Eclectic Eats 5.1.15

I like bacon (don’t eat it often though).

I also like Oreos (which I consume less frequently than bacon).

While I enjoy both Oreos and bacon, the idea of bacon-wrapped Oreos doesn’t appeal to me. You can probably guess where this is going.

If you find the prospect of an Oreo/bacon union intriguing, head on over to Oh, Bite It!

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Pizza for breakfast? Sure.

Bacon, eggs, and cheese for breakfast? Most definitely.

Pizza with bacon, eggs, and cheese for breakfast (or any meal for that matter)?

(h/t Sploid)

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While that pizza sounds a bit too far out there for me, Hawaiian poke bowls are right up my alley:

These days, it seems like everyone is out to Chipotle-fy everything—from build-your-own rice bowls to pizza. The new kid on the block is customizable Hawaiian poke bowls, a craze we can get behind.

Mainland Poke Shop opened its doors over the weekend on 3rd Street, just steps away from Joan’s On Third and Juice Served Here. The fast-casual restaurant is the brainchild of Ari Kahan and Executive Chef Kayson Chong (formerly of BOA Steakhouse).

You start by picking a size for your poke bowl: large or small. Each order comes with a base of white or brown rice, kale or baby greens. Then you select as many options as you want from their bar. You can choose from their raw fish section, which include chunks of fresh tuna, salmon, albacore and a chef’s choice that haven’t been marinated. When we visited Mainland Poke Shop on Friday, their chef’s choice that day was sliced raw octopus. Then you can select any and as many of their seven sauces, which go from your basic shoyu all the way to Peruvian citrus and coconut sauce. They have unlimited toppings for you to tack on as well—from furikake to mango and green onions.

Kahan says that Mainland Poke Shop is choosing to serve poke that hasn’t been pre-marinated because the emphasis is on fresh fish, like the kind he was served on trips to Hawaii. He explained in a release: “By using only the prime cuts of fish, and only the best fish available, we have created a product on par with some of the city’s top sushi restaurants, while maintaining authenticity of flavor.”

The poke bar at Mainland Poke Shop (Photo by Jean Trinh/LAist)

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Anyone up for a funnel cake ice cream sandwich?

This delicious looking treat is courtesy of Ice Que, a new restaurant in Los Angeles, CA:

For now the FuNELLE cake is available only as vanilla mascarpone filled with strawberries. Ice Que’s John Park told LAist, “We want it to taste exactly like what you would have at Magic Mountain and Knott’s Berry Farm—funnel cake topped with powdered sugar, whipped cream and berries.” But he added there could be more flavor combinations down the road.

And, yes, the funnel cakes are made fresh to order. It’s hard to top that delectable combination of warm, crispy fried batter with sweet, frozen ice cream. Of course it’s topped off with powdered sugar. Did you even have to ask?

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I’ll finish off this collection of eclectic eats by returning to bacon. But not just boring old bacon. This time we’re talking some of the most…ummm…interesting bacon concoctions I’ve ever heard of, courtesy of the 7th Annual Baconfest Chicago:

Bacon fans are a passionate bunch of pork lovers, traveling far and wide and dressing up in all things pig-related to celebrate their love of the sweet and salty meat. The 7th annual Baconfest Chicago was a testament to their love, with 170 Chicago chefs serving up over 4,500 people this past weekend at UIC Forum. The two day event had three sessions, all with different chefs serving up their bacon-inspired treats alongside cocktails and craft beer selections. The event also raised $75,000 for the Greater Chicago Food Depository.

Here is sample of the treats on display:

Bacon chiyawanmushi from Slurping Turtle and chef Takashi Yagihashi. The warm eggy custard was made to order so everything was fresh and piping hot. Perfect slabs of thick bacon mixed with shiitake mushrooms and a bacon-dashi glaze was comforting and just the right amount of richness- a play on breakfast that we’d gladly eat every day.

Bacon tarte flambe from David Burke’s Primehouse and chef Jove Hubbard. One of the most visually striking dishes, this little square tarte had wonderful layers of flavors and textures, from a rich, slightly sweet Vidalia-braised bacon to a peppery bright hollandaise sauce and some nice crunch from the crispy leeks and buttery crust.

Bacon parfait from Bacaro and chef Thad Morrow. The words bacon mousse had me a bit worried but Bacaro’s bacon parfait was all about balance. It was surprisingly light and the raspberry bacon crumble brought a wonderful tartness to a dish that found the perfect ratio of sweet and salty.

You can check out more images (as well as descriptions of some of the dishes) over at Chicagoist.

Eclectic Eats 5.1.15