Surprised by Sweetbreads

Sweetbreads are the thymus glands of veal, young beef, pork or lamb.  Since reading Julie and Julia, I've occasionally cooked with butter and cream, and have gained a curiostiy for organ meats like sweetbreads.  Guess what, I like it.

flickr photo by ulterior epicure
With finals last week, I neglected my blog.  And now that I've returned home to California for the holidays, it looks like I will be equally busy with family and friends.  I have several posts waiting in my head, however I feel compelled this morning to write about sweetbreads and a wonderful little restaurant called Waterboy.  

Waterboy Restaurant, from website
Last night my family and I went to Waterboy in Sacramento.  I want to give it a shout out, because it is amazing!  The friendly and knowledgeable wait staff (sign of great management!), lovely atmosphere (elegant but not stuffy), and astonishing food (they use seasonal ingredients) have won me over.  It requires a tidy sum, so I know I'll be back for a very special occasion.
A tasty evening began with a gnocchi dish that I split with my sister.  Actually, this is the first time I ate gnocchi.  I hardly cook pasta and I don't go out for Italian very often.  Gnocchi- so soft and cute. 

  • Housemade Gnocci Gratin, with Butternut Squash, Chanterelles (I learned that this is a type of mushroom), Fontina, Breadcrumbs, Sage. 
Then I was surprised by sweetbreads in the entree.  
  • Mixed Grill of Yolo Poultry Chicken, Pork Tenderloin and Sweetbreads, with Savory Bread Pudding, Glazed Brussel Sprouts, Salsify, Herb Jus
  • Pear-Ginger Upsidedown Cake, with Cinnamon Sabayon (I learned that Sabayon is an airy Italian custard)

You're thinking, "Doesn't this crazy girl know that a restaurant review is tasteless without the accompanying food photos?"  I know, I know.  Let's just say that bringing out a camera with its bright flash would have felt very un-classy.  So use your imagination.  : )
Waterboy Restaurant
2000 Capitol Ave
Sacramento, CA 95814

Nutrition Facts for Sweetbreads
The USDA Nutrient Data Base, which I consider the gold standard, didn't have the nutrition facts for sweetbreads.  This is from FitDay.


Anonymous said...

Rach, I love gnocchi! I'm glad you tried it. Its yummy, no?

Rachel said...

yes, so yummy!

alivaux said...

we had a gnocchi party on tuesday so Jesse could celebrate Christmas with my family! in the past our gnocchi cook-offs have been teams making gnocchi and my mom making the sauce, but this year she made all the gnocchi (it took like 4 hours!) and the guests brought different sauces!! it was really fun and creative! we had marinara, pesto, sage, pork, and chicken sauces. and sweetbreads are big in basque cooking as well. (my mom is half italian/half basque). I've never been to Waterboy, but I've always wanted to go. next trip home maybe?! have fun! i fly back to the east coast on saturday to be with my Jesse. happy new year!! love, me.

Rachel said...

gnocchi cook off?!! awesome! And sage sauce...I'm intrigued, what is that like? Thanks Alison, have a wonderful Christmas and happy new year!

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Disclaimer. I am not a Registered Dietitian yet. I provide nutrition information intended for the general public, not for the treatment of a specific medical condition. I try to use scientific research and reliable sources when forming my opinions and messages.
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