Will Do Yoga for Bacon

As some of you may know, my new years resolution is to start taking better care of myself. This includes eating somewhat better and definitely exercising a lot more. And since I’ve not actually worked out in 5-6 years that shouldn’t be a super hard task...

To start, I took out my deflated, dusty balance ball thing. The reason I gave it up all those years ago is, one: it made me feel stupid & uncoordinated, and two: after I got the hang of it, I didn’t feel I was getting much of a workout. That could be due to the DVD I was using which is based on a lot of yoga crap. I’m not the biggest fan of yoga—all the breathing & the “creating space within yourself.” What the fuck does that mean? But... alas, the baconista blog has taken it's toll so I decided to get some new DVDs focused on targeting problem areas (i.e. my pork belly).

I’ve been pretty motivated to do these awful work outs that caused me to experience soreness for the 1st time in my life. No pain, no gain... or rather loss (of 3-4 lbs. which is a lot on a 5' person). Still, people keep telling me yoga is good for you, it helps you lose weight and calms your mind, etc. Sorry, I don’t think anyone can ever convince me to take a class. However... this “yoga for the Everyman” class may come close, well, if the Grateful Dead wasn’t the class’ standard playlist. He uses bacon as a “yogic teaching tool, providing an opportunity to contemplate principles of attraction and revulsion, desire and self-denial,” whatever that means. I guess I just don’t get yoga speak... but if there’s bacon involved I will pretend I do.


Review: DuMont Burger

Dinner at DuMont Burger on Bedford between South 1st & 2nd in Williamsburg.
DuMac & cheese with bacon lardons:


Dear British Children, This is Bacon:

According to a survey done in London, British schoolchildren don’t know that bacon comes from pigs! Have they not been exposed to Jamie Oliver’s bacon saving campaign? Did he not spend plenty of time in school cafeterias? Surely he must have taught those kids that bacon does not come from this:

Apparently 26% of kids thought that bacon comes from sheep! (Yes, I know this is only a lamb, but she was just so gosh darn cute that I had to post her.) That percentage is way too high if you ask me. And kind of scary! I cringe at the thought of what a survey here in the US would find...


Pigs & Pups?

I often think of my little pup as a piglet (dude will steal your pizza when you’re sick, on NyQuil, and asleep mid-mea!)... But is it cool to keep pigs as pets? There is a growing popularity of teacup pigs, especially among celebrities. Golden Globe goody bags even included pet pig vouchers. And with famous owners such as Paris Hilton, you have to wonder if this isn’t just some awful trend. The BBC gives us two opposing views.

Jane Croft, the UK pig breeder who is responsible for the craze, believes that pigs make perfectly good pets. They are very intelligent, clean, small—sometimes as tiny as 12" high—and not to mention completely adorable animals. They can be house trained like a dog and they have hair rather than fur which is great for allergy sufferers. On the other hand, Kirsty Bayley, a pig herd manager at The Institute for Animal Health, basically thinks that’s bullshit (or pig shit?). As farm animals, they are not meant to be solitary pets and need to be in a group of about 10 for their well-being. Also, due to their rooting nature, you may find your home rooted up!

I don’t know... as cute as those little guys are, the “Institute for Animal Health” sounds pretty damn official when considering animal health & well-being. So, no pet pigs for me—besides the one I already have. Who knows if one would be safe in my home anyway.



So much for my New Years resolution... this little pig did me in. Maialino, Danny Meyer’s newest restaurant in the Gramercy Park Hotel, is the pig in question. The place is teeming with Gramercy Tavern alumni. So when I went with former Lot 2 chef Scott Bridi (also from GT, now with Marlow & Daughters), I knew that my “diet” was soon to be thrown out the window. Eh, I wasn’t doing all that well anyway. How could I not give in when a seemingly endless amount of beautiful plates kept arriving at our table? If I were to describe each one, this post would be far too long. Instead I will list all the wonderful items we tasted and then describe my personal favorites. Although, with such a lengthy meal it’s almost hard to remember everything.

Prosciutto (I don’t recall which particular one of the 3 on their menu)
Salame (again, not sure which one)
Soppressata Piccante

Mozzarella di Bufula
Robiola Bosina
some kind of Pecorino

Animelle d’Abbacchi (lamb sweetbreads)
Insalata di Bottarga

Tonnarelli Cacio e Pepe
Spaghetti alle Vongole
Bucatini all’Amatriciana
Raviolo al Uovo

Maialino al Forno
Pig’s foot

Sformato Di Ricotta
hazelnut bread pudding (I can't remember the name)

I think my favorite part of the meal was this Sformato Di Ricotta with figs and drizzled with an aged balsamic. Dessert in general is always my favorite & pastry chef Jennifer Shelbo made sure we had plenty (thank you!). Other stand outs were the silky prosciutto, the creamy robiola cheese, and of course the restaurant’s namesake with it’s crispy skin and tender, succulent meat. The Bucatini all’Amatriciana was probably my favorite non-dessert dish. The guanciale added nice texture and such delicious flavor. Overall, the meal was quite an experience. Thank you to everyone in the kitchen who prepared this amazing feast and came out to say hello!

Images from gastro chic and kathyylchan on flickr.


Daily Specials

If you are in LA or NY, sign up on blackboardeats.com for “unreal deals at the best restaurants.” Today’s special for NY is 30% off at Hill Country, the fantastic barbecue joint where you can order your meat by the pound. Black Board Eats also offers “side dishes” of other deals going on around town—happy hours, tastings, brunch specials, etc.

Bacon Killed the Vegetarian?

If any meat had the power to convert a diehard vegetarian, it’s bacon. I’ve had vegans tell me they still dream of bacon and heard of vegetarians who claim to be "bacontarians." A former vegetarian friend (who I believe was responsible for food gone missing from my plate while I'm in the restroom) places bacon on his list of top favorite smells. It’s allure is quite intoxicating... And with the ever-widening availability of better quality meats that are responsibly raised, is it so wrong to eat meat now? How could you possibly resist? Pork-centric restaurants all over the city are only fanning the flames. Edible Manhattan has an interesting discussion on the matter (click the bottom link for the audio clip). And if you are a proud vegetarian/bacon lover, this is the shirt for you.

New York Press has an article on the same subject of vegetarians succumbing to bacon. One former vegetarian, now rock-star butcher, Tom Mylan says his fight to keep flesh out of his diet just got old and that, “If I wanted to eat bacon, I would eat bacon.” Take that tofu... another win for bacon!


Review: The Vanderbilt

Dinner at The Vanderbilt on Vanderbilt & Bergen in Prospect Heights.
Crispy pork belly:


Bacon Makes Babies Smarter

For all you pregnant ladies out there, go ahead and indulge in your bacon cravings. According to a team of researchers from the University of North Carolina, choline—found in meats such as bacon—plays a critical role in developing the fetal brain regions associated with memory. And do you know what your future baby will remember??.. that you are an awesome mom that fed him/her bacon while in the womb. Lots of pregnant women crave unusual combinations of food... bacon is the perfect way to satisfy this AND make your kid’s brain better! Bacon & chocolate, bacon & ice cream, bacon in cookies, bacon on cupcakes... all great combinations—even for those who aren’t pregnant.


Review: Dizzy’s

Brunch at Dizzy’s on 9th St. and 8th Ave. in Park Slope.
Side of bacon: