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Top five for Friday: All things offal

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.

10 Degrees South ***

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.

The Shed at Glenwood ***

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.

Shaun's East Village Style chicken livers/Credit: AJC

Shaun's East Village Style chicken livers/Credit: AJC

Shaun’s ****

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.

Abattoir ****

1170 Howell Mill Road, inside the White Provision complex, Atlanta, 404-892-3335,

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.

JCT Kitchen ****

1198 Howell Mill Road, Atlanta. 404-355-2252,

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.

19 comments Add your comment


October 23rd, 2009
10:48 am

Nice list. I want to try the chicken liver at Shaun’s — I wonder if that’s available during Sunday Brunch there?

A couple of things I’ve love offal-wise in ATL:
- The bone marrow gratin at Holeman & Finch. Such a great flavor.
- The chicken livers on toast at Social. The real deal as far as liver goes — not for the squeamish, but a treat for the rest of us.


October 23rd, 2009
11:01 am

Yum! Delicious animals.


October 23rd, 2009
1:20 pm

What’s the saying? “There’s room for all of God’s creatures … right next to the mashed potatoes.” :)

Mmmmm … pork belly … and the lamb liver fritters at Abattoir were GREAT.

Growing up poor in south Georgia, we never considered offal as anything other than just another part of the animal. You can’t find a chicken shack in my home town that doesn’t serve livers and gizzards. And my Grandpa was the world’s foremost authority on things such as pig ears, tripe, chitlins and liver-n-onions.

Myself, I never took to the chitlin, but I guess everyone has their limits.


October 23rd, 2009
3:13 pm

Go for it! Meanwhile, I’ll have a burger.


October 23rd, 2009
3:22 pm

Just say no to offal, though I did have some really tasty chicken livers at a steakhouse in Wichita once.


October 23rd, 2009
3:58 pm

In my house growing up, my brother and I always fought over who got the gizzards..Love them..


October 23rd, 2009
4:03 pm

love offals! still have fond memories of my dad buying delicious chopped chicken liver from waldbaum’s in brooklyn. right across the street from where dodger stadium used to be. :-) i’m gonna go over to shaun’s to see how mr. doty’s measure up.


October 24th, 2009
5:24 pm

To Darin – yes, the chicken livers on on the brunch menu at Shaun’s!


October 25th, 2009
9:27 am

The government should ban the slaughter of helpless animals to serve up as meals! A vegetarian diet is much healthier and should be ordered by the government to protect animals!


October 25th, 2009
9:34 am

The chicken liver mousse at One is divine.


October 25th, 2009
9:43 am

vegetarian—I think the govt has better things to do then dictate what I can eat

Barack Obama

October 25th, 2009
10:40 am

In response to the request from “vegetarian”, I want to announce that I, along with the Democrat-controlled Congress, are immediately implementing a ban on meat. Next will be vegtables, grains, followed by all dairy products. Thanks to you and to your loony elitist friends for electing me to office. I’ll do my utmost to ruin this country. I’ve made a great deal of progress already, but you ain’t seen nothing yet. .

Cracker Jack

October 25th, 2009
11:15 am

Big Barack, You know what they say about opinions, I didnt need to see yours this morning. In fact, you smell like you need a shower…


October 25th, 2009
11:31 am

If Barack Obama can do a better job of trying to destroy the country than dubya did, he’s a bigger and better man than anyone I know.


October 25th, 2009
11:51 am

this sounds awful

Harry van Beuningen

October 25th, 2009
8:49 pm

I would like to know who serves the best tongue in town?

Barack Obama

October 25th, 2009
9:44 pm

In response to Harry’s question, Eric and Cracker Jack serve up the best tongue in town.


October 26th, 2009
8:43 am

Is anybody interested in starting ‘offally good’ club??? I absolutely love all types and offal and crave the company of other offal lovers!


October 28th, 2009
4:58 pm

Reading the article reminds me of both growing up in Brooklyn and currentl living in ATL. My Mother used to make a sort of stew of heart, lung and spleen. It really was very tastie and I used to enjoy it. She also made me fried brain sandwiches as a child until I realized that it really was brain. I still enjoy liver, broiled or fried as well as chopped. Haven’t had sweetbreads in years, but I still get an occasional longing for it.. I love the fried chicken livers here in the South.Great dish..