Saturday, April 5, 2014

Would You Like Some Bacon With Your Bacon?

The evening began with a couple of dirty martinis, as most adventures do. AS and I were stationed at the Hudson Hotel for beverahhhhges amongst other stylish young people wearing androgynous ensembles consisting of black leather jackets and jeans or, not-so-androgynously, bandage dresses and high heels. There was also a proliferation of man buns, swirled masses atop the heads of men who just simply couldn't be bothered with their long tresses that day. I was invited there, to Henry's Liquor Lounge, for a series of jazz-esque performances that evening. We listened, bobbed our heads, admired lush leather couches and bright lights and persian rugs and man buns, and then we had enough and decided to eat some hamburgers instead.

But we got sidetracked. I mean, how could you not get sidetracked by a restaurant called BarBacon?

While I have never considered myself a member of the bacon cult, I have long appreciated it as the candy of meats and, certainly after a dirty martini, I enjoy it quite a bit. AS, my partner in baconry, both stopped in our tracks when we saw the name of the restaurant. Needless to say, we decided to go there instead. It also worked in the restaurant's favor that we didn't feel like walking in the wind and weird-misty-rain-but-not-rain anymore. So inside we went and, as a party of two, were almost instantly seated. Not bad for a Friday night!

The restaurant, which calls itself a gastropub, features dark wood paneling and a definite "bro" vibe, but as soon as our food came I didn't care about the latter. For a starter we had bacon salted tater tots. Upon tasting them, AS and I were both smitten: I don't know what or how bacon salt is, she said, but I need to get some. The tots were crispy and had that perfect smoky, salty, sweet bacon taste. We deliberately crunched and savored each delicious bacon-y bite.

Then the entrees came--mine, Shani's BLT, a BLT with avocado and a sunny-side-up egg; AS's was the BarBacon Grilled Cheese, featuring fontina and gruyere melted with bacon on a salty bread punctuated with golden raisins. My sandwich was melty and smooth, and made me decide I never wanted a normal BLT ever again. AS's was creamy and sweet, the raisins in the bread adding pops of sweetness in every bite. Both of our sandwiches featured thick slices of gorgeously red applewood smoked bacon. Even so, the restaurant was smart: the bacon was not so much the star of each sandwich, but the stupendous supporting actor, enhancing the rest of the sandwich with its sweet and salty crunch.

And that, ladies and gentlemen, is how you wax poetic about bacon. Which is not something I ever really thought I would do.

Even the chips the sandwiches were served with had a smooth bacon flavor--not like a fake, corporate potato chip flavor that leaves your mouth salty no matter what. And the sandwiches also came with a pineapple cole slaw: neither AS or I are fans of cole slaw in general, but this, we found, was an exception we could get behind.

The restaurant offers bacon flights as well, where you can try all of the artisanal bacons they carry: wild boar, applewood smoked, maple bacon, lamb bacon, and peppered bacon. They also feature fine bourbons and craft beers.

The BarBacon website isn't fully functional yet, but they are on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter and MenuPages if you want to see what other deliciousness they have to offer. Or simply stop in to the restaurant at 836 Ninth Avenue between 54th and 55th streets, which I highly recommend you do.