Anyone that knows me well, knows that I really like bacon. Not just any bacon, either, but good bacon (if anything, I’ve been annoyed by the current bacon trend, since it mostly seems to be emphasizing quantity over quantity; putting three strips of bacon on something doesn’t automatically make it better). No, my bacon needs to be made from a quality pork belly that’s got nice layering of fat and lean. It needs to be thick sliced. It needs to nicely smoked and cured, generally with some nice robust flavors. And it needs to be properly cooked. Most places serving me up some bacon fail on one of these. But I’m lucky enough to live in New England, which actually has several purveyors of really top quality bacon. For example, I’m a huge fan of the various bacons (in particular the cob-smoked bacon) from North Country Smokehouse down the road from me in Claremont, NH. Similarly, two local companies, Garfield’s Smokehouse in Plainfield, NH, and Vermont Smoke and Cure in Hinesburg, VT. But there’s one place in New England that, when my travels allow, I stop by for bacon and a sandwich: Nodine’s Smokehouse in Goshen, CT.
Where Offbeat Eats has been:
Shortly after the trip to Pane Bianco, my coworkers started to arrive at Phoenix, so pretty soon we were all packed up with our gear and heading out to Gold Canyon, AZ. Except Gold Canyon isn’t exactly known for having a lot of restaurants, so we decided to grab dinner on the way out of town. Wanting to give them a taste of something that my VT and NH coworkers weren’t likely to experience back at home, I decided to take them out for New Mexican cuisine. And for that, I took them to the nearby branch of Los Dos Molinos in Mesa. Los Dos Molinos is a small Phoenix-based chain of New Mexican restaurants, with about a half dozen locations spread throughout the metro area. The focus at Los Dos Molinos is on New Mexican cuisine, with a particular emphasis on using Hatch chiles, and on New Mexican specialties like carne adovada (marinated pork). And they definite like to apply the chiles liberally, with the result that Los Dos Molinos is a particularly good antidote to the moderately bland Mexican food that I usually get up in New England.