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BEST USE OF AN ALLIGATOR Phoenix 2007 - Twisted

How is it that some of the world's strangest-looking critters happen to be some of the tastiest, too? Because on looks alone, alligators seem like they'd be about as tough to eat as an old lady's handbag. In truth, gator meat is surprisingly delicious — tender, mild white flesh that's as juicy as chicken after a good dunk in the deep-fryer. Of course, you'd never know it, seeing how hardly anybody serves it in these parts, although there is one place where we're sure to find it: Twisted. Chef-owner Carlos Manriquez — the globe-trotting culinary adventurer behind Atlas Bistro (just a few doors down, in the same Scottsdale strip mall) and Tempe's Mucho Gusto Taqueria — serves his golden, batter-dipped alligator bites with cornmeal-crusted calamari, butternut aioli, Cajun remoulade, and curry-pickled Asian pear. A friend had to twist our arm to taste it at first, but we're glad we took the leap of faith. Now we're the ones daring newbies to try it. Aw, c'mon — you'll like it!
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