Alligator Nuggets

alligator bites002

I tried alligator meat back in the Philippines. I don’t remember anymore how it tasted but I remember how people described that it tastes like chicken. So I was excited to find a bar here in Wisconsin that serves alligator meat — flour-crusted and deep-fried.

And so I planned a trip to Ritchie’s Up Ur Alleys in Mayville, Wisconsin — which to me is more of a journey, a two-hour drive from my place. The anticipation was real and expectations were gearing high as we got closer — it even amused me. It felt like I need a confirmation… to claim to myself that it indeed tastes like chicken because I already forgot how it tasted.

After a long ride in this gloomy still-chilly rainy Spring day and a few stops, we finally arrived in Mayville and there is Ritchie’s Up Ur Alleys on the main street. Sat on the bar, ordered light beer and right away I knew what I wanted. I ordered Alligator Bites Basket which comes with (to my own estimate) 3-Oz deep fried alligator nuggets and maybe about 5-Oz of French fries served with (my choice) Thai Chili sauce for $9.00+ including tax.

Alligator Bites Basket
@ Ritchie’s Up Ur Alleys
Mayville, WI

alligator bites001

I took a bite, and just like in wine tasting, I tried to get the flavor all around my mouth and finally got the closure I wanted. Since I’m pretty familiar with how deep-fried chicken nuggets or chicken tenders taste – I knew right away it wasn’t chicken. And it didn’t taste like chicken. It lacks the bold, full-flavored taste of the chicken. The texture is also different it’s not fibrous. It has more moisture in the meat and it’s slightly chewy.  I think it’s not fair to compare it to chicken because it has its own unique taste and texture. If you had grilled blue marlin the texture is almost comparable; not flaky or soft but slightly chewy. That’s how this alligator bites performed in my mouth. It wasn’t as full-flavored as chicken but the well-seasoned flour-crust created flavor profile similar to chicken bites; plus the spicy-sweet blend of Thai chili sauce gave this appetizer a good repertoire in my mouth, I can’t complain. The French fries combination in the basket also gave this dish a perfect marriage of saltiness.

Although I picked some pieces with slightly-fishy taste, I believe this is normal especially if the meat is cut from the ribs and leg folds otherwise referred to as wings, which are considered darker meat and has stronger taste. If you’re in bar business or food service business and you buy exotic meat like this from big distributors like Sysco, you can’t pick through the contents. They all come in bags and packages. Generally, this exotic meat from Florida is very lean, low in fat and cholesterol and high in protein without the breading, of course.

My overall rating for this appetizer in the scale of 1 to 10 (1-least and 10-best) – I would give this a 7 and I would also suggest that you try it!

Thank you for reading,

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