Go for the tongue

illustration by MARK STIVERS

What is the hesitance over a little bit of tongue? It’s not so bad, and once you give it a try, you’ll be pretty hooked. Yet people seem to be so scared of it.

Over at Red Lotus Asian Kitchen and Bar (2718 J Street), they serve tongue and tendon in a ferocious beef broth with star anise and Tien Tsin chilies. While my female dining companions bravely tasted (then devoured) the meat with gusto, the guy at our table had to be chided into trying it. And guess what? He loved it. Beefy and soft, the taste of a good tongue in your mouth is not to be missed.

The best baby step for getting tongued is at any authentic taqueria, where you can get tacos de lengua served with salsa verde and shredded cabbage.

Tongue isn’t as common as ground beef, but it came from the same animal, one whose flesh you’ve probably eaten many times before. Show your respect to it by eating all of his many tasty parts as you can. Tongue and all.