100 Favorite Dishes 2013: No. 75, 'Date With a Pig' at Sparrow Bar + Cookshop
This year, leading up to our annual Menu of Menus issue, Kaitlin Steinberg counts down her 100 favorite dishes as she eats her way through Houston. She'll compile a collection of the dishes she thinks are the most awesome, most creative and, of course, most delicious in town. It's a list of personal favorites, things she thinks any visitor or Houstonian ought to try at least once and dishes that seem particularly indicative of the ever-changing Houston foodscape. It's a list to drool over.
Photo by Carla Soriano These dates seem to have been cut in half. Good call.
"Am I supposed to cut this in half?" I asked the bartender at Sparrow Bar + Cookshop after he served me a walnut-sized, bacon-wrapped date. "Or do you eat it all in one bite?"
"Some people cut it," he said. "Or you could just eat it. Either way."
Clearly this was up to me. I went to cut the petite nugget, but found that it started to flatten under the weight of my knife. I gave up and shoved the whole thing into my mouth, chewed it and swallowed it. And I immediately regretted my decision.
By eating the bacon-wrapped, chorizo-stuffed date all in one bite, I wasn't able to savor it. And as soon as those flavors began to mingle on my tongue, I wished I'd had the patience to cut it or bite it in half to make it last longer. Why hadn't I ordered a whole bowl of these things? And how did so many interesting, complementary flavors come to be in a single bite?