Pork fat definitely rules at Bacon Bros. Public House on Greenville's east side. It’s a favorite ingredient of Chef Anthony Gray, formerly of High Cotton and Coal Fired Bistro. Gray loves simple food done well, and it shows in his menu of delicious food that harks back to his Southern heritage.
In this case, simple comes with high-quality ingredients. Natural, pasture-raised lamb, pork and beef hail from South Carolina farms, while pork barbecue, beef brisket and bacon are smoked in the 'pit' out at the back of the restaurant over local peach wood.
Meat curing in the chamber at Bacon Bros. — Photo courtesy of Bacon Bros. Public House
Inside, the showpiece glass curing chamber next to the bar is where the likes of house-made salami, sausage and Tasso ham cool their heels. Gray’s concept is head-to-tail cooking, in which he makes old world-style food using modern techniques.
“I want the food to be familiar,” the chef says.
Sure, there are hot dogs on the menu. But they’re made from pastured beef and heaped with brisket chili, onions, cheddar cheese and yellow mustard. Ditto for the moist burgers, which incorporate a mixture of ground bacon, brisket and chuck (Manly appetites will appreciate the double patties.) to make them extra juicy.
Everything is made from scratch here: bread, mustard, mayonnaise, ketchup, barbecue sauce. Much of the produce used at the restaurant comes from Coal Fired Farm, in keeping with the chef’s goal for 100% of the ingredients on the menu to be local.
Entrees range from hickory-smoked chicken and wild shrimp and grits to breakfast for supper (white corn grits, the house bacon, fried eggs, buttermilk biscuits and apple butter). They can be accompanied with seasonal sides like cornmeal-fried okra, mac and cheese and braised collards. If you’re still hungry after all that, homemade desserts (apple pie and Coca-Cola cake, for example) will satisfy any sweet tooth.
Tables made from recycled pallet wood and sections from an old fence mounted on the ceiling fashion a casual, homey atmosphere that caters to families. Booths line both sides of the dining room, with tables scattered in between. You’ll find Chef Anthony at the table by the open kitchen, putting the finishing touches on every dish.
At the bar, which is topped with a slab of poured concrete and faced with more pallet wood to create a kind of 3-D effect, craft cocktails show off pre-Prohibition-style libations. For example, the Older Fashioned is made with house barrel-aged bourbon, orange bitters and maple syrup.
Cocktails are all priced at $10 or under, and wines by the glass ring up at only $6. For beer drinkers, there’s a nice selection of craft brews ranging from Thomas Creek Dockside Pilsner to Sweet Water 420 pale ale.
Can’t get enough of that peachwood-smoked bacon? Go hog wild and buy a package or two to take home with you.