There’s bacon art, “Bacon makes everything better” tees, bacon infused vodka and bourbon. Bacon wallets. It’s almost–almost–passe to talk about pig as much as we do. But not quite yet. Here are a few dishes that take bacon beyond a couple smoky strips on a plate.
This Aussie café situated on South Street in the Greys Ferry neighborhood has been around for seven years serving up great brunch food and amazing crunchy violet crumble candy milkshakes made of choco-coated honeycomb. Ants Pants features daily specials, but the “Bacon Stack” is special all the time. It’s toasted country white bread, stacked with bacon, tomato, arugula, two sunny side-up eggs, and freshly shaved Pecorino Romano. The ladies serve up “brekkie” until 3 to pay homage to the land down under, where meeting people for breakfast is as common as meeting someone for lunch.
Given that the BYO is named for swine, it’s not a surprise that Chef Gene Giuffi would incorporate it as often as possible on his menu over the last few years. A bacon highlight is the Pork Belly Cassoulet. Bacon is made from pork belly, and they cure and smoke Berkshire belly then braise it in smoked German lager and serve it with a porky white bean ragout.
3900 Chestnut Street
Philadelphia, PA 19104
CHICKEN-FRIED BACON! The bacon is breaded, deep fried, and served with a smoky chipotle aioli dipping sauce. And the cover charge to get into the artery cloggin’ party is only $2 for 3 pieces!
1925 Fairmount Avenue
Philadelphia, PA 19130
People crush on Mugshots when they first move to Fairmount. The coffee shop does a lot of things right–fair trade coffee, delicious smoothies, breakfast burritos, movie nights, community outreach, etc. But when newbies discover that house-made cheddar, bacon and maple muffin, they can’t help but fall in love with this place. Of course, everyone else is in love with their favorite shop too. Having said that, weekends around 10 a.m. might not be the best time to try said muffin.
North 5th Street
Philadelphia, PA 19123
All your carnivorous dreams come true at the city’s hippest diner, where a savory meatloaf is wrapped in smoked bacon and served with homestyle mashed potatoes, peas and wild mushroom gravy. It should be preceded by the Thai chili wings and followed by a piece of chocolate banana brioche bread pudding. All or nothing–that’s the rock and roll beauty of the place.
Khyber Pass Pub
56 S 2nd St
Philadelphia, PA 19106
After being raised up from its former uber-dive status, the Khyber Pass Pub has become known in the City of BroLo for its innovative gastropub-style grub. And it’s disgustingly addictive bacon-grease coated popcorn. Get your hands dirty in a bowl of this stuff (complete with cajun seasoning), and don’t think about the effect its having on your arteries. Moderation is key, right?
Suzanne Woods has resided in Philadelphia since 2001. She’s a freelance writer, craft beer enthusiast, and is president/founder of the Philadelphia Women’s Beer Club. She eats out two meals a day, churns out exotic ice creams as often as she can, and has her records spinning more often than not. You can follow her drinking and dining adventures at www.beerless.com.