Ministry of Bacon

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Baltimore’s Best Bacon Burgers

by Spam · September 18th, 2009 · 3 Comments · Eats

One of the things people know the least about Baltimore is that it sports one of the most diverse, creative and expansive dining scenes in America. Since we just happened to be based in “Charm City”, it’s only just that we take a moment now and then to highlight a couple of the area’s most impressive bacon dishes.

Baltimore may be known for its crab cakes and soft shell crabs, but it’s also a great place to get a burger, and there are two places that lead the debate over which burger is the city’s best: Hamilton Tavern and the Abbey Burger Bistro.

Hamilton Tavern, named after the northeast Baltimore neighborhood in which it’s located, isn’t a burger joint per se. In fact, there’s only one burger on their menu, but it’s so spectacular that it was named “Best Hamburger” in the Baltimore City Paper’s “Best of Baltimore” issue this year.  It’s called the “Crosstown Burger”, and in its standard form, it boasts locally-raised Black Angus beef, shredded iceberg lettuce, tomato, red onion, and a tangy horseradish cheddar.  That’s a pretty good burger so far, but the kicker is the add-ons:  For an extra dollar each, you can add a fried egg…or their unique sticky-spicy bacon, treated with brown sugar and some sort of hot pepper.  Those who know what they’re doing add both options.

Meanwhile, on the other side of the city, in the popular southern neighborhood known as Federal Hill, there’s a newcomer in town that instantly built a huge following, and it’s known as the Abbey Burger Bistro.  Since this place obviously specializes in burgers, you’d expect them to come guns a-blazin’…and that’s exactly they do.  You can order one of their specialty creations or build one of your own, and the variety of meats and breads and toppings go on and on, from the usual suspects to items like white truffle oil and spicy crème fraiche.  But the signature burger that first got everyone’s attention is simply known as the “Peanut Butter Burger”: locally-raised Black Angus, smoked bacon, and creamy peanut butter.  A burger with bacon and peanut butter? Does that really work?  You’d better believe it.  You can taste the beef, the bacon and the peanut butter individually, while at the same time, they complement each other perfectly.


So how do you choose between two bacon burgers as spectacular as these?  You don’t.  You have one for lunch, and one for dinner.

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