This restaurant serves whole barbecued alligator

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When critics complain that their food doesn’t have enough bite, they don’t usually mean it literally. However, in case there are customers who don’t deal in metaphor, one Chicago restaurant has taken the radical step of serving a spectacular centrepiece that’s snappier than most dishes could ever hope to be.

At Frontier restaurant, in the city’s West Town, diners can tuck into an array of exotic ingredients, from elk to Australian camel. However, it is their “Whole Animal Experience” that has really got tongues wagging across the city. One look at the dish and it’s easy to see why. 

Taking inspiration from America’s wild culinary past, Frontier’s unique dish features a whole smoked, marinaded and barbecued alligator. The gator itself serves between 12 and 15 people and comes complete with an array of mouthwatering sides, including Shrimp and sausage jambalaya, five-cheese mac, Caesar salad with polenta croutons, seasonal vegetables, buttered rolls and herb butter. It is, in every sense, epic.

According to the Frontier website:

“The rip-roaring nature of the frontier meant that a man’s worth was measured by his skill with a rifle and his ability to wrestle wild animals. A frontiersman saw his true test when he found himself in the river, facing the jaws of a riverman, half horse, half alligator.”

Watch to see what happened when a family woke up to find a 9-foot alligator in their swimming pool:

“Lucky for you, our smoked wild alligators are harvested in Louisiana where the locals embrace a wild west sensibility and live off the land. Before they’re smoked, they’re veiled in our house marinade and stuffed with whole chickens. The result is meat that tastes like chicken or pork with a significantly lower fat and cholesterol content.”

Unsurprisingly, ordering something as unusual as an entire alligator isn’t straightforward. Frontier state that customers have to preorder the dish at least “7 days” before visiting the restaurant. Then again, the chance to try a chicken-stuffed crocodilian means that it’s probably worth the wait.