Bacon Appetizer Slapdown: St. Anselm Vs. Fatty 'Cue
On the left, weighing in at 2.5 ounces, medieval prelate St. Anselm! On the right, tipping the scales at two ounces, barnyard bully Fatty 'Cue!
I've been seeing lots of bacon apps on menus lately. It probably goes back 100 years -- Peter Luger's bill of fare was the first time I remember seeing bacon all by itself as a dish.
It seems rather decadent, doesn't it? Enjoying a wad of bacon completely by itself, without benefit of sandwich or scrambled eggs.
It's becoming more and more common, a way to indulge yourself, while adding extra pig fat to the diet.
Today we put two prominent bacon appetizers to the test, only a few blocks distant from each other in Williamsburg, and only a stone's throw from Peter Luger. Both are relatively new restaurants. St. Anselm recently reopened with a new menu, while Fatty 'Cue has been at it for a year.
St. Anselm -- The bacon came in a single glob, quite pink and striped from the gas grill. The mild smoky flavor seemed to predate the grilling, but the grilling and smoky flavor melded into something quite delicious, but perhaps a little too much like ham. Let's call it faux Canadian bacon. Still, one could have wished for more fat -- this saint is a little too lean. This bacon would taste great in a sandwich.
Fatty 'Cue -- The app here is way fatty, making a nice contrast with the bacon at St. Anselm. Also, it's advertised as "coriander bacon." Not sure what coriander means in this context, since the spice and the herb -- though they come from the very same plant -- have very different flavors. I'd say the Fatty 'Cue bacon tastes more like powdered coriander than cilantro. The smoky flavor is surprisingly mild, given that Fatty is a barbecue pit, with Asian accents, of course.
Next: Conclusions, and award of the Golden Bacon Belt ...
Both bacons frustrate our expectations for bacon somewhat, which is basically a profusion of meaty strips striped with fat. Yet both of these bacons are well-suited to stand alone. I'm not so sure you'd be satisfied to have a heap of good regular bacon, even with a stack of bread. The tendency might be to call for tomatoes, lettuce, and mayo, and make yourself a BLT. Neither of these bacons suggests that. I suppose that's a good thing.
The Golden Bacon Belt goes to Fatty 'Cue, by a split decision.
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