Neighborhood Eats: Animal, pt 1

Yes, I am most certainly breaking the Animal post into parts. There was too much food and too much fun to be distilled into one post.

My parents came into town for a day this weekend, and we spent a few hours catching up and having a yumtastic brunch at Animal. My parents and I are bonafide omnivores, and while Magneto avoids seafood, he certainly enjoys most of our family favorites.

Animal is a shared plates kind of restaurant, and the four of us are all comfortable enough with each other that we don’t mind family style serving. We started with the melted p’tite basque, chorizo, and grilled bread. The presentation was different from what I expected – I thought we’d get part of a wheel and some slices of Spanish chorizo. Instead, we were served a tart dish of chorizo slices covered in gooey melted cheese. It made for a much more convenient serving style, and allowed us to taste the flavors of the cured sausage married with the creamy cheese more fully.

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Next came the avocado toast, chunks of avocado smashed onto toasted, crusty bread (top photo). Garnished with radishes, lemon, and a red chili-furikake combination that looked spicy but tasted like roasted heaven, this dish was devoured by all of us pretty quickly. Magneto was a bit concerned that the furikake would have a fishy flavor, seeing as it is often made with dried fish and seaweed, but there was no seafood taste at all. Quite a feat!

Our barbecue pork belly sliders were also tasty. The pork belly fat had been rendered nicely, and the meat itself was fall-apart tender. The sauce was a bit aggressive, and the slaw could have been more plentiful to balance that out, but it was overall a successful dish that my dad and I enjoyed.

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With glasses of iced tea and water, our brunch was off to a great start! Tomorrow: more decadent dishes from two of my favorite local chefs…

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