50 Burgers, 50 Days: Bacon

 
Day 39: Bacon
900 W. 10th St. 322-9777, www.baconaustin.com.
Hours: 7 a.m. to 3 p.m. Monday-Wednesday. 7 a.m. to 10 p.m. Thursday-Friday. 8 a.m. to 10 p.m. Saturday. 8 a.m. to 3 p.m. Sunday.
 
By Mike Sutter | Fed Man Walking | 09.18.11
 
The burger: I wonder what the people who met their wives and husbands and exes over a romantic dinner at the long-gone Basil’s think about a restaurant devoted to bacon living in the same little bungalow. Probably nothing different from when the Screaming Goat was doing tacos and queso here.  And they’re probably just fine with it, anyway, because we’ve not only come to accept bacon as an everyday part of our diets, we’ve come to deify it, to fetishize it, to name a restaurant after it.
 
Bacon opened just 10 days ago, so a regular review wouldn’t be appropriate or fair. Think of this as a description of Bacon’s Double Grind burger ($11.95). It’s a 50/50 blend of beef and bacon blended into one thick patty, and you can see glimmers of porkfat in cross-section. And taste them, because the bacon takes the beef to a place halfway between the smokehouse and the grill. It’s garnished with Bibb lettuce, sliced red onions, sharp cheddar, good tomatoes and even better pickle slices on a bun with real tensile strength.
 
Don’t worry yourselves, fans of Basil’s or the Goat or even Cafe Caprice. They treated your place with respect, giving it a fresh coat of yellow paint and black trim, then dressing it up with a letterpress-style menu on cardboard stock that echoes the neon-trimmed hog on the sign outside.
 
Fries or rings? I suppose you could just order bacon as a side. It’s $2 for a curled slice about 5 inches long, and I tried one of two flavors of the day: Jamaican jerk. I’ve been chewing on it since I started writing this. Jamaican jerky? Polite society demands a starch, though, and Bacon’s thin-cut fries are decent. City health codes might have required them to offer a side salad. Or you can have chips. Any one of those is included in the burger price. But I’ll point you toward corn fritters the size of antique doorknobs at $3.95 for five. They’re fried to a gnarly amber glow, crisp on the outside, like waffle batter on the inside with whole kernels of sweet yellow corn. I asked for syrup to replace a side of bacon aioli that had separated in its dish. With syrup, it was one of those you-got-chocolate-in-my-peanut-butter moments. These fritters were born to go with syrup. So was bacon. So who’s on board for opening a placed next door called Syrup?
 
(Photos by Mike Sutter © Fed Man Walking)