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DUCKS EATERY IN EAST VILLAGE IS SERVING UP A ONE-OF-A-KIND, PLANT-BASED “MEAT”

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MADDIE FLAGER

APR 15, 2019

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IMAGE VIA @DUCKSEATERY | INSTAGRAM

Your eyes aren’t deceiving you — Ducks Eatery’s new “steak” menu item looks like a slab of meat. But plot twist: it’s just a juicy watermelon… that’s been smoked and basted for days. The super-popular plant-based meat is mesmerizing to look at it and is said to taste smoky, salty, and juicy. Not to mention, its ash coating even gives the outside a meaty appearance. Yep, this is vegan food made for carnivores.

OPTICAL ILLUSION

There’s no other way to say it: this thing will freak. you. out. Slice into it with a steak knife and the hunk of melon looks like an actual bleeding piece of meat. Officially called the Whole Smoked Watermelon Ham, this beast takes several days to prep. But if you want to try it out, you’ll need to plan ahead. To order this speciality ham, you have to email the restaurant at info@duckseatery.com at least a week in advance.

Which makes sense because the process is no joke. Chefs slice off the watermelon skin and brine the fruit in coriander, oregano, salt, and ash. It gets dried and smoked, then scored and basted in olive oil, rosemary, and its own fruit juices. To round out the flavor profile, it’s served on a plate with herbs. The whole thing can feed three to five people, though to be fair, it likely won’t fill you up like a T-bone would. And it’ll set you back $75, so bring friends to share.

MEATLESS EATS

Ducks Eatery’s website calls their team “naturalists and explorers at heart”, and one look at the menu will tell you why. While the East Village haunt has plenty of non-meat options, vegetarians won’t go hungry here, watermelon steak or not. The restaurant’s brunch menu features sourdough avocado hummus toast, a Smoked Cantaloupe Burger, and a pumpkin waffle. (Meat-eaters can add fried duck to that, FYI.)

Their dinner menu is separated into snacks, small and large plates, sides, and sweets. Think dishes like salted Persian cucumbers, deviled eggs, top neck clams, and collard greens. For meat-lovers, there are plenty of out-of-the-box dishes, like a smoked whole goat neck. Don’t forget to save room for dessert: current selections include beignets, smoked pot de crème, and bread pudding.

Bon appetit!

✌️

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