While you were glued to the World Series of baseball last week, the Bottomless Pit (BP) and I headed to the world series of bacon. It was a seven-inning–er, course–dinner extravaganza, featuring the Bacon Bacon food truck and Canela Bistro and Wine Bar. Fortunately, the chefs weren’t playing against each other, and the result was a lot tastier than the hard-to-swallow Giants’ loss.
First up were bacon-wrapped dates, stuffed with Manchego cheese, from the Bacon Bacon gang. And just so nobody forgot this was about bacon, a slice of crispy pork belly also graced the plate. “There is a god!” the BP proclaimed, as he bit into one of the little bundles. “Pure happiness!” he added between bites.
You might have guessed by now that the BP is a bacon lover. He comes by it naturally. His entire family is crazy for bacon, which makes the in-laws a real pleasure to visit.
The Bacon Bacon truck was parked right outside Canela, and the restaurant’s expediter kept in touch by walkie-talkie to make sure all the courses flowed smoothly–which they did. Impressive, since this was an unusual set-up for service. Dog owners passing on their nightly walk had to drag their pets away from the bacony-good aromas wafting from the truck. (“Dogs are always following us down the street,” Bacon Bacon owner Jim Angelus told me. He also mentioned that they now go through upwards of a ton and a half of bacon per month, with three trucks and a bricks-and-mortar spot.)
The next course, from Canela Chef Mat Schuster, was a perfectly seared scallop, alongside roasted corn and bacon pudding with padron pepper. Both elements were absolutely delicious, although they didn’t mesh well as a combo.
A thick, creamy bacon-clam chowder was up next, from Bacon Bacon–but I think the bacon content far exceeded the clams. No complaints at our table!
Bacon croquetas, from Canela, were lovely and non-greasy, almost like big, gourmet tater tots. The bacon element was more subtle, which made a nice break from some of the other courses.
Canela followed up with bacon-fried chicken. Yes, you read that right. The small, bone-in breast pieces were juicy and expertly cooked, and you could definitely tell that bacon grease was an element in the frying oil. I really liked the idea of cutting breast pieces smaller, resulting in more even cooking and more crispy goodness. The pool of creamy piquillo salsa underneath was great for dipping, and the apple-mint slaw nicely cut the chicken’s richness.
By course number six, even the BP was flagging a bit. The portions were all generous, and he’d finished up a few of my plates on top of it. Canela’s Mat Schuster continued to tempt us onward, with pulled pork cooked in Moorish spices, over a delightfully crisp potato pancake (Note to self: just order anything Schuster fries!) and topped with a poached egg. Mmmm…I could eat this for breakfast every morning. And then go back to bed. The BP valiantly cleared his plate yet again.
Dessert was a collaboration. Canela made the cinnamon-coffee ice cream, while Bacon Bacon contributed chocolate-covered bacon and a chocolate chip-bacon cookie. It all went together in one grand finale sundae. With the elastic waist (a total necessity in my line of work) on my pants stretched to the maximum, I still managed to down half the creation. My only wish? That Bacon Bacon would use a slightly better grade of chocolate.
As for the BP, this dinner filled up his seemingly bottomless pit, and left him in bacon bliss. Even though the Giants lost that night, the Bacon dinner was a winner.
Both collaborators said they were interested in a repeat–so follow me on Twitter for word of the next extravaganza.
Canela, 2272 Market St, San Francisco, 415-552-3000.
Bacon Bacon, 205 A Frederick St, San Francisco, 415-218-4347; plus three trucks, one permanently stationed at SOMA StrEat Food Park.