Of all the single-concept spots that have popped up in recent years, BarBacon seems like the easiest sell of all. Because while biscuits, taquitos, and rice pudding are all perfectly delicious, none sports a catch-phrase quite as ubiquitous as “everything’s better with bacon.” Not that owner Peter Sherman takes the saying as mandate to go overboard, which is the very thing that elevates BarBacon beyond being a one-joke shtick. There are actually plenty of dishes not particularly well served by a blanket of salted pork, and Sherman’s menu is wisely confined to a lineup of tried-and-true hits.
Nueske’s Applewood Bacon is the smoked meat of choice in a series of substantial sandwiches, like a luscious Lobster Roll with Chive-flecked Mayo, a Vietnamese-spiced Banh Mi, and a sweet and savory Grilled Cheese with funky Fontina and musky Gruyere on Amy’s Fennel and Golden Raisin Bread. The Wisconsin-sourced bacon makes an equally strong showing in a delightfully piggy BBQ Pork Sandwich, a perfect pub Burger, and Shani’s BLT, paired with creamy Avocado, an oozy Fried Egg, and rounds of impressively juicy and flavorful (especially for late winter) Tomato.
Unsurprisingly, Sherman’s mission statement is most clearly expressed in the Beer and Bacon Flight; a slate board that arrives sizzling with caramel-colored, fat-striated strips. Four-ounce pours of assorted craft ales accompany five rotating bacon options, which regularly include (in addition to the mild, omnipresent Nueske’s), dark and dense Wild Boar Bacon, the sofi Award-winning Ozark Trails Hickory Smoked Peppered Bacon, and lean, house-cured Lamb or even spicy Chorizo Bacon. Hope for a few sticky curls of the brown sugar-glazed Father’s Country Maple Bacon as well, which has been produced in small batches on a farm in Kentucky since the 1840’s. Even after partaking in a fatty feast of bacon-centric dishes, we couldn’t resist finishing each sweet and salty crumb.
Feel like following the bacon thru-line all the way to dessert? Indulge in an over-the-top Ice Cream Sundae, which fulfills its smoked meat quota with a savory shower of Candied Bacon Crackle. Just another clever, carefully calibrated instance in which BaconBar manages to make a great thing even better.