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The Bacon, Peanut Butter, Chocolate Swirl Cheese Cake

It’s International Bacon Day! The best bacon-themed restaurants

Drew Lazor
TODAY contributor

Aug. 31, 2013 at 6:56 AM ET

Bacon Bacon’s version of an It’s-It, a popular ice cream sandwich in San Francisco.

Now that August 31, International Bacon Day, is finally here, we’ve decided to take you on a whistle-stop tour of the best bacon-centric concepts America has to offer. Ranging from popular West Coast food trucks to new-look Texas smokehouses, our picks differ greatly in attitude and approach — but an unrepentant love for all things bacon binds them together. Seek these places out to satisfy your strip-cravin’, pan-sizzlin’ heart.

Bacon (Austin, Texas)

With beef brisket dominating the smoked-meat convo in Texas, were the owners of Austin’s Bacon wary of launching a restaurant fixated on the pig? Maybe a little — but then hungry people started showing up. Instead of focusing on Internet novelties that propel pork belly to stratospheric levels of ridiculousness, Bacon was “started with an idea that we wanted to make bacon better,” says partner Jed Taylor, who debuted the restaurant over International Bacon Weekend two years ago.

That starts with preparing everything in-house, allowing the crew to get creative with signature flavors. Their most popular is Tabasco, and they also do varieties like Chinese five-spice, coconut curry and wasabi. It’s available straight-up or worked into any number of dishes, including their BLT, “double grind” burger (bacon’s worked into the patty) and bacon house salad.

Sage General Store (Long Island City, N.Y.)

“People always do pairings of wines. Why can’t you do that with bacon?” That simple, glorious thought process is what led Leslie Nilsson, owner of Queens’ Sage General Store, to launch her popular all-bacon weekend brunch. A proponent of artisanal meats, Nilsson had trouble choosing between three bacon varieties — Neuske’s, from Wisconsin; Dewig’s, from Indiana; and Ham I Am!, from Texas. The solution? Serve all three in a sampler that kicks off the prix-fixe meal.

Since Sage has just 26 seats, there’s often a wait for the three-course, $25 bacon celebration, which also features dishes like five-cheese bacon mac ‘n’ cheese and Nilsson’s infamous double chocolate bacon brownie, with bacon bits worked right into the batter.

Cousin’s Grubhouse (Philadelphia, Pa.)

In early 2013, Jim Lord and Bill Schmidt took over a luncheonette in Deep South Philly and converted it into Cousin’s Grubhouse. The plan: offer up satisfying, short-order-style food with twists not found anywhere else. “We really wanted to put some crazy stuff on the menu,” says Lord.

That includes bacon-centric options for days. Big sellers include bacon-wrapped jalapeno tater tots, a bacon-wrapped, chili-cheese-smothered “Heart Attack Dog” and bacon-infused pancakes. Next-level orderers go for the “Grubhouse Porker,” a sandwich piled with bacon, fried bologna, ham and barbecue root beer pulled pork.

Bacon Bacon (San Francisco, Calif.)

“Some food trucks have these crazy names, and you don’t know what you’re standing in line for,” says Jim Angelus, who took the opposite approach with the launch of Bacon Bacon, the Bay Area’s mobile source of bacon-based happiness. So successful was Angelus’ rig, serving burgers, tacos and other street-food favorites made with Cali’s Sunnyvalley Smoked Meats bacon, that he was able to expand into brick and mortar.

The cafe closed earlier this year in connection with a neighborhood clash that earned national attention, but just last month, Angelus was officially granted permission to reopen. He hopes to have the restaurant ready to re-debut this fall; meanwhile, he’s hunting for a second permanent space and has just signed a contract for a second truck.

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Bacon Bacon Cafe

via Inside Scoop

Bacon Bacon will return to Frederick Street.

Yesterday, the Planning Commission said that owner Jim Angelus can reopen his Haight/Cole Valley cafe and commissary kitchen, which has been closed since mid-May. The closure — spurred largely by neighbors’ complaints about the bacon smell — garnered national media attention, and even a mention on Saturday Night Live.

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Join us Thursday, July 11, 3pm, in room 400 at San Francisco City Hall to voice your support for Bacon Bacon to stay open on Frederick Street.

More information on the issue available online at The Wall Street Journal.

Eat Street visits to Bacon Bacon

Eat Street is a lip-smacking celebration of North America’s tastiest, messiest and most irresistible street food. From Tijuana-style tacos served out of an Airstream trailer and pizzas baked in a brick oven on wheels to classic dogs with all the fixins and sirloin burgers slathered in bacon jam — food cart fare is the hottest trend going. The stars of the show are the vendors — food mavericks with creative takes on mobile meals and inspiring stories to tell. Seeking out the very best curbside eats all over North America, Eat Street is your grease-stained roadmap to the ultimate street food experience.

Bacon Bacon appears on Eat Street on the Food Network’s Cooking Channel, April 29th.

Bacon Bacon on United States of Bacon

Bacon Bacon on United States of Bacon

Bacon Bacon on Headline News


Jim Angelus, owner of Bacon Bacon, discusses the business of bacon on Headline News.

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Food Truck Lures Bacon Lovers


Rob Marciano shares the story of Jim Angelus, the man behind San Francisco’s Bacon Bacon food truck. 

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The Burger gets serenaded by Zach Selwyn

Watch the Video

United States of Food



Everyone has a bucket list of things to accomplish in their lifetime. They usually look a bit like this: hike the Appalachian Trail, visit Graceland, go on a New Orleans ghost tour, get pulled onto stage at a Vegas magic show – but Chef Todd Fisher hungers for experiences with a bit more meat to them. As a life-long restaurateur, Chef Todd’s passion for palate pleasers has him questing for the best bacon, burgers, and steaks at not just eateries, but meat temples, across the nation in Destination America’s new original series UNITED STATES OF FOOD, premiering Sunday, July 8 at 10 PM E/P with “United States of Bacon.” Subsequent episodes include “United States of Burgers” on July 15 and “United States of Steak” on July 22.

Throughout the series, UNITED STATES OF FOOD visits venues with the best and most innovative menus items in the nation. Making Chef Todd’s “bucket list” are pop culture mainstays like Chicago’s Billy Goat Tavern, whose “cheeburgers” were made famous by Saturday Night Live, as well as trail-blazing small businesses like the Bacon Bacon Truck in San Francisco and their traffic-stopping grilled cheese, which oozes bacon jam in addition to containing a few strips of the real stuff. A visit to NYC’s famous Crif Dogs proves serendipitous as record-holding hot dog competitive eater Takeru Kobayashi is spotted among the crowd of diners tasting his first bacon-wrapped hot dog. UNITED STATES OF FOOD rounds out its journey at venues as interesting as the dishes they concoct, such as The Grill House in Allegan, Mich., a grill-your-own steak joint that is also rumored to be haunted.

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