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34 | January 25, 2018 |

34 | January 25, 2018 | The Northbrook tower dining out Quick Bites Bacon mania runs wild on North Shore Eric DeGrechie Managing Editor In the late 1990s, enthusiasm for bacon seemed to hit a fever pitch here in the United States. Now, years later, it doesn’t appear that what some have coined “bacon mania” is slowing down anytime soon. Bacon is so popular that it even has its own day on Dec. 30. While some argue for or against the health merits of the salt-cured pork, few outright dislike the taste. Even vegetarians get in on the fun by adding meatless bacon knockoffs to the diet. Finding ways to slip bacon into every dish is a challenge many chefs are more than willing to take on. Last week, 22nd Century Media editors ventured out to different North Shore establishments to get their bacon fill and taste some unique creations. The results were delicious. Freshi fries — Little Louie’s, Northbrook Few spots personify Northbrook quite like the classic, community staple Little Louie’s. A part of Northbrook for nearly five decades, Little Louie’s has served up its signature, feel-good comfort food to generations of Northbrook residents. Surely, most regulars already have their favorite Little Louie’s dish picked out, but those looking for a quick fix of bacon certainly won’t be disappointed with the wide array of options it features. One of the most popular bacon options, according to longtime General Manager Jose Santuario, is Little Louie’s freshi fries ($5.25). The french fry offering is loaded with hearty chunks of bacon and topped with Little Louie’s signature spicy aioli sauce. “It’s very popular with kids,” Santuario said. “Everyone always asks for extra sauce on the side.” And, after tasting this dish, it’s clear why that sauce is so beloved. According to Santuario, the sauce is prepared with a mayo-base, sriracha sauce and a “special, secret ingredient.” These fries have a little bit of a kick, but by no means is it overpowering. If you’re looking for something other than fries, don’t fret — Little Louie’s has you covered. The spot features many options for bacon-lovers. Little Louie’s is open 10:30 a.m.-7 p.m. Monday-Friday, 10:30 a.m.-4 p.m. Saturday and 11 a.m.- 3 p.m. Sunday. The Northbrook spot is located at 1342 Shermer Road. For more information and a complete menu, visit Story by Contributing Editor Martin Carlino GH loaded tots — Glenview House, Glenview Bacon has long been considered its own food group, at least by people in the know, nestled just above deep-fried pickles and right below pork belly. As such, it has carved quite a unique niche for itself, capable of complementing pancakes, dates or sirloin, or anchoring the classic BLT sandwich. It’s basically a modern-day onion, sans the tears — unless you’re crying from happiness. Walk into any restaurant in Glenview, and I’m sure you’ll find a handful of bacon-centric menu items. Yet, none do bacon better than Glenview House, 1843 Glenview Road. When I visited the longtime North Shore staple, I immediately keyed on the GH loaded tots ($10), complete with tater tots, jalapeno, nacho cheese, roasted peppers, over-easy eggs, Tabasco and chive sour cream — oh yeah, and plenty of bacon. The dish was delicious, and while the bacon added a much appreciated level of tastiness, I’d order it again even if meats vanished from the menu. The cheese, egg, Tabasco and sour cream soaked into the potatoes at the bottom of the bowl, and the peppers and jalapeno provided a nice kick. Other bacon-infused menu items include the GH potato skins ($10), chopped salad ($10), roast turkey salad ($10), habanero ham melt ($11) and roasted turkey sandwich ($10). Glenview House is open from 3 p.m.-midnight Monday-Thursday, 11 a.m.-2 a.m. Friday-Saturday and 11 a.m.-midnight Sunday. For more information, visit www. or call (847) 724-0692. Story by Contributing Editor Chris Pullam Grilled cheese and bacon — Fred’s Garage, Winnetka Grilled cheese — it’s practically the quintessential nostalgic American sandwich that fits appetites best when craving something deliciously gooey and perfectly crispy. And, when achieving that ideal butter-to-bread ratio outside all while balancing the perfect amount of cheese inside, you’ve got a comfort food staple. When Fred’s Garage opened this fall, the goal was to bring American favorites to an establishment that could quickly become a neighborhood staple. And, what comfort food menu would be complete without grilled cheese? But, at Fred’s, not only can you have a yummy plate of their grilled cheese, but you can also throw another American favorite — bacon — into the mix. The grilled cheese with bacon ($14.50) consists of sourdough bread cooked on the griddle with soft, creamy havarti cheese and smoked cheddar cheese, and long, crispy strips of bacon pressed in the middle. Then, the outside of the bread is generously crusted with Swiss cheese and fried to a crisp. General Manager Cary Michael said the grilled cheese with bacon was a recent menu add-on and so far, has been a big hit. “We’re actually listening to a lot of what the neighborhood and the regular customers are giving us feedback-wise,” he said. “We’ve made a ton of changes to the menu since we opened, so essentially, it’s a whole new menu. More comfort foods, homey, elevated classics, stuff of that nature.” Fred’s Garage, 574 Green Bay Road, is open Little Louie’s freshi fries ($5.25) are served with bacon and topped with its signature spicy aioli sauce. Martin Carlino/22nd Century Media GH loaded tots ($10) include bacon, jalapeno, nacho cheese, roasted peppers, over-easy eggs, Tabasco and chive sour cream at Glenview House, 1843 Glenview Road. Chris Pullam/22nd Century Media 4:30-11 p.m. Monday- Thursday, 4:30 p.m.-midnight Friday-Saturday and 4:30-9 p.m. Sunday. For more information, visit Story by Contributing Editor Jacqueline Glosniak Bacon pancakes — Walker Bros., Wilmette Bacon and pancake lovers, rejoice. I introduce you to the ultimate twoin-one: the bacon pancakes at Walker Bros. The Original Pancake House. The Wilmette restaurant’s manager, Tom Zehnder, said the restaurant has served up the speciality pancakes for as long as he could remember. And, that’s not by chance, but by choice. “We make maybe 35 orders or more a day,” Zehnder said. “It comes in a close second as the most popular dish to our apple pancakes.” When ordered, customers can expect six fresh pancakes to come straight from the kitchen’s griddle. The fresh bacon is sliced and added to the pancake batter — a secret recipe — just for this dish. “We’re not going the cheap route here. We actually use the same bacon that would be served as a side, not just dry bacon bits,” Zehnder added. When I tried the pancakes for myself, I could tell. 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