Bloody Good: Where to Partake of Palatable Plasma
When I order steak at restaurants, I tend to make tired jokes about how rare I like it.
Photo by Emmanuel Boutet Boudin noir before being cooked.
"I want my meat black and blue," I'll say. "Bring it to me still bleeding."
Though I don't literally want my steak bleeding onto my plate, there are some instances where a little blood in my meal makes it all the better. No, I'm not referring to when chefs season a dish inadvertently (see our October piece on horrific kitchen injuries). I'm talking about blood soup, blood sausage and any other dish that benefits from a little bit of the sanguine sauce.
In Houston, there are a number of restaurants at which you can get your fix. Just, maybe, don't bring your squeamish friends along. Cubed blood is not for the faint of heart. Or stomach.
5. Boudin Noir at Café Rabelais
Because we reside in such close proximity to Louisiana and the Cajun and Creole bounty that comprises much of its cuisine, I'm always surprised when a friend sees "boudin noir" on a menu and asks me what it is. "Just order it," I always say, smiling devilishly on the inside. "It's super tasty." It is, of course, delicious, but many people are less than enthused at the prospect of eating blood encased in intestines. Boudin noir originated in France, so it makes sense that some of the best blood sausage in town can be found at the delightful French restaurant Café Rabelais. Here, it's made from ground pork and pig's blood, then grilled and serve on mashed potatoes with a side of caramelized apples.
4. Black & White Pudding at Brian O'Neill's
Photo by Grinner This isn't actually from Brian O'Neill's, but it does feature black pudding prominently.
The traditional British dish black pudding can be difficult to find in Houston since Feast closed, but it is available where many people might not expect: at Brian O'Neill's Irish pub. Brunch is offered Saturday and Sunday from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m., and one of the items on the menu during this time is an "Irish Breakfast," consisting of two fried eggs, a fried tomato, Irish bangers (sausage), Irish rashers (bacon-esque) and black and white pudding. Black pudding is essentially the British version of blood sausage (think less spicy than boudin noir and made with oatmeal), while white pudding is a similar sausage prepared without the blood that gives its cousin its signature black hue.