10 Best Offal Dishes in Metro Phoenix

Offal often gets a bad rap for being the odds and ends of animals that no one wants to eat. The term, used more frequently in British English, refers to non-muscle parts of a butchered animal. It covers all sorts of tasty bits like intestine, liver, kidneys, feet, head, brain, tongue, and more. And we'll admit, these aren't exactly the sexiest of ingredients. But these days, thanks to inventive chefs and a rising interest in culinary adventure, offal's acceptance is on the rise.

Of course, you've never had to look any further that your favorite ethnic joint to find these often flavorful but overlooked protein sources. But now they're also making their way onto upscale, New American menus too. So move over, pâté, and make room, foie gras, because you're not the coolest cuts on the butcher block any more. Here's our list of the 10 best offal dishes in metro Phoenix.

Pho dac biet at Pho Thanh Restaurant: At Pho Thanh, you can count on finding super-cheap and authentic Vietnamese eats, and that description includes this bowl of brimming beef parts. In pho dac biet, or "special" pho, you'll find slices of beef mixed in with chewy chunks of tripe and soft, rich sections of tendon. If the idea of noshing on connective tissue seems offputting, don't fret. In fact, the gelatinous texture and beefy, fatty flavor of tendon might just remind you of pork belly. Dressed up with bright bites of cilantro and crunchy bean sprouts, you're in for an offal treat with this dish. (1702 W. Camelback Road, 602-242-1979)

Pho dac biet, which comes with tripe, beef, and tendon mixed in with noodles and crunchy accouterments
Lauren Saria
Pho dac biet, which comes with tripe, beef, and tendon mixed in with noodles and crunchy accouterments
The Gladly's chicken paté, which comes with a side of crisp buttery toast, pickled onions, and capers.
Lauren Saria
The Gladly's chicken paté, which comes with a side of crisp buttery toast, pickled onions, and capers.

Location Info


The Gladly

2201 E. Camelback Road
Phoenix, AZ 85016

Category: Restaurant > New American

Region: East Phoenix


3603 E. Indian School Road, B
Phoenix, AZ 85018

Category: Restaurant > Coffeehouse

Region: East Phoenix

El Rinconcito del D.F.

8901 N. 12th St.
Phoenix, AZ 85020-3070

Category: Restaurant > Mexican

Region: North Phoenix

New Hong Kong Restaurant

2328 E. Indian School Road
Phoenix, AZ 85016

Category: Restaurant > Buffet

Region: East Phoenix

Great Wall Cuisine

5057 N. 35th Ave.
Phoenix, AZ 85017

Category: Restaurant > Chinese

Region: West Phoenix

Halo-Halo Kitchen

3553 W. Dunlap Ave.
Phoenix, AZ 85051

Category: Restaurant > American

Region: North Phoenix

Asadero Norte De Sonora

122 N. 16th St.
Phoenix, AZ 85034

Category: Restaurant > Mexican

Region: Central Phoenix

La Merced

855 W. University Drive
Mesa, AZ 85201-5556

Category: Restaurant > Mexican

Region: Mesa

Lucky's King Wah

4306 W. Northern Ave.
Glendale, AZ 85301

Category: Restaurant > Asian

Region: Glendale

Pho Thanh Restaurant

1702 W. Camelback Road
Phoenix, AZ 85015

Category: Restaurant > Vietnamese

Region: Central Phoenix

Chicken liver pâté at The Gladly: There's a simple pleasure that comes with eating pâté, assuming you're not grossed out by the idea of eating liver. To us, at least, this dish feels rustic and traditional. At The Gladly, the pâté appetizer comes with Dijon mustard, pickled onions, and capers, all of which can be piled or spread atop toasted bread. If you're not a regular offal eater, this pâté is a great place to start because the mild flavor won't leave you feeling like you're eating anything strange. It's wonderfully smooth — actually downright creamy — and complemented well by the crisp, buttery bread sourced from North Phoenix's Panini Bakery. (2201 E. Camelback Road, 602-759-8132, www.thegladly.com)

Crispy, fatty fried pork intestine at Lucky's King Wah: Pork intestines might be our favorite type of offal, particularly the way they're served at Glendale's Lucky's King Wah restaurant. There's a trick to getting them, though, and the key word is persistence. You won't find this appetizer on the English menu, so unless you know Chinese, you'll have to ask for it by describing it. Your server will probably try to offer you something else, but insistence will get you a plate of bright red, fatty pig intestines. Dip each deep-fried piece in the vinegar sauce and sprinkle a pinch of salt for a whole new level of flavor. And eat up, because sadly they don't reheat well. (4306 W. Northern Ave., Glendale, 623-937-3960)

Chicharrón prensado at La Merced: At Mesa's La Merced, you can have your choice between two types of chicharrón, either of which can be wrapped just about any way you like, as a quesadilla, gordita, sope, and more. The familiar chicharrón will be crispy pigskins, but here you'll also find chicharrón prensado, or pressed pigskin. These skins get compressed into brick form with bits of meat and fat still attached. And when folded into an oversized quesadilla, they offer a whole lot of flavor bang for your buck. The deep red meat is smoky and sweet, complemented by just the right amount of grease. (855 W. University Drive, Mesa, 480-343-6363)

Chicken feet at Great Wall Cuisine: There are plenty of ways to eat offal without having to feel like you're, you know, eating offal. Chicken feet are definitely not one of them. On Sunday mornings, Great Wall Cuisine serves up an impressive dim sum spread that draws quite a crowd, so be prepared to wait. Once you've landed a seat, don't let the steaming bowl of chicken feet go by without nabbing a dish. These gelatinous treats come smothered in faintly spicy red sauce. Provided you don't mind bones, you'll gnaw your way through layers of skin, fat, bones, tendon, and maybe a bit of meat, though never much. Navigating the inedible bits is half the fun. (3446 W. Camelback Road, #155, 602-973-1112)

Dinuguan at Halo Halo Kitchen: Dinuguan comes from the Filipino word dugo, which means "blood." So, as you might have guessed, this savory stew does, in fact, feature pork blood. And if that's not offal-y enough, traditionally dinuguan can also be chock-full of other tasty tidbits such as lungs, kidneys, intestines, ears, heart, and snout, though that's not always the case these days. The rich stew at Halo Halo Kitchen comes packed with the garlic and vinegary flavor that's typical of Filipino food and offers a mild iron-y taste thanks, of course, to the blood. This West Phoenix joint has a great selection of other Filipino dishes, too, including crispy slabs of lechon, or whole roasted pig, and slow-cooked chicken adobo. (3553 W. Dunlap Ave., 602-324-9670, www.gothalohalo.com)

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