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Jan 31, 2007 07:28 PM

pigs' feet and organ meats

I'm tired of the regular stuff, the chicken and beef and so on. I want to explore the world of offal. Anybody had good restaurant experiences with kidneys, tripe, crackling, trotters, sweetbreads and so on? I don't mean upscale French, I mean ethnic restaurants that don't shy away from cooking with this stuff. The tacos de cabeza or chicharon I've had in Mexico come to mind, or the tripe soup there, or the rice with pollo de sangre in Spain.

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  1. 1) Not upscale but common French Bistro fare includes:
    a) Sauteed Liver in mustard sauce (served with a nice aged selection from Alsace)
    b) Andouillette sausage (which is pig colon and stomach)

    2) St John's Restaurant (London) specializes in offal. I've enjoyed their:
    a) Ox Heart with roasted beets
    b) Roasted bone marrow
    c) Ox tongue

    3) Any Vietnamese restaurant that serves pho.

    4) Head Cheese (much more head than cheese)

    5) Breakfast in Jamaica which included Kidneys seved with Ackee

    6) Irish breakfast which includes Blood Sausage

    1. You have been to Spain and Mexico, but still have to have dinaguang in the Philippines, cured but not BBQed beef heart anticuchos in Peru, chicken gizzard as the part for the most respected person (do not accept if offered) at a meal in Kenya-Uganda, teriyaki smoked beef lung at my place, ... and so much more.

      1. Filipino food offers many dishes of these types of meat.

        Bopis- Made with pork lungs, heart and liver It's chopped up to a ground meat consistency and cooked with garlic, onions, tomatoes and vinegar.

        Dinuguan- Pig's blood, vinegar, chicken broth, banana peppers, oregano, garlic and onion. Cooked like a stew and eaten with puto( sweet rice cakes).

        Chicharon bulaklak- Pig's intestines that have been cleaned out well, cut into bite size pieces and deep fried until crispy, served with vinegar with pieces of green chile, garlic and black pepper.

        1. I had very good grilled beef heart at El Fogon on St. Clair (Peruvian).

          1. i'm going to assume you want more of a restaurant listing than perhaps types of food you might be able to get. well, ethnic wise if you get into almost any non-canadianized place you ought to be able to find nearly everything on your list.

            one option that might work well is banu on queen st west. they offer things like beef hearts, testicles, etc. i found them ok, it's pretty straight up how they serve it and rather representative of what it tastes like without any masking.

            while i love chinese ginger tripe at dimsum, i still think the version at batifole (i know you said no french, but..) is quite fantastic and the texture is much more interesting.

            sweetbreads i've never seen consistently on any menu. i've had it on offchance at czehoski and a couple other places but most often than not it's a special. czehoski was the best i've ever had it so far btw. i think estufarian can attest to their serving lamb fries (testies) as well sometimes.

            6 Replies
            1. re: pinstripeprincess

              Indeed I can.
              Czehoski and Fat Cat (ignore the latter until Winterlicious is over) have served lamb fries. Czehoski had veal tongue on my last visit. Fat Cat has haggis and around Easter will almost certainly get lamb sweetbreads (he buys them from a butcher who prepares 'whole' lambs for the Greek restaurants - except they don't want the innards).
              And also had lamb testicles at Via Allegro a week ago. But they were awful. A pity because the rest of the meal there was excellent. Don't they know how to cook testicles properly?????? And for completeness, they go well with a Valpolicella!

              1. re: estufarian

                oh that reminds me... torito has a beef cheek and tongue dish (a bit of a laugh for me since that's my food blog name) and the tongue is pretty good in texture and fairly decent in flavour.

                1. re: pinstripeprincess

                  Thanks - I've been meaning to try Torito. Didn't make it last week as it was too cold.

                2. re: estufarian

                  If lamb testicles are called "lamb's fries" and I were a Frenchman I'd be leery of any restaurant that served French Fries.

                  1. re: ishmael

                    And whatever happened to 'Freedom Fries' - freedom from what?