Growing Market For Bizarre Foods

Deep fried eel bones. Goat eyeball tacos. Breaded blowfish. All badass-sounding items featured at New York City restaurants both luxe (bones at Sushi Yasuda and blowfish at Oceana) and low (eyeballs at Taqueria Puebla in Staten Island). says ingest one of these babies and you’ll have a story to impress your foodie friends–and gross out your less-adventurous ones–for months. Which is exactly what some of the restaurateurs offering these delicacies want you to do: Get people talking about, say, barbecued pigs head, and hopefully you’ll have them flocking to your place just to say they’ve had them.

There’s a huge interest level in this,” says Bizarre Foods host Andrew Zimmern. “Diners are seeing people like Tony [Bourdain] and myself talking about how great this all tastes. There’s also that sense–like in the getemono bars in Tokyo–where it’s people trying to out-macho each other by eating this stuff.”

So are diners biting? “It sells pretty well,” says Pollinger, who offers the blowfish as a $29 bar special, served with a half-dozen oysters and a glass of Porterhouse Oyster Stout. “At least 30 orders a night.”

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