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Sweet breads at Black Hoof

haggisdragon Jun 22, 2010 05:38 AM

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

  1. w
    wontonfm Jun 23, 2010 05:31 AM

    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
      jlunar Jun 23, 2010 06:24 AM

      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.

    2. c
      childofthestorm Jun 22, 2010 11:58 AM

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

      1. jlunar Jun 22, 2010 11:25 AM

        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
          nummanumma Jun 22, 2010 11:48 AM

          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
            JennaBean Jun 22, 2010 11:53 AM

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

        2. pinstripeprincess Jun 22, 2010 07:04 AM

          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
            haggisdragon Jun 22, 2010 11:17 AM

            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
              JennaBean Jun 22, 2010 11:33 AM

              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
                jayt90 Jun 22, 2010 11:37 AM

                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
              Cat123 Jun 23, 2010 05:35 AM

              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
                pinstripeprincess Jun 23, 2010 07:51 AM

                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.

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