I never got swept up by the bacon craze of the early aughts. Bacon on a club sandwich? Yes. Bacon on cupcakes? Oh hell no. But, one thing to come out of the nation’s preoccupation with pork is bacon jam, which can make an excellent addition to a burger.
At this point, I’m surprised bacon grease isn’t leaking from my pores. In the span of four days, I consumed a 100 percent bacon burger from Slater’s 50/50 (dubbed the ‘Merica burger) and a “Son of Baconator” from Wendy’s. Both reviews, I feel like it’s necessary to note, were done for A Hamburger Today, and were aided by my complete lack of dignity.
With nearly 100 burger reviews for A Hamburger Today under my belt, I don’t think I can ever eat burgers like a normal human being again. I started covering the San Diego burger scene almost two years ago, and have developed a technique that I’m positive makes me look like a total weirdo. Here’s how it’s done:
Options for cheap eats near the San Diego Convention Center (and Comic-Con) abound, if you know where to look. Most of the spots on 5th, right across from the SDCC aren’t worth your dining dollar, but there are a few gems right on the strip. If you go a little farther north, or east, that’s where you’ll really strike gold. Here are my top picks for cheap eats near the Convention Center (and in downtown SD, in general).
On National Cheeseburger Day (September 18th, if you didn’t know), Sacramento will be hit with a blizzard of burgers at the Sacramento Burger Battle. Local restaurants will put their best burger forward, and I’m going to be in the center of the storm as one of the official judges.
Some burgers look great, but taste terrible. For others, the reverse is true. The burger at Leroy’s Kitchen + Lounge, made with 100% fresh-ground brisket, is both visually stunning and scrumptious.
Saturday’s brunch is the reason why I’ve been eating “air sandwiches” the last couple of mornings… but I have no regrets. The meal started with “Coffee and Doughnuts” (a plate of beignets with Belgian chocolate dipping sauce and raspberry compote), followed by a BLT salad (with crispy pork belly, poached eggs, and heirloom tomatoes), and ended with a plate of French toast with Chambord reduction, mixed berry compote, and quite possibly the best topping to ever grace French toast: raspberry mascarpone.
The East Village’s newest sandwich shop makes a killer breakfast ‘which. The Ultimate Breakfast Dip is like a delicious collision of a breakfast sandwich and a deli sandwich. It’s made with ham and muenster cheese between slices of toasted sourdough, topped with spicy tomato sauce and a fried egg.
There’s a lot going on with The Red Door’s brunch burger, but it works (and stays intact) surprisingly well. The half-pound patty is topped with aged cheddar cheese, applewood-smoked bacon, fresh veggies, a fried egg, and hollandaise sauce.
Finally, there’s another spot to score pizza by the slice in Little Italy. Napizza specializes in Roman-style pizza, made with dough that’s proofed for a full 72 hours before being baked for over 30 minutes. They’ve got the standard pepperoni and margherita, plus more inspired options like pizza topped with smoked salmon, cream cheese, and capers… but so far, my favorite slice is the Bapo.