Maybe you knew this, maybe you didn't. But you can buy cans of unicorn meat. In fact, we here at the City Paper ordered two cans of the stuff. We haven't tasted it yet, because we've been waiting for just the right occasion. Judging by a recent survey of area restaurants, we may never even have to. Apparently, unicorn is popping up on menus all around town, including at several of this year's Best of Charleston winners. Some people might say neigh to eating unicorn meat, but we say yay. Read on and enjoy.
Moe's Downtown Tavern
Adding to their repertoire of sinfully juicy burgers, the guys at Moe's Downtown have added the Goat Cheese and Roasted Poblano Unicorn Burger to the batch. This sparkling slab of meat is cooked rare, oozing rainbow juice with each delicious, giddy-up bite. Topped with goat cheese, roasted red peppers, and sautéed onions, the Unicorn Burger comes with lettuce and tomato on a toasted Kaiser roll, and it's served with french fries. Just one of these sandwiches can erase all the grumpy-grump thoughts in your head and send you prancing through the Market like a unicorn on a three-day bender of happy thoughts and never-ending friendship. —Alex Keith
One of the city's premier steakhouses, Halls Chophouse knows a thing or two about dealing with prime cuts of meat, and unicorn is no exception. When available, head chef Matthew Niessner sources his unicorn from Gumdrop Mountain, where the happy, one-horned creatures roam freely. Well-versed in unicorn cuisine, Halls offers a cocoa-dusted tomahawk rib-eye cut of unicorn with a white chocolate-raspberry gummy bear reduction. The plate is finished with a horn-shaped cornucopia of whipped potatoes (market price). We're guessing the staff at Halls must eat unicorn on a regular basis. After all, they're some of the friendliest, happiest, slap-you-on-the-back folks around. —Alex Keith
Black Bean Co.
In the name of all things healthy, natural, and good for the soul, Black Bean chef and General Manager Bailey Campbell whips up an inventive take on hummus by swapping out chickpeas and replacing them with unicorn marrow.
The recipe calls for six large unicorn horns, cut in half width-wise, five cloves of garlic, ¼ cup lemon juice, ¼ cup tahini paste, ½ cup hot water, 1 tsp. cumin, and 1 tsp. salt. Then he roasts the bones for 20 minutes or until the rainbow colors are cooked out of the marrow. Using a small spoon, he scrapes the marrow from the glittering bones and sets them aside. After that, the chef combines all ingredients and blends until the texture is smooth and creamy. "Unicorn and chick peas are two very different ball games," Campbell says, "but their bone marrow is a surprisingly great substitute for garbanzo beans." —Lacey Young
The Macintosh now offers a fresh take on "The Mac," their 8 oz. house special burger. In honor of this year's Best of Charleston, they'll be grinding unicorn meat in-house, replacing their famous beef patties with this leaner, more fabulous option. "We love to use unicorns for our signature Magic Unicorn burger," says head chef and James Beard Best Chef: Southeast nominee Jeremiah Bacon. "We even source from a local rancher who lives in Ponyland." We've yet to try Bacon's latest, but we're sure that it tastes like fluffy marshmallow clouds and candy-coated rays of sunshine. —Lacey Young
A.C.'s Bar and Grill
Do you know what the most mouth-watering part of a unicorn is? According to Danny Hope, kitchen manager at A.C.'s Bar and Grill, the tastiest part of a unicorn is its rainbow-colored blood, which is used to create the essential ingredient in the dive's fiery and free-spirited Rainbow Burger.
For the Rainbow Burger, ground beef is patted out and briefly thrown on a griddle before being finished off on a grill. After the burger is cooked to temperature, it is placed between two toasted buns and topped with pepper jack cheese, jalapeños, hot banana peppers, and dill pickles. Once that's all done, it's time to add the Rainbow Sauce, which is made up of habanero and cayenne peppers, vinegar, and a single drop of unicorn blood. After a few bites, you'll be sweating sparkling stars and seeing all the colors of the rainbow flash before your eyes. —Ryan Overhiser
Note: In case you haven't heard, unicorns do not exist. But if they did, we're sure they'd be tasty.
For a true taste of the exotic, we turned to Tony Chu of Red Orchids China Bistro (1401 Sam Rittenberg Blvd. West Ashley. 843-573-8787), who gave us this recipe.
• 2 inches ginger
• 2 large onion
• 4 cloves garlic
• 1 tumeric leaf
• 3 kaffir lime leaves
• ½ kg. unicorn shank, cubed
• 2 Tbs. sriracha paste
• 1 Tbs. curry powder
• 2 inches galangal
• 2 lemongrass
• 2 tsp. coriander seeds
• 2 tsp. fennel seeds
• 2 tsp. cumin seeds
• 1 pinch grated nutmeg
• 1½ Tbs. raw sugar
• 1 cup coconut cream
• ¼ cup water
What to do:
1. Mince ingredient 1
2. Food process ingredient 4
3. Heat oil in a big pot over medium heat
4. Toss minced ingredient 1 into pot and sauté until the onions are semi-clear
5. Add ingredient 2 into the pot and sauté until fragrant
6. Add ingredient 3 into the pot and brown the unicorn meat
7. Add ingredient 4 and mix well
8. Add ingredient 6 into the pot and simmer for two hours or until meat is tender
9. Add salt to taste
(For gourmands living in reality, to actually cook this dish, substitute beef shank for unicorn.)