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offal and game meats in sf

gingersweetiepie Aug 24, 2006 03:47 AM

august is grouse season and there's a restaurant in new york serving a special grouse dinner. does anyone know of any restaurants here in sf who serve it on their menus?

this really leads me to a second question, which is...
are there are any real standout restaurants in town that serve offal or unique cuts of animals? i've had some decent bone marrow at coco500 but i'm missing me some tripe.

i know that i could probably find some chicken feet or neck bones in chinatown but i'm thinking more in the european style.

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    gingersweetiepie RE: gingersweetiepie Aug 24, 2006 03:51 AM

    double post. i stink. please refer to this inquiry here. thank you.

    1. j
      johng95409 RE: gingersweetiepie Aug 24, 2006 04:18 AM

      Not quite SF but if you go up to Terra in St. Helena you'll find an amazing Tripe stew that's been on the menu every day for the 17 years or so that the place has been open. If you called and asked real nice Hiro and Greg might be willing to make it in SF at Ame. At Terra Hiro's been known to do headcheese and such, as well as lamb brains by request. Or you could try Oliveto in Oakland. Plenty of pig offal during their whole hog menu.

      1. c
        Chubby RE: gingersweetiepie Aug 24, 2006 05:04 AM

        Incanto has an annual offal dinner, but during the rest of the year, they feature offal entrees and dinners by arrangement.


        1. r
          rootlesscosmo RE: gingersweetiepie Aug 24, 2006 01:45 PM

          South Park Cafe often has sweetbreads on the menu; phone ahead. And A16 had a tripe dish as a first course when I was there a couple of weeks ago.

          1 Reply
          1. re: rootlesscosmo
            Daniel Duane RE: rootlesscosmo Aug 24, 2006 02:14 PM

            raises a related question: anyone have a clue how to get an all-natural (i.e. non-commodity) tripe at retail? I've Dave Evans of Marin Sun, and other folks, to no avail.

          2. j
            Joan Kureczka RE: gingersweetiepie Aug 24, 2006 04:31 PM

            I don't specifically know of anyone serving grouse (and it's unlikely, as the supply even in the UK is way down due to problems with falling grouse population as an outcome of increasing temperatures in the moorlands), but the Big Four is reputed to do a game dinner each fall. Nothing announced yet on their website, but that may be your best chance.

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              gingersweetiepie RE: gingersweetiepie Aug 24, 2006 04:47 PM

              you are all AMAZING, wow, thank you.

              faster and more informed responses than i've ever seen on a food forum in my life.

              i just arrived in SF and thought that maybe there'd be too many vegetarians for this kind of food to be popular. when telling one SF chef that NY is currently very pork-centric (to the point where pork is found in fish courses) she wrinkled her nose and said she didn't get it.

              i almost cancelled my flight.

              going to call incanto tonight to ask when the head to tail dinner is. if you see a solo diner feasting on organ meat with a big grin on her face, that's me.

              7 Replies
              1. re: gingersweetiepie
                Morton the Mousse RE: gingersweetiepie Aug 24, 2006 05:00 PM

                Head to Tail only happens once a year. The Quinto Quarto tasting menu would be ideal, but the web says they need at least two people to participate. Call ahead and see what they can do for you.

                Vegetarianism is slowly dying (of iron deficiency) in San Francisco. Restaurants featuring sustainably and humanely raised meats are converting many lifelong veggies. Pork is being incorporated into more fish and vegetable dishes and charcut is becoming the next big thing.

                1. re: gingersweetiepie
                  coolbean98 RE: gingersweetiepie Aug 24, 2006 07:05 PM

                  Another Head-to-Tail-type event is Oliveto's Whole Hog dinners, which only occur for a few days every February. It uses a very good percentage of the whole hog, and I LOVE it, as do many others (I ran in to Melanie Wong there last time), so make sure to reserve a table early.


                  1. re: coolbean98
                    Robert Lauriston RE: coolbean98 Aug 24, 2006 07:18 PM

                    Here's a thread comparing this year's, with links to more threads:


                  2. re: gingersweetiepie
                    johng95409 RE: gingersweetiepie Aug 24, 2006 10:35 PM

                    A few years a go were eating at 5th Floor when George Marrone was still there, and he was at the table schmoozing and asked if anybody could identify the main ingredient in the very reduced, intense sauce that was served with the Salmon. After we were stumped he announced gleefully "Pork Blood!"

                    Pigs are old news - and US culture generally moves west to east.

                    1. re: johng95409
                      Robert Lauriston RE: johng95409 Aug 25, 2006 12:37 AM

                      We had an experience like that 20+ years ago, at a funky Filipino place on Mission around 25th.

                      I was advenurous and ordered the Filipino sausage. My wife and our friends played it safe and got the pork stew.

                      My dish turned out to be hot dogs.

                      After eating the stew for a few minutes and puzzing over the sweet flavor, my wife announced, "It's blood!" and threw down her spoon in horror.

                      1. re: Robert Lauriston
                        coolbean98 RE: Robert Lauriston Aug 25, 2006 05:57 AM

                        Oh man, dinuguan is one of my favorite dishes in the whole world, when done right. I only make a mediocre one myself (as does Goldilocks, which is one of the only other places you can get it in the Bay Area), but a good one is great. I don't really understand where the sweetness your wife noticed came from, and as the predominant flavor is vinegar, and I've never heard of putting anything sweet in it.

                        Was the sausage called longanisa, or just "sausage"?

                        1. re: coolbean98
                          Robert Lauriston RE: coolbean98 Aug 25, 2006 04:10 PM

                          The menu said something like "Filipino special sausage."

                  3. p
                    pateman RE: gingersweetiepie Aug 24, 2006 04:53 PM

                    you can dine solo at the bar at incanto, there are many offal dishes on the menu now including a grilled lamb trio with heart, liver and kidney and tripe with orange and tomato. they are serving roasted lamb neck with polenta also. good luck.

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                      shivani RE: gingersweetiepie Aug 24, 2006 05:16 PM

                      delfina sometimes has tripe on the menu as well. I've never had it, but a friend of mine loves it.

                      also, this may not be the type of thing your looking for, but a lot of vietnamese restaurants have pho or bun with tripe. Definately Evergreen on Harrison and 18th, and one that I don't know the name of on Clement and 4th Ave.

                      1. Robert Lauriston RE: gingersweetiepie Aug 24, 2006 05:57 PM

                        There's always offal on the menu at Incanto. If you're into it, tell them when you reserve or are seated, sometimes there are extra items not on the menu. Often there's an alternative version of the antipasto platter with more offal. Do not miss the chicken liver if it's on.

                        A16 often has tripe. It's great.

                        Bocadillos has an offal section with a few items. Skip the foie gras roll, it doesn't work. The tripe and trotters are great.

                        Oola makes a great dish of chicken liver ravioli with foie gras sauce.

                        1. Karl Gerstenberger RE: gingersweetiepie Aug 24, 2006 09:00 PM

                          Oliveto's current dinner menu features Beef Tripe with Smashed Tomato Crostini and salsa verde, and deep fried pigeon

                          This is the Tomato Dinner Cycle, so be aware.

                          1 Reply
                          1. re: Karl Gerstenberger
                            Robert Lauriston RE: Karl Gerstenberger Aug 24, 2006 09:51 PM

                            Oliveto's menu changes daily, but it often has an innards dish or three.

                            Special dinners like tonight's are often booked solid.

                          2. m
                            Manimal RE: gingersweetiepie Aug 24, 2006 09:39 PM

                            Right now Blue Plate has a yummy sweetbreads dish...served with heirloom tomatoes, watermellon, and mint, with some balsamic sprinkled on the plate-sweetbreads, refreshing, who'da thunk it?

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                              evangross RE: gingersweetiepie Aug 25, 2006 12:52 AM

                              Incanto Incanto Incanto. the best place for this kind of stuff.

                              1 Reply
                              1. re: evangross
                                Robert Lauriston RE: evangross Aug 25, 2006 04:13 PM

                                Incanto chef Chris Cosentino's offal blog:


                                Story about Cosentino and offal:


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