Sweetbread Mania

I’ve been avoiding sweetbreads for a while (that problem stems from an episode in cooking school when I accidentally put a kitchen towel full of them in the washing machine). But it’s getting impossible to ignore them now that they’re showing up at just about every restaurant. Not that it’s surprising to see the elegant organ meat on ambitious menus—Blackbird and North Pond in Chicago; Ame, Campton Place and Myth in San Francisco, to name a very few. And not that it doesn’t say nice things about culinary democracy that you can also find them at non-fancy places, like Casa Mono and Blue Ribbon Bakery in Manhattan. But when you see sweetbreads at a supercasual place like Tables in Denver, then you know they’re beyond ubiquitous. Tables is a bustling little café that does a brisk lunch business—customers love the I-70 sandwich, a combo of roast beef, tomatoes and blue cheese with horseradish dressing, and the biggest Rice Krispie treats you’ve ever seen sit out on the counter. The sweetbreads don’t appear until dinner, when they’re served, as the menu states, “crispy, with sautéed root vegetables, bacon and GOODNESS.” Yikes. I’m just glad I never order them.

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