We were supposed to be having dinner with a friend at San Francisco’s Water Bar restaurant. But, at the last minute he had to cancel and I am grateful he did. Not because we don’t love spending time with him, but because I would not have had the adventure of eating pigs feet and other offal otherwise. Screwed up priorities.
Offal is the entrails and internal organs of a butchered animal that is used for food and is not a skeletal muscle. The gross stuff.
We decided to head to San Francisco sans our dining companion and dine at SPQR, a trendy Michelin starred restaurant in the lower Pacific Heights District. Without even an inkling there would be pigs feet on the menu.
photo courtesy of SPQR
It was a Sunday evening, we didn’t have reservations and there were none available on Opentable. We decided to pull the trick we always use, showing up right when the restaurant opens at 5:30, hoping they save some seats for walk-ins. This trick surely would not work at a place like Northern California’s fancy French Laundry, but it has worked for us everywhere else. Every time. Tonight was no different.
The featured menu was littered with offal; blood sausage, veal tongue, sweetbreads, pigs feet and head. I wanted one of each.
The offal adventure at SPQR all started with the Veal Tongue Pastrami. It had the texture and taste of a dry pastrami and was served with fingerling potatoes. Not nearly as gamey as lambs tongues.
We moved on to the Pigs Head Pyramidi, a handmade stuffed pasta. The head inside was finely minced and the dish included hukrei turnip and sartori fontina cheese. Tastes like bacon.
And after eating their daily-made fresh pasta that the Pigs Head Pyramidi was made with, we needed another pasta dish. Pronto.
The Bludnudlen pasta with Tuscan blood sausage ragu topped with pigs feet pangrattao peaked my interest and hit many items on the eating weird food criteria.
The short, curly pasta was cooked perfectly al dente and held the blood sausage ragu nicely. It was topped with toasted and crushed pigs feet. If you didn’t read the menu, you would have never known the offal inside.
We deemed this pigs feet dish the best we have ever eaten in San Francisco.
Not everything at SPQR contained pigs feet or other offal, there was a lump crab quinoa salad too.
We didn’t actually have a dessert, but I could only imagine what type of offal would be in it. Maybe a Pigs Feet Chocolate Mousse?
Sounds like an awful meal of offal, but we walked away thinking it was the most delicious meal we had ever eaten in San Francisco. Yes. It was that good.
Have you ever eaten pigs feet or other offal?
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