While we couldn’t be further outside of the “everything’s better with bacon” camp (that battle cry alone is enough to make us want to switch to seitan), our defiant, all-American spirit was nevertheless aroused by recent studies, declaring bacon and other processed meats as carcinogenic, potentially cancer-causing agents, essentially as harmful as cigarettes. Bah! So if you’re ready to carpe arvina (seize the bacon, obvs), thumb your nose at naysayers with Mekelburg’s pork belly-topped potatoes and Polonica’s pig candy-swaddled kielbasa.
Baked Potato with Slab Bacon at Mekelburg’s: Considering all of the routinely pork-centric menu items are unqualified winners at Mekelburg’s, who’d have thought we’d fall head over heels for a humble baked potato? So much more than a side dish, this spud sails straight into legit entrée territory, featuring twice-baked, salt and olive oil-rubbed russets, anchored to the plate with melted Ronnybrook butter, swollen with pungent Spring Brook Farm’s raclette, puddled with a mix of sour cream and crème fraiche, and crowned with a cube of braised, double-smoked pork belly.
293 Grand Avenue, Clinton Hill
Bacon on a Stick at Landhaus: How to stand out amidst the massive multi-culti culinary crush of Smorgasburg? Landhaus’ canny solution was to sell smoked, cured, roasted and char-grilled slabs of thick-cut, maple syrup-shellacked bacon on a stick, a signature dish that’s followed them to their permanent outpost at The Woods.
48 S 4th Street, Williamsburg
Stuffed Kielbasa at Polonica: Kielbasa is already perfectly equipped to stand on its own; being such an ideal specimen of salt, smoke and fat. But at Bay Ridge’s family-run Polonica, they gamely do the Polish sausage two better, by stuffing it with cheese and wrapping it in bacon (then obscuring the caloric crime scene with a virtuous house salad on the side).
7214 3rd Avenue, Bay Ridge
Bowl O’ Bacon at Whiskey Brooklyn: Yes, you’ll find bacon incorporated in sandwiches, salads, burgers and dogs at this Williamsburg sports bar, but it’s so much more than a bit player. So when you’re ready to get down to business, go straight for the bowl o’ bacon teamed with pots of maple syrup and blue cheese dip—because the only thing standing between you and coils of crispy, crunchy pig flesh is that bowl.
44 Berry Street, Williamsburg
BLT at Brooklyn Commune: Compared with the above entries, the BLT at Brooklyn Commune—comprised of tomato jam, lettuce and guacamole on grilled sourdough or gluten-free bread—practically qualifies as health food, especially if you swap the curls of maple-glazed bacon with fingers of smoked Barry’s tempeh. But what kind of fiend (especially one who’d even think to scroll through this list) would do that?
601 Greenwood Avenue, Windsor Terrace
Bacon Donuts at Traif: Being that there’s no better mission statement for Traif’s particular brand of blatantly non-kosher cuisine, these donuts have been a menu mainstay from the beginning; oblong, dulce de leche-soused pastry puffs made with melted bacon fat, sprinkled with bacon “flakes,” and ideally, enjoyed alongside a glass of Rude Little Pig—a tequila-based cocktail thickly circled with pork crumbs.
229 S 4th Street, Williamsburg
Bacon Bloody Mary at Lucey’s Lounge: Eggs and waffles seem an especially unnecessary brunch order when faced with the bloodys at Lucey’s, made with housemade, bacon-infused mix and potato vodka, and finished with a bacon salt rim.
475 3rd Avenue, Gowanus
Bacon Oyster Pad Thai at Talde: Chef-owner Talde is perfectly upfront about his inspiration for this top-selling noodle dish; “I love pad thai, oysters, bacon and crunchy things.” ‘Nuff said.
369 7th Avenue, Park Slope