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VegasEats: Duck Tongue Taco at Cosmopolitan's China Poblano

By Misnomer on Friday, 2nd March 2012 3:37pm
  » filed under Las Vegas  comments: 12


China Poblano Duck Tongue Taco

First things first: I am very fond of China Poblano, the part Chinese, part Mexican casual restaurant at The Cosmopolitan of Las Vegas. I've found myself eating there on multiple occasions on each of my last two trips. In particular, their guacamole is amazing. It's a meal by itself when enjoyed with the generous stack of warm, house-made tortillas that accompany an order of this avocado delight. Frankly, it's so good, I'd eat it off the blistered foot of a Marquee heel-rat at 4:00 a.m.

Which brings me to my next point. I'm not particularly squeamish. I've had some strange things in my mouth in my four-odd decades on this planet. As a general rule, if it's legal, digestible, non-poisonous and delicious, I'll eat it. But that last qualification is important. Recently, I discovered that deliciousness is nature's way of suppressing the gag reflex.

I made that discovery whilst dining at China Poblano with my loverly wife in early February. We'd just arrived in Las Vegas, and after consuming a bottle of champagne on the way to Cosmo from the airport, we needed something in our bellies. Initially, that something turned out to be several salt-air margaritas and half a quart of ginger beer as we perused China Poblano's menu. And I think that's what led to my bravado. After polishing off the aforementioned guacamole, some chips and C.P.'s wonderful salsa, as well as an assortment of gourmet, but decidedly mainstream tacos (beef, chicken, fish, etc.), I decided it'd be a good idea to order The Silencio. The duck tongue taco.

The picture above tells the story quite well, I think. I was expecting the duck tongues to be unrecognizable. However, they were quite recognizable as tongues. I'd expected them to be breaded and fried, and therefore palatable, much like the mid-western country cookin' staple known as gizzards. They were not. They were slimy. They looked as if they'd just been extracted from the ducks from whence they came, and those ducks must've been salivating over whatever it is ducks eat at the time of the extraction.

And that point is relevant too. Apparently, if the Travel Channel's Uncle Fester doppelganger and Bizarre Foods host Andrew Zimmern is to be believed, animals tend to taste like whatever it is they eat. For instance, if you were to eat me, I would taste like S'mores flavored Pop Tarts and Bud Light Platinum. Having eaten the duck tongue taco, I must assume that farm raised ducks primarily eat dried corn and dirt. Make that dirt and dried corn. Which is to say, the duck tongue taco at China Poblano tastes like dirt.

Dirt in and of itself is not particularly repulsive. But imagine French kissing your garden. And your garden is into it. And your garden has braces - the ones with the rubber bands - and your garden is salivating over whatever it is a garden eats.

Even in my mostly intoxicated state, I couldn't do it. I took a bite, chewed it very quickly, attempted to send it down the hatch, and made a horrible Fear Factor face. My wife was quacking up. There was resistance. My body balked. I persisted. I persevered, and I sent the one and only bite of a duck tongue taco I shall ever eat down the hatch, followed by an entire bottle of Mexican Coke as a chaser. It was offal.

Eating a duck tongue taco is its own reward, it seems, but I'm of the opinion that there should be some kind of prize involved. A t-shirt perhaps, emblazoned with "I Sucked Face With A Duck Face." Or something. I don't know. Just keep in mind that even if you eat the duck tongue taco and don't like it, they still put it on your bill.

Tagged: misnomer   cosmopolitan   china poblano   jose andres   vegaseats   dining   


Comments & Discussion:

I don't know which photo was more unsettling, the duck taco or Stryper with it's guest star Mr. Angel.
Either way, I now have both of them in my head and I am very disturbed.

I had to try one the last time I was there, and I wasn't a fan. The flavor was fine, but I had a hard time with the chewy texture.

On a related note, I had the grasshopper tacos at one of Andres' restaurants in DC, and they were a little better than the duck tongues. Again, weird texture, but good flavor. And they both made for fun stories later.

Does your stomach turn every time you see an AFLAC commercial now?

Since they haven't gotten a replacement for Godfreind apparently...yes.

Ahh, Oyamel. When Spanish guys try to do Mexican. It's good, but very weird. And I really wish both China Poblano and Jose's other join, Bazzar, had DC outposts. At least the original Jaloe is getting renovated. From what I can tell we're gettign some of the stuff Vegas has been featuring.

Duck tongues...no. Lamb tongues, if available, are another story entirely...mmm!!!

We keep a dozen ducks or so on our pond and they're really the sweetest little things. No more duck chow fun for me.

I remember seeing this on the menu when I ate there back in June and the immediate internal response was "hell no". There's just something about tongue in general (regardless of the animal it was procured from) that just is off-putting to me. I don't care how many times Anthony Bourdain or Andrew Zimmern eat it and talk about how good it is, I'm not inclined to try it. Yeah you could say that I'm not very adventurous in my eating (the most adventurous item I had my last Vegas trip was boudin the blanc at Bouchon), but I'm slowly dipping my big toe into the water (bone marrow and fois gras are on that list, and will be addressed my next trip).

This actually sounds awesome! I've had beef tongue before (also great in tacos) so i'd definitely try this. By the way, if you haven't had bone marrow and foie gras, I HIGHLY recommend. Both are awesome - they're like butter.

When I saw this menu item, I wondered which child in a family of 12 with one duck had to invent this. I figured it was at least the eighth or ninth poor kid. I may try this one day. But, frankly, there are so many things I'd like to eat in line in front of duck tongue that I may never get there.

@Oskee2001 Both were on the list to try prior to my trip back in December, but the foie gras ended getting shelved when my reservation at Sage got cancelled due to the place being closed that weekend (Several places I initially booked ended up being closed that weekend.). I went to Wicked Spoon for breakfast one morning hoping that bone marrow was part of their brunch buffet, but it appears to be a dinner buffet item.

I am a brave guy as far as food is concerned but there is no way in hell i would try this. Tongue is where i draw the line. What's next monkey brain tacos?

thank you for reinforcing my belief that I never wanted to try those. The adventurous part of me continued to lobby for it, but that photo was all I needed, as I, like you, would have expected them to be breaded and fried, or shredded to the point where they don't in fact look like tongues.

However, you can drink while playing "I never" when someone says "I never french kissed a duck"

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