warning: explicit ‘head to tail’ food pornography ahead

no, that’s not a kinky fetish subcategory at the adult video store on mission street.  get your mind out of the gutter.

i’m just emerging from a weekend full of some serious meat eating. i just finished poring over the meat issue of edible San Francisco magazine last week and then serendipitously found myself in several places serving kickass sustainable meat. yeeeeeaaah.

for example, incanto in  noe valley has won a bunch of awards for their sustainable practices. check out their website for a whole write-up on their attempts to respect animals and the environment,  including only buying humanely raised and killed animals, obsessively recycling, growing their own herbs, and using all parts of the animal in true ‘head to tail’ fashion.

what’s included in head to tail? we started off with asparagus, poached eggs and sweetbreads. mmm…nothing says tasty like thymus gland.


vying for the thymus and pancreas gland for are-you-trying-to-make-me-vomit? factor is the surprisingly delicious tuna heart.  the heart comes shaved into tiny bits, since the flavor is so strong, over pasta chitarra with egg yolk and parsley. DELICIOUS.


to round off the weird meat faction, i had an amazing dish of lamb neck with gremolata (a chopped sauce of garlic, parsley and usually lemon zest, although this was served with orang zest), garlic rapini (aka broccoli rabe or raab or ten other names) and creamy polenta. fantastic combination. the lamb was ridiculously tender and fatty and flavorful.


we couldn’t resist ordering this insanely delicious carrot cake trifle with dried persimmons, blood orange caramel sauce, and some sort of nut.  thankfully, this dessert contained no animal parts that i know of.


thanks aminals for being deliciously tasty. i honor you by eating really fucking bizarre parts of your body.

other notes in the sustainable-meat-in-my-face weekend: one of the articles in edible SF was about a burger-off comparing the best of the bay area’s grass-fed beef. they ultimately declared marin sun farms one of the first place winners, which happened to be on the menu at bar jules in hayes valley in burger form. this super cute cafe (handwritten chalkboard menus,  gorgeously painted walls, most adorable restaurant bathroom ever) is also committed to serving sustainable meat and fish and making really fabulous food. my friend ian works there (sexiest server EVER!!) and told me his favorite dish is the marin sun farms burger. WORD.

it was a straight-up, no bells-and-whistles, we’re-not-fucking-around-with-condiments, here’s-a-hunk-of-beef-on-a-buttered-bun mouthful of awesome. one slice of gruyere. a tiny ramekin of ketchup. no tomatoes or lettuce or mustard or mayonnaise or onions or deep fried caramelized kimchi pickled radishes marinated in secret sauce. just burger. i usually like all the bells and whistles as much as (okay, way more than) the next girl, but any additions wouldn’t have added to the flavor, it would have detracted from the pure rich, juicy, beefy taste of the meat.

both restaurants did a great job showcasing sustainable meats in their own fashion. incanto was all about BIG flavors (thick slices of garlic, big hunks of parsley) and a wide variety of meat cuts and styles.  bar jules made fresh, simple food (like some seriously kickass scrambled eggs) and just let the ingredients speak for themselves.

so.much.meat. i feel like a dozing lion on the savanna, satiated from taking down a full-grown antelope and a baby gazelle.  or a t-rex. i bet you’d feel pretty full after scarfing down a brontosaurus or two.

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