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Aug 29, 2009 02:56 PM

Nasty bits?

Every now and then I get a craving for organ meats, be it liver, kidneys, sweetbreads, or what have you. My wife won't touch the stuff so I have to either cook 2 dinners or eat it out somewhere. Anyone have any recommendations on a place that does a decent liver and onions, veal kidneys, chicken livers, beef or veal tongue, brain, etc?

I figure going French is a good bet when in an "everything but the oink" mood. I've had dinners ranging from good to great at the Bistro Francais in Georgetown, which is kind of big and impersonal for a bistro (actually a great place to go if you're dining alone for those reasons). I've had excellent veal kidneys and chicken livers there.

Any other recommendations?

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  1. I'm with you on this!
    Montmarte on 7th St, SE at Eastern Market has calves liver to dream about. I can't resist it so it's really hard to get through the rest of their menu, even though I adore their rabbit too.
    La Chaumiere in Georgetown has great calves brains. (Otherwise known as cervelles.) Good liver too.

    And the winner is:
    Chez Andree in Alexandria, near Potomac Yards.
    A treasure trove of spare parts. Kidneys, sweetbreads, etc., in addition to the liver, brains, et al. Even frog legs - seldom seen in Washington.
    Reasonably priced and rather funky/quaint inside, it looks like nothing from the street.
    I've had very good meals there and the specials are reasonable enough that you can go frequently.

    3 Replies
    1. re: MakingSense

      Thanks for the recommendation on La Chaumiere, that looks like exactly what I'm talking about.

      Alexandria is a hike for me, though I will try and make it.

      I was at the H Mart in Merrifield recently and saw a guy scooping up about 5 pounds of frog legs. Said he worked at a local restaurant. Someone's selling them!

      1. re: UncleLongHair

        Chez Andree is on Glebe, right by that Target Store. Just minutes South of Costco, Crystal City, etc. so it might not be as far as you imagine.
        Sort of a neighborhood restaurant with good value for the money.

        1. re: UncleLongHair

          Huong Viet in the Eden Center does a very nice garlic and butter frog leg. We've tried them at Viet Royale as well, but Huong Viet's were better.

          Pretty much every Vietnamese pho house offers bible tripe, which is sliced thin and looks sort of like a fractal.

          Likewise, the steam carts at nearly all dim sum places in the region harbor a ginger-steamed honeycomb tripe. If you aren't Asian, the server is very unlikely to show that dish to you unless you ask. This is one dish where we frequently resort to pointing at body parts to overcome a language barrier.

      2. Something from page 4 of Victor's menu. Only go to the one in the stand-alone building. For anyone else looking for a great steak dinner - get the Arginteno.

        5 Replies
        1. re: Dennis S

          on Victor's menu, page five, I like the description of the weekend side special of Fricase: "Pork Stuff"

            1. re: MakingSense

              a guick search would suggest Falls Church - a bit of a hike for me as well.


              love frog legs, but can only find them frozen around my house ('course that's easier to deal with than the live ones I found in SF when I lived there).

              1. re: hill food

                The one I was referring to is the "A" in the Google map that loaded from Hill Food's link. It's close to the original German Gourmet store - a bit past Elevation burger. It's in its own building (white) that's next to a pollo place. I haven't been to the other. I recall that other hounds have gone and said it's mainly a churrasca (or whatever you call the meat on stick places). Srsly, the Argentino plate is a good one.

            2. re: Dennis S

              I have found that Bolivian restaurants do a great job with tongue. Very good at Victor's Grill and especially at Luzmilla's in Falls Church City, but Luzmilla's is open only for lunch.

            3. There's a dish called Mushroom in the Field at Present on Rt 50, cooked with gizzards, liver and heart (all chicken). You can also get offal at most authentic Chinese restaurants.

              1. Old Ebbitt Grill and its Clyde's siblings do a nice liver and onions.

                The Chinese place in Odenton, Md., has a dish called Triple Treasures that is cold thin-sliced offal.

                Present, the Vietnamese place near Falls Church, has a great papaya salad with liver jerky.

                The best sweetbreads I've had were at 2941 in Falls Church -- but that was a few years, chefs and menus ago.

                1. In LA,there are many Japanese Yakitori restaurants where they sell a lot of odd parts of chicken. Bonjiri was described as the part of the chicken that goes over the wall last and is wonderfully tasty. Does anyone know of one here that they recommend?

                  Honeypig On Columbia Pike just North of Little River Turnpike in annandale, is good for tripe, viscera, pork belly and more.

                  Gamalsot in Springfield has Soo Dae as a special: blood sausage. You get some as a side dish, but I love the soodae soup. They also ahve a boiled meats plate (when you make a soup stock that takes 48 hours to cook, you can boil a lot of tasty stuff in that time. There was tongue, tripe of several types, liver and other stuff I wold just be speculating about but most all of it was pretty incredible, just one item I really didn't care for.

                  Joe's Noodle House has kidney & liver and various duck bits.