Did you know that the annual day of love and tasteless chocolates also shares its calendar space with National Donor Day? Since 1998, the day calls upon kind-hearted individuals to register as donors for the more than 100,000 people currently awaiting transplants (If you’re feeling lovingly altruistic, fill out your donor cards). And what better way to strengthen your registered organs than with organ-based meals? A rational line of thinking, perhaps not, but logic aside, you can indulge your inner Andrew Zimmern today with some (tasty?) edible offals offered by an international line up of Brooklyn restaurants. You might be hesitant (no judgement) but at such low prices what do you really have to lose (except your appetite)?
[WARNING: The following is not for the vegans/easily grossed out].
ORGAN GRAB BAG
Pho Vietnam, 1243 Ave. U
Hu Tieu My Tho (Kho), noodle soup with shrimps, lean pork, pork’s liver, heart, kidney & ground meat, $5.50
Park Slope ChipShop, 383 Fifth Ave.
Haggis equals sheep stomach politely stuffed with sheep heart, sheep liver and sheep lungs accompanied by minced onion, oatmeal, suet (solid white fat found around the kidneys and loins), spices, and salt. It is thusly boiled for multiple hours.
According to Tejal Rao’s article in The Atlantic Monthly about the Vastedda at Ferdinando’s, spleen tastes like “the boiled, grizzly flotsam of a prehistoric monster.” Yummy!
Ferdinando’s Focacceria Restaurant, 151 Union St.
Vastedda, Sicilian style sandwich made with spleen, layered with ricotta and grated cheese, and baked, $4.60
A fancy word for stomach of a cow or other ruminants, tripe is a celebrated food part across many cultures. In Turkey it even has a reputation as a hangover remedy.
Buff Patty, 376 Myrtle Ave.
Tripe & beans, small portion, $6
Tacos Matamoros, 4508 Fifth Ave.
Tripe taco, single, $1.50
Unfairly compared with liver, the heart is an tough organ that projects its own unique flavor. Throw it in a casserole or on the grill, some still find it hard to stomach either way.
Cheburechnaya, 518 Neptune Ave.
Chicken hearts, shish kebab, $2.49
Depending on preparation, the texture of liver can range from questionably grainy to pleasantly creamy. We bet it tastes just fine when fried. What doesn’t taste good fried?
Cafe Kashar, 1141 Brighton Beach Ave.
Gigar, rice with fried liver & vegetables, $6.50
Mile End, 97A Hoyt St.
Chopped Liver, onion relish, egg, pletzel (garlic and poppy flatbread), $7
Some say testicles taste like liver, others that they taste like lamb brains. Either way, we’re wincing in male commiseration.
Café Sarmish, 1162 Coney Island Ave.Lamb testicles, $4.99
Yemen Cuisine, 145 Court St., (718) 624-9325
Soft White Kidney Beans (vegetarian option), served with bread and topped with tomato and olive oil, $6