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Chilly days call for big, hearty, comforting flavors. One winter staple in our house is bacon, whose drool-inducing aroma, crispy texture and oh-so satisfying taste helps to ease us through Sacramento’s blustery, cold months.
Bacon is also a beloved ingredient of many of the region’s restaurants. Here’s five local dishes in which bacon plays a starring (or at least a VIP supporting) role:
Salmon…and bacon? You bet. Café Bernardo’s salmon B.L.T is one of my all-time favorite local sandwiches. Composed on grilled sourdough wheat bread and perked up with a vibrant basil mayonnaise, this delectable sandwich tastes even better with a fresh draft ale.
Steamed Prince Edward Island Mussels
Taylor’s Kitchen always does a great job with their mussel dishes – the recipes change with the seasons, but you can count on the ingredient combinations to be creative, and the broth to be worthy of ravenous bread-dunking. Try to visit when the restaurant is offering mussels cooked up with Applewood bacon, sweetly pleasing caramelized onions, and a dash of balsamic vinegar.
This teeny bastion of excellent, authentic Mexican food (brush up on your Spanish before you visit) serves up their fabulous frijoles (whole brown beans) dotted with soft pieces of yellow onion and irresistible, salty bits of bacon. And while the beans are considered a side dish at this friendly little restaurant, I could easily make an entire meal out of them.
5063 24th Street, Sacramento; (916) 736-2389
Tatsoi Spinach & Red Mustard Frisée Salad
I adore the salads at Mulvaney’s – always prepared with radiantly fresh greens, they are often composed with surprising and creative ingredients. A lovely winter salad that’s sometimes offered at this popular midtown restaurant is the Tatsoi spinach and red mustard frisée salad, tossed in a warm bacon cider vinaigrette and enlivened with caramelized red onions, velvety chunks of chanterelle mushrooms, and – of course – a sprinkling of bacon.
Bacon & Cheddar Burger
The Flaming Grill Café
Hamburgers are an art form at the The Flaming Grill, where patrons can choose from a dizzying array of different meat patties (including antelope, llama, ostrich, yak and wild boar). I like to stick to the traditional beef patty when sink my canines into the café’s outstanding bacon and cheddar burger – one of the most terrific, juicy (and enormous) burgers in the region.