Gapers Block has ceased publication.

Gapers Block published from April 22, 2003 to Jan. 1, 2016. The site will remain up in archive form. Please visit Third Coast Review, a new site by several GB alumni.
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Saturday, June 22

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Foodporn Fri Apr 11 2008

Bacon, Belly of the Gods

I love bacon. It’s true. But who doesn’t? I know of no other creation of mankind that can turn a person’s moral upstanding right on it’s fickle head as bacon. Every vegetarian I’ve ever known has either dreamed fitfully or fallen headlong into a bacon dalliance. I was one of those vegetarians, once. I sniffed it in rapture at the hip south city diner where I waited tables in my home town. But I didn’t touch. No. Not Yet.

Not until shortly after New Year’s Eve 2001 did I cross that blissful fatty cured belly line. And after 5 years of vegetarianism, I thrust myself bodily into a long and enduring relationship with bacon. It is, at present count, the longest most enduring relationship I have had, outside of that with my hairdresser. Yes. I have a long term relationship with my hairdresser, what of it? She gets me, alright.

She, too, understands the depth of the bond to perfectly cured smoked rashers of pork belly, how it can transcend trend and make you a blasphemer against your very religion. I am one of “those” Jews, as is she: porcine plunderers. Bacon lovers. Pork eaters, ham diviners.

But, bacon.

Bacon is why I am here tonight having just slurped up the last little cup of bacon, potato and kale stew I made a few nights ago. Truthfully the Lacinto kale I used in it are equally as exciting to me as was the smoked bacon, but would that really excite as much as this meaty treasure I procured?

I have been meaning to talk a little bit more about the Lincoln Quality Meat Market located at the corner of Lincoln and Leland. They may not be the most extensive butcher in town, but they have charm and a particular porcine chutzpah in the form of three kinds of house cured and smoked bacon. There is breakfast bacon cut thick with a good balance of fat to meat, there is Canadian bacon, made from the leaner oval cut, and there’s the heady sumptuous campfire smoky Hunter’s bacon. I purchased a one pound slab and cut some of it into little half inch chunks to start my soup and they made the whole pot a heavenly smoky laced treat.

They have some really great old world European imported cookies, pastas and mustards, pretzel breads and all manner of delicious condiments. There is also free range chicken for under $3 per pound and Cornish hens at a reasonable price. But it ‘s the bacon that will get me back.

We are lucky here in Chicago, there’s all manner of amazing bacon at our fingertips, from these house made beauties of Lincoln Quality Meats, to the Bobak’s powerhouse of Polish delights, to Nueske’s up north. It is a veritable porky paradise. Yay, bacon.

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Feature Thu Dec 31 2015

The State of Food Writing

By Brandy Gonsoulin

In 2009, food blogging, social media and Yelp were gaining popularity, and America's revered gastronomic magazine Gourmet shuttered after 68 years in business. Former Cook's Illustrated editor-in-chief Chris Kimball followed with an editorial, stating that "The shuttering of Gourmet reminds...
Read this feature »

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