For decades, brains, intestines, and organ meat were ignored by the white-dominated food media. This is a shame for many reasons, not the least of which being that “offal” is downright delicious, when prepared well. But — like a million other food trends that make something other people have been eating forever into the hot new thing — these cuts had a real moment in 2010. As the food scene finally embraced mainstream multiculturalism, traditional dishes made with “throwaway” cuts spiked in popularity.
The phenomenon has lingered, and with good reason. As part of the farm-to-table movement, nose-to-tail eating became the new cool thing among high end chefs and restaurateurs. All of a sudden, offal wasn’t only popular, it was better for the planet. There’s no doubling back now — any diner who skips the sweetbreads is sure to be scorned by fellow foodies.
When we asked chefs to tell us where they like to dig into organs, some gave the hat tip to the high end restaurants, while others pointed to Asian and Mexican eateries that have been serving some damn good entrails for centuries. Their advice is superb and if you’re still on the fence let it sway you. Given the low price of offal and the many health benefits it provides, if you aren’t noshing on brains, hearts, or livers on occasion, you’re missing out.
Harbor City Restaurant (Seattle, WA)
Chef Porfirio Gomez — Executive Chef, Andrei’s Conscious Cuisine & Cocktails (Irvine, CA)
The pig’s organs porridge is just like what my mom used to make and brings me back to my roots in Guadalajara. This restaurant is a great family-owned local spot and I always make sure to visit when I’m in the Pacific Northwest.