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Brunch and Bacon at Char No. 4 in Brooklyn
I am the worst vegetarian in the world. My list of weaknesses, formerly limited to pulled pork and cheeseburgers, has added the house smoked bacon at Char No. 4, whiskey bar and eatery on Smith Street between Baltic and Warren in Brooklyn.
Maybe it was the tangy Hound Dog I sipped before my meal (a concoction of bourbon, grapefruit, lime, ginger, mint and honey), or the fluffy and sweet buttermilk pancakes topped with vanilla-rhubarb jam and honey-almond butter that caused me to crave the saltiness of bacon.
Regardless of the underlying cause for wanting to put a pig in my mouth, I ate it and I liked it. Dare I say, loved it.
For $5.00 you will be served two slices of thick bacon, smoked in house, with a shallow dish of maple syrup, just for dipping. We're talking 1/2" thick bacon that requires plenty of glorious chewing while the salty and smokey flavor fills your mouth.
Brooklyn quickly became my favorite borough of NYC years ago when I was first introduced to the likes of Madiba South African restaurant on Dekalb St. with their yummy litchi-tinis and Tortilla Flats on Washington St. with their pitchers of margaritas. Both made for an adventurous nightlife.
Now, having strolled around Brooklyn early on a Saturday afternoon, it is transforming into not only my favorite destination in NYC but one of my favorite spots on earth. Walking up and down Smith St. proves that this place loves food and wants to share their love with all the passers-by. Plenty of restaurants cater to the lazy Saturday (and Sunday) Brooklyn day by providing brunch menus, complete with cocktails that complement the meals.
Having watched my fair share of Anthony Bourdain's No Reservations on the Travel Channel, I was at first a bit wary of eating brunch in the city. He had taught me that a restaurant's brunch menu, in particular a brunch buffet, generally is a mix of leftover grub from the week prior, creatively disguised amongst eggs and hash browns. Yikes.
Not the case at Char No. 4. I began salivating like Pavlov's dog as soon as the hostess lead my friend and I past the cozy, filled bar area all the way back to the marble-tabletopped "Sun Room" and I took one peek at their set brunch menu. No leftovers here! I finally settled on the buttermilk pancakes, as mentioned before, while my friend ordered the chile-marinated shrimp with sweet-corn-hominy grits, scallions, and baby cilantro. Bacon for the table. Yummy yum yum!
I plan on returning to Char No. 4 sometime in the near future to try their other fare and to also get some schooling on whiskey - their speciality. If Char No. 4 can convert a vegetarian with their bacon, I can only imagine what their dozens of whiskeys and bourbons can do.