At the risk of sounding like a foochebag, I absolutely must talk about Bacon Marmalade because let's face it, bacon makes the world go round.
Yesterday I ate at Shopsin's for the first time. You may have heard about this hole in the wall from the Kenny Shopsin "I Like Killing Flies" documentary.
"Shopsins is known for both its extensive (900-item) menu of unusual dishes concocted by chef/owner Kenny Shopsin (including items such as "Slutty Cakes", pancakes with peanut butter in the middle, and "Blisters on My Sisters", similar to Huevos Rancheros), and for Kenny Shopsin himself, described by Time Out New York as "the foul-mouthed middle-aged chef and owner". Among Kenny Shopsin's quirks are his very specific rules, including a firm rule that the restaurant will not accept parties of more than four people. "Pretending to be a party of three that happened to have come in with a party of two is a very bad idea," writes restaurant regular Calvin Trillin." -wikipedia
I showed up to Shopsin's with a party of four. First and last mistake (it's okay to be not that terrific). We waited over an hour (though it took us about that long to read through the menu) as parties of two consistently passed us by. In fact, parties over 4 are not accepted. At one point, Kenny grabbed me and said that that if I split into two parties of two, we'd be seated much faster since there are about 8 two-top tables at Shopsins inside the Essex Market in the Lower East Side of Manhattan (he was friendly to me & even smiled despite the "get ready to talk s#!7" text that I received from a foodie friend). The kitchen at Shopsins is marginally bigger than the kitchen in my 400 sq ft apartment in the East Village and if I couldn't see the kitchen I'd think I were on The Jetson's and Alice was delivering me food from a kitchen-less window.
I started with an order of pumpkin tater tots for two simple reasons 1. I love pumpkin and 2. I love tater tots more than Napoleon Dynamite. Not bad, but note to self, these are huge portions and if you have a starter, you will not end.
My friend ordered the famous stack of 4 macaroni and cheese pancakes with two poached eggs in the center. (learn to make them at home here)
I ordered the "Magic" breakfast - 3 poached eggs, field greens, multi-grained toast, and bacon marmalade. Apart from my obvious love of bacon and poached eggs, why out of 900+ items did I chose the Magic?
Earlier this week I was watching my new favorite TV Show NYC Food Curate which highlighted a couple in Brooklyn jarring bacon marmalade (watch it online here). Apparently Kenny Shopsin heard about this guy too and decided he could make his own bacon marmalade and slapped it onto the menu a few days ago. I tweeted about this heart attack on a plate and @BaconMarmalade followed me. Turns out that I can get a jar-o-ttack of the OG at one of my favorite Williamsburg stores, Whisk NYC. I can't wait to see how it compares to Kenny's.
Brunch was truly magical and stomach melting... Sticky sweet from brown sugar, tangy from onion overload, garlic-hot breath and crisp pieces of fatty bacon swimming in yolk. I only touched the marmalade, eggs and greens as a gluten free girl, the toast would have sent me into limbo. Yes, the bacon marmalade absolutely made the tater tots taste better. Kenny if you're listening next time I suggest grilled cheese and tomato with Bacon Marmalade, or maybe cobb salad, on top of pancakes, with green eggs and ham, with a fox or in a box, any way you can.
Readers, if you make it to NY, let me take you to Shopsin's since I have 899+ trips to go to finish the menu (but first we need to run 10 miles). If you can't make it here yourself and want some sweet 'oinkin, hit us up and the bacon fairy might just send you a free jar of Bacon Marmalade to clog your arteries and fill your heart and stomach.
-fatty mcfat, mich
**Update: I went to Whisk and I'm back from 'Burg-atory (for non-snobhattaners, Williamsburg is the hipster Marina of Brooklyn). Taste test of Bacon Marmalade to ensue for Easter!