When you live in a world where everyone loves bacon, you can’t go wrong opening a sandwich spot that’s a temple to bacon, right?
That’s the apparent formula for the new Gastropig in Oakland, which since opening this month has been packed during lunch serving up it’s signature sandwich—the bacon slut—to nearby office workers in the Uptown area.
I actually work in the area and was excited to hear about another lunch option. But I’m one of those few people who actually avoid eating bacon (it’s like the devil to my cholesterol). It’s not that I’ve never eaten bacon in my life; I’m just not a fan of the greasy crunchy strips (akin to my aversion to deep fried foods).
So I was a bit apprehensive when I was invited for a media event last week. But after getting to try the food of Executive Chef Lance Dean Velasquez (and yes, including bites of the bacon slut and upcoming bacon slut burger), call me converted.
OK, I’m not going to say I’ve converted to eating bacon. But I’m not afraid to visit a place dedicated to bacon because Gastropig is so much more.
Everything I tried had the highest quality and were expertly composed and cooked, from the signature bacon slut, $9.50 (bacon, over easy fried egg, cheddar, aleppo chili aioli, in a brioche bun), to the upcoming brioche strata, which is a savory Italian bread pudding that was so comforting to eat (served like a wedge of quiche and with a green leafy salad).
The initial menu items really emphasize breakfast (including a sausage scramble sandwich and waffle iron hashbrowns) because owners Ann Thai and Loren Goodwin (he cooked at Chez Panisse) are breakfast lovers and really wanted a spot to highlight their favorite meal of the day.
But the menu will expand to support the lunch crowd, including the bacon slut burger to go with the current Ode to Genova (an Italian deli sandwich that’s nostalgic for the longtime Oakland deli that closed last year) and grilled cheese sandwich. For a bit of childhood memories, there’s also a Not Your Momma’s PB&J sandwich with bits of bacon, of course.
The Gastropig has found a way to make you hungry for breakfast food all day, and I’m excited to have this nearby even though I will still hold the bacon.
The deets: Gastropig, 2123 Franklin St. (between 20 and 21 Streets), Oakland. PH: 510.817.4663. Open weekdays, 7 a.m. to 3 p.m.; and Sunday, 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. No reservations, major credit cards accepted. www.gastropig.com
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