I was instantly smitten when I walked into BKLYN Larder in Flatbush yesterday evening and saw all the dried sausages hanging from a pig-perched rail. I was then overwhelmed by the many tantalizing cheeses displayed before me but the staff was eager to help. I tried two pecorinos as well as a pantaleo. I went with the panteleo as well as a soft cheese I can’t recall the name of. The dude behind the counter was very patient as I was overcome with enthusiasm and forgot my manners. I exclaimed, “We want more!” because there was still the task of choosing from the plentiful pork products. I’ve mentioned before that cuteness counts and the Larder is no exception—as evidenced by their prosperity pig (rather than kitty), shelves full of beautifully packaged provisions, and well-designed signage. And they certainly have the gastronomic goods to back it up.
Apparently by space invader method. How could I not know this? I think everything is a video game—like fantasy football, which I recently found out is not. Now you can let others know how to make a tasty garnish for their salads & baked potatoes with this t-shirt from shirt.woot! Thanks to Kid Kalig for the link!
As a designer, I often judge a book by it’s cover—you'll never see me reading an ugly book (I take the jackets off if they are). I’ll buy a CD if the packaging is really pretty or has a cool diecut. And I root for sports teams based on whose uniform is cuter. But when it comes to food, I tend to care more about taste than typography. However, when a restaurant’s identity is deliciously designed, it makes the experience even better. Perusing through Death by Kearning, I came across Foda Studios’ work on Lambert’s Downtown Barbecue—both in Austin. I’ve not heard anything about Lambert’s but their branding alone makes me crave “fancy barbecue.”
Baconista follower Huff Daddy informed me of Food Network’s “The Best Thing I Ever Ate: Totally Fried” episode last night. It’s times like this where I wish I had cable! A featured favorite was bacon tempura from The Red Cat. Yet another place to add to my bacon exploration list. Although I did not see the delectable dish on their menu online, they did provide the recipe! Sounds like a fancier version of chicken fried bacon. And since I can’t make it to Snook, hopefully a trip to Chelsea will fulfill my deep fried bacon dreams. If not there’s plenty on the menu I’d love to try: quick saute of zucchini, prosciutto & parmesan croquettes, grilled double cut pork tenderloin...
Tomorrow (6.22) from 6-10PM is the 2nd annual Pirate Party Pig Roast at the Water Taxi Beach in LIC. $20 for the pig roast, BBQ and vegan buffets, ice cream and an open bar all night. Kids under 12 are free and the water taxi ride is included. Not bad. I do sort of hate the Water Taxi Beach (due to the fratty factor) and I’ve always been very anti-pirate (it’s such a fucking hipster thing to do). And seriously, do vegans really want to see a whole pig roasting? However odd/annoying this party sounds it does help support chashama—an organization that helps artists find affordable studios, galleries and performance spaces. So if by some crazy chance it actually stops raining in NYC, put your eye patch on and go grab some pig.
Sorry for the lack of bacon in this story but it’s just too odd not to post. I took the train into work this morning with fellow porkavore Charlotte & her pup Olive. We had a whole conversation about hawks in city parks attacking little dogs. Well the hawks must be tired of chihuahua. According to Gothamist, a hawk flew into Birdie’s to snack on some Jerk BBQ chicken! I don’t blame him—Grandma Birdie’s “chicken for the people” is pretty good and has some of the best homemade lemonade I’ve had in the city. But if that hawk wanted some serious fried chicken, he should’ve flown over to the west side to check out Dirty Bird.
California restaurants seem to be specializing in some very bacon-y breakfast treats. There are of course the maple bacon donuts in SF that I have been pining over. Another great way to wake up is to this amazing bacon crusted french toast being served at Santa Monica bar West 4th/Jane. Owners Lieberman and O’Brian (former New Yorkers) named the bar in honor of NYC’s popular Corner Bistro which I’m sorry to say, is a bit overrated. Besides, the bistro doesn’t serve brunch—much less this delicious looking french toast! LA Times talks to Leiberman about his creation:
“Bacon with maple syrup is one of the greatest flavor combinations ever invented. I've had every kind of crusted French toast out there, from Captain Crunch to corn flakes. But no one had ever done it with bacon.”
I have to say, Captain Crunch-crusted french toast is pretty tasty so I can only imagine... Someone please tell me this dish in some way, shape or form exists in the real W4th area—or anywhere in NYC? Until I make another trip over, ILWTR will have to let me know how it is.
Bay Ridge is not all that far—I’ve mistakenly taken the N train and ended up there so much faster than you’d expect. Still, for some reason I don’t venture out that way too often. Now Brooklyn Based has given me good motivation to. That would be Robicelli’s—Bay Ridge’s own “mom & pop gourmet shop.” More specifically, their famed Elvis cupcake! If you’ve been following the baconista this past month you know I’ve been drawn to all things Elvis lately. Banana cake frosted with a peanut butter French buttercream, and sprinkled with candied Berkshire bacon—can a cupcake possibly be more perfect? Co-owner Matt’s bacon tattoo is a clear sign that this shop is worth the trip.
Although it’s not quite summer weather out my ice cream obsession has already kicked in full force. I think about it almost as often as I do bacon... And I will likely eat it as often as the days get warmer. And so I’ve decided, for summer only, I will start rating ice cream (regardless of bacon content). Much like my bacon reviews, it will be a simple rating of 1 to 3 scoops. Why not 4? Because there is no ice cream equivalent to a 1 strip bacon rating. Okay, maybe Mr. Softee would qualify but I don't exactly consider that stuff ice cream.
June 19th, this Friday, is National Martini Day. According to examiner.com (and confirmed by Double Down owner P. Moss), the Double Down Saloon will celebrate by offering 2-for-1 bacon martinis! Be sure to share because they can be dangerous!!
The King of Fat meets the King of Rock n’ Roll... in a cookie! Elvis’ favorite sandwich (and General Greene’s ice cream flavor that I have yet to try!) was my inspiration. I used the Love me Tender recipe from an article posted last month with a few slight alterations. Instead of just butter, I used 1/4 cup butter and 1/4 cup bacon grease. A little extra bacon flavor couldn’t hurt! Another tip: use a fork to flatten the cookies to get that classic peanut butter cookie criss-cross pattern.
The original recipe called for praline of bacon which involves worcestershire sauce, pepper and cinnamon. A little too complicated for my tastes. I prefer something simpler (bacon doesn’t need much help)—especially with peanut butter & banana flavors. Instead I used bits of candied bacon from this ice cream recipe. I should also mention I made it with Wright Brand applewood smoked bacon. Samples were sent to me last week—some of which I had with a huge breakfast this past weekend. I♥Bacon can confirm that it is “damn good bacon.” Thick cut, smokey and flavorful... and perfect for baking too!
Sarah Jane Despard of Preston, England admitted to shoplifting lingerie from the BHS store as well as £74.70 worth of bacon from a local convenience store. That seems like an awful lot of bacon! Still, it seems rather harsh to have her electronically monitored during her community order in which she’ll have a 7PM-7AM curfew. For bra & bacon theft? She’s not exactly a menace to society—this however, is.
The Big Gay Ice Cream Truck is coming your way! Serious Eats reports that the latest fancy food truck will be serving up rainbow sprinkle-topped treats to the West Village during the day and the East Village and Chelsea at night. Other toppings include Olive Oil & Sea Salt, Nutella, and... Bacon! If you show up at the truck window sporting BGICT gear, you’ll be offered a delicious discount! Got to love the “husband beater.” Find out where the truck will be on twitter. Summer has me obsessing over bacon ice cream—I’m also following the General Greene cart. Just hoping and waiting for Elvis to make an appearance...
I’ve always felt that hooks (under the bar, on the wall, etc.) are the sign of a good bar. It shows detailed thought and consideration for the customer. But this here sign was the first thing I saw when walking into Jimmy’s No. 43 last night. Although their Bacon Week has past (damn it!), this is probably the best sign of a good bar that one could ever see. And they’ve got hooks everywhere too.
Thanks to Patty for the picture (and being willing to take the blame if I stole the poster)!
This has nothing to do with bacon. Unless you are looking for a great place to buy cheese to make some fancy bacon pops or bacon-wrapped fried mac & cheese. But cheese may be my second favorite food so... The Brooklyn Larder just opened on Flatbush not far from the Q/B 7th Ave station—which just happens to be along my route home. The specialty cheese shop brought to you by Franny’s will also sell locally produced pickles, bread, and chocolate as well as their own gelato and sorbets. There will be a daily sandwich menu and a few seats up front to eat them. According to gothamist a bacon & hard boiled egg sandwich and a prosciutto & butter sandwich were on the opening day menu.
Recently, someone contacted me about Wright Brand Bacon. Has anyone ever tried this brand? It’s new to me but I should be getting some samples to try soon—I’ll let you know what I think! In the meantime here is a recipe they provided that looks pretty perfect for summer. Watch the video with Food Network’s Aaron McCargo here.
Bacon Burger-Style Hot Dog
1pound ground beef
1 teaspoon kosher salt
1 tablespoon cracked black pepper
2 tablespoons Worchestershire sauce
6 strips uncooked Wright® BrandSmoked Bacon
1/4 cup jalapeño peppers, chopped
1 cup shredded Colby cheese
4 hot dog buns
8 strips uncooked Wright® BrandSmoked Bacon
Grilling Preparation Instructions
Preparation Time: 20 minutes
Cook Time: 15-20 minutes
1.While grill is preheating, in a medium size bowl mix ground beef, salt, pepper, and Worcestershire sauce; set aside.
2.Cook 10 strips of Wright® BrandSmoked Bacon according to package directions.Allow to cool slightly, then coursely chop.
3. In another medium bowl, gently toss the cooked bacon pieces with jalapeños and cheese; set aside.
4.Divide burger meat into quarters and roll each quarter between two pieces of plastic wrap to a 6-inch by 4-inch square.
5.Place 1/4 of the cooked bacon, jalapeño and cheese filling down the middle of each square.Roll and seal meat into hot dog shape.
6. Wrap each burger dog with two strips of uncooked Wright® BrandSmoked Bacon from end to end, securing with a toothpick.
7.Place burger dogs on medium-hot grill and cook approximately 15-20 minutes with lid closed, turning every 2-3 minutes or until cooked.
8. Remove burger dogs from grill, place on hot dog buns and enjoy!
Growing up, my grandmother had a can under the kitchen sink to store grease. I never followed this frugal habit as I never really cook. But this year, I started saving my bacon grease (mainly to bake cookies). This article argues that doing so is an easy way to do your bit for the environment. Maybe you can’t afford a hybrid car or thermal heating system... but you can conserve a natural resource by cooking with your bacon grease! A very tasty sounding potato recipe is provided just to prove that it’s worth your while. If you don’t use it for cooking perhaps you can use it as fuel. The article even claims that saving bacon grease will save the economy:
“Cardiologists will prosper and they will buy the hybrid autos, and install geo-thermal systems thus stimulating the economy. The stock market will recover, the recession will end -- and we will owe it all to bacon grease.”
The Buttermilk Channel is where—if you were a Brooklyn farmer a couple centuries back—you may have once walked your cows across at low tide to graze on the grass of Governor’s Island. It’s also a Caroll Gardens restaurant that offers grass-fed steak as well as buttermilk fried chicken. But the purpose of my visit was to have a cocktail and sample their famed maple & bacon roasted almonds. Similar to the bacon peanut brittle at Readhead, but sweeter and with larger chunks of deliciously candied bacon. I was also persuaded to try the mustard-glazed grilled bacon even though I am not a fan of mustard. It looks pretty tasty but if you don’t enjoy mustard it is probably not for you. Bacon seems to be laced throughout the menu here which gives me plenty of reason to go back for a full meal. I am eyeing the A-B-C grilled cheese on the brunch menu: apples, double smoked bacon, and NY state cheddar. Mmmm...