Where in NYC can I buy rattlesnake to eat in or prepare out?
August 29, 2011 8:27 AM   Subscribe

Is there a restaurant in New York City that serves rattlesnake, or a butcher in the city that sells it?

For complicated reasons, a friend and I are planning to eat rattlesnake in the next few weeks but aren't sure where to find it.

A bar in Windsor Terrace (Ellis) used to serve rattlesnake skewers, and Jefferson's Meat Market reportedly sold rattlesnake meat, but both of those places have shut down in the last year or so. R.S. Jones, a restaurant on Long Island, appears to have rattlesnake and chicken chili, but I'm always a little leery of NY interpretations of southwestern cuisine, and I'd prefer that the snake not be combined with other meat.

I've considered buying it online, but Fossil Farms (relatively nearby in New Jersey) is out of the whole snake, which sells for $75, and is so backordered there's no estimate for future sales, and the other places that ship rattlesnake sell it for, at minimum, $50/lb.

Anyone know a guy who knows a guy?
posted by maud to Food & Drink (11 answers total) 4 users marked this as a favorite
If you don't find it in NYC, D'Angelo Bros (a butcher) in the Italian Market in Philadelphia advertises rattlesnake. I can't comment on the snake, but their sausages are great.
posted by rustcellar at 8:45 AM on August 29, 2011 [1 favorite]

Response by poster: Thanks! I sent them email earlier for details (i.e., is it in stock, how much per pound, etc.). Good to have a first-hand rec!
posted by maud at 8:51 AM on August 29, 2011

Ottomanelli & Sons sells game meats. I've never seen them advertising rattlesnake BUT I have a feeling they might be able to procure it for you if you gave them some advance warning.

It's worth a try, at least.
posted by jason's_planet at 9:19 AM on August 29, 2011 [1 favorite]

Response by poster: @jason's_planet Thanks! I gave 'em a call, and they don't have it but that tip led my friend to think of Paisanos Meat Market, a Smith Street butcher which actually does advertise rattlesnake for sale and might be able to get it within a week.
posted by maud at 9:44 AM on August 29, 2011

You're welcome!
posted by jason's_planet at 10:25 AM on August 29, 2011

Response by poster: Savenor's Market in Boston got back to me right away, had the snake in stock, and is shipping it out today to arrive tomorrow morning.

If I hear back from D'Angelo (which is in Irene-ravaged Philly, though I don't know if it's affected) I'll post the gist of the response here for future reference.
posted by maud at 10:31 AM on August 29, 2011

I'd like to request that you come back and also tell us how the snake was.
posted by griphus at 10:33 AM on August 29, 2011 [1 favorite]

Response by poster: Oh, don't worry, I will! @cowboy_sally will also be partaking, so you know this thing'll be deboned right. We're planning to use Harry Crews' recipe, minus the part about driving the snake out of its hole on a cold day by blowing gas in there.
posted by maud at 10:47 AM on August 29, 2011

Great fun! I had the rabbit/rattlesnake sausage corndog at Twist in Breckenridge CO a couple of months ago, and it was awesome. That doesn't help you acquire the actual snake, but I post it anyway in the hopes that will inspire further experiments.
posted by postel's law at 1:11 PM on August 29, 2011 [1 favorite]

Response by poster: D'Angelo Bros. wrote back this morning to say: "Rattlesnake is currently on back order. Please check back for availability. Thank You."

We're going to eat the rattlesnake this weekend, but it might be a full month before I write up the Big Event. So, if you're curious, check back in October!
posted by maud at 11:29 AM on September 2, 2011

Response by poster: (I actually needed the rattlesnake for a short New York Times Magazine piece. For those of you who were curious, here's how it turned out, and here's more, including photos. Thanks again, everyone!)
posted by maud at 7:42 PM on October 2, 2011 [1 favorite]

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