TGI Fry-Day: Beer Battered Bacon Strips from Paddy Long's
Boasting two menu sections devoted entirely to the subject, as well as frequent beer pairing events, Paddy Long's in Lakeview has apparently set out to corner the Chicago bacon market. Glancing at the rest of the offerings, the basket of Beer Battered Bacon Strips ($7.95, half priced on Mondays) is actually one of the more subdued options. Elucidating how that can possibly be is above my paygrade, but I can state confidently that the dish is worth seeking out.
Thick cut applewood bacon is coated in a hearty beer batter, fried until said batter reaches a rich mahogany, and finished with a generous cracking of black pepper. The accompanying chipotle mayo is gratuitous, but its spicy kick is addictive nonetheless. The waitress nailed the scent when she compared it to pepperoni pizza, but don't let that deter you. The bacon is fried long enough for the fat to render out, but not so much that the strips shatter under your teeth. If you like your bacon chewy, you'll be thrilled with this dish. And even if you don't, ordering it will create a welcome diversion if someone in your party tries to convince everyone else to order the 5 lb. Bacon Bomb.