06/18/2010 12:20 pm ET Updated Dec 06, 2017

An Eating Club for the Brave: The Gastronauts

If someone offered you a goat's eyeball, would you eat it?

Well, there's a club of 400+ people in New York who would take that bite without even blinking... Meet The Gastronauts, New York City's adventurous eating club founded by Curtiss Calleo and Ben Pauker, two very good friends with an appetite for the weird and bizarre cultural foods of the five boroughs.

I found The Gastronauts by chance, intrigued by their mission and dedication to seek out and sample the most rare and unique dishes New York City had to offer. So, I decided to give it a go and see just how brave my own palate was. My first dinner with the club was African, involving big chunks of stewed goat liver and kidneys, large spicy bat snails dark as midnight, mounds of chewy tripe and an especially pungent batch of dried catfish. It was definitely a dinner that tested my appetite, and a dinner I'll never forget because you wore the sense of adventure on your sleeve and could see it in the eyes of the strangers sitting next to you. It was fun, it was friendly. I was all the way out in East New York, further than I usually travel to eat for dinner, and something about it just felt good to me (or was that just the beer speaking?).

So, here's my little video story on The Gastronauts. I hope you find, like I did, that their mission goes so much further than finding weird stuff for you to eat, it's about enjoying the flavor of cultures, meeting new friends, and honoring animals from nose to tail.

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