Mission #7: Hat of Meat

Note: The 2010 scavenger hunt is over (a concluding post will come soon) and we got first place out of 121 teams! This is a series explaining the background and thinking of our missions of the SF Street Food Scavenger Hunt 2010!

Mission: Make your favorite Bay Area butcher proud and bring him YOUR best meat helmet. The person to please the butcher the most with their creation will win a delicious prize…

Annoyingly, the clue above was a result of going to a chow page which we agonized for days, until our bright member began clicking everything leading us to the Hats of Meat page. (Note this is before the Lady Gaga nonsense.)

Hats of MEAT? Seriously? Chris first response in our email thread was:
Quick note:

I have no qualms about wearing large quantities of meat on my head.

That is all.

We had a winner.

And of course, we would ask our favorite butcher at the Mission Meat Market. For the last 4 years that I have lived here, I would only buy my meat from him. Despite being located in the Mission, the Mission Meat Market—a block from my place—employed all Asians, specifically Cantonese. They reminded me a lot of the butchers my mom would take me to in Chinatown. Nostalgic, but never wanting to embarrass myself—I always spoke in English. But this time oh yes this time.

We saw that another team made a hat out of lunch meat. But to us, that wasn’t sufficient. Come on, a hat of bacon! Or something similar! But then I insisted that we should reflect our Asian-ness. Perhaps use chicken feet. And thus the crown of chicken feet was conceived. We struggled with my lack of rubber bands (I had a puny collection of rubber bands collected from newspapers and fruit bags—aka a total of 5). But what else could we supplement with the chicken feet…but of course pig’s feet!

Obviously, we knew that we were going to offend members of PETA and vegetarian/vegan friends. But I hoped that this was the only offensive one of the lot. After all, we were all about WINNING.

So we first bought the meat, chatting up the butchers. Then we went back to my place to assemble the crown—we put rubber bands after the fortunately frozen chicken feet. Chris got into his straight-jacket (not obvious from the pictures). And carried the pig’s feet in a separate bag.

Cynthia and I ran ahead to the butcher…trying to arrive early so that we could tell him (in my broken Cantonese and Cynthia’s good Mandarin…but the butcher’s inability to speak Mandarin back) about our intentions. As Chris and Jeff walked by Beretta, several yupsters muttered WTF as they saw a pair of BOYZ carrying a plate with a circular formation of chicken feet. WTF indeed.

We caused a lot of ruckus when we arrived, but we got the photos. Jason, the head butcher, seemed quite amused and gave us a biz card to send him the photo. Oddly enough, we got more looks on Mission Street, but when we returned to Valencia (besides the initial yupsters outside Beretta) we got nothing.


Hats of meat accomplished. But later it turned out that this very photo…despite being hilarious, over-the-top…would cause the most disruption of all.
Final Hat of Meat

By the way, yes I made chicken feet soup the day after.

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