Bacon Goes Big


You know how all you across-the-pond folks always brag about how thick and delicious British bacon is and love to deride our streaky American bacon as weak, flimsy, and not worth it? Well, I’m putting you all on notice.

I recently sat down at the bar at The General Greene, one of the many farm-to-table, haute barnyard chic restaurants that has opened in Brooklyn over the last few years. I wanted a little snack to go with my $9 handcrafted cocktail, so we ordered a side of candied bacon. Honestly, I wasn’t expecting much—maybe a bowl of crumbled, caramelized bits that would be gone in 60 seconds.

Um, no. Candied bacon here is basically an entire meal. It’s your standard smoky, salty, American-style bacon (with an added sweet touch), but instead of slicing it into thin, fryable strips, they just serve you the whole damn belly, and you eat it with a knife and fork. Seeing a big, streaky hunk of pig belly served like that is cool because it kinda shows you how they get those tiny slices of bacon out of a big slab of pork. I think I even said out loud “oh, so that’s where bacon comes from.”

OK, so it’s basically like eating five slices of bacon in one bite. So maybe don’t order the whole thing for yourself, or more than once a year. But I gotta give credit to anyone who can still surprise me with bacon.

More: The Best of New Brooklyn Cuisine

More Bacon: Recipes, raves and other bacon bits in Endless Bacon.

(Photo: The General Greene)

Top 10 New Things to Put in Your Drink

We’ve certainly never been against drinking here at ES — it just traditionally takes a back seat to eating. However, in the last year we’ve found ourselves getting more and more excited about cocktails — because every time we go out we discover our favorite ingredients have migrated from the plate to the glass. From fruits and vegetables to spices and more, here are our top 10 favorite new things to mix in our drinks.

10. Saffron

A saffron ice cube anchors the Venetian, one of several new food-inspired cocktails at Tulio in Seattle.

Not just for paella anymore, the Spanish spice has started showing up in cocktail glasses, too. Saffron Restaurant and Lounge in Minneapolis has mixed the pricier-than-gold flakes into saffron-mango mojitos, saffron-blood orange martinis, and their current offering, the gin-based Saffron Rose. Tulio, an Italian restaurant in Seattle, recently introduced The Venetian — a vodka cocktail poured over an orange-y saffron ice cube. For those experimenting at home, the folks over at Video Jug have a video on how to mix a saffron vodka martini. (Tulio photo: Evan Johnson)


9. Beets

Fresh beet juice, ginger and vodka make up the Beetnik at Colorado's Dogwood Cocktail Cabin.

It’s hard to make a drink look more dramatic than when filled up with bright red beet juice, as in the beet sangria at New York’s Tailor or the Beetnik, a vodka-ginger-beet concoction served at Crested Butte, Colorado’s Dogwood Cocktail Cabin. Meanwhile, the gals at The Humble Kitchen have a recipe for their own tequila-based Beetnik. (Dogwood photo: eenwall)

8. Mole

Mole bitters liven up the Palermo Gentleman at Death + Co. in New York.

Mexico’s spicy-sweet chocolate treat is making the surprising transition from tamales to cocktails via Bittermens Bitters newest product, Xocolatl Mole Bitters. A neat way to add quite a substantial kick to any drink, the mole bitters are showing up in new cocktails like the tequila-based Chipilo at Brooklyn’s Buttermilk Channel and several options at Manhattan’s Death + Co. (Photo: Vidiot)

7. Sriracha

Every Top Chef contestant’s favorite secret ingredient can save a cocktail menu too, as in “El Scorcho,” a fiery mix of habanero infused vodka, sriracha, and jalapeno foam at Bend, Oregon’s Blacksmith restaurant. The sauce also makes a great replacement for Tabasco in bloody Marys — the blog White on Rice Couple has a great recipe, and if you want to get super-serious, check out their instructions on how to make sriracha from scratch. (Photo: White on Rice Couple)

6. Chinese Five Spice

A Chinese five spice grilled lemon garnishes the Fortune Teller at Bar Pleiades in New York.

Another ingredient Chinese chefs may be shocked to discover in American cocktails, C5S is showing up both as a garnish, as in the Fortune Teller drink served at the Surrey Hotel‘s new Bar Pleiades in New York, and as the basis of a drink, such as Imbibe magazine’s Five-Spice Fizz. (Photo: Bar Pleiades)

Next: Top 5 New Things to Put in Your Drink