From home-style cooking to haute cuisine, there are more than a few exotic and potentially squeamish menu items popping up around Salt Lake. You might think twice before you put these delicacies in your mouth and begin to chew. Although these five dishes aren’t always the most popular on the menu, they might leave you squirming with delight as they deliver intense flavors that make them bites worth seeking out in Salt Lake.
Original Cold Cuts (Dac Biet)
at Oh Mai
Get your fill of many pig pieces with the S1 banh mi order at Oh Mai. Pork pate and head cheese top the list of ingredients, in addition to jambon ham and steamed pork roll. Oh Mai’s banh mi is served on an 8-inch French baguette and topped with cucumber, cilantro, pickled carrots and daikon, green onion and jalapeno. Just over $4, this may just become a weekly staple. Mussel shooters with raw quail eggs at (2 for $5.95) are a must-have starter at Kobe Sushi. Green-lipped mussels are diced and marinated, topped with topiko and served, with a raw quail egg and dot of siracha on the half-shell. The raw egg yolk breaks in your mouth and coats the mussels in creamy fattiness. It’s beautiful to look at and even more delicious to eat.
Anticuchos (beef heart)
Anticuchos deliver all the flavor of beef with none of the fat. At Del Mar, this Peruvian specialty features slices of beef heart that are marinated for 24 hours in a mixture of spices, then skewered and seared. Served on a cast iron grill with a side of yucca frita and cob of corn, this is a beefy, hearty deal on the appetizer menu for just $13.
No longer a staple on the regular menu due to supply, you’ll still find this carnivore’s delight on the special menu a few times a month. Beef bones are cut in half to expose the marrow, which is seasoned and roasted. To prepare, scoop the warm, buttery marrow from the bones onto slices of baguette, top with greens and a sprinkle of sea salt and enjoy.
Lengua (beef tongue) Tacos
at Taqueria 27
A very traditional find at Salt Lake’s taco carts and many authentic Mexican restaurants, beef tongue tacos highlight this high-fat—and therefore tasty—protein source in a delicious fashion. With its high-end, often surprising twist on Latin American foods, Taqueria 27 serves its lengua tacos as the occasional Taco of the Day special prepared in a variety of ways. One favorite option includes grilled pears and pickled onions.By no means exhaustive, this list of curious bites to try in Salt Lake should get you salivating for more adventurous fare.