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Mar 2, 2011 10:01 PM

ISO Veal or Beef Brains

Every once in a while I get a craving for the breaded fried brains I enjoyed as a child, but I don't know where to find veal brains here. Does anyone know of a good source?

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    1. re: Robert Lauriston

      Ooops. I wasn't very clear in my query, but either one--or both! I've all but given up on finding brains in restaurants. And I have a delicious old recipe for canneloni that calls for brains.

      1. re: pilinut

        Anyplace with a hardcore French chef might make brains in brown butter by special order: Chez Spencer, La Folie, Chapeau.

        Maykadeh does great things with lamb brains, not sure about veal.

        Pakistani restaurants sometimes have brain masala, not sure which kind of brains they use.


        Chez Spencer
        82 14th St., San Francisco, CA 94103

        La Folie
        2316 Polk St., San Francisco, CA 94109

        1. re: Robert Lauriston

          good point, i know shalimar and chutney both have brain masala

          1. re: pilinut

            Would you be willing to share your cannelloni recipe. I have had ravioli with brains in the filling and they were to die for.

            1. re: rcspott

              I'm afraid it will have to wait until I get back to my cookbooks several weeks from now. But I agree wholeheartedly that pasta fillings with brains mixed in can redefine the possibilities!

              1. re: pilinut

                In the '80's, Genova Delicatessen in Oakland had them as an ingredient in their meat ravioli. No more though.

        2. most of the taquerias in the mission have brain tacos (or brain burritos for that matter, but i think that would be a bit too much). my favorite is vallarta

          1. Thank you, Robert and vulber! That's a good start. Perhaps the butchers in the Mission will have the beef brains, and I shall place Maykadeh and Vallarta on my must-try list. I am already salivating. . .

            Vallarta Restaurant
            14366 E 14th St, San Leandro, CA 94578

            1 Reply
            1. re: pilinut

              One place you might want to try is the meat market at the southwest corner of 23rd and mission - can't remember the name off hand - they tend to have more of the obscure offal items

            2. Had some good calf brains at Incanto about 4 or 5 years ago.

              On taqueria menus, you are looking for sesos.

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                  1. re: Tripeler

                    Brains that are not from Harris Ranch or other feedlot cattle?
                    I'm having a hard time finding a sustainable grass-fed source...any tips?

                      1. re: wally

                        good idea - will try them next :)

                        1. re: takuhead

                          I asked them about this when buying my side of beef from Prather. B/c of their other business of supplying the medical industry, Prather is pretty obsessive about not letting neural tissue contaminate their equipment. They wouldn't even provide us with the beef neck, let alone the brain.