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Aug 1, 2013 07:26 AM

Dishes w/ tongue in the Bay Area

In the conversation around what makes a DOTM (ingredient vs. dish), I wondered about tongue (ingredient), as it appears in a variety of cuisines.

Melanie Wong replied with a great list of examples:

"duck tongue tacos, duck tongue tempura, Maggi duck tongues, five-spice duck tongues, barbecued pork tongue, lengua en salsa, Japanese grilled beef tongue, Chinese fried dough pastry called cow tongue, bollito misto, Persian lamb tongue in saffron, corned tongue, headcheese, veal tongue in aspic, pickled tongue..."

And suggested I start a new discussion thread on the topic. Which I'm doing!

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  1. On the Specials board at Pacific Court Cafe: slices of beef tongue are offered with gravy and plated with lamb, pork, or fish fillet. It's not on the menu.
    Otherwise, my go-to is the lengua taco or lengua chilaquiles.

    Lengua is Wednesday's Special at La Perla in South San Francisco - they moved to 222 Lux Avenue.

    I'm lunching on lengua tacos today:
    Taqueria Castillo B
    86 McAllister St
    (between 7th St & Leavenworth St)
    9 am to 10:45 pm

    3 Replies
      1. re: Melanie Wong

        hmmm... good, generous with diced tongue - tender and soft.

      2. re: Cynsa

        La Perla name change: La Nueva Perla (new owners)
        222 Lux Avenue, South San Francisco

        Lengua plate on Wednesday's Special $9.95
        large slices of tender tongue with tomatoes; rice, beans, green salad - wonderful thick, fresh homemade tortillas.

      3. B-Dama in Oakland has had both beef tongue skewers and beef tongue stew on their menu

        1 Reply
        1. Maykadeh has two or three tongue dishes.

          Tribune Tavern has a great tongue appetizer.

          Smoked tongue is often on the charcuterie plate at Cafe Rouge.

          1 Reply
          1. re: Robert Lauriston

            Fifth Quarter (Berkeley FM) also offers a delectable smoked tongue.

          2. Kiraku in Berkeley has a few Beef Tongue dishes that are very good.
            HopScotch has it on their Burger

            6 Replies
            1. re: chefj

              Have had two of their tongue dishes. One of them is whole tongue sliced and served with truffle seasoning. Was too rare for me. The other is grilled tongue skewers. This dish I loved.

              1. re: Ridge

                I love the sliced Tongue dish with Truffle Oil as well as the many Folks that taken there, but to each their own. It has always been cooked a little beyond Medium Rare in my experience.

                1. re: chefj

                  Night we had it, it was pretty rare and chewey. Have a feeling it was a rare off night there because a couple of other dishes were not as good as usual.

                  1. re: Ridge

                    Sounds like it. I do not think I have had a bad dish there.

                    1. re: chefj

                      same here - huge fan of that sliced tongue dish at Kiraku, and also the Hopscotch burger, which i had again last night.

                2. re: Ridge

                  I think we had the grilled tongue but it wasn't on skewers, rather in slices. Unfort for us it was chewy and not a great texture. We've never had tongue served that way.

              2. Soy sauce pig tongue (takeout).
                I buy many whole tongues, freeze them for later inhalation -- microwave reheat. As I recall about $6 per pound.
                My favorite place in Oakland is Yung Kee:
                888 Webster St
                corner of 9th Street
                Oakland, CA 94607
                (510) 839-2010
                Other places sell barbecued tongue, but I prefer the unctuous goodness of braised ones. The BBQ tongue is sometimes dried out.

                7 Replies
                1. re: Joel

                  At Nijiya Market yesterday, the thinly slice tongue was $18.99 lb.
                  1737 Post Street, San Francisco.

                  1. re: Joel

                    thanks for the Yung Kee tip. do you happen to know the Cantonese name for the dish ?

                    1. re: moto

                      I don't need names -- I just point to the items in the tray (at Yung Kee). They have tongue every time I've been there (it's in the same tray as the stomach). I usually buy all that they have on hand.

                      If I am sitting down for dinner (never been to YK for dinner, this happens at other places) and they don't understand English -- which is rare -- I just point to the appropriate part on my anatomy. One time I ordered intestine, and the cook emerged from the kitchen to gawk at me; he couldn't believe that someone of the Caucasian persuasion had ordered intestine.

                      1. re: moto

                        Sei Gee Lee Like Char Sei for BBQ pork. But all you will need is Gee Lee unless they have five spice pork tongues. Well I am making myself hunger. So off to the freezer to find something to eat.

                        1. re: yimster

                          grazie, yimster. the joys of Cantonese (and some Hakka of course) names for all the pork dishes, the non-fluent would not know all the preparations are pig/pork based -- no shared words between the terms. pai gwut, char shu, foh yuk, gee lee least lop yuk can be filed in the vicinity of foh yuk and lop ahp (duck). the 'gee' in gee lee is the same word in 'gee ghurk', pig's feet ?

                          1. re: moto

                            Gee in Cantonese means something that is pork. To answer your question yes.

                      2. re: Joel

                        I usually go to Gum Kuo for Cantonese deli items like pig tongue and intestines; they take credit card too! Is Yung Kee a better option?