West Coast Review: Starbelly’s

I never thought I’d be reviewing a BLT. The proliferation of the sandwich and the endless variety of add-ons, (I recently heard of a BLAST: Bacon, Lettuce, Avocado, Shrimp and Tomato), would make writing about them a herculean task. But this one. THIS one. It was perfect.

Starbellys BLT is built around some of the best tasting bacon I’ve had in months. It is very thick cut, chewy and extremely flavorful with a slight pepper kick; three fat slabs of delicious. The bread is a squishy, lightly toasted ciabatta roll, about eight inches long and smothered in basil aioli. The tomatoes were, (as are all the restaurant’s produce), farm fresh and perfectly ripe. I especially appreciated the pile of wild baby arugula, dressed lightly in oil, that echoed the pepper in the bacon.

Now it may seem that I am not the lightest of eaters, but I am. I
love food, but can only handle small portions and generally end up taking quite a bit home when I dine out, as inelegant as that is seen to be. I ate the whole thing. It was bigger than my head.

(honorable mention goes to the Old Bay remoulade served with the fries)

Review by Kajsa Sexton. Photo by Suzanne Ray.


West Coast Review: The Buckshot

Full disclosure: I love this place. I would live there if I could Decor that tends toward the hunting lodge kitsch—I’ve never seen more animal heads in one place at once—with a smattering of metal and skate punk memorabilia. Cheap beer, shuffle board, pool, and skee-ball, people. In addition to this nexus of happiness, The Buckshot has a kitchen that serves, along with delicious southern-style fare, chicken fried bacon. I moved out to the West Coast from New York without ever having had the opportunity to try this recent phenomenon. I spent hours on the internet looking for a place in San Francisco that served it, only to find complaints on Yelp that it was no where to be found. So yes, I may have spilled my beer on my companions at seeing it on their chalkboard menu.

The bacon is both chewy and crunchy and lightly breaded with a crust that tends to flake off. The bacon flavor and it’s saltiness gets lost a bit in the seasoning of the batter; a thicker cut of bacon could be in order. The eight piece serving comes in a parchment lined tin cup with a side of maple syrup, which as a dipping sauce is absolutely key. Though not as thrilling as my imagination had built it up to be, I have not yet been there without ordering it; a fantastic bar snack.

As if a serving of that between two people weren’t enough, I had to try the Miss Piggy’s Mac ‘N’Cheese. It’s made with three cheeses, (Bleu, Cheddar, and either Jack or Pepper Jack—whichever they have that day), bacon, herbs and garlic bread crumbs. The portions could easily feed three, the macaroni nothing fancy and comfortingly reminiscent of good ol’ Kraft. In this dish, the bacon and Bleu are king. It is incredibly rich and creamy with bacon chunks throughout, not just as a garnish. It is well cooked and in good sized chunks, that retain their crunch despite the cheesy dousing. It's a salty dish, and the rosemary and parsley nicely balance its throat coating quality without diminishing the bacon flavor that permeates every bite.

Review by Kajsa Sexton.

You Are How Much You Eat

I read this article in AMNY yesterday that made me very happy. It states that “potion control yields more weight loss than changing the foods you eat or exercising more.” I’ve already started exercising more than I ever have in my entire life (considering I’ve never worked out before). But one thing I did not want to do in order to get back into my pre-baconista jeans is to change what I eat. I love meat, ice cream, all fatty foods in general and I’ve never had a problem with my weight eating what I do. Granted I am now in my 30s and I spent an entire year eating out excessively, hence the new work out DVDs. But this article makes me feel much better about the pork taco (notice that’s singular) I had for dinner and the corn dog I had for lunch. I mean, what good is it to eat salads everyday if you eat 3 times as much as you should? And for those of you who think AMNY is not the best source for health advice, here a few others that claim the same thing:

The NY Times says people who exercise don’t necessarily lose weight without changing their eating habits. You burn 200-300 calories in a typical 30-minute work out—you replace that with one Gatorade. Good thing I don’t drink Gatorade... wonder how many calories are in coconut water?

Lisa Young, a nutritionist and professor at NYU says, “How much you eat is more important than what you eat.” 78% of people on diets think all they have to do is watch what they eat, she wants them to realize that quantity is a bigger concern.

Everyday Health says what we eat contributes to the obesity epidemic but “how much we eat and our lack of portion control may be even more important factors.” Ordering an appetizer as your entree or from a children’s menu is recommended when eating out.

ABC News shows that a low-fat, average protein diet resulted in the same amount of weight loss as a high-fat, high protein diet. What matters more is sticking to your chosen diet... I choose bacon!


A Happy Accident...

that makes me very very happy! These guys are so awesome. You must buy a jar, spread it on your next sandwich (or whatever else) & then please spread the word!

Bacon Marmalade: Bacony Goodness by Mistake from SkeeterNYC on Vimeo.


Review: Momofuku Milk Bar

Momofuku Milk Bar on 13th & 2nd in the East Village.

Carrot Cake soft serve:

Red Velvet soft serve:


Meat. Music. Coffee. Art.

Meatpaper and Blue Bottle Coffee will be providing “coffee-inspired charcuterie” and “meat-inspired desserts” to kick off the Now Playing event series at SFMOMA 3/18 from 6-8PM. The event is free with half price museum admission. Tasting plates are $5 and yes, there will be bacon! Partygoers can enjoy live entertainment & various art projects along with cocktails & hors d’oeuvres every Thursday after that through April 15th. The Blue Bottle and Meatpaper plates will be available in the Rooftop Garden.


West Coast Review: Pirate Cat Radio

A review from my new West Coast correspondent, Kajsa:

I recently had the pleasure of visiting Pirate Cat Radio in the Outer Mission district of San Francisco. While I was ostensibly there to watch my friends’ band, Veil Veil Vanish be interviewed for their latest CD release, I may have had ulterior motives for insisting on coming and lending my support. I’ve been dying to try their cafĂ©’s Bacon Maple Latte since Anthony Bourdain, (yeah, yeah), aired his SF No Reservations episode.

The initial smell is most definitely bacon, and the first few sips are intensely smokey. The bacon bits that act as a garnish work well to give you that first nose-full of salty, fatty char, but are a bit off-putting in their texture. They are miniscule and with the high fat to meat ratio that is what is so wonderful about bacon you are left with more tiny pieces of stale lard between your teeth than even I'd prefer.

It does get better as you go along. The maple is hardly detectable, but does add just the right amount of sweet for me, (which to be honest is very little). The oils start to rise and collect at the top, which gives each sip a silky effect, and is not as tongue coating as I expected. I did not catch the note in the corner of their blackboard that all their drinks are doubles and was unable to finish unless I wanted to shake the rings off my fingers, but the coffee flavor was needless to say present and held up to the flavor of the bacon.

Overall, definitely worth checking out and the music wasn't half bad either.

Photo by Suzanne Ray.

Best Bacon Splurge

In an effort to save money, I’ve decided not to drink or eat out as much (hence the lack of bacon ratings) or do any shopping until summer comes around... oh summer, please come quickly!! This has been very difficult—especially when there are $9 chocolate bars and $10 jars of anarchy tempting me. One way to cut spending is to bring my lunch to work as much as possible. I've been eating turkey sandwiches for the better part of the past week. This may seem incredibly boring and a sure way to make me ditch my lunch & run out to one of the 3 places in Irvington to buy a hot meal. But these are no ordinary sandwiches... inside is a thin layer of heaven. That heaven is baconmarmalade. Sure, $9 for a 4 oz. jar would not exactly be considered “saving” but a little goes a long way. And as long as I have baconmarmalade, I could eat sandwiches every single day for the rest of my life. That would certainly be very thrifty! It’s a good investment to make otherwise sad lunches into something to look forward to. Plus it's fun open up a jar with such an incredibly cute logo. You all know cuteness counts in my world (unfortunately resulting in pricey chocolate purchases).

You can find baconmarmalade at the next Greenpoint Food Market on April 10th. Learn more about Ross and Joanna (the awesome chef/designer couple) behind all that deliciousness here.