I love food. Really. Ever since I can remember I have loved making food, watching others make food, eating food, watching others eat food, etc. I love going to restaurants and seeing the different ideas that chefs come up with and how they present their dishes. I love going to restaurants and enjoying a good meal with friends because there is nothing like a full stomach in good company. I am sure most would agree with me when I say that food is our common ground, a universal experience(I wish that I could take credit for coming up with that own my own, but it was said by James Beard, quite possibly the foodiest dude America has ever seen).
I have thought long and hard about my favorite types of food, my favorite dishes, my favorite beverages to accompany these dishes, and what each dish really does for the palate. Many people who know me, most likely the only people who read this blog, know that I have a love for bacon. I mean, I am a guy, and if you are a guy and you eat meat but you don't like bacon there is something seriously wrong with you. That is, of course, unless you don't eat it for religious purposes.
I know that bacon isn't the healthiest of choices when it comes to breakfast, lunch, or dinner, but the proper serving every now and again can do wonders for your taste buds.
It is with this love for bacon and food that I have come up with an idea for a restaurant that I would like to one day open. It's name will be Tocino. Tocino is Spanish for bacon. I came up with the idea for the name just the other day while I was driving around the city thinking about food. This is something I do on occasion for no real reason. I don;t go out in search of a place to eat, instead I go out and just look at the restaurants that are out there. I don;t look at menus, I don't pop my head in for a drink. I just drive around, taking it all in, thinking about where I would like to go and why they chose to decorate with a bright green awning when it is surrounded by darker shades of red and brown.
The restaurant will obviously have bacon in many of the dishes. Not in every one, because that would be a bit ridiculous, but there would be many dishes. The following are a few ideas I have for dishes, in rough form:
Bacon wrapped scallops
Wild duck breast (preferably mallard that I have shot) wrapped in bacon with a slice of fresh jalapeño tucked inside
Mini BLT sandwiches using fresh baked sourdough, heirloom tomatoes, and Arugula leaves
Polenta with coarsely chopped bacon and basil
Bacon and Egg Empanadas
Bacon and Green Chili Quiche
BBB Salad (Bacon, Beets, and Bibb lettuce)
Spinach Salad with Bacon vinaigrette
Blue Cheese and Bacon Burger
Bacon wrapped Meatloaf
Bacon and Swiss Chard Pasta
Pan Fried Halibut with Bacon
Mac and Cheese with Bacon sprinkles
Bacon and Cheddar Biscuits
Potatoes with truffle oil
Chocolate dipped bacon
Bacon infused ice cream
Any dish can be ordered wrapped in bacon
Now obviously this is a very rough start with a very rough menu. To be honest, I don't think much of what I have just listed would actually make the final cut (no pun intended) for the menu because I would most definitely hire a chef who shares my love of bacon. I would do my best to prepare the meals, but I am sure if I wanted to keep a restaurant afloat such as Tocino I would have to appeal to quite a few different palates. I know my palate, and I know the palates of most of my friends, but the general public is completely foreign to me. I have read reviews of restaurants I love where people just smash them and I have read reviews of restaurants I have hated where people can't stop glowing.
While right now this is just an idea, a dream, who knows. Maybe I will receive enough encouragement and win the lottery at some point in the next 5 years and do something about this. If not, I will still continue to eat meals with bacon.