The Oink Cafe

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BREAKFAST. LUNCH. BACON.

You can’t help but be curious of what this place is when you drive by and see the name. The Oink Cafe is a locally owned modern style cafe that serves both breakfast and lunch. The things that make this place stand out is their cocktail and espresso bar that includes a Bloody Mary flight, a 50-50 burger (half beef, half bacon) and of course everything bacon included with many of their entrées. They have eight flavored bacon choices (pepper, applewood, jalapeño, hickory, sugar-cured, apple cider, honey-cured, and chef’s choice) that can be ordered as a flight or included with one of their meals. The cafe isn’t incredible large, the walls are lime green and the decor includes paintings and mini statues of pigs. Also hanging on the walls are coloring sheets colored by kids (kids eat free M-F with an adult entrée and 2 beverage purchase if they color a sheet). Breakfast includes a variety of omelets and benedicts that are centered on bacon. Prices I would say are a tad bit higher than most breakfast places. The 8 bacon flight will run you about $11, which I think it pretty high for a side bacon (even flavored bacon). They offer 4 slices for $6. I got the jalapeño bacon per my server’s recommendation with my breakfast. I enjoyed the spiciness of it but wasn’t particular overwhelmed with the bacon itself. I guess if you are going to advertise yourself as a bacon joint I was hoping for some good-sized slices of bacon. My service was decent considering my server was covering quite a few tables. I didn’t try one of their popular Bloody Marys so I didn’t get the full treatment of this place. But overall I found Oink Cafe a fun concept with a possibility for a revisit in the future. Btw… they offer a free Best Maple Bacon Donut on your bday.

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Traditional Breakfast with Jalapeño Bacon

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The Oink Cafe Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Bacon ‘n’ Egg Quesadillas

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* – from Rachael Ray

Ingredients

  • 8 medium flour tortillas
  • 2 hass avocados
  • 1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
  • Salt and pepper
  • 1/2 pound bacon
  • 8 large eggs
  • 8 ounces pepper jack cheese, shredded (about 2 cups)
  • 1 15 1/2 ounce can black beans, rinsed

Preparation

Place the tortillas in the oven in two stacks; heat to 200 degrees . In a bowl, mash the avocados with the lemon juice; season with salt and pepper.

Working in batches, in a nonstick skillet, cook the bacon over medium heat until crisp; drain on paper towels. Leave about 2 tablespoons bacon fat in the skillet, reserving the rest of the fat. Cut the bacon strips in half.

Working in 2 batches, in the skillet, cook the eggs over easy; transfer to a platter. Reserve the skillet.

Lay the tortillas on a work surface. Sprinkle each with 1/4 cup cheese; top with beans, 1 egg and bacon strips, then fold to enclose.

In the same skillet, heat 1 tablespoon reserved bacon fat over medium heat, add 4 quesadillas and cook, turning once, until crisp and golden, about 3 minutes. Repeat with more bacon fat and the remaining quesadillas; serve with the avocado mash.

Sip Social

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I had a fun evening eating and meeting new foodie friends. Two long time friends Erika and Kaylyn of Sip So Good hosted their first event at Arizona BBQ Company in Gilbert and invited me to come. This place just opened recently (not too far from where I used to live). This was a fun media event with a bunch of food bloggers and Instagram influencers. My first impression when walking in was that this place pays a nice tribute to Arizona. The decor is southwestern with a fun board listing Arizona facts and history. The restaurant itself is very simple and comfortable (great for kids!) with counter order service and a bar located to one side. The owners are longtime Gilbert residents and they opened this place to give back to the surrounding community. I was here for a buffet style dinner so I don’t have a lot of info on portion sizes of their platters, but their menu prices seem very reasonable to other BBQ restaurants. I felt very welcome here and Colette was great at sharing her passion for this place to us. Even though I came here for BBQ, I was immediately drawn to the tray of green chili bacon mac n’ cheese. I’m huge mac n’ cheese guy and I thought it was fantastic. Not too spicy but nice and cheesy with lots of flavor. We also tried their black bean and corn salad, brisket and pulled pork. These guys definitely know their BBQ and do a great job of capturing the flavors of the southwest. The BBQ comes naked as they have a condiment bar with different flavors of BBQ sauce. My favorites were the sweet and tangy and habanero sauces. Overall this was a great experience and I wish this place was open back when I had a house in the adjacent neighborhood. AZ BBQ Co. accepts non-perishable foods that they donate to a local food bank. Just another way they try to give back.

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Black Bean and Corn Salad

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Green Chili and Bacon Mac n’ Cheese

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Pulled Pork and Brisket

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Condiment Bar

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Arizona BBQ Company Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Corner Bakery Cafe

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Bacon & Cheddar Panini and a side of steel-cut oatmeal

I love this Corner Bakery in Atlanta. Every couple of years I fly into Atlanta for the Passion conferences and this is one of my favorite stops for breakfast before I start my day. It’s located right off of Peachtree St. in the heart of downtown Atlanta. Corner Bakery Cafe is a fast casual restaurant that started making artisan breads and freshly baked sweets on a corner in Chicago in 1991 and then eventually went to soups, sandwiches and salads. Now they have locations all over the U.S. We even have one in Phoenix where I live. I personally come here for their awesome breakfast paninis (my favorite is the Anaheim panini). The eggs are nice and fluffy and they use fresh ingredients. This most recent trip I got the Bacon & Cheddar Panini with a side of steel-cut oatmeal. Along with some coffee, it made for a great start to my morning.

Corner Bakery Cafe Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Old Charleston Style Shrimp and Grits

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Ingredients
1 cup coarsely ground grits
3 cups water
2 teaspoons salt
2 cups half-and-half
2 pounds uncooked shrimp, peeled and deveined
salt to taste
1 pinch cayenne pepper, or to taste
1 lemon, juiced
1 pound andouille sausage, cut into 1/4-inch slices
5 slices bacon
1 green bell pepper, chopped
1 red bell pepper, chopped
1 yellow bell pepper, chopped
1 cup chopped onion
1 teaspoon minced garlic
1/4 cup butter
1/4 cup all-purpose flour
1 cup chicken broth
1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
1 cup shredded sharp Cheddar cheese

Directions
Bring water, grits, and salt to a boil in a heavy saucepan with a lid. Stir in half-and-half and simmer until grits are thickened and tender, 15 to 20 minutes. Set aside and keep warm.
Sprinkle shrimp with salt and cayenne pepper; drizzle with lemon juice. Set aside in a bowl.
Place andouille sausage slices in a large skillet over medium heat; fry sausage until browned, 5 to 8 minutes. Remove skillet from heat.
Cook bacon in a large skillet over medium-high heat, turning occasionally, until evenly browned, about 10 minutes. Retain bacon drippings in skillet. Transfer bacon slices to paper towels, let cool, and crumble.
Cook and stir green, red, and yellow bell peppers, onion, and garlic in the bacon drippings until the onion is translucent, about 8 minutes.
Stir shrimp and cooked vegetables into the andouille sausage and mix to combine.
Melt butter in a saucepan over medium heat; stir in flour to make a smooth paste. Turn heat to low and cook, stirring constantly, until the mixture is medium brown in color, 8 to 10 minutes. Watch carefully, mixture burns easily.
Pour the butter-flour mixture into the skillet with andouille sausage, shrimp, and vegetables. Place the skillet over medium heat and pour in chicken broth, bacon and Worcestershire sauce, cooking and stirring until the sauce thickens and the shrimp become opaque and bright pink, about 8 minutes.
Just before serving, mix sharp Cheddar cheese into grits until melted and grits are creamy and light yellow. Serve shrimp mixture over cheese grits.

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Slater’s 50/50

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While I was in Pasadena for a football game at the Rose Bowl, I grabbed dinner at Slater’s 50/50 in the downtown area. I had read some amazing reviews about this place. Founded by Southern California native Scott Slater, he created a burger patty that is 50% ground beef and 50% bacon. Umm.. yum! I ordered the original 50/50 burger and it was delicious and so full of flavor. With so many ingredients and toppings to choose from, you can design your burger the way you like it. The wait to get in this place was a little long but worth it! I highly recommend trying the Slater’s 50/50 experience next time you are in Cali.

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The 50/50 Burger

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Buffalo Chicken Strips

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Beautiful Downtown Pasadena

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Serious Pie & Biscuit

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Serious Pie and Biscuit, located in the bustling South Lake Union neighborhood, is a multi-storied building brimming with delectable pizzas, buttery biscuits and a very serious bar. Biscuits are topped with everything from fried chicken and gravy to seasonal jams. Our bar features 22 rotating taps and 60 bottles and cans. The pizza? Deliberately browned crusts are topped with things like housemade charcuterie, foraged mushrooms and imported cheeses.

I love the South Lake Union neighborhood (located at the tip of Lake Union) in Seattle. While looking for a bite to eat, I stumbled upon Serious Pie & Biscuit. I had sampled some food at their Belltown location some years back on a food tour. Known for their amazing pizza pies, this location combines both their pizzas and breakfast. Their pizza crusts are both light textured but full of flavor and cooked in a 600 degree stone-encased apple wood burning oven. Chef Tony Catini came from the Serious Pie location in Virginia and now serves as head chef over all the locations in Seattle. Because it was early, I went for “the Zach” – a homemade buttermilk biscuit with fried chicken, a fried egg, bacon and smothered in tabasco black pepper gravy. Wow – the biscuit was fresh and delicious and the gravy was amazing. Serious Pie definitely ranks up there as one of my favorites in Seattle.

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The Zach

Serious Biscuit Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Bacon Everything

Today it was announced there will be a national shortage in bacon. There is now bacon shakes, lattes, etc.. It’s actually kind of ridiculous. But I will admit I do have a bottle of the popular Bacon Maple Ale from Rogue Ales /Voodoo Doughnut (known for their bacon doughnuts) in Portland, OR. I’ve been holding onto this bottle for a special occasion because it ain’t cheap and you can only get it in Oregon. Well in grievance for the bacon shortage, I’m drank it tonight. Pretty crazy taste – but I prefer my bacon with eggs.

Bacon and Feta Stuffed Chicken Breast

– Trader Joe’s recipe
  • 1 tub Crumbled Feta Cheese
  • 1 package Uncured Bacon, cooked and crumbled
  • 6 Boneless, Skinless Chicken Breasts, pounded flat
  • Toothpicks or kitchen twine (or whatever you can find in your kitchen drawer)
  • 1 tbsp Extra Virgin Olive Oil
  • 1 tsp (each) Dried Oregano, Dried Basil
  • 1 can (28 oz.) Diced Tomatoes & Juice From Can

Combine feta and bacon in a mixing bowl. Place 1/4 cup of the cheese/bacon mixture on the center of each chicken breast. Fold breast over to enclose mixture; fasten with a toothpick or kitchen twine. Heat a large sauté pan and add oil. Heat oil to medium and add stuffed breasts; turn breasts while cooking to brown on all sides. Add tomatoes and seasoning to pan. Lower heat to a simmer; cook about 15 – 20 minutes or until chicken reaches an internal temperature of 165°. Place chicken on a serving platter (remove toothpicks or twine) and spoon tomato sauce over.

* – I served it over rice

 

Egg Casserole

This is actually a New Years Day tradition of mine because you can put it all together the night before and then just throw it in the oven the morning after (perfect after having a bit too much champagne the night before). I made it for church this morning and it was a hit.

  • 1 Package (10 oz) frozen chopped spinach, thawed
  • 4 large croissants
  • 6 eggs
  • 1 1/2 cups low-fat 1% (or other type) milk
  • 1/4 teaspoon nutmeg (optional)
  • 1/4 teaspoon pepper
  • 6 oz grated Monterey Jack or Cheddar cheese
  • Four strips of bacon, chopped

Place thawed spinach in a large wad of a paper towels and squeeze out as much water as you can. Grease a 9 x 13 inch baking dish. Cut croissants in half and overlap them slightly in two rows in the dish. Beat eggs in a medium bowl. Stir in milk, spinach, nutmeg, pepper and chopped bacon. Pour over croissants and sprinkle with cheese. Cover and refrigerate for 8 hours, up to 24 hours. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Uncover casserole and bake and bubbly and light brown around edges, 30 to 35 minutes.