Urban Crust's Mussels -- Good Enough to Question Your Religious Convictions
Though it violates every Jewish dietary law my ancestors held sacred, I've eaten many a mussel in my day. For me, it's as much about their taste as their texture: more chewy than oysters, less chewy than squid. (I know, Oma. I know.) I've indulged that texture in every sauce imaginable: red sauce, white wine and butter, mussels steamed in beer, in coconut broth, in a sausage and fennel concoction. Each broth, in its own right, not only enhances the flavor of bivalvia mollusca (sounds delish), it provides the requisite sopping ingredient for whatever bread, toast, cracker or crumb that accompanies the dish.
Although I don't hesitate to order mussels, I was beginning to feel their broth held few surprises -- that is, until I visited Urban Crust in Plano last Saturday night. That's where I experienced "mussels oven roasted with a green tomatillo sauce." Yes, this little slice of Uptown in the 'burbs is renowned for its pizza, but the bread served for sopping is similar to its pizza crust. And the tomatillo sauce gives the mussels a tangy kick of Tex-Mex that would make Matt's Rancho Martinez proud. Now my grandmother's another story.
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