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Tasty sweetbreads await at Gemma.
Tasty sweetbreads await at Gemma.
Photo: Garrett Hall/EDFW

9 Offal-y Good Dishes to Try Right Now in Dallas

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Tasty sweetbreads await at Gemma.
| Photo: Garrett Hall/EDFW

Nose-to-tail cooking, whole animal allocation — whatever you want to call it, eating every bit of the animal is mighty trendy these days. While the term "offal" in and of itself isn't exactly appealing, many Dallas chefs are doing tasty things with liver, tripe, sweetbreads and more these days. Whether you're an offal beginner or a seasoned brain eater, here are nine offal-y good dishes worth seeking out. (For more options, scope out our previous offal-centric map.)


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Note: Restaurants on this map are listed geographically.

1. Belly & Trumpet

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3407 McKinney Ave.
Dallas, TX 75204
(214) 855-5551
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Steamed buns stuffed with braised pork belly are pretty trendy these days, but chef Brian Zenner takes it one further by filling his buns with Wagyu beef tongue. Don't tell any squeamish table mates it's tongue and they'll be none the wiser -- it's tender, beefy and totally delicious, adorned with a little pickled cucumber to perk it up.

2. Canary By Gorji

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5100 Belt Line Rd.
Addison, TX
Lamb brains aren't exactly a hot menu item these days, so if you're curious a trip to Addison may be in order. Chef Gorji boils them till they're tender and creamy, sears them in butter and serves them up on crispy bread with green garbanzos, tomato and red onion for a sort of brain bruschetta.

3. CBD Provisions

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1530 Main St
Dallas, TX 75201
(214) 261-4500
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Chef Michael Sindoni's 'nose-to-tail' approach is making offal sexy. Ordering the dramatically-presented whole pig's head will not only avail you of the fatty cheek meat but also the chewy eyeballs. There's also tender braised tripe served with bread to sop up the spicy sauce, as well as creamy chicken liver mousse served on crunchy housemade toast.

4. Deli News

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17062 Preston Rd
Dallas, TX 75248
(972) 733-3354
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We're admittedly sort of confused by the old adage "What am I, chopped liver?" -- as if it's bad to be compared to chopped liver? Hardly. If you're not brave enough to try this creamy deli staple on its own, try the NBC sandwich, which pairs it with roast beef for a one-two punch of meaty goodness.

5. El Come Taco

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2513 N Fitzhugh Ave
Dallas, TX 75204
(469) 233-4623
This new East Dallas taqueria clearly ain't afraid of a little offal: Besides all the usual taco fillings like suadero and cabeza, you'll also find crispy-edged grilled tripe and even brains, which Observer critic Scott Reitz describes as having the "texture of soft, crumbly custard and a very mild flavor."

6. Gemma

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2323 N Henderson Ave
Dallas, TX 75206
(214) 370-9426
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Husband and wife team Stephen Rogers and Allison Yoder say they're selling a lot more sweetbreads than they expected to, and for good reason: The crisply fried whole sweetbread (which is actually a calf's thymus gland) is like a giant chicken nugget, if chicken nuggets were actually delicious, perched atop a zingy whole grain mustard sauce and frisee.

7. Meddlesome Moth

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1621 Oak Lawn Ave.
Dallas, TX 75207
(214) 628-7900
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Chef David McMillan's sweetbreads are an excellent starter dish for the offal beginner: The creamy morsels are deep-fried till golden and crispy on the outside and served with a creamy, garlicky black pepper aioli and a sweet sorghum-cider sauce for texture and flavor contrast.

8. The Rustic

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3656 Howell Street
Dallas, TX
Rocky Mountain oysters are of course not oysters at all, but calf's testicles. Regardless of their somewhat icky origins, the "calf fries," as this Uptown hot spot calls them, are crispy outside, juicy inside and served with a creamy buttermilk dip. Not convinced? Perhaps a few beers from The Rustic's excellent selection of local brews will bolster your confidence.

9. Stampede 66

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1717 McKinney Ave, Ste 100
Dallas, TX 75202
(214) 550-6966
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The cryptically-named Sonofabitch stew at Stephan Pyles' Uptown ode to Texan cuisine is an offal-lover's dream: Bits of organs such as sweetbreads, tongue, liver, and heart suspended in a creamy stew punctuated by Brussels sprouts leaves and pickled vegetables. Definitely get some cornbread or beer bread to sop up the leftovers.

1. Belly & Trumpet

3407 McKinney Ave., Dallas, TX 75204
Steamed buns stuffed with braised pork belly are pretty trendy these days, but chef Brian Zenner takes it one further by filling his buns with Wagyu beef tongue. Don't tell any squeamish table mates it's tongue and they'll be none the wiser -- it's tender, beefy and totally delicious, adorned with a little pickled cucumber to perk it up.
3407 McKinney Ave.
Dallas, TX 75204

2. Canary By Gorji

5100 Belt Line Rd., Addison, TX
Lamb brains aren't exactly a hot menu item these days, so if you're curious a trip to Addison may be in order. Chef Gorji boils them till they're tender and creamy, sears them in butter and serves them up on crispy bread with green garbanzos, tomato and red onion for a sort of brain bruschetta.
5100 Belt Line Rd.
Addison, TX

3. CBD Provisions

1530 Main St, Dallas, TX 75201
Chef Michael Sindoni's 'nose-to-tail' approach is making offal sexy. Ordering the dramatically-presented whole pig's head will not only avail you of the fatty cheek meat but also the chewy eyeballs. There's also tender braised tripe served with bread to sop up the spicy sauce, as well as creamy chicken liver mousse served on crunchy housemade toast.
1530 Main St
Dallas, TX 75201

4. Deli News

17062 Preston Rd, Dallas, TX 75248
We're admittedly sort of confused by the old adage "What am I, chopped liver?" -- as if it's bad to be compared to chopped liver? Hardly. If you're not brave enough to try this creamy deli staple on its own, try the NBC sandwich, which pairs it with roast beef for a one-two punch of meaty goodness.
17062 Preston Rd
Dallas, TX 75248

5. El Come Taco

2513 N Fitzhugh Ave, Dallas, TX 75204
This new East Dallas taqueria clearly ain't afraid of a little offal: Besides all the usual taco fillings like suadero and cabeza, you'll also find crispy-edged grilled tripe and even brains, which Observer critic Scott Reitz describes as having the "texture of soft, crumbly custard and a very mild flavor."
2513 N Fitzhugh Ave
Dallas, TX 75204

6. Gemma

2323 N Henderson Ave, Dallas, TX 75206
Husband and wife team Stephen Rogers and Allison Yoder say they're selling a lot more sweetbreads than they expected to, and for good reason: The crisply fried whole sweetbread (which is actually a calf's thymus gland) is like a giant chicken nugget, if chicken nuggets were actually delicious, perched atop a zingy whole grain mustard sauce and frisee.
2323 N Henderson Ave
Dallas, TX 75206

7. Meddlesome Moth

1621 Oak Lawn Ave., Dallas, TX 75207
Chef David McMillan's sweetbreads are an excellent starter dish for the offal beginner: The creamy morsels are deep-fried till golden and crispy on the outside and served with a creamy, garlicky black pepper aioli and a sweet sorghum-cider sauce for texture and flavor contrast.
1621 Oak Lawn Ave.
Dallas, TX 75207

8. The Rustic

3656 Howell Street, Dallas, TX
Rocky Mountain oysters are of course not oysters at all, but calf's testicles. Regardless of their somewhat icky origins, the "calf fries," as this Uptown hot spot calls them, are crispy outside, juicy inside and served with a creamy buttermilk dip. Not convinced? Perhaps a few beers from The Rustic's excellent selection of local brews will bolster your confidence.
3656 Howell Street
Dallas, TX

9. Stampede 66

1717 McKinney Ave, Ste 100, Dallas, TX 75202
The cryptically-named Sonofabitch stew at Stephan Pyles' Uptown ode to Texan cuisine is an offal-lover's dream: Bits of organs such as sweetbreads, tongue, liver, and heart suspended in a creamy stew punctuated by Brussels sprouts leaves and pickled vegetables. Definitely get some cornbread or beer bread to sop up the leftovers.
1717 McKinney Ave, Ste 100
Dallas, TX 75202

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