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Best Bacon in Seattle


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I *love* bacon and in the last year and a half, I've come to  truly cherish good bacon. Now I love my bacon to have a 50/50 ratio of fat to meat and I cook it so it has crispy edges but is still semi-flaccid. I'd like to know where everyone else goes when they want the best bacon pigs can proffer. I'm not talking about the national brands that are really thin like Oscar Meyer.

But as far as national brands go (it suppose it could be regional), Fletcher's is pretty damn good and it used to be my favorite. Another plus is that's available at most grocery stores.

Now I've tried the primo deli bacon from A & J's on Queen Anne and I found it to have too much meat and not enough fat, resulting in tough and chewy bacon, more like a slice of ham instead of bacon.

I've also had the deli bacon from Central Market in Shoreline and although beautiful was as dissapointing as A & J's.

At the moment my favorite bacon is from the Fred Meyer deli. I've bought some from the Lake City Way store and the Ballard store and their bacon (in my humble opinion) is the standard by which all should be compared to. But it seems odd that such good bacon should come from such a lowend store. I'm not saying that FM is a dump, I love the Ballad FM, but I would imagine that specialty shops and high-end grocercies should in principle have better bacon.

Where does everyone else go?

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Bacon...one of my favorite foods!  I have to admit that I buy Oscar Meyer bacon now, ever since America's Test Kitchen tested several bacons and found Oscar Meyer to be superior (and we all know they are the experts, right, ha ha).  The other 2 brands I buy are Fletchers and Hempler's.  Hempler's is a good quality brand out of Bellingham, WA which is similar to Fletchers in flavor and looks.  I buy them at the grocery store.  I recently tasted some very delicious bacon in a dish at Dahlia Lounge (which I still need to post about).  I was going to ask where they get their bacon, but looked in a Tom Douglas cookbook and found he uses a very smoky slab bacon from Bavarian Meats at the Pike Place Market.  I also recall delicious bacon in his Etta's restaurant Spinach Pear Bacon Salad.  The bacon was diced, so I'm not sure of the fat/meat ratio, but the flavor was wonderful.  I've been to Bavarian Meats before for good sausages, liverwurst and other German items, but will check out their bacon next time.

That's a great tip about the pancetta, I'll give it a try.

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I have never been so excited to go buy bacon! Thanks for all your great recs. Hubby and I are big time bacon fans and have been disappointed so many times with grocery store brands. We are so tired of paying $5-$7 a pound and getting bacon that is the same texture as the doggy bacon treats we feed our two labs.

Like Col Klink, we've had good luck with Fred Meyer deli bacon (the thick cut is good!) and we really like Fletcher's, which we pick up in bulk when it's at Costco. I now plan on stopping by Bavarian Meats next week.

For the record, I like a ratio of 80 percent crispness to 20 percent pliable (I accomplish this by pushing it around the pan a lot. I'm stuck with an electric stove (ugh), so it's not difficult to find a cool spot in the pan). Hubby likes an even 50-50 split, leaning on the flaccid side.

A palate, like a mind, works better with exposure and education and is a product of its environment.

-- Frank Bruni

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Oh yeah, I forgot to mention the other reason I like FM deli bacon, it's only $3.50/lb! And sometimes you can get it on sale for even less.

Next time I go into Pike's, I'm going to Bavarian Meats. Heron, where in the market is it generally located?

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I looked up the address, because it is tricky to find.  It's called Bavarian Meat Delicatessen, 1920 Pike Place Market.  It's located towards the end of the market, and the side of the street opposite the Pig.  It's near Saigon Restaurant.  I don't recall an entry door facing the sidewalk, as one goes into the market interior and then turns left and enters through double wide glass doors to get to Bavarian Meats.  It sounds (and is) a little confusing and hard to find, but you can always ask a vendor as you get closer.

Thanks for the tip on FM bacon...sounds like a great deal and delicious as well!

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Hey, don't knock Fred Meyer.  Back in Portland, at least, they had the best croissants in town.

I went to Bavarian Meats yesterday--what a great little shop.  The guy before me bought some fifty bucks worth of various wursts, including their entire stock of leftover ends.  The bacon is sliced to order and is dirt-cheap:  I got half a pound for about $2.  It fried up nicely for breakfast this morning with some pancakes, and I found it similar to Whole Foods bacon.  I'd definitely buy it again, especially at that price (admittedly, not as cheap as FM, which I also intend to try).

col klink, have you ever considered joining the Bacon-of-the-Month club?  You sound like just their kind of member.  I'd help you eat it.

Matthew Amster-Burton, aka "mamster"

Author, Hungry Monkey, coming in May

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col klink, have you ever considered joining the Bacon-of-the-Month club?  You sound like just their kind of member.  I'd help you eat it.

I'd help you eat it too.  I wonder if that's the same bacon of the month club that Steven Shaw belongs to?

mamster, so was the Bavarian Meat bacon smoky flavored, as described by Tom Douglas?  or just kind of regular bacon flavored?  I haven't had Whole Foods bacon yet.

ps...I just noticed the Grateful Palate's club carries 2 of Hempler's bacons... their regular and their pepper bacon.  I wonder if it's the same Hempler's from Bellingham, WA that we get at Admiral Thriftway ?

edit:  Hempler's is from Bellingham, WA.

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I think that is the same Hempler bacon and I know it's the same bacon-of-the-month club.

The bacon from Bavarian was not especially smoky that I noticed.  For smokiness I'm always mentally comparing with Nueske's, which is an extremely smoky bacon;  you can blanch it to remove some of the smoke, but that would be missing the point.

Matthew Amster-Burton, aka "mamster"

Author, Hungry Monkey, coming in May

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Oops...I made a mistake.  Hempler's is out of Bellingham, WA, not Canada as I previously mentioned.  They also make a lot of things besides bacon, ie. smoked pork chops, ham hocks, weiners (all sold at Admiral Thriftway), in addition to other items as well: Click here

I will edit my previous posts to reflect the correction.

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I noticed that they have the Hempler's at my QFC.  I'll try it next time.  Among the options is a pack of ends and pieces at a discount (about $3.50/pound), which would be great for dishes where you're just going to cut the stuff up anyway.

Matthew Amster-Burton, aka "mamster"

Author, Hungry Monkey, coming in May

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  • 1 month later...

Well, the Salumi pancetta is a good bit cheaper than the pancetta at QFC, which is not bad, but it's $20/lb.  And the Salumi stuff is the best I've ever had, although it tends to call attention to itself--best to use it in something like fettucine with parsnips and pancetta, from the Babbo cookbook.

Matthew Amster-Burton, aka "mamster"

Author, Hungry Monkey, coming in May

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  • 8 months later...

Bringing up the old bacon thread. I went to the market yesterday and picked up some good looking bacon from Crystal's Meat Shop in the Sanitary Market along with some double smoked hot links and a pound of kielbasa. I thought this was the place that Heron was talking about but after checking here, it isn't.

I fried up the bacon the morning and it was good, but not as good as Fred Meyer's. It's of the type with little fat and they're almost like fatty ham steaks and cut very thick. Maybe it's just that I don't know how to cook this bacon. I put it in my skillet on medium-low and did a long slow cook. It came out chewy and the fat really didn't render much. I've tried cooking this type of bacon before at higher temperatures with about the same success. Is it that this bacon just isn't that good? Or do I not how to cook high quality bacon? I don't have this problem with fattier bacons.

Nah, everybody is wrong except for me. :cool:

I haven't tried the hot links yet but I'm excited about them. The kielbasa tasted decent with a good pepper flavor but the texture and color were all wrong. It's still better than Hillshire farms.

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I fried up the bacon the morning and it was good, but not as good as Fred Meyer's. It's of the type with little fat and they're almost like fatty ham steaks and cut very thick. Maybe it's just that I don't know how to cook this bacon.

Try asking about this on the UK forum, or maybe just the cooking forum, where Brits will also be found. It sounds more like the bacon they have over there than what we are used to in the US.

Chief Scientist / Amateur Cook

MadVal, Seattle, WA

Proud signatory to the eG Ethics code

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Is it that this bacon just isn't that good? Or do I not how to cook high quality bacon? I don't have this problem with fattier bacons.

its because the bacon is sliced *too* thick. My absolute fave is Hempler's because of the flavor, BUT in my humble opinion, they slice it too thick. I'm one of those rare people who like it sliced thin, that way I can get it crispy!! OH and who here hates flubbery bacon?? I can't imagine eating it still flubbery! Its a crime against baconry! It MUST be crisp!

Born Free, Now Expensive

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I like my bacon half flaccid. I like the fat to be crispy but not at the expense of chewy, leather like meat. Thin sliced bacon is good for wrapping dry meat but I'd just as easily go with guanciale. So I like medium sliced bacon that in a pinch I can fry up in a pan which leaves me with the best tasting bacon in the city, Freddy's.

Jim, applewood smoking cracks me up. It gives far less smoke flavor to meats so I don't see a use for it unless you just happen to have a lot of it around and it's just going to rot. But people think that if it's applewood smoked, it walks on water or that's how it's promoted. Ah, I love the evilness of marketing.

Hmm, uncured. Sounds a little hairy to me. If it's uncured and doesn't have nitrites, how do they keep the germy germs from infesting the meat when it's at 100F for 24 to 36 hours? If they add any salt at all, it's cured right?

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