Here's a list of 15 meaty sweets from across the country. The most common meats? Foie gras and bacon. Doughnuts and ice cream dominate this roundup, but there are some surprises on the list, too, whether in the form of foie gras sushi with chocolate (O Ya, Boston), an apple pie sausage (Goldis Sausage Company, Austin), or foie-filled "rubber ducks" (Minibar, DC). There are foie gras profiteroles (at Le Pigeon in Portland, OR), foie gras milkshakes (at Flip Burger Boutique in Atlanta), and two kinds of foie gras waffles (at Stella 34 Trattoria in NYC and at Barmini in Washington, DC).
Don't see your favorite meat-laced dessert or sweet treat on the list below? You know what do.
1. Bacon Chocolate Crunch Bar at Animal in LA
[Photo: Animal/Cathy Chaplin]
On the menu since the restaurant's opening in 2008, Animal's Bacon Chocolate Crunch Bar is a signature dish. The LA restaurant currently serves the bar with a scoop of salt and pepper ice cream, which also plays into the juxtaposition of sweet and savory on the plate. Animal chef Vinny Dotolo says he and chef Jon Shook knew the dish would be on the menu even before the restaurant opened, after serving the dish at an "art-party catering gig." Inspired by Heston Blumenthal's bacon and egg ice cream dish at The Fat Duck, Dotolo says: "I always think about savory ingredients with sweet, and I believe it comes from my training in pastry before I switched to savory."
2. Foieffles at Barmini and Rubber Duckies at Minibar in DC
[Photos: Bill Addison / Greg Powers]
Over in DC, chef José Andrés is throwing down in the meaty sweets department. At Minibar Andrés serves intricate Rubber Duckies: a duck-shaped apple meringue that been hollowed and filled with foie gras ice cream that Eater restaurant editor Bill Addison described as "sultry." Over at Barmini, Andrés has foie gras waffles or "foieffles." Foie gras espuma is encased in a crispy waffle shell, which is then topped with peanut praline, chopped peanuts, and a drizzle of honey. Reps for the restaurant say it's a "top seller," and the dish is on the vanguard of a "foie-diculous dish" trend in DC.
3. Foie Gras Doughnut at Do or Dine in Brooklyn
[Photo: Do or Dine]
Justin Warner may not have invented foie gras doughnuts when he put them on the opening menu of his Brooklyn restaurant Do or Dine in 2011, but he certainly raised their profile. While the doughnuts garnered "a ton of Internet trolling about ew gross" and angered activists who flooded Warner's email inbox, Warner tells Eater the doughnuts are a keeper. "The dish will never leave the menu so long as foie is legal in NYC. Maybe even then it won't leave the menu."
4. Maple Glazed Bacon Apple Doughnut at Dynamo Donuts in San Francisco
[Photo: Dynamo Donuts]
The praise just keeps coming in for this San Francisco's doughnut shop's signature creation: The Maple Glazed Bacon Apple Doughnut is made with a heritage bacon and sautéed apple base, a maple glaze, and a crisp bacon topping. Chef Sara Spearin launched the bacon doughnut when Dynamo Donuts opened in 2008, and it remains the most popular flavor. Her inspiration? "My husband and his love of bacon!"
5. Foie Gras Milkshake at Flip Burger Boutique in Atlanta
[Photo: Flip Burger]
Reps for Atlanta's Flip Burger call the foie gras milkshake "a Richard Blais signature menu item." The shake is made with foie gras that's been sauteed in amaretto and blended with vanilla ice cream, playing off Blais' findings that foie gras has a similar consistency to milk fat. On the Flip Burger menu since day one, the foie gras milkshake has become something of an Atlanta legend, making it one of Eater Atlanta's top 10 noteworthy shakes.
6. Ice Cream Sandwich a la Méat at Goldis Sausage Company in Austin
[Photo: Goldis Sausage Company]
This is an apple pie sausage that's been made into an "Ice Cream Sandwich a la Méat" from Goldis Sausage Company in Austin. Even though owner Keenan Goldis says he wanted to "have the entire experience of apple pie within the sausage casing," he describes the apple pie sausage as "slightly more of a dinner than a full-on dessert." It's a pork sausage with chunks of apple that have been cooked in butter and cinnamon, bits of pie crust, ginger, and spices. An Ice Cream Sandwich a la Méat is simply ice cream in toasted brioche topped with sliced sausage. He's used apple pie sausage, red velvet cake sausage, banana sausage, and others for the dish and says it's "definitely a dessert."
7. Foie Gras Profiteroles at Le Pigeon in Portland, OR
[Photo: Le Pigeon/David Reamer]
Chef Gabriel Rucker's Foie Gras Profiteroles were an "instant hit" on the menu when he added them in 2006, and have since become one of Le Pigeon's iconic dishes (right alongside the cultishly adored burger). By making a foie gras butter, Rucker is able to incorporate the liver into unexpected components of the dish including the profiterole dough and the caramel sauce. Inside the profiteroles is a foie gras ice cream, and the whole thing is topped with "powderized foie fat" mixed with powdered sugar. Says Rucker: "There are few things on the menu at Le Pigeon which are unfuckwithable, pardon my French, and these are definitely such. It brings me pure joy to tell somebody about the dessert and see a skeptical look in their eye, then to watch them take that first bite and get it. It's why we do what we do."
8. Shaved Foie Gras with Lychee, Riesling Gelee, and Pine Nut Brittle at Momofuku Ko in NYC
[Photo: Momofuku/Gabriele Stabile]
Ever since it opened in 2008, David Chang's tiny tasting menu destination Momofuku Ko has had this iconic cold foie gras dish on the menu. He freezes a torchon of Hudson Valley foie gras and serves it shaved over pine nut brittle, riesling gelee, and lychee. In the Momofuku cookbook, Chang describes the dish as "our signature dish, the pork bun of Ko, the dish I think we'll never be able to take off the menu."
9. Foie Gras Ice Cream and Chorizo Caramel Swirl Ice Cream at OddFellows in NYC
The ice cream makers at New York City's OddFellows are no strangers to meaty ice creams. Currently on offer: Chorizo Caramel Swirl (right), and an off-menu, dine-in only foie gras ice cream (above, and only at the Williamsburg location). To make the chorizo caramel ice cream, OddFellows renders cured chorizo, and then makes a caramel from the rendering. The meat is used to flavor the ice cream base (there aren't chorizo bits in the final product), and then the caramel is folded in to the finished ice cream. A similar technique is used in the foie gras ice cream: the foie is seared and then used to flavor the ice cream base, but no actual bits of foie are in the final product. Co-owner/head chef Sam Mason explains: "[The] challenge is selling it, not making it. People aren't as likely to take the leap of faith of ordering a meat ice cream as opposed to some more traditional flavors. But when they accept it and try it, they love it ... I'm planning on playing around more with other meats in the next few months."
10. Foie Gras Sushi with Balsamic Chocolate Kabayaki at O Ya in Boston
[Photo: O Ya/Jan Holzer]
Here's foie gras sushi with chocolate at Boston's O Ya. Chef Tim Cushman was inspired by memories of eating foie gras and chocolate as a stage in France in 1988, and set about creating the dish. He explains how he developed the dish: "I started with kabayaki and then played around, adding flavors to it. Adding chocolate was a great flavor and complemented the sushi rice. I thought it needed a bright note so I added a bit of balsamic vinegar to the sauce. I remembered the flavor memory of pickled sansho berries, they have a nice floral note. I added them and it created a whole new layer of depth … The aged sake reminded me of a classic foie and port pairing. It was a beautiful marriage of flavors, and then I knew the dish was complete." Now the dish customers sometimes call "wacky" is a menu standby.
11. Elvis Ice Cream Sandwich at The Redhead in NYC
[Photo: The Redhead]
At NYC's the Redhead, executive chef Ben Chiu-Maes serves up an ode to the iconic Elvis sandwich in ice cream sandwich form. It's banana ice cream sandwiched between layers of peanut butter cookies. It's chocolate dipped. And then it's finished with the Redhead's signature bacon peanut brittle. Says Chiu-Maes, "Adding banana ice cream to the combination of bacon and peanuts in our brittles was a natural progression rather than a challenge. Dipping it into chocolate puts it over the top and made for a more complete and decadent dessert worthy of its namesake."
12. Bone Marrow & Bourbon Smoked Cherry Ice Cream at Salt & Straw in Portland, OR
[Photo: Salt & Straw/Leela Cyd]
The ice cream makers at Salt & Straw have unveiled a meaty new flavor: bone marrow & bourbon smoked cherries. Not only does the bone marrow add a distinct flavor, but head ice cream maker Tyler Malek says it adds "a texture that we have never before experienced in ice cream." The bone marrow is clarified and then slowly emulsified into cream before it's spun. Draper Girls Farm dark sweet cherries are lightly smoked and brined in bourbon before being mixed into the bone marrow ice cream. "We are are constantly working to create flavors that push the limits and create unique experiences," says Malek. "We love the idea that our ice cream provides a moment for our guests to finally eat something that they wouldn't otherwise imagine trying."
13. Foie-ffle at Stella 34 Trattoria in NYC
[Photo: Stella 34 Trattoria/Cayla Zahoran]
At Stella 34 Trattoria in New York City, the "foie-ffle" is quite literal. In place of batter, foie gras is mixed into waffle batter. The cooked waffle is then topped with a house-made duck sausage and a maple sherry gastrique. Chef Jarett Appell explains that coming up with the recipe was a smooth process: "It was an easy connection really, as foie lends itself so well to sweet items and is flexible with butter." The dish is available at brunch, and was added to the menu in May.
14. Pork Belly Donuts at The Sycamore in San Francisco
[Photo: Robert G./Foursquare]
Feast your eyes on the Pork Belly Donuts from The Sycamore in San Francisco. The pork belly is braised overnight in beer, orange juice, salt, and pepper. It's beer battered. It's deep fried. The "donuts" are then topped with maple syrup and Maker's Mark glaze and a sprinkle of sea salt. They come three to an order. Owner Liz Ryan explains the origin of the popular dish: "We wanted to add a dish to our menu that would be uber decadent and great to wash down with beer."
15. Bacon Maple Bar at Voodoo Doughnut in Portland, OR
[Photo: Voodoo Doughnut/Cliff Danger]
One of the standard-bearers of the bacon-plus-doughnut genre, this is the Voodoo Doughnut Bacon Maple Bar. The Portland, OR doughnut shop has been serving up these bacon-topped, maple-glazed doughnuts since opening in 2003, and over 10 years later they are still one of the most popular orders. On a busy day, the original Portland shop easily sells hundreds and can sell thousands in a Summer week. This doughnut is a true Portland icon.
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