Hangar Steak and Queer Youth Space

On the topic of conversations with rad queers over meat, I got to share a Hangar/Hanger steak in Seattle this week with Kennedy of YES, Queer Youth Space and the documentary film Put THIS on the map, which was just accepted into Frameline this week!  Our hangar steak at Cafe Presse “from Oregon” was medium-rare and served with pomme frites.

Hangar steak, the cut that ‘hangs’ from the diaphragm, is prized for being flavorful with a slight kidney-ish tinge.  Presse does a nice job of preparing the steak to bring out that flavor and keeping the steak relatively tender (it tends to get tough if cooked slowly or for too long).  Several butchers I’ve spoken to in the US have bemoaned the lack of demand for Hangar here.  Even in good economic times, when steaks are selling better than they are right now, hangar is often ground into hamburger rather than separated as a delicacy as it is much of Europe and in Mexico (can someone set me straight on whether Hangar would be carne asada or arrachera, please?)

It was wonderful to learn more about the path that Kennedy and a strong group of queer youth on the East Side of our city have been on for the last several years, from documenting their individual stories to launching a project to make real change and safe space in their community.  Check out how you can support Queer Youth Space, follow them on facebook, and see what they’re up to!

Queer Youth Space is a community initiative and coalition in which the overall campaign is to secure space for queer youth in the Seattle area. This space would be led, owned, and organized by the very constituency that the space would serve. Queer Youth Space is radical and revolutionary in that it is a youth-led, adult supported model. The ideas and values inherent within this structure are at the very core of the philosophy of the collective, chief among them furthering the model of youth leadership in which Queer Youth Space believes should be dominant structure locally as well as nationwide.

Meatpaper, Steak, and Stripping

Following a link from Meatpaper‘s website, I’ve found myself immersed in an online battle about a stripclub with a Vegan menu in Portland, OR.

You can read the entire thread of the blog post from the Atlantic.com, which quotes Ann Friedman’s piece on Feministing, who references Carol Adams, whose book cover inspired my 2010 valentine…and the start of the “Eat Your Heart Out” project.

The Oregon Fox news article Customers Find All Skin, No Meat at Vegan Stripclub has the following words from the club’s owner: ““(It’s) vixens, not veal, and sizzle, not steak,” Diablo said. “We put the meat on the pole, not on the plate.””

Comments on the Atlantic post include a vicious east coast v. west coast battle, as well as a link to Acropolis Steakhouse in Portland, a strip club with some incredibly enthusiastic clients, and many with complaints about the meat and/or the women.

And for more information about non-vegan Portland joints, you can consult the Portland Mercury’s review of strip club/steakhouses here.

Meat is complicated.  The internet is amazing.

Front of house meat (most likely from Iowa) at the Taylor Meat Company, Taylor, TX

Back in the Saddle…and on the road to riches!

While “riches” may not be the most robust fit of a word for a shoestring queer DIY performance art project, I have had a fabulous initial outpouring of support for this research project and show over the last few days. Thanks so much to everyone who has pledged their support, and/or passed the project link on, and thanks in advance to those of you who are reading this and thinking–hmmm, I do like that beef print…maybe I’ll donate a few bucks.

I am back in Seattle after a raucous week of California travel (San Diego, Palm Springs, Santa Cruz, and San Francisco with varying doses of academia, lesbian spring break/Dinah Shore, and my mother in each locale), and am entering into an intensive ten days of rehearsal. I promise to pull out of it to post more interviews, images, and clips from the Texas adventure, and to post show content as I begin to document it!

xoxox, and thank you again for your support!


Check out the “Eat Your Heart Out” Kickstarter Interview


Just ran into Tamara Murphy of Brasa and Elliott Bay Cafe, who has just published a new book, “Farmers, Cooks, Eaters” (pre-sales are up now, and the first run is out soon!).  In  2006, Tamara started to source local meat for her restaurant and began a collaboration with Whistling Train Farm just south of Seattle.  She blogged about the journey, from meeting her litter of pigs, through seeing her first slaughter, all the way to the celebratory meal they cooked at the end.  Read about her experience on that 2006 blog, Life of a Pig, and check out the menu below from that final event…pork belly brittle?


Life of a Pig

April 20, 2006

by tamara murphy

and whistling train farm


Chicharrones ( skins )

Everything Pig Pate ( pork trimmings, fat, heart, liver, kidney, tongue )

Smoked Riblets ( ribs )

Traditional Posole, Roasted Chilies, Tomatillos, Tortillas ( pork shoulder,  head, trotters,  hocks )

Grilled Loin, Chorizo and Clams ( loin, chuck, fat, trimmings )

Roast Pig: Whistling Train Farm’s Greens, Greek Potatoes ( whole pig )

Heirloom Navel Oranges, Jicima, Watercress, Cracklings ( fatty skin )

Bacon Baklava

Vanilla Ice Cream, Maple Flower Crème Anglaise

Bacon Brittle ( belly )

Tamara also invited me to perform at this year’s Burning Beast, an event held at smokefarm featuring some of Seattle’s top chefs and a great deal of meat from local farms.  We may also book a small performance at Elliott Bay Cafe as they work on new digs.  Looks like the west coast summer tour is taking a turn for the savory!

Vote! Pork v. Beef

Please take a moment to vote: beef or pork?

Pork! – Ms. Honeysuckle Hype

digitally remastered photograph 2010

Beef! – Ms. Honeysuckle Hype

digitally remastered photograph 2010

-What is she asking, really?  Is this about the meat or the images?

Just answer the question, please! I’d like to know what you think.

Sure_you’re right in liking meat (Meat Art Installment 1)

My biggest question is about the use of the underscore, or is that just a really low hyphen? My next question is a story: I’m sitting alone at the counter at Mistral Kitchen, polishing off some kushi oysters, sipping something brilliant involving gin and waiting for my pork belly (served on a sweet steamed bun with cippolini onions-gone-asian and cilantro?  Was that even cilantro?  Might I never need to touch another actual burger?).

WAIT: My PORK BELLY. On day four of “taking a break from meat,” the day on which I reflected back on the smoked chicken I had Thursday (Jack Timmons had smoked it in his backyard for 14 hours! How could I resist? And he’s from Texas, that dreamy drawl…), the Seafood with our hand-shaven noodles on Friday…and…

Waiting for pork belly.  Which was fucking delicious.

I’m not sure what the question is actually.

Look at her fingernails.  The red of the poster and the red of the steak and the red of her FINGERNAILS!  I am in the process of responding to interview questions from Cassie Marketos of Kickstarter.com, who asked:

Where did this idea sprout from? Meat is an interesting entry-point into conversations of sexuality and power. I’m curious to know how the idea evolved!

And I keep on wanting to respond with images.  Because meat is simultaneously so un-ladylike to devour, and so owned-by-men in most narratives of “how labor has been divided” and such an essential part of the ideal American woman preparing food at home for her husband and children and used as an explicit stand-in for “penis,” for “a woman’s ass,” for woman more generally, in language, in images,

Which we could either say perpetuates the idea of women as commodity, as consumable/consumed…

Or acknowledges that this image in an almost magical realism way is a better representation of what it feels like to live in a female-marked body, or to work in the sex industry or pornography, or to wake up in the morning, and make it all into a day marked by meaning and whatever it is we each hope our days might be marked by…than this image

Miss Wasilla 1984

Finally, as the title of this post was written before the post itself, and it seems to plead for one more piece of Meat Art,

Roy Lichtenstein  –  Meat
acrylic/canvas    21 1/4″ x 25 1/4″   1962

The chef in charge of pork belly came over and asked how it was.  Fucking delicious, I told him.  I asked my waiter where it was from, he asked said chef, and the relay response was Snake River, Idaho.  Before leaving for the evening, I asked chef/owner William Belickis if I might come in some time and talk to him about meat: the hand-powered slicer, their butchering, charcuterie, sourcing, their menu.  He said of course, Tuesday through Thursday, any time, and asked what I’d ended up deciding about love, women, immediacy, and patience.  He remembered the conversation we had my first time in the restaurant, when multiple women felt like the most enormous metaphors of decision-making: protection v. vulnerability, immediate return v. investment, love v. fear.  I made the right choice I told him–didn’t you meet her the next time?  I did, he said, I just didn’t know which one it was.  That, I think, is a special thing: to have someone, particularly someone you have only met twice, remember what matters to you most.

Mistral Kitchen  –  Pork Belly
Saturday March 27, 2010