Bacon's Lasagna Sizzles 

Porking out at John Berryhill's new venture

John Berryhill's lasagna brings home the Bacon.

Leila Ramella Rader

John Berryhill's lasagna brings home the Bacon.

Berryhill & Co.'s new cafe-style venture is all about the B's. Bacon is the name of the eatery and its tagline is "breakfast, bistro and bloody marys." Because I visited at noon on a weekday, opinions on both breakfast and bloody marys will have to wait, but Bacon definitely has the bistro part down.

Floor-to-ceiling windows bounce sunbeams off the ochre-colored walls and earth-tone stained concrete floor. The drool-inducing glass case features giant muffins that glitter with sugared tops, pastries du jour like strawberry "Pop Tarts" and specialty cakes. And bacon.

Plates brimming with locally sourced bacon beckon; Berryhill's signature strips are flavored with both chile and sugar. Other varieties include the Kurobuta with thyme, sage, rosemary and lavender; apple-smoked turkey; spicy hot; tempeh; pancetta, candied and chocolate-covered.

Owner John Berryhill said that he has been working on the different flavors for years and plans to add even more varieties as time goes on. Berryhill added that the concept of Bacon came about because the pork product was always an extremely popular menu item.

"I know there's a trend in bacon right now, but Bacon has nothing to do with that," Berryhill said. "I've been cooking bacon since 1995."

Menu items--sandwiches, egg dishes and salads--are served a la carte and bacon is sold by the strip. The bacon lasagna ($7.95) was served solo and didn't need a salad assist.

Tender, not-too-thick pasta was an unobtrusive foundation for fresh, well-seasoned ingredients. Lasagna can easily be overpowered by too much ricotta, but it's a requisite for the dish. A conservative amount of the curd cheese kept Bacon's dish classic and added both traditional taste and texture. Salty chunks of ham and bacon and a generous helping of earthy mushrooms dotted every forkful and a piquant oily marinara atop jack, cheddar and parmesan added a toothsome acidity while a chevre bechamel sauce gave it creaminess. Add in we-treat-everyone-like-family service, and if the word charming started with a B, it would belong in Bacon's tagline.

Boxing half of the dish was a necessity to avoid a desktop nap. However, the leftovers didn't sit long enough to even get cold. The siren call of bacon and bechamel proved too great, and soon the little waxed brown box was empty except for a smear of bright red sauce.

Berryhill may be all about the B's, but the bistro's bacon lasagna gets an A.

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