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Archive for the ‘bacon’ Tag

Stuck in Breakfast Gridlock   1 comment

silverpancakes

When the hostess at the Silver Creek Diner in Lone Tree told us that once we were seated we’d still have at least another 25-minute wait for our food, I laughed and asked if she wanted us to leave. She laughed, too, and assured me that wasn’t her intent. We’d already been waiting 10 minutes for a table. We decided to hope for the best. Wrong call.

Given that we had waited so long from the time we walked in the door to when the food arrived, it’s hard to know if we were simply so famished that anything would have tasted good. It wasn’t that Silver Creek was particularly busy, but the way orders were coming out of the kitchen it seemed as if all the cooking was done by one person with his/her hand tied behind his/her back.

Breakfast is standard; lots of egg possibilities and pancakes.  The latter aren’t the “ridiculously large ones that some places serve” we were told. The Blueberry Pancake Plate featured two eggs, hash browns, choice of breakfast meats (bacon, sausage or ham) and two cakes full of fresh blueberries. It was a lot of food.
Silver Mix
The Hash Brown Mix blended crispy and creamy shredded potatoes with diced red and green peppers, onions, eggs and choice of bacon or sausage. Two size options are available, and even the smaller of the two is a substantial amount of food.

In truth, it all tasted fine, but I can’t say the time spent waiting for it was justified.

Silver Creek Diner
Three Plates
7824 Park Meadows Dr.
Lone Tree, Colo

 

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Fanfare for Pub Fare   Leave a comment

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It may not be quite fair to draw attention to the Manitou Brewing Co.’s limited food menu: only six items. However, neither would it be quite right to dismiss the dishes altogether. In its defense, MBC is focusing on the brew part of its name; four beers are brewed on site and a dozen others are “guest beers.” In fact, more extensive food offerings should be available in early April.

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MBC has been open since early March after months of preparation. The décor features corrugated tin ceilings, seat backs made from old barrels, and trim work from Waldo Canyon Fire-burned trees. Midday early in the week the place is ghost-like, but it’s unlikely to stay that way for long.

manitoubcbarbeq

The five sandwiches and Hummus of the Day skillfully reflect the kitchen’s potential. The Bacon Brisket Sandwich is a festival of flavors. Anything with bacon is bound to be a winner, but add caramelized onions and it’s the jackpot. The addition of cheese is interesting and perhaps unnecessary. The brisket itself was not as tender as what’s found in true barbecue joints, but it was possible to overlook thanks to the vinegary zest of the house beer BBQ sauce.

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Caramelized onions and mushrooms ruled the Mushroom, Onion and Swiss Panini. This was essentially a grilled cheese sandwich elevated far beyond its lunch standard status.

The menu states that the limited items may change or even disappear as new plates emerge. If anyone from MBC is reading: please keep what you have!

Manitou Brewing Co.
Four Plates
725 Manitou Ave.
Manitou Springs, CO

Munch at Brunch   Leave a comment

pinchofrenchtoast

Brunch is one of those meals I really enjoy but don’t often have. I like the possibilities it implies: sleeping in, a combination of breakfast and lunch foods, the likelihood of not eating much later in the day, and it’s usually shared with friends (or family, which recently was, in fact, one in the same)

The Pincho Factory is recognized in the South Florida area for its fresh all-beef burgers. I didn’t try one, but Pincho deserves accolades for its brunch offerings. These include inventive twists on traditional morning fare: Nutella Waffle, Banana Bread French Toast (above), Red Velvet Pancakes, Steak and Eggs, and a Bacon Wrapped Omelet. A handful of sandwiches are available, as was a special: Vaca Frita Toston, which was a spin on the Cuban Ropa Vieja.

pinchosign

Here’s the description on the chalkboard at the place-your-order counter. Cuddled  is not the word I would have used, but I was hooked at slow braised. The shredded beef, which practically melted in my mouth, was dressed with a subtle but tangy cranberry sauce and nestled between hamburger bun size fried plantains (below). It was an unusual but successful combination of flavor and texture.

pinchospecial

The four-egg omelet boasted 12 slices of bacon sounds like an invitation to a cardiac arrest. A bacon basket effect was created by weaving the pieces together for the omelet, which was covered with lettuce and tomato. At least it looked somewhat healthy.

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Ah, brunch!

Pincho Factory
Slightly More Than Four Plates
Four Plates
30 Giralda Ave.
Coral Gables, FL

Bringing Home the Bacon   Leave a comment

baconnation

Bacon. It’s one of those foods that evoke smiles and salivation no matter when it’s served. Bacon Nation by Peter Laminsky and Marie Rama illustrates that bacon isn’t just for breakfast – as if.

In addition to 125 recipes, from the obvious Bacon-Wrapped Shrimp to the creative Bacon Jam – and that’s just among the appetizers, side dishes, salads, desserts, even poultry, featuring the favored pork product are included.

Last Christmas a friend shared her recipe for what she called “Bacon Crack” due to its addictive qualities. It featured a sweet and savory rub. Bacon Nation doesn’t contain this particular tasty treat, but has several others in the same category, such as Peanut Butter Bacon Cookies. Although not as sinful as Bacon Crack, they are easy to eat.

As with most well-executed cookbooks, Laminsky and Rama don’t rely on recipes alone, even though they could. The authors’ first chapter is dedicated to tips for purchasing and cooking bacon. They recommend thick cut for most of the recipes, and explain the difference between dry and wet cured. The former is rubbed with salt (often pepper, occasionally salt;) and the latter is brined.

Each section, or chapter, features a brief prologue, and individual recipes are accompanied by an also-brief introduction. These range from explanations of how the recipes came about or what was done to modify them for the home cook.

Chapter 12, by the way, is entitled “Breakfast Means Bacon.” Since it comes near the end, I really don’t believe the authors/chefs.

Bacon Nation
Four Bookmarks
Workman Publishing, 2013
310 pages, including photos and index

More Than Five Cents   Leave a comment

The Nickel Diner in downtown Los Angeles is a trendy throwback in more
ways than one. First, its location is marginally sketchy. That’s because it’s sand-
wiched between blocks of ornate historic buildings on which sophisticated rest-
aurants, shops and lofts have taken up residence. Meanwhile, next door to the
diner are facilities for the homeless. Then there’s the food which is true diner fare
with a fun, contemporary twist: maple glazed donuts covered with bacon; home-
made Pop Tarts; scrambled eggs with Fontina cheese, for example.

In true diner fashion, breakfast is served  nearly all day. Even though the mac and
cheese sounded appealing, as did a BLT with  avocado on sourdough, I settled on
one of the egg scrambles: Italian sausage, roasted red peppers and parmesan mix-
ed with what seemed like half a dozen eggs. Creamy, but scrambled hard, the eggs
absorbed the rich flavors of everything else. Most diners offer a choice of sides, at
the Nickel there’s a healthy option of sliced, fresh tomatoes or the less nutritious
home fries. I said tomato, my friend said potato, and both were great. The bacon
donut was a treat; I don’t have to be healthy about everything.

I’ve been to the Nickel twice, and have been fortunate enough to be seated right
away. There have been other times, when driving by, I’ve seen wannabe-diners
outnumbering those needing the services for the indigent. I think it’s worth taking
a chance of snagging a table and mingling with the crowd — inside or out.

The Nickel Diner
Four Plates
524 S. Main St.
Los Angeles