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Jun 22, 2010 05:38 AM

Sweet breads at Black Hoof

I visited the Black Hoof again recently and had a mostly great meal. One dish however, sweetbreads with peas and chanterelles, I thought really missed the mark. It sounded great on the black board, very seasonal, chanterelles yum. But the sweetbreads were heavy and flavourless, peas and chanterelles just dripping in butter (often a good thing, but to much here). The dish was very heavy and monochromatic, and I was so looking forward to it. Sigh.

Has anybody else tried this dish? What did you think? What are good sweetbreads supposed to taste like?

The Black Hoof
928 Dundas St W, Toronto, ON M6J, CA

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  1. were the sweetbreads deep fried? if so he had this exact same dish last year around this time and my sweetbreads tasted like fried chicken, people at the same meal and at separate meals agreed. suspect it was all in the breading. also far too much butter.

    sweetbreads when done right are more textural for me. a nice thin crisp exterior with a silken interior. it's probably the mildest in flavour of all the offals, so the best i can describe is that it has a creamy, rich and mild protein-y flavour... not strong in iron like liver.

    5 Replies
    1. re: pinstripeprincess

      Thanks! Yes I think they were deep fried. The fried chicken comparison is spot on. I was actually reminded of chicken mcnuggets at the time.

      The first and only other time I tried sweetbreads was years ago, at a wine tasting gala. They were sauteed right in front of me and smelled heavenly. They actually tasted obscene to me at the time. I couldn't finish the little morsel I was served. I was over reacting to something new and alien to me. Now I want to try them at their best

      1. re: haggisdragon

        To me sweetbreads are best when they are pan fried and basted in brown butter every so gently! Sooooo good - however, you have to start with a top quality sweetbread to begin with.

        1. re: JennaBean

          I agree. A pleasant sauce is better than the ubiquitous deep fried aroma. They have to be prepped for hours, pressed under a plate, but the flavor and texture are unique.

      2. re: pinstripeprincess

        I also had this dish last summer at the hoof and to be honest I really liked it. That may have something to do with the fact that it was my first sweetbread experience so I was a bit nervous about it, particularly the texture (the deep fried nature definitely helped) and I absolutely love chanterelles, peas and butter!

        1. re: Cat123

          i'm glad you liked it, texturally it was pretty decent inside. i would just encourage you to try a non-deep fried version as your second experience. as others have mentioned, i also prefer a pan-fried version... i am finding that with deep frying chefs need to be more careful because the end results lately have been food that tastes more like the oil and coating than the thing itself. since i think sweetbreads are among the mildest in flavour, they can be overwhelmed in that type of prep.

      3. dang. I really liked this dish, actually. I have a photo, but not posted yet. There's a back log. Though I wouldn't say that this would be the best way to taste sweet breads.

        2 Replies
        1. re: jlunar

          this is making laugh, mcsweetbreads has become a joke in our house, the nickname for this style of sweetbread- fried and battered and nowhere near as amazing as they can be. I haven't had the hoof ones, but I feel i had the type you are describing- too many times!

          1. re: nummanumma

            They did a take on chicken wings at One using sweetbreads, even served them with blue cheese dipping sauce. One word - TERRIBLE!

        2. Best fried sweetbreads I've had this year were at Grace, even ahead of some good ones at Locanda Verde in NY.

          1. I didn't have this preparation of sweet breads i've tried the country fried sweet breads which i LOVED. They were served on cornbread with collard greens and hot sauce. They were definitely like little bites of fried chicken.


            1 Reply
            1. re: wontonfm

              I wasn't as fond of this preparation. While still good, the peas+butter+chanterelles combo is waaay tastier IMO. :) but that's just my opinion!

              I just found the hot sauce kinda drowned out the sweetbreads.