Sunday, July 12, 2009

The Butcher's Table

Sure, you've sat at the chef's table of your favorite restaurant, but have you ever sat at the butcher's table? A16 Restaurant has a little thing going on for lunch on Wednesdays. They get their pigs in for the week and break them down in front of any guest adventurous enough to pull a seat up at the counter that runs the length of the kitchen. For some, watching a dead pig get dissected into the various cuts of meat that eventually end up on your plate might be, well, less than appetizing. Lucky for me, I'm long past that point.

It was an impressive sight watching the crew make quick work of the pig and a half that would become a week's worth of pork for the restaurant.

For lunch we ordered a salad, pizza with anchovies, black olives and chili oil, with a fresh egg on top and the trippa alla Napoletana. This was my first time having tripe, and man was it good. The texture was wonderful, smooth but not slimy, firm but not chewy, and the flavor infused throughout the whole dish. If you've never had tripe and are at all squeamish about trying it, this is the dish to be introduced to.

Between the corned tongue (which I will finish posting about soon, I promise), this and some Fatted Calf Liverwurst, I've been having an adventurous gastronomic week, with each one exceeding my expectations.


  1. Ben, I just found your blog. A nice nugget to stumble across. I look forward to following. I am just starting out down a similar path and am posting at

    Happy salting! Let us know how the tongue turns out.

  2. Ask and ye' shall recieve! I just posted Tongue part 2. I just checked out your blog and I can tell I'll be reading it regularly. I built a curing chamber similar to the one you are building, and have had pretty good results. Good luck!