Most smaller local Mexican restaurants have a variety of the waste not, want not meats (tongue, cheek, maybe pancreas and chicharrones if you’re lucky). We’ve profiled El Mil, Juanito’s, Taquerita Tepitos, Taco Chihuas, Melis Taqueria and Granny’s Tacos in both our breakfast tacos and our Not Just for Tuesday tacos pieces.
But if you’re interested in unusual meats –– whether it be the exotic spinalis (the super buttery, heavily marbled cap of a ribeye steak that’s tender like a filet mignon) or just exotic choices, here are 10 restaurants where you’ll find more than just steak.
1. B&B Butchers
B&B gilds the lily a bit with their Butcher’s Butter, made with the ribeye cap from gold grade American Wagyu beef. It’s like butter on top of butter. The house-smoked lamb bacon is also a delicious treat.
The higado de res ––liver and onions –– takes a decidedly Mexican twist on the blue plate special cafeteria restaurant classic.
3. Bird Café
The restaurant's glorious tapas menu presents Nashville hot sweetbreads (thymus glands fried up with spicy seasoning) along with luscious roasted bone marrow accompanied by brioche toast points.
Bonnell's has venison carpaccio on the menu, along with a buffalo tenderloin in a glorious whisky cream sauce. My personal favorite are the dainty elk mini-tacos, anchored to the plate with dabs of the cheese grits.
At Clay Pigeon, Chef Marcus Paslay occasionally serves the ribeye cap. The everyday menu also features succulent grilled bone marrow on the menu.
When it comes to exotic meat, Lonesome Dove pretty much rides away the winner. Rabbit and rattlesnake sausage, boar and beef tenderloin meatballs, kangaroo carpaccio nachos, and antelope tacos make up a wild menu.
But over at Magdalena’s, chef Juan Rodriguez gives Tim Love a run for his money. At a Magdalena’s supper club, you might find beef tongue, beef cheeks, rabo de toro (oxtail) or tablitas, a thin-cut short rib.
8. Meso Maya
Meso Maya's pork jaw chicharrones come with queso and salsa verde, and once you’ve sampled them, you may not ever want plain chips with your queso ever again.
Lady and the Pit's daily specials often includes oxtails (yep- that’s exactly what it sounds like), which are gooey and gelatin-rich so they simmer beautifully into an unctuous stew. Chicken necks also make an appearance, but the daily specials are subject to change. Madea’s Down Home Cooking, Drew’s Place, and Buttons also offer oxtails.
At Woodshed, you’ll find bone broth and a low-and-slow smoked beef shin, along with the same rabbit and rattlesnake sausage you’ll find at sister restaurant Lonesome Dove.