Thursday, October 20, 2011

Bacon Bacon - The Almost Veggie

There are many reasons why San Francisco is a fabulous place to live. We have a beautiful city, there are people of all races and cultures here, we are very progressive and there is always something to do or see. Plus, as American cities go, I think we have some pretty amazing food! And as we are getting near the end of 2011, our emerging mobile food scene has really placed us at the top of the pack. All of those things considered there is one thing that makes San Francisco stand out as a city above the rest when it comes to street cuisine. We have Bacon Bacon, and everyone else does not.

It's not a secret that I am a huge fan of Jim Angelus' big black kitchen on wheels, and it's single-handedly the food truck that I am asked about most. Whenever I meet someone for the first time and the topic of this website comes up, it's only a matter of time before I am asked, "Do you know Bacon Bacon?" It gives me a great opportunity to launch into my opinion of how tasty their food is. Let's face it, bacon is a great topic of conversation, and a roaming food truck whose menu is comprised almost entirely of dishes featuring bacon can bring one to salivate in mere seconds.

The very first item from Bacon Bacon that I tried during the soft launch a few months ago was the Almost Veggie sandwich. I can remember clearly sitting on a curb at the San Francisco DMV, taking that first bite and exclaiming to Brian about how good it was. It's been months since that first taste, and I still often think about how much I enjoyed that sandwich, though eschewing it in favor of untried items. However, a girl can only resist so much, and so once again I found myself in front of the truck with broccoli rabe on the brain. Only this time I ordered it with fries.

The Almost Veggie is a giant of a sandwich, served on a long ciabatta roll. As the title describes, its main components are broccoli rabe and red peppers, and it is smothered in melted provolone and finished with a sriracha aoili. But, this is from Bacon Bacon, so what would a vegetarian sandwich be doing on this menu?* Nestled in between the vibrant veggies are slices of crispy, smoky, thick-cut bacon. All together, this sandwich is a gem like no other I have had.

My sandwich came piled high with broccoli rabe, and I love the sweet bitnerness of this Italian leafy green. Here it's the star of the show, but it has a great supporting cast. The extra crispy bacon crumbled with almost every bite, adding some nice texture against the softness of the vegetables and an intense, smoky flavor. The melted cheese provided both a creaminess and a saltiness, and the aoili added some spiciness, as well. The red peppers gave the sandwich more of a subtle flavor, which was welcome since peppers can sometimes be overpowering. I appreciated that nothing took away from the flavors of the broccoli rabe. I am sure that the rabe must have been cooked in a fair amount of oil, and while I could taste the nutty flavor, the sandwich wasn't too greasy. Yes, it is a bit on the heavy side, but I couldn't put it down; I wanted every last bite!

If I liked it the first time, then I loved it this time because, to my surprise, it actually got better. That is a pretty big feat considering that the first time it was fantastic. But somehow as the months have passed since I first tried it, the Bacon Bacon team has tweaked and refined the Almost Veggie to near perfection. Whenever I eat broccoli rabe I am reminded of my deceased grandmother's cooking. She always sauteed it flawlessly so that the bitterness of the rabe was still pronounced, but it never left a funky aftertaste. The leaves were soft and tender, and she was always able to prepare it in a way that I was never able to replicate. Bacon Bacon was able to resurrect her cooking for me, and for sentimental reasons, I am certainly grateful.

And it's definitely worth noting that the french fries were amazing. They were perfectly crispy and crunchy on the outside, soft on the inside and bursting with flavor from the herbs in which they were tossed. They had just the right amount of salt, and the texture was spot on. No soggy or burnt fries here! I actually thought about these fries for days later and even recommended them to my friend to get them when we were at Off the Grid (she liked them too!).

So far Bacon Bacon is batting 1.000 with me, so I am looking forward to what I will try next. Whatever it is, I am sure it will be swine-tastic!

Rating: 5/5 (ratings guide)

Bacon Bacon (@baconbaconsf) $7 for the sandwich, $3 for the fries

Bacon Bacon (Frederick St) on Urbanspoon

* Yes yes, all of the items on the menu can be ordered without bacon, but then we suppose Epic Meal Time would have a lot less to talk about.

Does reading this make you want to try this vendor? Tell them that you saw them at I Left My Cart in San Francisco and support San Francisco street cuisine!

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