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Best tripe dishes?

Good tripe dishes are hard to find in many restaurants where I am in Miami. They'll make an occasional appearanceon some Italian or Spanish tapas menus but rarely last (seems I'm one of the only people ordering them). And this is one item that I'd much rather have someone else prepare for me than DIY.

Could be a trippa a la romana, maybe some callos a la madrilena, a dim sum dish, menudo, or a taco - regardless of ethnicity, where will I find the best tripe dishes in San Francisco?

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  1. There's a sensational trippa a la fiorentina appetizer at Delfina. It's a ceramic dish with tomatoes and onions that has the texture of roasted eggplant.

    Many Vietnamese restaurants serve pho with an assortment of tendons and tripe.

    I'm also fond of the modongo (sp) at Balompie, a Salvadorean restaurant. This is a vegetable soup that includes tripe and tendons.

    Was at Incanto this week, which is famous for offal. No tripe on the menu Wednesday, but lots of other ambitiously applied body parts (delicious sweetbreads). You can drop in at the bar for wine and appetizers and see what's available.

    If you search on Fruitvale (Oakland neighborhood, with a convenient BART stop), you'll find the details of the crispy tripitas tacos at the truck outside the Guadalajara restaurant. Ruth Lafler has posted about these in the past.

    4 Replies
    1. re: Windy

      Yup. I only like tripe when it's crispy and fried. The El Novillo taco truck Windy described does a lovely job.

      I've also enjoyed Sichuan-style dry-fried tripe at a couple of places: China Village in the East Bay and Zone 88 in San Francisco (the southern part of SF on the way to the airport).

      China Village
      1335 Solano Ave, Albany, CA 94706

      Zone 88 Inc
      2428 San Bruno Ave, San Francisco, CA 94134

      Guadalajara Restaurant
      1001 Fruitvale Ave, Oakland, CA 94601

      1. re: Ruth Lafler

        Any visit to Zone 88 MUST include the crispy pork intestine - I like tripe prepared almost any way but I have to say that this dish at Zone 88 is truly one of the best - and I've had it there about 4-5 times and it has always been the best - even a friend who is a confirmed tripe hater liked it...

        1. re: RWCFoodie

          Note that these Mexican and Sichuan crispy tripe dishes are all made with PORK tripe or chitterlins, actually the small intenstine, I think.

          I'll put in a word for "husband and wife lung slices", a classic Sichuan cold dish that typically doesn't have any lung in it around here, rather poached and thinly sliced beef shank (with soft gristle) and poached beef tripe bathed in a wickedly hot "ma la" chili oil seasoning. China Village and Zone 88 both do a great job with this dish.

          1. re: Melanie Wong

            Yes, this dish at Zone 88 is the other tripe dish that I love - we had it just a couple of months ago and it was every bit as good as it was the first time we tried it there.

    2. I love tripe and the best Italian tripe dishes I have had are: 1) The neapolitan tripe at A16 (tender in a rich tomato based sauce that is finished with some egg and sheeps milk cheese); 2) the tripe salad at Incanto (tender simply boiled tripe served cold with olive oil, lemon and herbs, light and bright); 3) the tuscan tripe at Delfina (similar to A16 but has more fun--probably not cleaned as well--and the sauce is not quite as balanced).

      Spices has a great fried large intestine with schezuan peppercorns. Piperade has tripe once in a while. All the top dim sum spots serve tripe.

      1. Best I've had has been at Incanto and A16.

        Incanto Restaurant & Wine Bar
        1550 Church St, San Francisco, CA 94131

        2355 Chestnut St., San Francisco, CA 94123

        1 Reply
        1. re: Robert Lauriston

          The tripe soup (chalkboard special) at Turkish Kitchen in Berkeley was pretty good:


          Correcting the A16 link:

          2355 Chestnut St., San Francisco, CA 94123

          Turkish Kitchen
          1984 Shattuck Ave, Berkeley, CA 94704

        2. Had some nice tripe last week at La Ciccia. Sometimes Delfina has tripe, too.

          La Ciccia
          291 30th Street, San Francisco, CA 94131

          Delfina Restaurant
          3621 18th St, San Francisco, CA 94110

          1. Some that haven't been mentioned yet that I think are awesome: tripe ala madrilena at Alegrias, tripe in the Portuguese style at Duarte's Tavern as a lunch special, Czech-style tripe soup in goulash spices at DJ's Bistro, book tripe as a dim sum dish at HK Flower Lounge, and if they still make it under the current ownership, the tripe florentine at Santi.

            Hong Kong Flower Lounge
            51 Millbrae Ave, Millbrae, CA 94030

            Duarte's Tavern
            202 Stage Rd, Pescadero, CA 94060

            Alegrias Food From Spain
            2018 Lombard, San Francisco, CA 94123

            DJ's Bistro
            1825 Sutter St, Concord, CA 94520

            Santi - duplicate
            21047 Geyserville Ave, CA 95441

            2 Replies
            1. re: Melanie Wong

              The tripe I had at Duarte's was really boring. I wouldn't order it again.


              1. re: Robert Lauriston

                I agree - truly one of the worst tripe preps I've ever had... I would never order it at Duarte's again either...

            2. I hardly ever find it served in the restaurants this way, but simple home preparation of tripe in the vietnamese tradition is boiled with a little salt until "al dente" firm, and not too soft or chewy, then thinly sliced, drizzled with a light vinigrette, topped with pickled onions, cilantro, scallion and then served with a strong sauce composed of fish sauce, ginger, garlic, sugar and a little lemon/lime to taste.

              2 Replies
              1. re: nicedragonboy

                Joy Place in San Mateo has this style on their lunch menu on the non-dim sum side of the restaurant. It's chinese style, blanched book tripe with the soy sauce, scallion, hot pepper, ginger sauce. I suppose you can also get this in the dim sum side...they also have a nice tripe stew for dim sum. I really enjoyed the dim sum tripe stew at the new Asian Pearl in Millbrae.

                1. re: nicedragonboy

                  ndb: that sounds great - I don't believe I've ever had this at any of the many Viet restos we've tried and unfortunately don't have a Viet family to make it for me. Is it typically done with honeycomb tripe or would book tripe be better? Perhaps you could post a "recipe" to the Home Cooking Board?? :-)

                2. I had an excellent tripe dish at Zarzuela about a year ago.

                  1. Incanto's tripe salad is great, just wish they wouldn't shave it so thin...

                    If you happen to venture outside of S.F on Hwy.80, on El Cerrito/Richmond border there is Asian Pearl restaurant in Pacific East Mall (Central exit). I always take there my vacationing European visitors who want to try something other than chow mein and sweet and sour pork.. While in general I consider their dim sum to be just OK, I love their tripe dishes. One kind is featured on a table menu and is served in a clear broth with a hint of spiciness. Another kind, circulated around the room on a cart or a tray, is more substantial and "saucy".

                    1. Terra's pasta with tripe (tripini) is an outstanding dish. Lipsmacking good with an authentic Italian flavor. It's one of the few dishes anywhere I actually crave.

                      Here's MMRuth's write-up of that dish:




                      4 Replies
                        1. re: Robert Lauriston

                          It's what they used to call it on their menu -- and I presume that tripini means "little tripe" or "baby tripe". Now I see that the menu lists the dish as merely tripe, so I have changed my post above to reflect that.

                          1. re: maria lorraine

                            Maybe tripe + spaghettini. Is the tripe cut into long strips so it gets all mixed up with the pasta?

                            1. re: Robert Lauriston

                              Yup, and it's one dang tasty dish. The dish looks simply like a mound of angel hair pasta with tomato sauce. The tripe is cut into little strips, as you say, so perhaps the -ini part of the word is an invention to reflect the strips. I'll check to find out more. The dish has been on the menu for 18 years or so.

                      1. Nothing new to add but second (third?) those that mentioned Incanto, Delfina and La Ciccia.
                        I've had tripe at all three in the last two to three months and all very good. La Ciccia's is usually an off -menu special so you may want to call. Delfina has had it most times that I've been and Incanto on and off.

                        1. As long as this topic is being discussed... There is a good tripe dish at Zarzuela. I think it's usually available. We also love the steamed tripe available at Koi Palace in Daly City. I was scared the first time my tripe-crazy-husband ordered it, but boy, was it good. Mild, chewy, earthy. And it comes with a crazy delicious sauce. Probably a soy-vinegar-sesame-chile combo. On a good day they pull the "tripe cart" up next to your table. Fun, fun,fun

                          1. El Huarache Azteca on E 14th in Oakland, a short walk from the Fruitvale BART, has really good menudo on Sundays. I had some again recently on a trip through the Bay, so it doesn't seem to have gone away in my absence.

                            1 Reply
                            1. re: tmso

                              Not only not gone away, but expanded, El Huarache Azteca #2 is a counter-service taqueria across the street, with a parking lot for both restaurants.

                              El Huarache Azteca
                              3842 International Blvd, Oakland, CA 94601

                            2. I had great tripe at Zuppa (Italian) and O Izakaya Lounge (Japanese small plates). However, I'm not sure if Zuppa has tripe all the time (it's currently not on the menu). O Izakaya prepares their tripe with a honey sauce, which was an interesting way to present tripe.

                              564 4th Street, San Francisco, CA 94107

                              O Izakaya Lounge
                              1625 Post Street, San Francisco, CA 94115