Alibi V.28 No.47 • Nov 21-27, 2019 

Restaurant Review

The Religion of Bacon

Bacon Jam will destroy your weight loss dreams

food
“Just tell me when”, except with bacon instead of parmesan.
Eric Williams Photography

Satan’s origin is interesting, namely because of, well, the name. The word sâtan is Hebrew in origin, and when used as a verb, it means “to obstruct” or “to oppose.” It’s no surprise then that the word took on a literal meaning as the name of God’s adversary, being the ultimate enemy of mankind. As someone who has done a very “OK” job of taking care of myself, there was a slight risk to taking on a job where I eat constantly that it would cause me to start putting on the pounds. My goal at the end of the year was to be at the weight I started the job at or less. With a great track record so far, I felt confident that I’d hit my goal this year. But then I discovered Bacon Jam, my obstacle, my sâtan.

Bacon Jam serves the indulgent, over-the-top bacon-laden dishes your metaphorical heart has been looking for. The main pull here is simple: Bacon is amazing, and no dish has ever suffered from having bacon in it. It’s worth mentioning that there was something a little different here than most other restaurants I’ve visited. When I came in for breakfast, it was already fairly busy, but I took my seat and started looking through the menu. What I quickly found was one of the friendliest environments I’ve ever been in, with people at seperate tables conversing with one another, including me, in what felt like a scene right out of a movie where a big city character visits a small town diner. There’s something in the air at Bacon Jam that lends itself to being open and relaxed that I really haven’t found anywhere else in the city, at least not to this level of openness.

As for the food, I think it’s best if we first acknowledge that there will always be two types of people in this world: those who think bacon is the end-all-be-all of food, deserving of a place in any dish and those who are quite simply wrong. Bacon Jam clearly fell into the former camp, with its decision to make sure you are in bacon-based heaven. Take, for example, the Defibrillator ($3.95) appetizer. You’re given two pieces of deep-fried bacon laid atop a bed of lettuce with a side of house-made bacon gravy. What you’re left with is a crunch-fest of a dish that feels practically illegal to eat because nothing should be allowed to taste this good. The bacon is well-done crispy, with a layer of fried batter on the outside that gives it the look of chicken tenders that just popped out of the fryer. Toss a little of their bacon gravy on it, and you’ve got this creamy smoothness that adds to the bite of that bacon.

I followed that up with some of the Bacon Batter Pancakes ($8.45), which features two pancakes filled with bacon, two eggs cooked any style and two strips of bacon. A couple notes about this dish: First, the bacon on the side went in the opposite direction of the Defibrillator, being more to the style of cooked to exactly the right amount to be not super-crispy, the way I prefer it. Second, they weren’t joking about it being filled with bacon. The top of the pancakes were literally bursting with bits of bacon showing through. Whereas at most places I’d see this item, I would assume I’d be lucky to get a bite of bacon in each real bite, here it would be impossible not to. I cannot overstate just how much bacon was in these pancakes. That’s value to the highest order.

Finally, I saw the pièce de résistance, the shining beacon at the back of the restaurant that signaled to me in a way that left me unable to look anywhere else. Upon the specials board, scrawled in big chalk letters, were the words “Giant Taco.” I’ve said before that most restaurants don’t know I’m coming in, so what ends up happening is they watch a normal human being order a superhuman amount of food. They try to talk me out of ordering all the food or make sure I know how big something is, and I wave it off because my job is to try as much as I can in as short a period as possible. This time was different. My waitress laughed, and said “That’s gonna be a big meal!”

When I see the word “giant” in a restaurant, I think big and ridiculous, but not unconquerable. What was brought to my table looked physically impossible to consume. This taco was literally multiple pounds and bigger than my head. The community aspect came back into play because people gathered around my table just to see it and get some pictures. For $12, I got a taco loaded with fried chicken, chile cheese fries, bacon, jalapeno ranch and all the other dressings a taco deserves. It was beyond amazing. It was a magic carpet ride across the world of flavor, with the bonus being that so many textures come into play all at once, that in some ways, it was overwhelming. This is a dish that 8 years ago, I could have handled all by myself in one sitting, but now, it became lunch for the next three days.

Bacon Jam isn’t in the market to make food that’s healthy. They’re in it to make food that makes you feel good. Are they my sâtan to weight management? Maybe. But the concept was the obstacle in the way of spiritual growth, and what is a life that is spent eating foods you don’t love? Bacon Jam understands this concept better than anywhere else and goes all in on creating the delicious guilty pleasures that make life truly worth living.

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2930 Candelaria Rd. NE
916-0864
http://baconjamrestaurant.com

Hours: Mon-Fri: 6am-3pm Sat: 8am-2pm Sun: Closed
Vibe: Friendly and casual diner
Alibi Recommends: Probably best to try the bacon.