Corn dogs, peanut butter and jelly, and macaroni and cheese. The meals we adored as children are the foods many countries consider revolting. What we prefer, in part, depends upon what we eat as youngsters. A 2001 “Pediatrics” study proves our flavor preferences begin forming in the womb. And so what’s considered typical to some is unorthodox — even scary — to others. 

TV shows, such as the late Anthony Bourdain’s “Parts Unknown,” gave viewers a sample of foods Americans typically deem exotic. But here in Lake Highlands, there’s plenty of restaurants to help you expand your palate. An open mind and sense of adventure are preferred but not mandatory. 

We asked two of our neighborhood’s self-proclaimed foodies, Bob Johnston and Joey Stewart, to sample a few unconventional items at local eateries.


Joey Stewart, 11-year resident of Lake Highlands and a hobby food photographer

Bob Johnston, 44-year resident and the “Voice of Lake Highlands” at sporting events  

Where: Resident Taqueria is owned by Andrew Savoie, who honed his skills under three-Michelin-star chefs Jean-Georges Vongerichten and Thomas Keller. The restaurant’s menu is a blend of classic favorites and inventive flavors, such as caramelized cauliflower and homemade chorizo.

More info: 9661 Audelia Road, suite 112

What they tried:

Picadillo taco: This Cuban stew is typically made with ground beef, tomatoes, olives, cinnamon, cumin and raisins. Savoie adds a twist with pepperoncini, pickled carrots and Maggi sauce on a homemade tortilla. 

Lengua taco: Savoie braises the beef tongue for 18 hours with chiles, onions, Maggi sauce, cinnamon and Mexican oregano. He cuts the tongue, re-braises it and serves it on a homemade tortilla with angel hair cut cabbage, cucumber, salsa guacamole, radish and cilantro. 

Taste-testers’ thoughts:

Stewart and Johnston gave their seal of approval for both tacos, but the lengua taco was their favorite. “It was very tasty, very smooth, very enjoyable,” Johnston says. “The other taco we had was also enjoyable, but I liked the lengua the best.”

Other places to go 

Bistro B serves authentic Vietnamese food and a few dishes that aren’t as familiar in Western culture. 

What to try: 

Oc buou, or apple snails in tamarind and steamed lemongrass.

Pho ga long trung, a soup made with chicken meat, heart, gizzard, liver and egg.

More info: 9780 Walnut St.

Yama Sushi offers options much like an izakaya, or Japanese pub. 

What to try: 

Shio-kara, fermented squid a Japanese delicacy fermented with salt. 

Motsuni, Beef stomach, served with vegetables cooked with miso soup. 

More info: 8989 Forest Lane, suite 112