No. 99: Bacon Shrimp and Grits at Bacon Social House
When you find yourself at a restaurant called Bacon, bacon had better end up on your plate in some form. Fortunately, at Bacon there's no shortage of cured pork belly in just about every dish — and even in a few cocktails. This new Sunnyside eatery is open all day — and serves breakfast all day — so you can get your fill of eggs and pancakes at any time, too. But for a true taste of North Carolina native Brian Crow's cooking, dig into a bowl of his shrimp and grits bathed in a rich brown sauce and studded with chewy bits of Tender Belly bacon.
"Shrimp n’ grits is true to my heart, being a Southern boy," Crow notes. He builds his version on a smooth mound of slow-cooked grits and uses shrimp stock to pump up the flavor. Garlic, shallots and bacon are thrown into a hot pan, followed by shrimp, jalapeños and mushrooms. The shrimp stock — made in-house from shrimp shells — is added to deglaze the pan and is reduced with cream. At the end, tomatoes, spinach and butter are folded in.
Each bite yields a little smoky bacon and a little of the clingy sauce (which is gluten-free, since it's not thickened with flour). The lightly cooked tomatoes and a few crumbles of goat cheese add brightness to the mixture, which never seems heavy despite the butter and cream. This is a breakfast dish to start a day of hard work — or to end it with sumptuous pleasure. But what else would you expect from a place called Bacon?
If you like this story, consider signing up for our email newsletters.
SHOW ME HOW
Throughout this year, we'll be counting down the best dishes in the city — from longtime classics that keep us coming back to new additions that have caught our attention. If there's a dish you think we need to try, tell us about it in the comments section, or shoot us an e-mail at email@example.com.
Hungry for more? All the dishes in our 2016 countdown are linked below.