Review: Edina’s Best Bacon Dishes

Bacon mania takes hold in Edina.
The house-cured bacon on Pizzeria Lola's anitpasto plate steals the show.

Sometimes referred to as meat candy, vegetarian’s kryptonite or the crack of the food world, bacon is ubiquitous, addictive and, regrettably, bad for you. But if the number of Wikipedia entries is any indication, bacon mania is here to stay. Every day reveals yet another way to celebrate the heavenly hog. The Minnesota State Fair jumped into the fray last year with maple bacon ice cream, which we can add to an ever growing list of porky mutations such as bacon-on-a-stick, bacon-infused vodka, chocolate-covered bacon, bacon doughnuts, bacon mayonnaise, Wendy’s Baconator burger, Bobby Flay’s Bacon of the Month club, and J&D’s Foods’ bacon-scented shaving cream. There are bacon blogs, bacon camps, bacon tattoos, bacon Band-Aids, bacon air fresheners and even bacon lingerie. This frenzy for all things porcine has given birth to unfortunate rumors of an impending bacon shortage, but don’t panic just yet. There are still plenty of bacon delights to chomp down in Edina—in moderation, of course.



George and The Dragon Pub

A single bite of this creamy-dreamy, smoky-chunky, chive-studded concoction will make your eyes roll back in your head. Eat the whole crock and you’ll have no choice but to surrender to delirium. A tangy mélange of melted white cheddar cheese, heavy cream, pork nuggets and diced onion, this dip has all the best notes of texture, taste and temperature. The menu dubs it “toasty,” and indeed, it warmed the clogged cockles of our cholesterol-challenged hearts. The dip is served with slices of golden grilled baguette, but you’ll need a few extra to soak it all up. Add a pint of something bitter and you’re all set. $8. 813 W. 50th St., 612.208.1047;



Peoples Organic Café

You can count on everything to be organic, local and fair trade at this bastion of good health and humane practice, so you can gobble up this bacon with a sparkling-clear conscience. It is also free of the allegedly carcinogenic nitrates used in the traditional curing process. Sample the gold standard of bacon righteousness in the Peoples Classic breakfast, a tidy pile of organic scrambled eggs with a few strips of meat and your choice of toast. The local pork purveyor, Fischer Family Farms, ensures that this little piggy had a happy life on a pretty farm near you. $8. 3545 Galleria; 952.426.1856;


Pizzeria Lola

This bounteous assortment of savory nibbles includes thick wedges of nutty-creamy Bel Paese cheese, silky shaved speck (ham), rounds of pungent salami, creamy mortadella, rosemary toasted nuts and briny olives, but the house-cured bacon steals the show. The slices were staggeringly thick and the bacon’s on-site preparation made a huge difference in flavor, letting a concentrated porkiness shine through the rustic dash of smoke. This is the platonic ideal of bacon: lightly sweet, crispy-edged and pleasingly chewy in the center. $12. 5557 Xerxes Ave. S; 612.424.8338;

Patate Pizza


Mozza Mia

“Breakfast for dinner” was a favorite when we were kids. This novel pizza pie is a grown-up’s breakfast for dinner, filtered through the streets of old Napoli. It features fingerling potatoes, stracchino cheese, sweet caramelized onions, diced bacon and a fried egg. The heady smoke from the restaurant’s massive wood-burning oven mingles nicely with the smoky bacon on the palate. This “breakfast” demands a glass of vino. $14. 3910 W. 50th St.; 952.288-2882;



Salut Bar Américain

The Lyonnaise is a classic French salad made with an unruly tangle of curly, slightly bitter frisée lettuce, pale leaves of endive and a handful of lardons, which are salt-cured, unsmoked nuggets of luscious pork fat. A poached egg is always a welcome guest, especially when there is bacon involved, and here it provides a silky sauce in mellow contrast to the sharp dressing. Salut doubles down on the pig elements in this dish with a dashing bacon-tarragon vinaigrette. A scattering of crunchy baguette croutons make handy little flavor absorbers. $9.95. 5034 France Ave. S.; 952.929.3764;



The Cheesecake Factory

Combine three slices of golden-toasted white bread, fat shrimp slathered in mayonnaise, a heap of shredded lettuce, a couple tomato slices and several strips of crispy bacon, et voilà: a brilliant, delectable update on the BLT. The shrimp is char-grilled to heighten its affinity with the bacon, and the result is both sophisticated and satisfying. Be careful how you handle this one, unless you want to wear your shrimp—they’re slippery buggers. $14. 2715 Southdale Center; 952.653.3333;



Jason’s Deli

For another ingenious take on a classic sandwich, bite into Jason’s smoky jack panini, which layers generous helpings of smoked turkey breast, strips of bacon, jalapeño pepper jack cheese, creamy guacamole, sliced Roma tomatoes and sweet Russian dressing on French bread. The whole shebang is brushed with olive oil and smashed in a hot sandwich press to elicit drool-inducing mouthfuls of smoke and heat. $7.29. 7565 France Ave. S.; 952.358.9900;



More blanket than crust, the bacon-cranberry mixture topping this fat filet of gently poached salmon is sweet, salty and oh so rich. By contrast, the fish is tender and mild, making an altogether compelling combination of fat and acid, sugar and salt. The emulsified lemon butter sauce is luxurious, although superfluous, but a side of braised rainbow chard lends a welcome and balancing hit of minerals and earth. $25.95. 3520 W. 70th St.; 952.697.6000;