Pomp, Poetry, and Haggis at the Tam O'Shanter | NBC Southern California

Pomp, Poetry, and Haggis at the Tam O'Shanter

Don your kilt and prepare for a theatrical/historical dinner.

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    NEWSLETTERS

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    Don your kilt and prepare for a theatrical/historical dinner saluting the poet Robert Burns. The place? The Tam O'Shanter, of course.

    Southern California has seen a proliferation of food trucks over the last decade, and drop-in spots specializing on a single foodstuff, and pop-up booths of the gourmet sort.

    And yet there still is no single, make-it-fast place where one can go for haggis 'round these parts. No walk-up window can deliver this old-world dish, as of yet, though word of haggis-selling food trucks in Edinburgh do give hope.

    Take your hope, and your haggis-hunger, and your historic-minded love of poetry to Glendale's famous Tam O'Shanter on Tuesday, Jan. 26 and Wednesday, Jan. 27 for the annual celebration of the birthday of Robert Burns.

    The poet was born 257 years ago in Scotland, and fans gather each year, and points around the planet, to read "Ode to a Haggis" aloud and dine upon the complex-of-ingredient foodstuff while quaffing some fine whiskey.

    "Complex-of-ingredient" does mean traditionally mean that a sheep's stomach serves as the outer "shell" of sorts for a mixture of oatmeal and offal. It's pungent and flavorful and some love it and some, in the spirit of adventuresome dining, try it once, to know the experience firsthand.

    The Tam O'Shanter haggis, as always, shall be presented with a sword-cutting ceremony, and guests will raise goblets. Other convivial happenings at the party include the playing of bagpipes, step-dancing, drumming, and more merriment straight from the Highlands. (As in the Scottish Highlands, of course, and not Highland Avenue.)

    Does this sell out each year? It does. Are there two seatings each night? For sure, because many, many people want to experience an Edinburghian era long past, without the whole building-a-time-machine thing, which can get super tricky.

    Should food trucks ever take on haggis? They've absolutely astonished with the breadth of bites they serve, and the sheer tastiness of those bites, too. Of course, haggis does take some time, and preparation, which makes it a dish that's perhaps better suited to the occasional raucous birthday party at a bricks-and-mortar restaurant.

    That the birthday party is for a poet from centuries back, who wrote of a Tam O'Shanter in his work, and that the Tam O'Shanter of LA will be the spot, makes it all the more haggisishly delicious.

    (Fingers crossed that "haggisishly" will make the 2016 most-used words list.)

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