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Sweetbreads, Best in N.O.? Good butcher shop? Is there any market where you can by them raw?

Which restaurant has the best sweetbread dish? Does any place in town serve the pancreas rather than the thymus?

Also, does anyone know a butcher shop or market where they can be purchased raw?

I'd also like to find a market where I can buy ox tail, chicken hearts, cow tongue and other wonderful offal, please help

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  1. Clancy's, Galatoire's, Patois, Iris

    1 Reply
    1. re: edible complex

      It is interesting--and gratifying--to see items such as sweetbreads get back onto menus again. In New Orleans, NY, Boston, the established places almost always had them. They certainly have been at Galatoire's forever, even when no one elsewhere had ever heard of them (or maybe heard of them yet stayed away from offal. Antoine's used to have tripe. Restaurant sweetbreads, in my experience, tend to be frozen and they do freeze well. If there is a slaughterhouse nearby I s'ppose you could get them fresh. I can't think of the last time I saw them for sale in an ordinary market---I see tripe and tongue and brain from time-to-time but you used to NEVER see those at "upscale" markets and had to seek them out elsewhere.

      The lemon-butte caper presenation isa clasic, also beurre noir. Galatoire's does them financiere but they'll make them any way you want them to. Hell, poach 'em in milk.

    2. The best in town, by far, are at Bayona, with the lemon butter sauce with capers.

      I don't know where you can buy these items in a store, except perhaps at Union Supermarket in Kenner, but the ox tail stew at Christie's poboys on the west bank (Fridays and Saturdays only) is superb.

      4 Replies
      1. re: pilaf

        maybe the Hong Kong Food Market on the westbank.

        Hong Kong Food Market
        hongkongmarket@bellsouth.net
        925 Behrman Hwy.
        Gretna, LA 70056
        8:00am-9:00pm
        394-7075

        or
        International Market in Metairie
        3940 Barron Street Louisiana (LA)
        Phone: (504) 443 3601 / (504) 468 8888

        call around; I used to buy goat from the guy who ran the gas station I went to.
        there was also a meat market in Fat City across the street from Maurice's on Hessmer.

        1. re: edible complex

          on the northshore, there is R&N Specialty meats.
          985.624.2662
          I was asking him about getting me a lobe, even though he doesn't stock them.
          Be sure to ask for whatever you're hankering...he may be able to score it for you.

          1. re: edible complex

            I think that this is the key. You will probably have to arrange to get your hands on them and likely won't be able to walk in somewhere and find them. I would imagine that it is because they are so perishable that they don't stock them. Perhaps most go to restaurants for this reason?

          2. re: edible complex

            Also try the halal butcher shop on Williams, on the lakeside of West Esplanade, downriver side. It's located in a strip mall with a kebab place occupying the end closest to Williams; the butcher shop is at the far end of the little L-shaped mall.

        2. Upperline gets my vote.

          1. La Boca's rendition is tops in my book. They're grilled to perfection, which is a nice departure from the usual saute job.

            I've never seen sweetbreads in the markets here, but ox tails, tongue, tripe and the like are all available at Rouse's (at least as recently as sunday); just ask the butchers if they aren't in the meat case. The price is probably more reasonable at HK Market, though...

            1. La Boca's grilled sweetbreads are the best sweetbreads I've ever had in my life (and I order them whenever they're on the menu). Sweetbreads were also the highlight of my recent trip to MiLa, perfectly pan roasted on top of truffled grits.

              As for where to buy them, I know Carriage Foods (meat supplier to many restaurants in town) used to sell retail to the public, but I'm not sure if they still do that. Definitely worth checking out. A friend of mine once bought a rack of elk from them!