips and throat.
Funny, they weren't round, as expected. They were triangular orbs. Tiny fried fat boomerangs. I asked Flo why they were shaped like that. She replied, "You should see what they look like before they are prepped."
All righty, then. That visual closed the small window of my fried testicle fantasy. I ate plenty of them because they were really really good and I will have them again without the drama!. I'm not sure that I could have eaten an entire plate of fried lamb balls. A few in any given night would be eventful and I surely didn't want to be tagged a testicle glutton. Anyway, after the clean up, I was sated and spent.
Our server stopped by to ask if we wanted them boxed up to take home. That's when Michael put his foot down. "There will not be cold balls in our refigerator.", to which a smiling Flo replied, "They are better hot than cold, anyway."