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Bacon | Cheap eats

Where to get the best bacon in Chicago.


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Breakfast bacon, our vibe went south. You used to be uncontrived, but then you got slutted out like a Big Ten sorority girl at Applebee’s happy hour. Bacon bras. Bacon wallets. Baconnaise? I couldn’t stomach the exploitation, all that excessive drooling over your marbleized goodness. But just when I was about to put a stop to my consumption of your trans fatty acids, my blogging crew—a.k.a. the OG Clean Plate Club, Chicago Gluttons—stepped in. To keep my streeteam cred, CG fam hollered that I needed to get down with you again. So they linked us back up like

We commenced our search at Lucky Platter (514 Main St, Evanston, 847-869-4064; $2.75). An order was placed for a smorgasbord of breakfast items, and when the swine arrived it glistened like wet gold teeth. They had dunked the strips in cinnamon glaze, making it gloriously sticky—like 3M got in the bacon biz. I saved a piece to hang a Garfield poster back at the crib.

Later, we jumped to Uncommon Ground (3800 N Clark St, 773-929-3680; $5) for some artisan breakfast beers and “poak.” The server embraced my swine quest as if I were the Frodo of fat-finding and suggested the Nueske black peppercorn bacon. It possessed heat like chlamydia. Bacon fat and fresh peppercorn is the perfect flavor collab. Consider yourself schooled.

Our last jaunt was to Sweet Maple Café (1339 W Taylor St, 312-243-8908; $2.75), where we got a pound of bacon that took me straight back to Cackalack. SMC’s cooks do bacon like carnies do funnel cake. They wouldn’t relinquish the recipe, but it’s gotta be cast iron and dry meat rub. It’s not a mindfuck—it’s a swinefuck. Also known as reverse angioplasty. Or just the pork that officially marked our greasy love affair as rekindled.

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