Bomb threats are a daily occurrence at a South Philly restaurant since the owner there expressed a desire to serve a horse meat dish.
“I understand where people are passionate about one thing or another,” said Monsu owner Peter McAndrews, “But someone making threats to do harm to me or my family or coworkers or whatever—that’s mildly psychotic.”
Last week, McAndrews told Metro he hopes to serve horse meat at his Italian-Market restaurant. Since his remarks, the eatery has felt the heat from animal activists and horse lovers.
“One person called and said if we serve horse meat, they’re going to blow the restaurant up,” McAndrews said.
The restaurateur hasn’t yet alerted authorities. “Hopefully it’s a hollow threat and somebody’s just being a dope,” he said, “But we’ve been getting a lot of them.”
Darlene Supnick, who runs the Forgotten Angels Equine Rescue in Medford, NJ, said she is disturbed by the whole ordeal, adding the country was built by horse-power.
“We wouldn’t be here without them,” she said.
Supnick is prepared to ride a live horse outside Monsu in protest, “If I can get a permit,” she said.
McAndrews, who has been cooking at a chef’s convention this week in Montreal, said he saw horse meat on at least three menus there. He’s in Canada until Sunday.
“The funny thing is, if actually I ever do put it on the menu, guess what? If it doesn’t sell, it won’t be on the menu,” he said, “It’s much ado about nothing.”
McAndrews said he wouldn’t budge. “If I find a reputable purveyor, and it comes from quality stuff, then I’ll pull the trigger.”
“I almost feel like I have the Klan after me,” he said. “It’s kind of like I’m looking over my shoulder like I did something wrong. It’s not a good feeling, you know what I mean?”
In the United States, there isn’t a prohibition on selling or consuming horse meat if it’s from an approved United States Department of Agriculture source, said USDA spokeswoman Samantha Elliott Krepps.
“However,” she said. “There are currently no approved sources.”
What are people saying?
Monsu Chef Adam Cirineo said diners who speak their minds generally fall into three categories:
– “That we’re disgusting human beings”
– “There are some people that are very factual-based that say horses are fed anti-biotics and different types of drugs and that’s why it’s not healthy for humans to consume.”
– “And then there’s other people that just love horses for what they are and are just threatening us like, ‘we’re gonna bomb you,’ ‘we’re gonna boycott your restaurant,’ ‘you people are pigs for putting horse meat on your menu,’ just because they love the animal.
Does it taste like chicken?
McAndrews said horse meat is lean and tender and sweet to the taste buds. He said Italians eat horse Americans eat beef: in the form of tenderloins stuffed in cheesesteaks. He said it is similar in composition to deer meat.