Earlier this Autumn, my local source for
artisanal home-made house-made tofu near Powerhouse Circle, East Asia, was replaced by a strange newcomer called Doowee (Doo Wee?) and Rice. I mourned the loss of East Asia's homey no frills atmo and amazing layered tofu but I popped in to Doo Wee to see what was up. I found out that what is up is vaguely blade-runneresque decor chicken hearts. Crispy fried chicken hearts, that is. With fries and sauce. And scallions, but really, I'm mainly talking about the chicken hearts.
Did I mention they were crispy and fried? Sure, they have other stuff, spicy chicken wings, fluffy bao baos, rice bowls, noodle dishes, soups, but really, once you've had the "Heart-y Fries," a sort of deranged fusion poutine, the rest all seems trite. And I say "deranged" with a great deal of love. For $8 you get probably more chicken hearts that you really should have, plus a serious helping of french fries and "great white sauce" (I didn't ask, and you probably shouldn't either) Maybe if I had not been distracted and ordered a bao bao I could have finished it, but the leftover helping was nearly as good for lunch the next day. [Dear colleagues, I will not apologize for microwaving chicken hearts at the office and neither will I share them with you!]
These are the best chicken hearts I've had since that night in Sao Paulo when I was almost killed by soccer fans, and that's saying something. (And now that we have Fogo de Chao in Boston, maybe you can get those a little more conveniently, but be warned they are not mentioned on the website)
Back to our story, such as it is. I also had some tasty chicken hearts at Moksa in Cambridge, but I'm going to have to put Doowee's hearts on another level, and that's not only on a price-per-heart basis. The trail of chicken offal continued last week at Casa B in Union Square, arguably the Brooklyn of Somerville.
Casa B offered "corazones de pollo en licor 43" (that's the number of the licor, the price was $9) but I was drawn deeper into the chicken guts by the next item, "mollejas de pollo" because as it turns out, "mollejas" is spanish for "pupik" and who can resists a chicken pupik? Not I. For those late to the limeduck, we're talking gizzards.
Yes, that secondary stomach full of rocks, when skillfully prepared with sautéed onions can be a transcendant treat. There's no photo because Casa B is a dark sort of place and I refuse to pop a flash inside a restaurant, but let me tell you, the presentation was superb, and the gizzards light and tender, not at all organ-like, even though I guess they really are organs. For about the same price as Doowee's hearty fries, Casa B delivers a much smaller portion with just a big a taste.
I strongly recommend you think outside your usual chicken parts, in Somerville and beyond.