There is a little yellow house on 10th Street, right off Lamar Boulevard. It looks like the kind of place where someone’s grandmother might be cooking biscuits and gravy with a hearty side of bacon, and in fact, that’s just what they do inside.
The restaurant called Bacon is a place to get a traditional meal, but a meal that everyone can still make their own.
“What we decided to do was specialize in making the traditional old-fashioned meals and just making them with better bacon,” said Bacon co-founder Jed Taylor. “Really, I think that people will be inspired to create their own meal here.”
When first entering Bacon, where according to Taylor they cook about 80 to 150 pounds of the meat a day, one might expect to be overwhelmed by the smell of maple syrup and sizzling pork. That is not the case at all. The atmosphere at Bacon is like walking into your kitchen at home, but with a few more tables. There is no sickeningly sweet scent or sticky countertops. This may be because of the cool retro atmosphere the owners created, namely graphic designers Taylor and his friend Brady Clark. Taylor said a lot of the inspiration came from Clark’s bacon art, as well as restaurants like Whataburger who mix their restaurant with edgy graphics and a cool atmosphere.
The menu, also designed by Taylor and Clark, is not only stylish, but offers a good variety of both classic meals that feature bacon, like a cobb salad or bacon burger, as well as new bacon combinations like the bacon cookie of the day or waffles with bacon cooked inside. The restaurant also serves tempeh bacon as well as other vegan and vegetarian options, so patrons are not limited to meat.
The folks at Bacon offer food produced by local farmers and ranchers, but also offer a menu that is only 1-percent frozen. Their bacon is no ordinary bacon either. They advertise blackboard specials, such as Jaimaican Spice and Chinese Five Space, daily. The hickory bacon, though less adventurous, is a classic choice. The bacon comes thick and a little bit chewy, but they can cook it anyway you like it. And at $2 a slice, you get what you pay for. The hickory bacon is definitely the juiciest, most flavorful piece.
The biscuits and bacon gravy also seemed like a classic choice for breakfast, though the chicken and waffles and chorizo build-your-own breakfast taco came highly recommended as well. These portions dwarfed one slice of bacon. The plate came with two big biscuits drenched in gravy. If you want to go light on the gravy, definitely ask for it on the side. While the meal could have been heated up more, all the right flavors were there. The gravy was creamy with a kick and, of course, there were bits of bacon mixed in. The biscuits were the right balance between crumbling to pieces and hard as a rock. Overall, it was a hearty meal that leaves little to be desired.
The menu will not only feature bacon flavors of the day, but specials like barbecue pulled-pork sandwiches, shrimp and bacon grits or a Philly cheesesteak — all with your choice of bacon. And as an occasional blackboard special there will be the chance to get The King, which is peanut butter, two slices of bacon and banana, between two pieces of Texas toast and deep fried, Elvis style.
While at first Bacon sounds like a place for a bunch of bearded men with a bottomless thirst for all things pork, it is actually close to campus and great for students as it is near the BMX park on Ninth Street. The at-home atmosphere also lends it to be a place for families. Though it has a specialized menu, it is also versatile and definitely worth swinging by, if not just to experience a place where the best way to feel better is to bite into a juicy piece of bacon.
Printed on September 20, 2011 as: Bacon restaurant sizzles traditional Southern flair