Eat This

Where Pork Tongue Meets Smoked Cracklins: Small Brewpub's Menu Is Made for Adventure

Welcome to "You Like This," in which we ask chefs two questions: 1) What's the best-selling dish at your restaurant? and 2) What's your favorite dish at your restaurant? We hope the answer to the first question will open your eyes to the fan favorites and the Dallas palate, and that perhaps the answer to that second question will inspire you to go out on a kickass food limb once in a while. This week's You Like This features chef Misti Norris and Small Brewpub.

Hey chef! What's the best-selling dish at Small Brewpub?

The best-selling dish besides the charcuterie is our roasted rye lasagnotte with confit pork tongue, toby haggard mizuna and smoked cracklins. I was a bit surprised when we started selling as many as we did because of the pork tongue component, but I think the general public is really starting to understand and realize that offal can be just as delicious and important as a more common cut.
What's your favorite dish at Small Brewpub right now?

My favorite dish on the menu right now is the butter-poached and pickled tassione beets with 44 Farms beef cap lardo, green garbanzo, whey, tangerine gremolata and dill pollen. To me, this is a transitional dish: It's slightly warm, with cold pickled beets, and funky with the addition of beef lardo. I have to admit, I am not the biggest fan of beets, but I know what flavors I like with them. We all tasted this dish before it went on the menu and fell in love with it. Simple and clean flavors.

If you could give any advice to a Dallas diner who's scared to venture out and try something new, what would it be?

My advice for people scared to venture out and try new things is just do it, be vulnerable, be scared and be willing to try new things. The worst that can happen is you decide again you don't like it. There are a lot of chefs that put their heart and soul into what they create, and the last thing they want is to put something on a plate that you would hate. A huge part of our jobs is to create dishes that people will love, no matter how strange or uncommon.

If you haven't tried something new at Small Brewpub lately, go back, get the charcuterie board again, and then try something new, too. Venturing out at Small Brewpub is a risk that's always worth the reward.

Small Brewpub, 333 W. Jefferson Blvd., 972-863-1594

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Alice Laussade writes about food, kids, music, and anything else she finds to be completely ridiculous. She created and hosts the Dallas event, Meat Fight, which is a barbecue competition and fundraiser that benefits the National MS Society. Last year, the event raised $100,000 for people living with MS, and 750 people could be seen shoving sausage links into their faces. And one time, she won a James Beard Award for Humor in Writing. That was pretty cool.
Contact: Alice Laussade