Fatty, full-flavored, and usually with a seductive smoky-sweet edge, bacon is pork at its finest. Traditionally, it has been served in relatively small quantities, adding a certain appeal of rarity to its intrinsic deliciousness. In recent years bacon has become more popular than red velvet cake — a virtual food fetish that gets expressed in such outlandish items as bacon milk shakes and bacon cookies. There’s even bacon cologne!
Does bacon’s profusion diminish its appeal? Is its allure partly due to the fact that it almost always is in short supply? A restaurant that calls itself Bakn is a good place to research this question. The baconcentric menu goes from bacon-decorated Bloody Marys to bacon-bourbon ice cream and features a BLT that is made with a full pound of bacon. I love the idea of that sandwich. The grilled sourdough on which it’s made, the mayo-dressed arugula in lieu of iceberg lettuce, the bright slices of tomato all are good. And the bacon tastes fine. However, a thick pile of thin-sliced strips, which are flabby-soft and not the least bit crisp, becomes — dare I say it? — fairly monotonous midway through. Quantity is over-the-top, but quality is something less than that. Oh, I will order this sandwich again, no doubt about that; but on the table in my heaven, the BLT will have fewer, thicker strips with a bit of crunch.
Waitress Becca steers me away from too-cute bacon-bourbon vanilla ice cream for dessert, suggesting instead that I try chocolate chip cookies. One order is three huge ones — enough for a table full of people. They come with a dish of chocolate syrup for dipping. Not elegant, but quite satisfying, especially while still warm. The cookie that I brought back to my hotel room for breakfast the next day was less appealing dried out at room temperature.