When chef David Gussin came out halfway through our meal to say hello, I asked him if the bacon was the same bacon he had served during my February food blogger dinner, a special cut from a Louisiana pig farm. He said it wasn't; it was Hobbs' bacon, widely known throughout the culinary community as Thomas Keller's (French Laundry, Bouchon) bacon of choice.
Then he said something I never thought possible: "I can sell you some if you want."
Sell me some? The Thomas Keller bacon could be mine, right there and then, at the restaurant? While I had heard rumors of a friend negotiating a price on a tub of truffle honey from Carnevino in Vegas, I had no idea you could do that. But I jumped on the opportunity. Six dollars and an incognito brown bag later, one pound of Hobbs bacon was mine.
Since then I've been doing nothing but making bacon. Here's a breakfast I made for Bryan the other day before his two-hour therapy extravaganza: two eggs sunny side up, two pieces of whole grain toast with sliced avocado and of course, the bacon. Ahhh, the bacon.
I'm not sure if I'm the last person on earth to know about this little contraband restaurant food trade, but I'm really excited about it. So the next time you're at a restaurant and eat something you just can't live without, ask your server or chef if you can buy some. The worst they can say is "no," but I suspect they'll say yes!