Adventurous diners are often interested in trying the most unusual thing on the menu, whether it be an international dish never sampled before, or an offal riff that may require a strong stomach. But sometimes a diner just doesn't know if it's worth a mini-investment to give head cheese or fermented eggs a try.
One strategy to take: seek out restaurants that highlight interesting items on their happy hour food menus. Here's a weeks' worth of suggestions on how to expand a diner's repertoire for a little less money.
The dish: Sweetbreads (thymus glands)
Where to find it: DBGB, on the new Family Meal bar menu (served as tacos)
The price: $11 for three tacos
The dish: Pelmini (Russian dumplings)
Where to find it: Mari Vanna
The price: $9 during happy hour (5-7 p.m.). Pelmini Tuesday also means deals on family-style dumplings throughout the evening.
The dish: Uni (sea urchin)
Where to find it: Sushi Taro (5:30-7 p.m. at the bar)
The price: $6 for nigiri (half-off $12).
The dish: Beef tongue (in this case, char-grilled)
Where to find it: Mango Tree (3-7 p.m.)
The price: $6
The dish: "Liver and Onions" (a riff using chicken liver)
Where to find it: Jack Rose (first floor bar)
The price: $3.50 from 5-7:30 p.m.
The dish: Duck heads (served fried)
Where to find it: Thip Khao at the bar, every day (5-7 p.m.)
The price: $5
Where to find it: Acadiana, 4-9 p.m.
The price: $5 for "gas station" pork boudin balls
OTHER IDEAS: Try fried chicken skins at Bar Pilar during happy hour...experience the loroco flower in pupusas at Baby Wale during happy hour...give chickpea fries a shot during All Set's happy hour...sample squash blossom tacos during El Chucho's happy hour...plus, oyster virgins have so many options.