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Oct 7, 2013 08:56 AM

What menu items you can't resist when you see them

Anything made with uni.
Whenever I read suckling pig on the menu..I just can't resist!
Any kind of duck dishes...whether it's at a French restaurant or Chinese restaurant.
Cod fish. My favorite fish.
Some kind of braised dishes..(usually very flavorful and can't really go wrong)
Pate..any kind of pate...especially duck liver or goose liver or housemade pate de campagne.

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      1. The first thing that comes to mind is fried onion rings but of course only if they look like they're the real thing. If it's an order of them for $2 you know it's the chopped and formed pathetic imitation of them.

        4 Replies
        1. re: janmcbaker

          Yes, i forgot about them. French fries, onion rings and sweet potato fries.

          1. re: janmcbaker

            Giant homemade onion rings. Greek or Turk owned NJ diners usually make them. Inch and a quarter to inch and a half wide slices of huge onions, dusted with cracker meal, egg bathed, bread crumbs then fried golden brown. YUM :-)

            1. re: Tom34

              Onion rings are the sole reason I go to Ted's Montana Grill.

              1. re: Tom34

                Amen, but when something is described as including caramelized onions it's hard to pass up. Also rhubarb, whether in savory or sweet dishes.

            2. Brains, sweetbreads, liver, kidneys, heart.

              Pork belly. Pasta with fresh porcini or truffles.

              Yellowtail sashimi or crudo.

              11 Replies
              1. re: linguafood

                Yes, sweetbreads and pork belly! can't go wrong with both.

                  1. re: Sinicle

                    I haven't seen brains on menus nearly as often as any of the other things, sadly.

                    My mom used to make a killer calf's brain, and then that whole shit in the UK went down and that was the end of it, pretty much. Wah.

                    1. re: linguafood

                      You know Lingua, I will eat nearly anything - at least once - but I can't seem to get my head around - semi-pun-intended - eating brains..... so never had them.

                      Sweetbreads, kidneys, etc. Love!

                      1. re: gingershelley

                        They are delicious. You should really give them a try some time!

                  2. re: linguafood

                    Agree with the sweetbreads, kidneys and heart. Liver I make at home a couple of times a year, so I can resist when I go out. Used to love brains, but too much cholesterol for me, sigh (there are some taquerias around here that serve them: I usually go for the tripitas, lengua or cabeza, though).

                    Also: steak tartare, duck, scallops, vegetables I haven't heard of...

                    The only dessert I can't resist is canoli - good thing it's rare out here.

                    1. re: tardigrade

                      I'd make (calf's) liver at home more often if my man were a fan. He is not. And while it's really very cheap to get, I rarely feel like eating anywhere between 8-12 oz. of liver all by myself. I also found that the slices aren't often great quality with lots of silver skin, so I do *love* a good rendition of it in a restaurant -- German, Austrian & Hungarian are the way to go.

                      OTOH, I make pretty killer scallops at home, so it's not a *must order* when going out.

                      I really, really wish there were more restaurants serving brains.


                      1. re: linguafood

                        My mom cooked calf's liver to perfection in a cast iron pan with bacon & onions and she and my dad loved it.

                        I just could never acquire a taste for it then and have tried it many times since and still don't like it.

                        I think I am in the majority on liver but thats good for those that like it because as you say its very reasonable here in the States.

                        My hunch is that in Europe its much more desirable and probably more $$$..

                        1. re: Tom34

                          The slices generally available in the supermarket are so thin, holey and grody it's not even worth the small buckage they ask for.

                          The key to good calf's liver is a slice thick enough to be cooked MR, preferably in bacon fat along with caramelized onions and apples.

                          I do get my occasional liver fix at home with chicken livers whenever I'm lucky enough to find giblets in a whole chicken. They're thick enough to cook them perfectly, and are so good straight out of the pan with a quick glaze of port or a maple balsamic I have around (I just can't get myself to buy one of those 1 lb. tubs of Tyson livers. Ick).

                          My mom made a killer dish with veal kidneys, braised in a cream sauce served over rice.

                          I really gotta get back to Yurp.

                          1. re: linguafood

                            Funny you mentioned all those organs as when ever we got a turkey there was a bag in the cavity that had all those things and my mom cooked them up for my dad and he loved them.

                            Are you giving away a little age? :-)

                            1. re: Tom34

                              Old enough to type on a laptop and cook organ meats.

                  3. Tiramisu at an Italian restaurant.

                    Spicy tuna roll ata sushi restaurant.

                    Pâté at a French.

                    1. horse
                      green turtle
                      smoked fish dip

                      The only one that usually disappoints, but I keep trying, is the smoked fish dip. Tilapia off the grill with Old Bay Seasoning and mayo is not acceptable.

                      3 Replies
                        1. re: Chemicalkinetics

                          You would be surprised at how many urban ranchers find out what a pain in the wallet and clock it is to keep those "pets" for the kids.

                          The most common statement? "Just don't kill it here."

                          And the culls I get from my local strudel feed lot are remarkably inexpensive.

                        2. re: INDIANRIVERFL

                          IRFL, We picked up some smoked mullet dip at a little shack in Florida on our way to Sarasota this summer. I'd never heard of it before, and I liked it, but I couldn't eat was very rich.
                          Our car smelled like smoked fish for days. We got some slabs of smoked mullet, too. The guy who smoked the mullet made the dip himself that morning.