The hotel we were staying at in Durango is listed as one of the finest in the guide books. It is located in a 19th century building with huge rooms, a grand staircase and a restaurant that is popular with the locals.
We were very intrigued by the restaurant. They offered a partial buffet each night, boasting 18 salads and 21 meats. So our last night in Durango was a no brainer as to where to eat.
The restaurant was located in the interior of the hotel, surrounded on all sides by the upper floor walkways. It was possible to walk around and look down into the restaurant, which was semi elegantly laid out. Semi elegant to me is cloth napkins!
There was a huge table sat up in the middle with the salads going all the way around. There was a quite a choice and variety. We sampled many of them but were saving ourselves for the 21 meats. In retrospect, I don't know what we were thinking. I don't think I could even name you 21 different kinds of meat. Let alone 21 that I would consider eating!
We were not allowed to choose our meat. Nor was it display for us to pick from. Each course of meat was brought to our table by a wonderfully friendly waiter. Large pieces of meat were served shishkebob style, skewered onto a sword! The waiter hovered over your plate and slid off as much meat as you wanted.
First out was chunks of pork. Delicious. Then came chicken. Followed by chunks of Filet Mignon. Then another kind of pork, more beef and more chicken. Then came a piece that we didn't recognize.
It was long and squiggled its' way up the sword. We asked what it was. The waiter just smiled and said we should give it a try and see if we could guess. My delighted smile at the meal so far quickly turned to worry lines on my brow. I am not a great fan of mystery meat. But then, nothing ventured, nothing gained.
He slid two pieces each off the sword and almost swashbuckled away, leaving us to figure it out. The taste was not bad. Rather bland except for the seasoning and charcoal grilled flavor. But the texture! Oh my. It was like eating meat flavored sand. Very rough and grainy. We unanimously decided that it was not all that bad but we didn't want any more of it.
The waiter returned and asked for our verdict. We told him our thoughts and then he informed of us of what we had just eaten. Beef esophagus! I admit, I would never had tried it had he told us what it was. But I'm glad I did.
After that we asked for more servings of pork and Filet Mignon please!