Confession time: I haven't been the biggest fan of tripe. Before moving to Texas, I'd only eaten stomach a handful of times. The only instance I cleaned my plate was at Restaurant Eve, a four-star restaurant in Alexandria, Virginia, with a chef who could turn a shower shoe into a delicacy.
His tripe was braised until it was beyond tender and then breaded, fried and served with a tomato sauce. To me, it tasted a lot like lasagna, which is delicious, so I ate it in half a minute. But I left wondering: If something tastes so terrible that you have to completely, almost magically, convert it, why bother?
If you like this story, consider signing up for our email newsletters.
SHOW ME HOW
You have successfully signed up for your selected newsletter(s) - please keep an eye on your mailbox, we're movin' in!
And then I moved to Texas.
Dallas, I soon discovered, does tripe. Many of the taquerías I visited had menudo on the menu, and my first apartment was right behind a Herrera's. If I saw tripe, I ordered it, and experienced reactions ranging from revulsion to tolerance to a fleeting sensation I can only refer to as "forced enjoyment." I still didn't love the stuff. It felt like work.
When I walked into CBD Provisions I was ready for the same routine. Instead, I experienced a sort of tripe epiphany. This wasn't forced enjoyment. It was a genuinely pleasurable experience.
Chef Michael Sindoni uses chorizo with purpose, but he stops short of covering up the tripe's own character -- and it's delicious. I started by spooning a little of the stew on a slice of bread but determined the toast was an unnecessary step, delaying the spicy stew's ultimate destination. The dish was empty in a few minutes and then I realized the real reason the bread was served as a side -- to wipe the bowl clean.