Bacon Me Crazy

Bacon-wrapped dates at Quality Social in the Gaslamp.
By David Nelson
Photos by Brevin Blach
(unless otherwise noted)

San Diego chefs are in the throes of a bacon mania, using cured pork to create everything from jam to ice cream.

This bacon blitz may be rooted in the fact that most professional chefs are men. A study commissioned to determine which perfumes really set men's noses alight concluded that the average fellow's favorite scent is frying bacon. Some men like the aroma so much, they want it not only in their mouths but also coming out of their pores (see "Smell Like a Pig" sidebar, page 62).

Here's a sample platter of dishes Finest City foodies are sure to be squealing about.

DRAWN AND QUARTERED

Quarter Kitchen chef Brian Pusztai satisfies bacon-hounds' basic instincts with an entre?e of Brandt prime flat iron steak with applewood-smoked bacon, soft polenta, field carrots, asparagus and torpedo onion ragu. That creamy delight on the side? Sherry bacon Be?arnaise sauce (sans the standard tarragon and shallots), tasting slightly of bacon fat.

Quarter Kitchen

(at Andaz San Diego)

600 F St

reet, Gaslamp
619.814.2000,
quarterkitchen.com

IN A JAM

How does Sea Rocket Bistro chef Chad White build a better burger? By dressing grass-fed beef with caramelized onions, roasted tomato, aioli, house-made pickles and, for the coup de gra?ce, his very own bacon jam. "We take bacon, molasses, brown sugar and apple cider vinegar, marry it, puree it, reduce it to syrup and spread it on a burger," White says.

Sea Rocket Bistro

3382 30th Street, No

rth Park
619.255.7049,
searocketbistro.com

GOING WHOLE HOG

At Quality Social, which bills itself modestly as "a bar with food," executive chef Jared Van Camp uses entire pigs to create various menu items, including charcuterie. He also makes his own hot dogs, which can be ordered TJ-style-wrapped in bacon (cured on site) and dressed with pico de gallo and avocado. Still feeling piggish? Try the bacon-wrapped dates stuffed with blue cheese and walnuts.

Quality Social

789 6th Avenue, Gaslamp
619.501.7675,
qualitysocial.com

SMELL OF SUCCESS

At Searsucker (the California Restaurant Association's 2011 Gold Medallion winner for Best New Restaurant in San Diego), chef Brian Malarkey spreads his baconnaise, or bacon-flavored mayo, on a toasted ciabatta roll, heaping it with succulent, pulled pork with Bourbon barbecue sauce; peach-cabbage slaw; and tiny, crisp onion rings. After pigging out on dinner, try the decadent "King" Sundae, made with peanut butter cup ice cream and topped with bacon-

honey caramel sauce.

Searsucker

611 5th Avenue, Gaslamp
619.233.7327,
searsucker.com

STICK A PORK IN IT

Jsix chef Christian Graves, who cures his own charcuterie, offers this ultimate tribute to the porker: a bacon-wrapped pork tenderloin entre?e served with golden polenta, cipollini onions

and black truffle aioli.

Jsix (at Hotel Solamar)

616 J Street, San Diego, Gaslamp,
619.531.8744,
jsixrestaurant.com

PIE IN THE SKY

For a slice of hog heaven, try Pizza Nova's specialty pie, made with pancetta (a salt-cured, spiced Italian bacon), Portobello mushrooms and black truffle oil.

Pizza Nova

Locations: Hillcrest, Point Loma,
Solana Beach, San Marcos
pizzanova.net

WHAT ELSE IS NEW?

Marrying bacon to something healthy like cauliflower seems contrary to the spirit of self-indulgence, but it definitely improves the taste of the vegetable side dish offered at Eddie V's, a deluxe restaurant chain set to open its new La Jolla location August 1. Spiked with shallots, the bacon-rich cauliflower accompanies Eddie V's hand-cut steaks and seafood selections.

Eddie V's

1270 Prospect Street, La Jolla
eddiev.com

MEAT YOU THERE

On August 15, downtown's celebrated Bice Ristorante will celebrate the Italian feasting holiday, Ferragosto, with a five-course meal that includes a salad with bacon-wrapped warm goat cheese and a dessert of fruit sorbet with mango sauce and chocolate-dipped bacon.

Bice Ristorante

425 Island Ave., Gaslamp
619.239.2423,
bicesandiego.com

ALL WRAPPED UP
Offshore Tavern and Grill in Bay Park is serving up the ultimate in manly, meat-lovers' grub, wrapping their house meatloaf with bacon and topping it with barbeque au jus and crispy onion strips. This meaty marvel is served with fries at lunch and garlic mashed potatoes at dinner.
Offshore Tavern and Grill
2253 Morena Blvd., Bay Park
619.276.2253,
offshoretavern.com

 

 

 

HEAD OF THE CLASS

Tavern at the Beach is giving beer drinkers something to squeal about on House Party Wednesdays, serving free bacon slices with every beer. Add in a game of Giant Twister for a real

swine time.

The Tavern at the Beach

1200 Garnet Ave., Pacific Beach
858.272.6066,
tavernatthebeach.com

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