Do I love bacon? Yea, verily. Do I think bacon should be tacked
on to every half-baked menu item or crammed into every available
nook and cranny on the interwebs? Nope. From bacon sundaes and
pancakes to baconnaise and bacon lip balm, bacon-mania has
overstayed its welcome. I regularly indulge in the likes of
turkey-avocado BLTs, bacon cheeseburgers and
by its lonesome, but the novelty bacon food items have never done
much for me. Until, that is, I found one that worked. That would be
the Maple Bacon Donut from Nickel
Diner in downtown Los
Angeles - though its quality and staying power elevate
its status above "novelty," in my book.
With the convincing 1940's-style diner decor and the line of
hipsters out the door, I couldn't help but wonder if Nickel
Diner would favor style over substance or perhaps be "diner"
food with a sly wink. But to their credit, they've kept the vibe
and the food fairly down to earth with lightning fast service,
bottomless cups of good coffee, and ample portions of diner
classics from eggs any-style and French toast to burgers and huevos
rancheros. A massive chilaquiles special impressed and the Hangover
Helper - a scramble with bacon, Italian sausage, potatoes, cheese,
avocado and salsa - proved tastier than just the sum of its parts.
But alas, it's the donuts that have become their calling card. The
Maple Bacon Donut arrived ceremoniously before the rest of the
meal. And this was no dainty pastry: a fork and knife became
necessary. A thin layer of maple glaze with substantial bacon
chunks (bigger than bits at least) topped the thick cake donut. And
the hype was well-deserved: it was mostly savory, but slightly
sweet and the perfect complement to a cup of coffee. Not capable of
finishing it in the mere minutes before my entree made its way to
the table, I deferred the rest of my donut enjoyment until dessert.
Non-bacon enthusiasts would do well to go with the cream-filled,
chocolaty Irish Car Bomb donut or the Nutella donut (plotting my
next visit already). So chalk one up for non-traditional bacon use.
I'll still take a pass on cleansing my palate with the bacon mints
or bacon beer.