They don’t call it gray matter for nothing …
Organ meats are currently quasi-stylish, and it’s not uncommon to see sweetbreads, tripe, and liver on menus. Less common are kidneys, with brains more rare than that. In fact, when was the last time you ate brains? I did the night before last at Karam.
The texture of the organ is disarming, somewhere between pudding and whipped cream; the color an otherworldly pale gray; and the flavor almost nonexistent, which is why the French bathe them in vinegary black butter, while the Pakistanis further obscure the texture and taste by scrambling the brains with eggs, into an orgy of cholesterol.
The Lebanese — as at Karam — simply roll them into tubular sandwiches on big round (non-pocket) pitas. Inside the Middle Eastern burrito are pickled root vegetables, tomatoes, lettuce, and parsley. You should open up the sandwich as shown above, and spoon in the wonderful white garlic sauce, which is something like strongly flavored mayonnaise and brings a burn to the lips.
The worst part about beef brains is — they look like human brains.
8519 Fourth Avenue
Bay Ridge, Brooklyn
Karam blazes into the night near the intersection of 86th Street and Fourth Avenue, Bay Ridge’s busiest corner.
Like this post? Check out the rest of our organ-oriented library.
Follow us on Twitter if you dare:
@robertsietsema [Robert Sietsema]
@chantytown [Chantal Martineau]
@ldshockey [Lauren Shockey]
This article from the Village Voice Archive was posted on December 6, 2011