It’s time to embrace your inner carnivore: eat some offal for goodness’ sake. Whether it’s sweetbreads with a smear of velvety demi-glace or a heap of chicken livers, innards are where it’s at these days. And if you’re wondering why Holeman & Finch isn’t included on this list, it’s because when it comes to souse and sweetbreads, Atlanta’s only true gastro pub is in a class of its own.
4183 Roswell Road, Atlanta. 404-705-8870
The South African owners of this longtime Roswell Road favorite sauté their chopped chicken livers in peri peri (or piri piri) sauce, but it lacks the fire this Portuguese sauce can add to a dish. The crock of goodie that comes to the table with slices of baguette is saucily sweet, almost relish-like in flavor, and a rich diversion with a glass of the restaurant’s Pinotage.
475 Bill Kennedy Way, Atlanta. 404-835-4363
Light-yet-toothsome tufts of country bread and warm, house-made apple preserves are what chef Lance Gummere serves with his silky torchon of foie gras, pink and pretty, with a texture smoother than butter. Add a glass of red wine, and it’s offal nirvana.
1029 Edgewood Ave., N.E., Atlanta. 404-577-4358
The menu simply offers “chopped liver/East Village style,” but chef-owner Shaun Doty’s chopped chicken liver salad over thick, crusty crostini is the city’s standard for chicken livers, period. These hefty chunks of organ meat are nothing short of food porn. Fashioned after the street and deli foods of the Lower East Side, this chunky schmear begs for a glass of red wine, and afterwards, perhaps a cigarette. And I don’t smoke.
1170 Howell Mill Road, inside the White Provision complex, Atlanta, 404-892-3335, www.star provisions.com
If it’s offal you’re after, Abattoir has an entire section of the menu devoted to your meat-centric longings. Explore tripe stew, with honeycomb tripe so soft and supple you may not notice it’s there, served up in a brothy soup with fresh farm beans and tomatoes, plus a fat, juicy chunk of pork belly.
1198 Howell Mill Road, Atlanta. 404-355-2252, www.jctkitchen.com
Sure, chef-owner Ford Fry has a foie gras and chicken liver mousse on the menu, but I just couldn’t leave his duck rillettes off this list. I know: shredded meat cooked in fat then topped with a layer of more fat isn’t offal at all. But this item is a sharp little number, winning even more meaty favor with grainy mustard, hefty toast points and some cornichons. Offal it ain’t; awesome it is.