Of all the meals, brunch has perhaps always been the one most tied to the experience. However good the food may be, it often sits in soft focus when compared with the inevitable flow of restorative drinks, unhurried nibbling and boisterous accounts of the triumphs and tragedies of the previous evening. When David Dill opened the first Bacon Social House in 2015, he knew as much, developing a concept that never beat around the bush — providing brawny fare for folks who believed that morning dining should be assailed with vigor.
On Friday, March 26, a third location was added on South Broadway in the space formerly and then briefly held by Morning Collective and Huevos Tacos. In a corner that appears to be destined for breakfast, the new iteration could not have arrived at a better time — as bacon is best enjoyed amongst friends, between sneers, sips and thoughts of freedom.
Curating the vibe is director of operations Jason Isch, whose previous experience at New York’s famed Aquagrill and the now toppled Vesper Bar and Lounge in Brooklyn helped to instill the kind of high-octane fuel perfectly suited for the Social House’s distinct flame. Having also worked managerial roles at Acorn and Brider, Isch has a good sense for orchestration. Bacon Social House is facilitated like a whirlwind, with just the right amount of controlled chaos required to electrify the a.m.
“We hit you with a party. You can just worry about having a badass time. You tell me what game we’re playing and I’ll make sure we win,” grinned Isch. “If I can’t change the trajectory of your day I haven’t done my job,” he continued, noting that brunch ought to be the firm foundation for further misadventures. “It’s not a passive experience.”
While the ability to brunch publicly is certainly reason enough to go, Bacon Social House has done a good job of presenting a menu that never gets lost in the overall experience. Revved-up versions of standards abound, with bacon making an unsurprising number of appearances in nearly every available item.
The breakfast burrito ($12.95) is nearly the size of a grown man’s forearm with pulled pork, black beans, bacon tots, scrambled eggs and tomatillo salsa almost bursting from a flour tortilla then topped with house-made pork green chile and a not insubstantial amount of cheddar. The avocado toast ($11.95) is one of the few hog-free offerings, though the high stack of avocado, arugula, scrambled egg and pickled red onion atop griddled sourdough still manages to look muscular. At the center of it all is the bacon flight ($10.25) which takes Tenderbelly’s finest cuts and reimagines them across six flavors — applewood, barbecue, candied, French toast, chile-lime and a rotating flavor of the month. With the place actively shunning subtlety, the flight is the best way to experience the vision unobscured. “We have one rule. You will not leave hungry,” said Isch.
The Bloody Marys are all towering monuments to early afternoon indiscretions with the Stairway to Heaven ($25) arriving with all the beauty of a floral arrangement, with accouterments from across land and sea helping to toast humanity’s favored position in the food chain. Mimosa ($9 for a glass, $30 for a carafe) variations include traditional orange juice, blood orange, prickly pear pomegranate and passion fruit. Though to finish it all off, the BSH Breakfast Shot ($5) — with Revel Stoke pecan whiskey, butterscotch schnapps, orange juice and a bacon slice — may be the most potent encapsulation of the spot’s brash and beauty.
The new location doesn’t veer from Bacon Social House’s tried and true model, though the 900 – 1,100 pounds of bacon that move through each one weekly would attest to the fact that it doesn’t have to.
Bacon Social House is located at 2160 South Broadway, Denver. It is open Wednesday – Friday from 7 a.m. – 3 p.m., and Saturday and Sunday from 8 a.m. – 3:30 p.m.